1st Edition

Digital Literacy for Technical Communication 21st Century Theory and Practice

Edited By Rachel Spilka Copyright 2010
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    Digital Literacy for Technical Communication helps technical communicators make better sense of technology’s impact on their work, so they can identify new ways to adapt, adjust, and evolve, fulfilling their own professional potential. This collection is comprised of three sections, each designed to explore answers to these questions:

    • How has technical communication work changed in response to the current (digital) writing environment?
    • What is important, foundational knowledge in our field that all technical communicators need to learn?
    • How can we revise past theories or develop new ones to better understand how technology has transformed our work?

    Bringing together highly-regarded specialists in digital literacy, this anthology will serve as an indispensible resource for scholars, students, and practitioners. It illuminates technology’s impact on their work and prepares them to respond to the constant changes and challenges in the new digital universe.

    Foreword: JoAnn Hackos


    Part One: Transformations in Our Work

    1. Computers and Technical Communication in the 21st Century -- Saul Carliner
    2. The Effects of Digital Literacy on the Nature of Technical Communication Work -- R. Stanley Dicks

    Part Two: New Foundational Knowledge for Our Field

    3.Shaped and Shaping Tools: The Rhetorical Nature of Technical Communication Technologies -- Dave Clark

    4. Information Design: From Authoring Text to Architecting Virtual Space -- Michael Salvo and Paula Rosinski

    5. Content Management Beyond Single Sourcing -- William Hart-Davidson

    Part Three: New Directions in Cultural, Cross-Cultural, Audience, and Ethical Perspectives

    6. Human+Machine Culture: Where We Work -- Bernadette Longo

    7. Understanding Digital Literacy Across Cultures -- Barry Thatcher

    8. Addressing Audiences in a Digital Age --Ann Blakeslee

    9. Ethical Frames of Technical Relations: Digital Being in the Workplace World -- Steven Katz and Vicki Rhodes


    Rachel Spilka, is Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her current research interests are on reexamining audience and defining, from the perspective of students, promising strategies for achieving greater diversity in academic programs in the field. Over the past thirty years, she has interspersed academic positions with work in industry, including manager of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Research Grants Committee and Ken Rainey Excellence in Research Award Committee. Her previous edited volumes Writing in the Workplace: New Research Perspectives (Southern Illinois UP, 1993) and, with Barbara Mirel, Reshaping Technical Communication: New Directions for the 21st Century (Erlbaum, 2003) both received the Best Edited Collection Award in Scientific and Technical Communication from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

    Lucidly written by academics and vetted by members of the profession, this work strikes a nice balance between the theoretical and practical--providing the reader with concrete ways to apply the knowledge to the workplace, while cogently explaining the theory that lies behind the practice. The velocity of technological change will date some of the content, but the examples of theory being applied to technology are timeless.

    --CHOICE, J.N. Jeffryes, University of Minnesota