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Panoptic U

barclay_barrios
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I’ve been working on a paper for the NEXUS conference at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville. In a section my paper I consider the ethics of teaching technologies such as Blackboard and, in particular, their “panoptic” potential.  I try to avoid Blackboard whenever possible for a variety of reasons, but this same panopticism is sitting inside Microsoft Word when I grade electronically: I can see when a student last worked on a paper, how they formatted it (double-spaced or just a little extra to make the length?), and even how they revised (using Compare Documents with any earlier draft). The question I ask in the paper is one I pose to you, too: what are the ethical implications when we can see inside students’ composing processes? Any thoughts?
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About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.