This is probably my favorite article so far. However, as I read through it, I didn’t make as many notations as I usually do when I’m reading for class. I’m not sure if this is because I think I agree with everything Weathers states, or because I was too engrossed in the text. I usually like to play devil’s advocate, just to initiate some critical thinking and discussion, but so far I haven’t found myself doing this, yet. I have been thinking about this very theme through out the semester, because there are so many different types of composition styles, genres, and subjects. On page 136 he says,

“And be assured: Grammar B in no way threatens Grammar A. It uses the same stylistic ‘deck of fifty-two cards’ and embraces the same English language with which we are familiar. Acknowledging its existence and discovering how it works and including it in our writing expertise, we simply become better teachers of writing, making a better contribution to the intellectual and emotional lives of our students” This is the mind-set we should maintain when approaching digital literacy.

All too often, we approach literacy, specifically anything novel to the field, with binary thinking, assuming that if we utilize one aspect of literacy, that the other is inferior. I won’t go as far to say that this is wrong of us, because it is the culmination of years of pedagogical influences of those who have come before us. We aren’t at fault having thought pen and paper is privileged over other forms of composition, we’re teaching with the social baggage that we’ve been oppressed with, simply because it has been a part of our culture. So, with that said, as long as we identify this bias, we are better prepared to serve our students with a quality education.

Obviously, we cannot allow students to think that structured composition performed with paper and ink is antiquated or useless. On the contrary, I believe learning to write a cogent argument is vital. I struggled with the argumentative essay as an undergrad, because I allowed myself to assume that flowery language and lofty, poorly cited evidence would make a paper. I was wrong, and proved wrong several times over by some of the best English professors I had ever had, to date. After working tirelessly to make the grade, I finally stopped concentrating on the grade and began to focus more on my content. This is when I finally learned what a quality paper looked like, but only after writing numerous crappy ones.

Now, I find myself at a stage in my profession where I’m a little anxious to incorporate the plethora of digital platforms in my classroom, but not because I believe them to be insufficient supplements, because my own experiential knowledge as a student has taught me to value ink and paper. Yet, I read through Weathers text, having no choice but to admit that I am a HUGE Whitman fan, and know that his writing has affected me in so many profound ways, to say that his style taught me nothing would be a lie! How do I listen to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” without admitting that it’s no more than poetry put to music, or not admit that Freddy Mercury’s usage of stream of consciousness narration is awesome? I can’t! I won’t! That text, like Whitman’s, is no less significant than Swift’s “Modest Proposal” or Paine’s “Common Sense” they’re just different, stylistically.

To conclude, does this mean that a presentation I create using Prezi trumps an A+ paper I wrote on Thoreau’s Walden? Of course not, it just means that now I can share the knowledge I’m learning with my students on how to do both, which makes for a well rounded experience for myself as an instructor, and eventually my students.