Harnessing New Technologies to Teach Academic Writing to the Net Generation


  • Sean Wiebe UPEI
  • Sandy McAuley UPEI




While the ubiquity of Web 2.0 technologies disrupts conventional notions of schooling and literacy, its impact on learning is idiosyncratic at best. Taking the form of a dialogue based on the 15-week collaboration of two colleagues implementing an innovative 1st-year university writing course, this paper documents some of the successes and challenges they faced as they sought to create a space for those technologies in their classrooms.

Keywords: Web 2.0; schooling and literacy; learning; higher education; new technologies

Author Biographies

Sean Wiebe, UPEI

Sean Wiebe is an assistant professor of education at the University of Prince Edward Island, teaching courses in language and literacy, curriculum theory, and global issues. His research explores issues in writing pedagogy, autobiography, teacher narratives, and arts-based methodologies. Most recently he has investigated the shifting contexts for the teaching writing within the digital economy. Dr. Wiebe is a poet, philosopher, parent, and provocateur. His career has spanned 18 years in education, beginning as secondary English teacher before moving to educational administration and higher education.

Sandy McAuley, UPEI

Sandy McAuley worked as an educator in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut from 1982 to 1999, as a researcher with the Telelearning National Centres of Excellence from 1999 to 2001, and as the Research Leader in Rich Media and Learning at the University of Prince Edward Island from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, he joined the Faculty of Education at UPEI where he teaches courses in literacy across the curriculum, technology in education, and culture and society.