|Technological Challenges (cont.)|
Chambers (2002) also found that technological skills did transfer between careers. Here she cites the case of George, a second career English teacher with a previous history in engineering. Here George notes, "...the way I try to get students to think about problems, is a direct result of my engineering education...it's like switching gears and moving away from technology and analysis of technological problems or business problems to the analysis of literature and writing problems" (qtd. in Chambers 215). Former multimodal skills learned often serve as a scaffold for thinking about ways writing assignments can be enhanced using these technologies.
In addition, technological savvy does not necessarily translate to solid critical thinking skills or ensure effective application in the writing classroom. As Hult and Meeks argue, "The medium is not the pedagogy" and instructors should be prepared "to understand the difference" (190). Analysis of hypertext is often a good starting point for both non-traditional and traditional teaching majors, both of whom often strategies to teach critical reading skills to their own students. McNabb points out that "Hypertexts can challenge even good readers' abilities to synthesize multiple perspectives, evaluate texts for bias or unreliability, and to make sense of disjointed associations on the fly. In this regard, reading hypertext generates information processing cycles that do not occur when reading a printed narrative." (115) Instruction in these multimodal literacy skills is already starting to happen at the college level where "Undergraduates, for example, are coming to us in need of instruction that will meet the demand for communicative competencies in the technology-rich corporate world. Composition studies is answering those demands through computer-mediated writing instruction--an answer that inevitably must translate into education TAs to teach their students using new technologies" (Payne and Enos 56).
Finally, effective writing methods course instruction in the area of multimodal composition is particularly valuable now, as "McNabb et al. (2002) found a nationwide lack of professional development for English language arts teachers interested in integrating digital texts into literacy learning opportunities for students" once teachers graduate (117)