Special Issue of Computers and Composition on the Future of the Web (7/1/10)

Composition 20/20: How the Future of the Web Could Sharpen the Teaching of Writing
A Special Issue of Computers and Composition
Guest-edited by Randall McClure and Janice Walker, Georgia Southern University

Kevin Kelly (2008) has suggested the first lesson of the Web is that we “have to get better at believing the impossible.” According to Kelly, the editor of Wired magazine, the Web is only 5,000 days old and its growth to this point was unimaginable to those working with the Web just ten-plus years ago. Additionally, Tim Berners-Lee (2007) has argued “it is incumbent on all of us to understand what our role is in fostering continued growth, innovation, and vitality of the World Wide Web.” Kelly believes such innovation will make the Web the operating system in the future of computing and, in doing so, create a future Web that is inseparable from writing. In the spirit of these comments, we dedicate this issue to looking 5000 days ahead, to the future of computers and composition ten-plus years from now.

This special issue examines the theoretical, practical and pedagogical issues and implications of future versions and uses of the Web for the teaching of writing. The issue suggests what the relationship might be between computers and composition in the early years of the next decade—a vision for 2020—and beyond.

Questions to consider include the following:
1. In what ways will enhancements in portability or mobility change how students receive information and compose with computer technologies and what, if anything, should composition teachers do to accommodate or recognize such changes in reading and writing?
2. In what ways will the increasing individualization and customization of the Web, such as virtual worlds and personalized avatars, impact the teaching and learning of writing?
3. In what ways will improvements in global access to the Web change the nature of composing with computers?
4. In what ways will the Web and web applications become more ubiquitous in our lives, and how will the Web’s increased presence change the teaching of writing?
5. In what ways will application genres evolve over the next decade and how might they change composing with computers?
6. Which vision of the future Web is most promising/concerning for work in computers and composition?
7. In what ways will semantic technologies and/or intelligent applications change the ways in which students access and use information in the process of composing with computers?
8. In what ways will the assessment of writing change to accommodate developments of the Web?
The guest editors invite proposals that answer these or other questions regarding the future of the Web and its influence on the teaching of composition.

Proposals should be one page, single-spaced (approximately 500 words). Deadline for submission of proposals is July 1, 2010. Please send proposals via email to Randall McClure (randallmcclure@georgiasouthern.edu). Queries are welcome. Final manuscripts will be 15-30 pages in length, double-spaced. Manuscript deadline for accepted abstracts is September 15, 2010. Final manuscripts are scheduled to be due in February 2011, and the special issue is scheduled to be published in Fall 2011.