This is where we’ll talk about Erin Karper’s “Make It Do or Do Without: Transition from a Tech-Heavy to a Tech-Light Institution: A Cautionary Tale.” Like I said, it’s probably a good idea to read the Moran piece first to put this in perspective, but I guess the short version is I guess we can’t quite assume that the role of computers in the teaching of writing is a settled argument yet.
Karper’s essay is pretty straight-forward, and in my view, a little uneven but still useful. The dichotomy of “tech-heavy” and “tech-light” is interesting, though it seems to me that there’s a lot in-between these two extremes. Maybe EMU is like that, actually.
I think she has good suggestions for strategies for getting access to technology, ideas that are worth keeping in mind at EMU and also at other institutions. I don’t think this includes any of the students in the class this term, but I have had high school teachers in the past who have to “think outside of the box” when it comes to getting computer lab access. And I can relate to some of what Karper is implying regarding some of the “pushback” she has received over the years from others at her institution about why someone teaching writing would need computers.
That said, even Karper’s story implies that there is less doing “without” than has been the case before. As she notes, her department now has a computer lab: in other words, even the “tech-light” institutions are seeing the point of computers and teaching writing.