English 808: Technology & Literacy – Course Project: Annotated Bibliographies

Dr. Gian Pagnucci

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry

Citation of Teaching Writing with Computers (Chapter 4)
Annotation by Gian Pagnucci

Pagnucci, G. S., & Mauriello, N. (2003). Balancing acts: Tightrope walking above an ever changing (Inter)Net. In P. Takayoshi & B. Huot (Eds.), Teaching writing with computers. An introduction. (pp. 79-91).  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Pagnucci and Mauriello provide three stories of learning to use technology for teaching composition. They discuss both their accomplishments and their mistakes. They also encourage other teachers to adopt this same type of reflective practice. Pagnucci and Mauriello’s first story focuses on public discourse versus private concerns. In the second story, the researchers focus on empowerment versus identity. Finally, Pagnucci and Mauriello tell a story about revelation vs. censorship. Pagnucci and Mauriello conclude their chapter by arguing that teaching Internet-based writing classes requires formulating an ethics of technology.

Chapter Assessment

Pagnucci and Mauriello are clearly brilliant researchers. (Ok, maybe your assessments should be a bit less biased!) They offer an interesting discussion of their development as teachers who use technology. The discussion seems quite honest since they discuss both the successes and the failures of their pedagogical experiments. Pagnucci and Mauriello encourage other teachers to tell stories of their struggles learning to use technology in their teaching. This is a call to research that my own study is designed partly to answer.

Key Chapter Quotations

On the Problems of Online Pseudonym Use

  • “If you cannot say, ‘This is who I am, I exist,’ then you are never truly empowered. If you cannot sign your real name to your own words, then no one else will ever know what you think and believe. Your existence will always be marginal, lacking the ownership so important to Freirian self-reflection” (p. 85).

On the Challenge of Online Publishing for Students

  • “This is the blunder that keeps recurring for us. Too often, when we get a student to write, the students cannot or will not share that writing. In many ways, we’re back where we started with our initial class. In the face of the unknown audiences of the Internet, too many students are silenced” (p. 89).