Monthly Archives: December 2013
I spent the semester reading, discussing, and connecting those readings and discussions to my current technical communication role. My goal in this program is to become a better technical communicator, and this class has been an excellent start for me. All of our readings and discussions have helped me to think about what communication strategies I am already using and what new methods I can try.
I found the Spilka text especially helpful and relevant, as it framed the evolution of and current trends in the technical communication field within the context of traditional technical communication roles and responsibilities. As I am new to the field, all of this background really helped to orient me and help me understand how my job role became what it is today. In my final paper, I traced three themes through the different authors in the Spilka text and applied them to my own role as a technical communicator.
It was extremely helpful and interesting to read all of your creative blog posts and insightful comments on my posts throughout the semester. Thank you all for creating a helpful and supportive discussion environment. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season and a great new year! The abstract for my paper is below.
The emergence of digital technology has had a profound impact on the field of technical communication and its actors. This paper explores changes in the field of technical communication and in the roles of technical communicators, evolution of the technical communication audience, and Information Design and Content Management Principles. My intent with this exploration is to establish where my current technical communication strategies are consistent with the field literature and theory and identify areas upon which I can improve and new methods that I can utilize.
I nearly forgot that I needed to write one final post, which is why I am writing it now. : (
I chose to write my final paper about the impact emerging media and digital technologies have on the field of technical communication. I had originally wanted to write my paper on perceived privacy in the digital work, which was partially sparked by personal interest and partially because of the blog post I directed you all to a few weeks back. Unfortunately, that topic did not fit well with out course objectives, so I needed to go back and reconsider my topic. Thankfully that realization happened before I started writing my proposal and annotated bibliography.
I learned several things while writing my final paper. First. I really need to procrastinate less. I really should’ve started working on this paper a month ago. With a wife also in grad school, having a 15 month old little girl, and working full time, I really cannot afford to not plan ahead.
Second, 15-20 pages doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is more difficult to write that much when my usual writing is providing direction. Most of my work involves rewriting instructions to be as clear as possible and in as few words as possible. Aside from that, I really do very little writing anymore. Writers block set in several times, and I needed to step away to try to refocus.
Third, I really do enjoy the work that I do, and I take pride in it. I’ve really enjoyed the courses I have taken so far, and each semester seems to build on foundation laid by the previous semester. Also, I usually find textbook reading tedious, but I enjoyed our textbook selection from this semester, even though I frequently disagreed with Qualman.
Finally, while I did not fully enjoy the process of writing this final paper (entirely my own fault), I did enjoy the research portion. I read several articles and websites that were interesting, but unfortunately did not contain information that I could use in my paper. I also developed a new perspective on Spilka’s book, which I found to be a very valuable resource for my paper. I also found myself do the same sort of things I was writing about, such as checking my phone frequently, or randomly surfing the web when I should’ve been working. I was hoping someone would call or text me, but that was unlikely since my wife was at home.
From this course, I learned that I am a late adopter of new technology and that is a decision I am happy with. I feel relieved that I am not like the people that Turkle described in Always On. I still have the ability to unplug each day, despite being a salary employee. I am not expected to be available and working all the time, and my emails are not important or numerous enough for me to spend my own time keeping up with them.
I really enjoyed getting to know all of you this semester, and hopefully I will have more courses with you in the future. Have a great winter break and happy holidays!
The topic I choose for my final paper related to Objectives 1, 2 and 5. In this paper I examined the aspects of selecting, creating, and maintaining a Knowledge Management System. This relates to the course objectives 1, 2 and 5 in the following ways:
Objective 1 relates to the way new digital technologies affect writing, specifically technical and professional communication. Most writing being completed in the Knowledge Management System will be technical writing. It will be related to how to perform certain tasks and how specific pieces of functionality work.
Objective 2 relates to the way digital technologies will change the technical writing workplace. With the implementation of a new Knowledge Management System, this changes the way we write based on the types of text the new system can handle.
Objective 5 relates to the consequences of these new technologies for writing, managing and distributing information/knowledge to online audiences. My experience with Knowledge Managements systems is that each has a customer facing option. We create content on our side and then it is available for our customers to use when and where they have the time.
Knowledge Management Systems are an important piece of a software knowledge transfer. A knowledge management systems allows software development/support staff to create content for dissemination to the internal customers and/or customer base. This report provides an overview of things to consider when looking at selecting, creating and maintaining a knowledge management system. Also included is a compare/contrast of Sansio’s current Knowledge Management System to Parature, the lead in what is being selected to replace it.
As could be seen throughout my blog posting, I had a hard time with this class. It took a while for me to get the AHA Moment that really connected it all for me. I think part of my issue was I was looking at this as a Social Media class and the more I thought about it, the more I knew Social Media was not going to be used in my job. It took a while for me to break out of the Social Media and think about it as Digital Communication, which includes a lot of what I do in my job.
I ended up really enjoying this class and can’t wait to find a way to apply what I learned to my job.
I have now completed my final paper. The topic I chose for this lengthy process involves technology, digital literacy, and the degradation of quality and rigor in student learning.
The title of my paper is The Ugly Side of Technology: A Breakdown of What’s Happening to Education and Strategies to Maintain the Quality and Rigor of Student Learning. Below, I have posted my abstract. Enjoy!
Technology affords people innovative learning opportunities, such as using digital tools to shape understanding. However, it produces many adverse effects that can overshadow the benefits, including the degradation in the quality and rigor of student learning. Unless parents and teachers take action, student learning will continue to suffer. In a detailed analysis, the author discusses the growth of technology by acknowledging the digitally literate generation and discussing the digital literacy narrative of a young woman. Next, the author highlights the benefits of technology, but contrasts them with the many negative effects technology causes on student learning, including the breakdown of reading for comprehension and the increase of multitasking. Finally, the author provides strategies for both parents and teachers to help maintain the appropriate and necessary use of technology. Parents and teachers must provide students with strategies so they realize that technology does not replace traditional learning and that digital literacy requires the same, if not more, rigor as traditional reading and writing.
Therefore, I say farewell and enjoy your winter break! I am glad to have shared the experience of this course with all of you and I hope to collaborate again in another course.