InforMedia Services (IMS)

Technology Instruction for St. Cloud State University

Digital literacy – Can technology and grammar co-exist in class?

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on June 2, 2014

Some 30 years ago, there was only “literacy” – the ability to read and write. Then literacy proliferated into a multitude of literacies: e.g. – media (including “new media”), visual, information, computer, digital, technology, data. According to some, up to 20 literacies: http://listverse.com/2012/04/04/20-types-of-illiteracy/.

I often receive [mildly put] “unhappy” comments by students when their semester papers are turned with [a large amount of) corrections, involving their use of grammar and style. Students revolt against grammar and academic style NOT having place in a “technology” class. I counter with the fact that a technology class is still a college class and academic IS ABOUT learning how to speak and write and not only learning the “trade” (technology). There is a multitude of articles underlining the ability to write not only for English major but also computer major, e.g.:

Cilliers, C. B. (2012). Student Perception of Academic Writing Skills Activities in a Traditional Programming Course. Computers & Education, 58(4), 1028-1041.

Dankoski M, Palmer M, Gopen G, et al. Academic Writing: Supporting Faculty in a Critical Competency for Success. Journal Of Faculty Development [serial online]. May 1, 2012;26(2):47-54. Available from: ERIC, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 1, 2014.

To make things worse (for both students and instructors), instructors are inconsistent, whereas some do evaluate students on their “technology” skills only and some (like me) insist on a “complete” academic package.

What is your take? Do you think at least two of the aforementioned literacies: technology literacy and old fashioned literacy need to co-exist in class?
is grammar and academic style in a college technology class important

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