Friday, April 20, 2007

Issues of Attitude and Access

I was reading through a fellow classmates blog, and commented that I thought Pavia made a valid point when Pavia states, "students were at a disadvantage when compared to their classmates who were more experienced in using computers" (6). However, as I thought about it more in order to write this post, I began to wonder just how many students are "computer disadvantaged?"
I think it would be fair to say that basic writing students who are computer disadvantaged are few and far between. Particularly, if these students are incoming freshmen straight out of high school--I have a hard time imagining that they are not computer literate to a certain degree. However, if you take a non-traditional student (let's say a displaced mother of 3 who hasn't seen the inside of a classroom since the 70s and the last computer screen was monochromatic and required coding before any output could be rendered) then I can totally agree with Pavia's statement.
I think the important message in her article is that "I explore the writers’ differing attitudes towards computers, writing, and writing with computers" (Pavia, 8). So this tells me that she might collect some sort of information about her students--particularly attitutes about computer usage before she allows them to run free-for-all into a computer writing lab where some of them might freeze at the sight of MS Word.
As I stated in my fellow classmates post, I think there is a medium between lab and classroom that we can meet, and should probably follow some of Pavia's experience when thinking about using the lab as the sole tool for our student's writing.
Works Cited

Pavia, Catherine Matthews. "Issues of Attitude and Access: A Case Study of Basic Writers in a Computer Classroom." Journal of Basic Writing 23.2 (2004): 4-22.

1 comment:

Viking Girl said...

I too wondered if there was any computer prep in the classes. However, I think that we might need to make sure every student has access to and can use a computer before we expect everyone to be tech savvy. Just because someone's generation has grown up around computers, they won't necessarily be a pro at computing. ***Can I use that as a verb for humans, or is sit strictly tied to computers?*** In any case a class that incorporates computers in different could be beneficial to learners at all computing ability levels.