English faculty members Bryna Siegel Finer, Lynn Shelly, and Oriana Gatta collaborated with PhD students Rachael Warmington and Maha Alawdat to write and publish “Lo-tech Tools as Episteme: Rethinking Student Engagement in the Writing Process and Beyond” in the Journal of Pedagogic Development. Their collaboration began as a teaching circle supported by a mini-grant from the Reflective Practice program of the IUP Center for Teaching Excellence.
In the article, the teacher-scholars describe pedagogical inquiry into the use of “lo-tech” tools and what they discovered about the affordances of these tools. These include, but are not limited to, technologies like sticky notes that help students to organize written thoughts and physically move them around; crayons that allow students to highlight, trace, and categorize different types of thoughts on their paper; and index cards that they can use in a variety of interactive ways for their own writing and to write collaboratively.
They found that the use of lo-tech tools complemented their work with digital technology, engaging the kinesthetic learners in their classrooms and encouraging a spirit of play in students and teachers alike.
They also discuss how teachers can encourage the use of lo-tech tools epistemologically to help students process information, create knowledge, and to come to their own understandings or demonstrate understandings of course content—with no product in mind other than knowledge-making.
Department of English