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Portfolio element assignment:
Technology Autobiography

Your first (S/U) graded assignment in the course is to think about, then compose, a narrative that details the significant interactions that you have had with technology during your life and that suggests what those interactions reveal about you (and if appropriate, others). Your narrative will tell readers what kind of technology user you are by sharing details about your key experiences with technology. You should post this as a blog entry on http://WRIT501.ning.com so that we can all share it. Please post your blog by the evening of September 7, so that we have a chance to look at them and comment on them if we are so inclined. You will eventually be revising this piece as a required element in your final portfolio.

Typically, these narratives are written in chronological order, but you may use other structures (such as flashback or flash-forward) if they make sense for your story. Whatever structure you choose, be sure to organize your experiences into a narrative that tells the tale of how you became the technology user you are today. If you are ambitious, you may want to play with embedding visual or audio elements and links into your text. There is no right or wrong way at this stage.

Autobiographies usually use first-person, so you can use first person pronouns as you tell your story--in other words, you can use ďI.Ē If you wish, you may add pictures, drawings, or sound files to your response. [Eventually, by the end of the semester, this should be a multi-media piece.] You donít necessarily need to structure this response as the traditional academic essay if you think another kind of vehicle might be better--graphic novels, PowerPoint show, You Tube essay, etc... I encourage you to exercise your creativity here! (I am not specifying a word count here because not all of you will write traditional essays, but if thatís the form you choose, shoot for at least three double-spaced typed pages.)

Finally, be sure to use concrete details and strong, specific information to make the significance of your interactions with technology clear to your readers. They need to see the picture as clearly as you do. We will begin discussing these blog entries in class on September 8.

If you would like to read some sample technology autobiographies written by Prof. Dickie Selfe's undergraduate class at Michigan Tech, click here. To see an illustrated technology autobiography, click here. Jim Porter's reading is a very full example of what we're eventually going for--a thoughtful multimedia exploration of how his interactions with technology have shaped him as a writer.