Writing Across Technology (WAT) is a component of the FYW program designed to teach rhetorical composition practices with a diverse range of technologies and communicative modes. Multimodal composition engages more than one of the “five modes through which meaning is made: linguistic, aural, visual, gestural, and spatial” (Ball & Charlton, 2015, p. 42). We live in a world where it is increasingly common to encounter and produce writing that is multimodal and mediated by diverse technologies. It is important for teachers of writing to help students strategize and think critically about the synergy that is created when they compose through multiple modes as well as the technologies they use to compose.
Technology need not mean digital necessarily. All writing, even alphabetic writing with a pencil and paper, is still a technology, one that has diverse applications and relies on multiple modes. Writing Across Technology invites students and instructors to consider the rhetorical implications of composing with a variety of other technologies as well: video, audio recording, photographs, body language, captioning, hypertext, interactive interfaces, graphics, etc. Multimodal composition technologies have always affected the ways we write, the way we read, and the way we access texts. It is important for students to become aware of these changes through the practice of composing.