Twittering About

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  • 1. Christie Daniels University of Texas at El Paso

2. Overview The traditional workplace Modernization Hardware Software and networking Pedagogical implications for technical writing 3. Traditional Workplace Faber, discussing the banking industry, describes a traditional workplace which was a lasting, usually lifelong, employment, and it provided a comfortable, secure standard of living through salaried wages and regularized increases based on longevity with the company (45). Task-centered 4. Modernization Begins with the rise of the personal computer Laptops and mobility PDAs and Smartphones Always connected/interconnected Increasingly multimedia-driven Extends the boundaries of the workplace 5. The Changing Workplace Dependent on information - specifically the ability to obtain and use information Drucker, argues that the typical business will be knowledge-based, an organization composed largely of specialists who direct and discipline their own performance through organized feedback from colleagues, customers, and headquarters. For this reason, it will be what I call an information-based organization (45). 6. Spinuzzi, in his white paper on knowledge work writes,These connections lead to more flexibility andcollaboration within networked organizations, but alsomore communication problems: workers fromhistorically separated activities suddenly mustinteract, collaborate, and learn enough of each others'social languages and genres to work together. 7. In describing the distributed nature of the workplacein the information age, Spinuzzi explains, Distributedwork is the coordinative work that enablessociotechnical networks to hold together and formdense interconnections among and across workactivities that have traditionally been separated bytemporal, spatial, or disciplinary boundaries (268). 8. Social Turn Emergence of sites like Myspace for personal socialnetworking is well-known Benefits Problems Blurring of division between professional and personal life Facebook Twitter LinkedIn 9. Pedagogical Implications Teaching students mundane, standardized tasks cannot be the focus Students must know how to communicate in rhetorical situations which we may not even be able to envision in the classroom How do we do this? 10. Current examples Personal tools professional applicationsFacebook Academic and professional presence Twitter Presidential campaign Pundits News channels Within RWS program at UTEP Graduate students share resources Professors in the program also have twitter accounts 11. These examples demonstrate the molding or utilization of tools to the purposes/goals of the user. Our students need to be able to do this with new and emerging technologies How does this play out in the technical or workplace writing classroom? The answer: uncomfortably 12. Personal experience Students like answers; do not like uncertainty Participation is a challenge Students are used to the teacher telling them what theyneed to know In order to foster, the skills these students will need inthe actual workplace, students need practice doing. 13. They need practice in inquiry and problem-solving skills In short, rather than always providing a stringently structured writing environment, they need one conducive to inquiry Ultimately, students need a pedagogical experience which approximates the workplace where communication is not simply relegated to plugging information into the memo format but may take one of a myriad of forms designed to satisfy a given goal or purpose.