Do We Really Need That? Choosing Technology for the Writing Center




Eodice, Michele

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I think we are getting to a place in the proliferation of technologies in our writing centers where, not unlike that forty-four minute mark in a very intense writing consulting session, there is a need for reflection, for sitting back and looking around and determining what is working and why and what we should buy into and why. What does technology mean to you? Is it simply a transparent tool, something that you rely on for convenience, to use when needed and think about only when you want to cuss it out? The broad range of current technologies for writing centers--from PCs, to assistive software, to PDA downloads of FAQs on grammar, to ReadPlease [1], to a threaded discussion board for tutors, to virtual peer tutoring [2]--promises an equally wide range of fixes, problems, and unforeseen costs. I beg you not to be overwhelmed; my hope is to provide a problem-posing approach as you wend your way through a tangle of cables and spreadsheets.

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