A historical look at electronic literacy implications for the education of technical communicators

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This article investigates the ways in which a subset of technical communicators acquired electronic literacy from 1978 to 2000, a period during which personal computers became increasingly ubiquitous in the United States in educational settings, homes, communities, and workplaces. It describes the literacy autobiographies gathered from 55 professional communicators participating on the Techwr-l listserv, focusing on the large-scale trends that these autobiographies reveal. To supplement the findings from these autobiographies, the authors conducted face-to-face interviews with four case-study participants: a faculty member, a professional communicator, and two students of different backgrounds majoring in technical communication. The article concludes with observations about the development of technical communication instruction in the twenty-first century.

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Journal of Business and Technical Communication