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Issues of Integrating Computers into Writing Instruction


Computers can provide four kinds of help to practicing writers: (1) data storage and retrieval, (2) computer-assisted instruction and text feedback, (3) utility or word processing programs, and (4) telecommunications capability. Writing teachers must incorporate certain values into the planning of computer applications in the writing curriculum. The first value is freedom, in light of the limits of composition pedagogy and of the function of computers as enforcers and controllers. Teachers must allow students opportunity to learn for themselves, whether by wrestling with a program thought to be too advanced for them (the way people learn to play computer games without instructions), by using programs that ask open-ended questions, or by not using the computer at all if they so choose. A second value involves honesty and humaneness in the feedback given by computers. Programs that evaluate style may be counter-productive, whereas feedback such as "that was my toughest question" gives the student pride in a right answer or information for evaluating the test in the event of a wrong answer. A third value is playful creativity. For example, a computer "bulletin board" is a safe playground for trying out essays on other readers, and word processing programs encourage risk-taking in revision.(HTH)


Schwartz, H.J. Issues of Integrating Computers into Writing Instruction. Retrieved June 2, 2023 from .

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