a better pencil readers writers and the digital revolution

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A Better Pencil

Author : Dennis Baron
ISBN : 9780199914005
Genre : Computers
File Size : 75. 10 MB
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A Better Pencil puts our complex, still-evolving hate-love relationship with computers and the internet into perspective, describing how the digital revolution influences our reading and writing practices, and how the latest technologies differ from what came before.

A Better Pencil

Author : Dennis Baron
ISBN : 019974078X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70. 90 MB
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Computers, now the writer's tool of choice, are still blamed by skeptics for a variety of ills, from speeding writing up to the point of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing process, to destroying the English language itself. A Better Pencil puts our complex, still-evolving hate-love relationship with computers and the internet into perspective, describing how the digital revolution influences our reading and writing practices, and how the latest technologies differ from what came before. The book explores our use of computers as writing tools in light of the history of communication technology, a history of how we love, fear, and actually use our writing technologies--not just computers, but also typewriters, pencils, and clay tablets. Dennis Baron shows that virtually all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted at first with anxiety and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost spiritual connection" between the writer and the page; the typewriter was "impersonal and noisy" and would "destroy the art of handwriting." Both pencils and computers were created for tasks that had nothing to do with writing. Pencils, crafted by woodworkers for marking up their boards, were quickly repurposed by writers and artists. The computer crunched numbers, not words, until writers saw it as the next writing machine. Baron also explores the new genres that the computer has launched: email, the instant message, the web page, the blog, social-networking pages like MySpace and Facebook, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary, not to mention YouTube. Here then is a fascinating history of our tangled dealings with a wide range of writing instruments, from ancient papyrus to the modern laptop. With dozens of illustrations and many colorful anecdotes, the book will enthrall anyone interested in language, literacy, or writing.

A Better Pencil

Author : Dennis Baron
ISBN : 9780199736775
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 72. 19 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Computers, now the writer's tool of choice, are still blamed by skeptics for a variety of ills, from speeding writing up to the point of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing process, to destroying the English language itself. A Better Pencil puts our complex, still-evolving hate-love relationship with computers and the internet into perspective, describing how the digital revolution influences our reading and writing practices, and how the latest technologies differ from what came before. The book explores our use of computers as writing tools in light of the history of communication technology, a history of how we love, fear, and actually use our writing technologies--not just computers, but also typewriters, pencils, and clay tablets. Dennis Baron shows that virtually all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted at first with anxiety and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost spiritual connection" between the writer and the page; the typewriter was "impersonal and noisy" and would "destroy the art of handwriting." Both pencils and computers were created for tasks that had nothing to do with writing. Pencils, crafted by woodworkers for marking up their boards, were quickly repurposed by writers and artists. The computer crunched numbers, not words, until writers saw it as the next writing machine. Baron also explores the new genres that the computer has launched: email, the instant message, the web page, the blog, social-networking pages like MySpace and Facebook, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary, not to mention YouTube. Here then is a fascinating history of our tangled dealings with a wide range of writing instruments, from ancient papyrus to the modern laptop. With dozens of illustrations and many colorful anecdotes, the book will enthrall anyone interested in language, literacy, or writing.

Writing Technology

Author : Christina Haas
ISBN : 9781136687549
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 66. 23 MB
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Academic and practitioner journals in fields from electronics to business to language studies, as well as the popular press, have for over a decade been proclaiming the arrival of the "computer revolution" and making far-reaching claims about the impact of computers on modern western culture. Implicit in many arguments about the revolutionary power of computers is the assumption that communication, language, and words are intimately tied to culture -- that the computer's transformation of communication means a transformation, a revolutionizing, of culture. Moving from a vague sense that writing is profoundly different with different material and technological tools to an understanding of how such tools can and will change writing, writers, written forms, and writing's functions is not a simple matter. Further, the question of whether -- and how -- changes in individual writers' experiences with new technologies translate into large-scale, cultural "revolutions" remains unresolved. This book is about the relationship of writing to its technologies. It uses history, theory and empirical research to argue that the effects of computer technologies on literacy are complex, always incomplete, and far from unitary -- despite a great deal of popular and even scholarly discourse about the inevitability of the computer revolution. The author argues that just as computers impact on discourse, discourse itself impacts technology and explains how technology is used in educational settings and beyond. The opening chapters argue that the relationship between writing and the material world is both inextricable and profound. Through writing, the physical, time-and-space world of tools and artifacts is joined to the symbolic world of language. The materiality of writing is both the central fact of literacy and its central puzzle -- a puzzle the author calls "The Technology Question" -- that asks: What does it mean for language to become material? and What is the effect of writing and other material literacy technologies on human thinking and human culture? The author also argues for an interdisciplinary approach to the technology question and lays out some of the tenets and goals of technology studies and its approach to literacy. The central chapters examine the relationship between writing and technology systematically, and take up the challenge of accounting for how writing -- defined as both a cognitive process and a cultural practice -- is tied to the material technologies that support and constrain it. Haas uses a wealth of methodologies including interviews, examination of writers' physical interactions with texts, think-aloud protocols, rhetorical analysis of discourse about technology, quasi-experimental studies of reading and writing, participant-observer studies of technology development, feature analysis of computer systems, and discourse analysis of written artifacts. Taken as a whole, the results of these studies paint a rich picture of material technologies shaping the activity of writing and discourse, in turn, shaping the development and use of technology. The book concludes with a detailed look at the history of literacy technologies and a theoretical exploration of the relationship between material tools and mental activity. The author argues that seeing writing as an embodied practice -- a practice based in culture, in mind, and in body -- can help to answer the "technology question." Indeed, the notion of embodiment can provide a necessary corrective to accounts of writing that emphasize the cultural at the expense of the cognitive, or that focus on writing as only an act of mind. Questions of technology, always and inescapably return to the material, embodied reality of literate practice. Further, because technologies are at once tools for individual use and culturally-constructed systems, the study of technology can provide a fertile site in which to examine the larger issue of the relationship of culture and cognition.

Scrolling Forward

Author : David M. Levy
ISBN : 9781628723977
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47. 85 MB
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Like Henry Petroski’s The Pencil, David Levy’s Scrolling Forward takes a common, everyday object, the document, and illuminates what it reveals about us, both in the past and in the digital age. We are surrounded daily by documents of all kinds—letters and credit card receipts, business memos and books, television images and web pages—yet we rarely stop to reflect on their significance. Now, in this period of digital transition, our written forms as well as our reading and writing habits are being disturbed and transformed by new technologies and practices. An expert on information and written forms, and a former researcher for the document pioneer Xerox, Levy masterfully navigates these concerns, offering reassurance while sharing his own excitement about many of the new kinds of emerging documents. He demonstrates how today’s technologies, particularly the personal computer and the World Wide Web, are having analogous effects to past inventions—such as paper, the printing press, writing implements, and typewriters—in shaping how we use documents and the forms those documents take. Scrolling Forward lets us see the continuity between the written forms of today and those of the past.

The English Only Question

Author : Dennis E. Baron
ISBN : 0300056605
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 79. 63 MB
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Explores the political, legal, educational, and sociological implications of declaring English the official language of the U.S., and traces the history of American attitudes toward English and minority languages

Technology And Literacy In The 21st Century

Author : Cynthia L. Selfe
ISBN : 9780809322695
Genre : Education
File Size : 47. 47 MB
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Part critique of existing policy and practice, part call-to-action, Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century explores the complex linkage between technology and literacy that has come to characterize American culture and its public educational system at the end of the twentieth century. To provide a specific case study of this complex cultural formation, award-winning educator Cynthia L. Selfe discusses the Technology Literacy Challenge, an official, federally sponsored literacy project begun in 1996 that has changed—at fundamentally important levels—the definition of literacy and the practices recognized as constituting literate behavior in America. Selfe tries to identify the effects of this new literacy agenda, focusing specifically on what she calls "serious and shameful" inequities it fosters in our culture and in the public education system: among them, the continuing presence of racism, poverty, and illiteracy. She describes how the national project to expand technological literacy came about, what effects it has yielded, why the American public has supported this project, and how teachers of English, language arts, and composition have contributed to this project, despite their best intentions. A primary goal of this study is to make teachers of English and composition increasingly aware of the new literacy agenda and to suggest how they might positively influence its shape and future direction, both in the classroom and in the community. This awareness is an integral part of educators' larger professional responsibility to understand the way in which our culture thinks about and values literacy. Perhaps even more important, argues Selfe, this awareness is part of teachers' ethical responsibility to understand how literacy and literacy instruction directly and continually affect the lived experiences of the individuals and families with whom teachers interact.

Digital Vertigo

Author : Andrew Keen
ISBN : 9781429940962
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 37. 18 MB
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"Digital Vertigo provides an articulate, measured, contrarian voice against a sea of hype about social media. As an avowed technology optimist, I'm grateful for Keen who makes me stop and think before committing myself fully to the social revolution." —Larry Downes, author of The Killer App In Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen presents today's social media revolution as the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Fusing a fast-paced historical narrative with front-line stories from today's online networking revolution and critiques of "social" companies like Groupon, Zynga and LinkedIn, Keen argues that the social media transformation is weakening, disorienting and dividing us rather than establishing the dawn of a new egalitarian and communal age. The tragic paradox of life in the social media age, Keen says, is the incompatibility between our internet longings for community and friendship and our equally powerful desire for online individual freedom. By exposing the shallow core of social networks, Andrew Keen shows us that the more electronically connected we become, the lonelier and less powerful we seem to be.

Grammar And Good Taste

Author : Dennis E. Baron
ISBN : 0300027990
Genre : English language
File Size : 38. 38 MB
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Recounts attempts to reform American spelling and grammar, explains why these reforms have not been accepted, and discusses how correct usage is determined

The Science Writers Handbook

Author : SciLance (Firm)
ISBN : 9780738216560
Genre : Reference
File Size : 68. 10 MB
Format : PDF
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"Popular science writing has exploded in the past decade, both in print and on-line. Who better to guide writers striving to succeed in the profession than a group of award-winning, well-published journalists with a combined 225 years of experience? FromThomas Hayden's chapter on the nuts and bolts of making the perfect pitch to Emma Maris's advice about putting together a book proposal to Mark Schrope's essential information on contracts, the members of SciLance give writers of all levels the practicalinformation they need to succeed, either as a staffer or as a freelancer. Going beyond craft, The Science Writer's Handbook also tackles lifestyle issues such as office space, steady income, and financial and emotional resources, for the ultimate guide to the craft, business and life of science writing"--

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