I don't teach students to use audio or video technologies in first-year writing courses, simply because I believe in the virtues of direct instruction. The best way to learn how to write is to write. And for folks who might say otherwise, I'd suggest that the burden of proof lies on them. Blogging strikes me as a valuable tool because it encourages writing. Creating writing on static individual or interlinked HTML web pages can be useful for the same reasons -- and I encourage students to think about visual elements, because design and how the text looks on the page are elements of reading and writing. Can they include video and audio? Sure, if they're so inclined -- but the writing comes first.
Well, I suppose I might have the students do some things with audio and video when we get into the local history projects I want to try next year. But I was really thinking more about myself. Would it be worth my time to work on audio and/or video as teaching tools? I'd like to do some things like that to spice up my online lit class. However, that does bring me back to the question of access. If the students are on dial-up and using outdated computers, they may not be able to use any extra little bells and whistles even if I add them.
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