Moran indicates that there are multiple reasons why technology is not necessarily the greatest thing to ever happen to composition classrooms. First of all, he says that there is no solid evidence that using technological advances actually improves students' learning. While it may make certain activities more efficient (for those who are computer-savvy), it can also usurp equal amounts of time with other related but different tasks. For instance, students may be able to get their thoughts from the brain to the page faster, but revision strategies shift and a the student may have a harder time conceptualizing or organizing prior to writing and has to spend more time on the "back end" revising and editing.

Moran also says that the e-mail relationship between teacher and student can become too informal or casual, disrupting the "appropriate authority" that Moran feels should be inherent in the role of teacher. Of course, most critical pedagogists, feminist pedagogists, and many expressivists would probably disagree with this and find the imploded power differential a good thing. However, Moran makes a good point that because online writing on listservs and wikis can sometimes be a breeding ground for contention and conflict (since students are missing the social cues of a classroom situation), it probably helps to have the teacher take on a more authoritative role to shut down any discourse that crosses the lines of good taste and moves from respectful disagreements to all out war (and I HAVE seen this happen, so he is making a legitimate claim here).

He also says that the digital "language" of e-mail being ASCII can contribute to the "English-only" movement, although I personally don't feel that this would be isolated to education. I am sure there is a kernel of truth to this, but I have also worked with several international populations and they are pretty used to the English-dominance of the internet, especially in professional contexts. At my last job, I worked with groups from Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Brazil, etc., and they adjusted to not using the umlauts, ligatures, accents, and other special characters in their email addresses. I'm not saying it might not be obnoxious on some level, but I think this is a case of what is reflective of real-world scenarios. We could insulate our students by not using technology in the classroom, but I would hesitate to do so exclusively for this reason alone.

I found the most interesting point in Moran's chapter to be that technology is not a neutral medium. I agree that it does indeed privilege those of a higher socioeconomic status, and many of us take for granted that the ability to write a paper in real-time in the comfort of our homes at our convenience. Moran's illustration about home access versus institutional access was eye-opening. I know how much time one can waste just trying to get organized to write a paper at home, but trying to gather all of what's needed electronically beforehand and taking it to the library, only to have to wait for a machine and then try and operate with foreign programs and settings would be massively time-consuming and frustrating. Teachers do need to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone owns a computer, even now in 2009. I am not sure how much of this holds true since the article was written in 2001 or earlier, but it's a good reminder not to assume about our students based upon generalities and presumptions.