Writing tool transitions and symbioses of pre-digital creative educators in Greece

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University of New Brunswick


This paper is a multiple case study on the writing memories, embodied writing styles and expectations of four female educators in Greece that explores how they adopted new writing modes as adults and how they are using analogue and digital writing interchangeably. The "before and after" (the inception of the digital era) participants are personifications of the unusually rapid and unique writing transitions that have taken place during their lifetimes. Drawing on piecemeal theorising and within an embodied cognition paradigm, I investigated how the transition took place as well as how writing tool coexistence affects the participants' drive to write creatively. The variety of methods I employed were guided by the phenomenon, which was investigated in depth and in all its complexity: personal, social and historical. Interviews, observations, video recordings of writing sessions, photographs of writing spaces and tracing of manuscripts were employed. Openness to the research question resulted in including the researcher as an unexpected fifth case, adding to the sample calibration and yielding insights that would have otherwise been unarticulated. The findings gravitate towards a sociocultural aspect of Media Theory, where the use of old technologies, that reflect pedagogical practices and broader social trends, weigh more on sedimented writing habits than the design and affordances of the tools themselves. States of analogue and digital tool coexistence are found, for this sample, to be mutualistic, commensal and parasitic, attesting to a slow move in favour of keyboarding. Pedagogical implications include mixed tool usage and the reconceptualisation of writing as an embodied performance in an increasingly paperless world.