A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Accessible Technology in Computing: Examining Awareness, Use, and Future Potential

Presents new findings about the use of computers among individuals with difficulties/impairments. It also discusses factors that influence the use of computers and accessible technology and includes data about the current awareness and use of accessible technology. This report concludes with a forecast of growth in the demand for accessible technology and an overview of the opportunities for the IT industry to make accessible technology easier to discover and use.

Microsoft (2004). Articles>Accessibility>Technology


Administering Teacher Technology Training   (peer-reviewed)

The collection of materials included here are designed to assist those, who for the first time, find themselves administering and developing an ongoing program for training teachers to use technology in the composition classroom.

Carnegie, Teena A.M., Amy C. Kimme Hea, Melinda Turley and David Menchaca. Kairos (2003). Articles>Education>Technology>Writing


Adolescent Responses Toward a New Technology: First Associations, Information Seeking and Affective Responses to Ecogenomics   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper reports on an exploratory study among adolescents (N = 752) who were introduced to the emerging technology of ecogenomics for the first time. An online survey focused on their associations with the term ecogenomics, their planned information seeking behaviors if they were to acquire information about the new technology, and their first affective responses toward ecogenomics after having read some introductory information about it. Adolescents were found to associate ecogenomics most frequently with economy. Although the Internet was the most popular medium to be used in their planned information seeking behaviors, books and science communication professionals were judged as the most trustworthy information sources. After having read the introductory information about ecogenomics most adolescents reported positive affective responses toward the new technology.

Bos, Mark J.W., Cees M. Koolstra and Jaap T.J.M. Willems. Public Understanding of Science (2009). Articles>Technology>Human Computer Interaction>Children


The Aftermath of the ICT Revolution? Media and Communication Technology Preferences in Finland in 1999 and 2004   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

It has been predicted that new information and communication technologies (ICTs) will be adopted for increasingly diversified purposes. In general, it has been argued that earlier forms of communication and mass media are being replaced by new ones. Before the early 1990s, however, neither mobile phones nor the internet were widely available to consumers. It is reasonable to ask whether the relatively recent implementation of ICT has shaped our daily practices already as much as many social scientists believe. Is it true that the new forms of technology are considered to be more important than the older ones? What differences can be observed between population groups? This article examines the perceptions of different mass media forms and communication technologies in Finland before and after the turn of the millennium. The data consist of two nationally representative postal surveys conducted in 1999 and 2004.

Räsänen, Pekka. New Media and Society (2008). Articles>Technology>Regional>Scandinavia


All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: Some Ethical Guidelines for User Experience in Ubiquitous-Computing Settings

Essay on the threat and promise of ubicomp: It should be clear that ubicomp represents a substantial raising of stakes; that its field of operation is by definition total; and that its potential for harm is such that the user experience is too important to leave to chance.

Greenfield, Adam. Boxes and Arrows (2005). Articles>Technology


And They Said Computers Were Just a Fad   (PDF)

Maslowski documents the rapidly changing technologies used by the technical communication profession.

Maslowski, David S. Intercom (2000). Articles>Technology>History


Applying Performance Technology Principles to Documentation   (PDF)

Technical writers often produce documentation for products or systems without first determining the best document media or even the necessity for documentation. In some instances, alternatives to documentation may best serve the product or system users. This paper describes the field of Performance Technology and illustrates how to apply principles of Performance Technology to decide when to create documentation.

Hayes, Gabby. STC Proceedings (1996). Articles>Documentation>Technology


Assertions of Expertise in Online Product Reviews   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In online consumer reviews on Web sites such as Epinions, laypeople write and post their evaluations of technical products. But how do they get readers to take their opinions seriously? One way that online reviewers establish credibility is to assert expertise. This article describes 10 types of assertions that online reviewers used (along with the three broader categories of these types), explaining the method used to test the types for reliability. This testing revealed that the types are reliable. This study lays the groundwork for understanding how reviewers construct expertise and, therefore, credibility and for gauging readers' perceptions of reviews that contain these assertions.

Mackiewicz, Jo M. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2010). Articles>Writing>Technology>Online


Assistive Technology: What Is It?

The term 'assistive technology device' means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

ALLTech (2004). Articles>Accessibility>Technology


Avoid Santa Claus Approach to Content Management

The Santa Claus approach to content management creates a content management software wish list. It believes in the magic of technology to sweep away any and every problem. Typically, those who believe in Santa don't believe in defining their processes, or figuring out just why they need a website in the first place.

McGovern, Gerry. New Thinking (2004). Articles>Content Management>Web Design>Technology


"Backing Up" Doesn't Mean Retreating

Recently, several friends and colleagues have lost important files as a result of viruses, power failures, computer crashes, and miscellaneous other disasters that accompany working with computers. Each person could have minimized the consequences if they had developed and rigorously followed a simple backup strategy for their data. The fact that this happened to experienced computer users in each case leads me to believe that data loss is symptomatic of a broader problem: As technical communicators, our tight focus on documenting how to use a product sometimes makes us forget to document the consequences of using the product.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. TECHWR-L (2006). Articles>Technology>Security


Basic Technology Advice for Students

The more frequently I teach in a computer classroom, the more frequently I identify things that students do (or don’t do) that can make using a computer a slower or more frustrating process than it needs to be. One example is the use of the keyboard instead of the mouse. I was somewhat surprised that most students don’t use keyboard shortcuts for commons tasks like copy, cut, paste, and save (clicking, instead, on the application menus at the top of the screen). But I was really surprised that few of them knew to use ALT-TAB to quickly switch between applications in Windows. It’s not that using keyboard commands represents some kind of super-seekrit expertise; rather, it’s that tasks can take so much longer when you rely on the mouse (over and over and over again) instead of relying on keyboard shortcuts.

Williams, George H. Prof Hacker (2013). Articles>Education>Technology


Baumol's Disease: Is There a Cure?

Baumol would never have expected in 1967 that a technological innovation like the internet would make it possible to create a sealed-off labor force in a third-world country.

Hackos, Bill. Center for Information-Development Management (2005). Articles>Technology>History


The Beauty of Simplicity

We demand more and more from the stuff in our lives--more features, more function, more power--and yet we also increasingly demand that it be easy to use. In an Escher-like twist, the technology that's simplest to use is also, often, the most difficult to create.

Tischler, Linda. Search-This (2006). Articles>Usability>Technology


Blogs as Disruptive Tech

Content Management is starting to wrestle with what Clayton Christensen calls The Innovator's Dilemma: the inability of successful companies to adapt to a new, disruptive technology.

Hiler, John. Web Crimson (2002). Articles>Content Management>Technology>Blogging


Calculating the True Price of Software

Therefore, the major difference in worldview between open source advocates and proprietary software license advocates is explainable as a differing opinion on the correct value of the volatility of maintenance and upgrade pricing. People who believe that the pricing on maintenance is stable and unlikely to change see greater intrinsic value in the software. People who fear that the pricing is subject to large fluctuations see no intrinsic value in the up-front license; stripped of the options, the license value approaches $0.

Lefkowitz, Robert. O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Technology>Software>Open Source


A Call for Realism

If there once was an implicit social contract in this area, it has arguably broken down on a personal, day‑to‑day level in much the same way that it did during the prohibition of the 1920s. Enforcement of copyright laws remains nearly impossible under existing Internet architecture for the type of private copying that takes place in cyberspace on a daily basis.

Biegel, Stuart. UCLA (2001). Articles>Intellectual Property>Copyright>Technology Transfer


Can You Hear Me Now? I'm Podcasting

With a little bit of effort and a microphone, you can use podcasting to talk with millions of people. They key is creating something that is worth listening to.

Janisch, Troy. Icon Interactive (2005). Articles>Technology>Interactive>Podcasting


Capital Equipment Workshop   (PDF)

The purpose of this workshop is to expose members to the complexities of capital equipment budgeting and purchase. Specifically, the topics include: depreciation, useful life of a product, accounting and company policy. This workshop is for you if your group is using obsolete equipment and you need the skills to sell management on an upgrade for your department.

Caernarven-Smith, Patricia. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Workplace>Technology


Catch Every Word at the Touch of a Pen

Being new to the technical communications profession, but not to researching and speaking with SMEs and product users, I knew there must be a device for recording other than a phone or pocket recorder. I wondered, "What are college students using?" James Bond had all the gadgets back in the 60’s so why couldn’t I?

Lorzing, Gail. Carolina Communique (2016). Articles>Technology>Tools>Technical Writing


Catching the Technology Wave: A Historical Analysis of the Technological Context of Technical Communication

We seem to be constantly chasing the latest and greatest technology, eternally one step behind. Our continual struggle to establish the field of technical communication yet assert dominance over new technological domains seem to be in direct conflict with each other. How can we possibly establish our dominance over a moving target? Instead of trying to peer into future, perhaps we need to look toward the past.

Davis, Toni. Orange Journal, The (2004). Articles>Technology>Audience Analysis


Clearing the Air on Cloud

Consumer users have been reaping the benefits of the utility model in cloud computing for years — at the application as a service level. It is developers and IT who are using cloud computing in a transformative way now. IaaS and PaaS allows them to develop, test, deploy and run apps that can scale on enterprise grade technology, all without having to pay the capital expense for the underlying infrastructure. This is creating a new cloud economy and truly represents the democratization of computing.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2010). Articles>Technology>Collaboration>Cloud Computing


Collaborative Configurations: Researching the Literacies of Technology   (peer-reviewed)

Discusses the electronic literacies of individuals from other countries who travel to the United States to study at colleges and universities in this country.

Hawisher, Gail E. and Cynthia L. Selfe. Kairos (2002). Articles>Education>Technology


Commentary: Reflections on Field Research and Professional Practice   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Borrowing from the ethnographic genre that Van Maanen (1988) called the confessional tale, this commentary reflects on the political, ethical, and professional concerns that arise when critical intellectuals work in a government installation that maintains the nation’s nuclear stockpile. The authors suggest that the future is, as Haraway (1997) argued, ineluctably technological and that the best way to engage this cultural formation is from within, eschewing the easy politics of the science wars and articulating critical projects with the hard work of science. The modernist ideal of unconflicted ideological positions and research—stories of good guys and bad guys—is a disabling illusion. Practicing rhetoricians face a kind of "worldliness" that Hall (1989) described as a necessary counterpart to the "clean air" of theory. The authors invite their colleagues to join them in grappling with political and ethical analyses in a world of impure identity in which knowledge and power circulate promiscuously.

Herndl, Carl G. and Greg Wilson. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2007). Articles>Technology>Ethnographies


Communication and Creativity are the Future

As our tools become better-developed, the mastery of the tool becomes less important, while the ability to communicate and to come up with creative solutions will become even more crucial. It may be years before we can see any significant development in how we manipulate our creative visions, but I’m confident that focusing on developing your communication and creativity are extremely useful activities, even now. After all, it’s not really about what you have, but what you can do with it.

Contract Worker (2008). Articles>Technology



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