Issues of access are highlighted in Brooke’s article when using or thinking of using New Media pedagogy. I agree with Brooke that students may not have access to computers or Wi-Fi or any technology the instructor may want to use. I can think of two main situations where the issues of access would surface the most and affect teachers’ motivation for innovation:
Outside the U.S. It is clear that English teaching practices change as the context changes but how New Media pedagogy change? Brooke mention states that “New Media carry with them social, cultural, and economic implications.” Technologies carry with them the culture they were created in. For example, Facebook is for sharing thoughts, pictures, videos as moments of your life with the people that care about you and that you care about. That is in the context of the U.S. or of Western thought. Because it is not a cultural taboo to share so much about yourself publicly while it can be in many cultures in the world. Asking students to create a Facebook group to work with each other and with the instructor would probably not work so well.
If the instructor adapts assignments to the context in which they are teaching they may have a rate of success. However, I would still worry about attitudes of students towards the technology to use. Students write in these New Media across the world, but they don’t all write in English so the principle that functions in the U.S. well about the classroom going to spaces where students wire, does not apply anymore. Many new challenges surface, when thinking of different contexts, that the scholarship can gear towards in the continued search for implementation of New Media Pedagogy.
Class divide in the U.S. It is not fair to assume that all students will bring in the same awareness of technology use or own technological devices. It cannot be assumed that all students will be middle to upper level classes. So what would the instructor do when he/she has a student or a couple students that cannot do the work? Will the instructor create new assignments for this student or will they fail on something they have no capacity over and continue being marginalized in society? Some schools will have less available resources and funding that goes to technologies than others ad that would affect how they think of New Media. Therefore, class is a factor to consider by teachers as they create their syllabus.
After considering international contexts and class divide in the U.S. we come to realize that there are more complexities with New Media Implementation, as we know it has its benefits. The more teachers try different pedagogical practices and the more research about this topic the more questions will be answered. If no questions are answered, then maybe we get to better questions.
Q1: What can we do as scholars and writing teachers to make sure our assignments are not outside our students’ reach?
Q2: What definition of New Media and Technology serves the composition instructor better?