Teaching with a typewriter.


Institutions of higher education continuously laud the benefits of using technology in teaching without choosing, or investing in, the tech that actually would help students. For example, colleges and universities frequently use D2L or Blackboard software that isn’t user friendly. I compose assignments that students rarely closely read. One obstacle has to do with software design. I cannot indent paragraphs or use format layouts that would make reading easier. So it might be worth using tried and true technology. By typing and posting a photo of my assignments, students might be able to better understand my assignment. The photo will also allow students to zoom in on the document using whatever technology they have on hand (likely a smart phone).


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrick says:

    My wife had a technical writing class, a year or so ago, in which they were taught about fonts. For hardcopy documents, a serif font should be used. For text intended for a screen, use sans serif. What this tells me is that, if you want to read, actually comprehend, the text needs to be on paper with typewriter-style characters. If it’s meant to be skimmed and dismissed, sure, make it 11pt Calibri without tabs or proper punctuation. (Forget syntax, grammar, and spelling, too.)

    All of which may explain why my boss’s boss, our Dean of Academic Services, got so gleefully excited that I was going to stretch World Typewriter Day for an entire week, again, with machines on-hand for students and staff to play with.

    I think people want, and need, words with a sense of permanence. Your typewritten assignments have gravitas. “This is what I want on this paper.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mcfeats says:

    Many thanks. The other problem with the Desire2Learn aesthetic is that it places a black font against a gray background. An instructional manual for an appliance is more inviting. I am curious to know what activities you orchestrated for World Typewriter Day (Week). I have dabbled with using typewriters for student events. The results were mixed. Because I wasn’t able to oversee the activities, one student managed to break one of my Lettera 22s. Not everyone is mechanically inclined.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s