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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Composing with Nonprint Media

2003 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in San Francisco, California


 Today our students are living in a world that is increasingly non-printcentric. New media such as the Internet, MP3 files, and video are transforming the communication experiences of young people outside of school. Young people are composing in nonprint media that can include any combination of visual art, motion (video and film), graphics, text, and sound -- all of which are frequently written and read in nonlinear fashion. We affirm, in our theory and practice of teaching English language arts, that reading and writing are ultimately different but inherently related aspects of the same process of meaning making. Why, then, would we treat the reading and writing of new media texts in any different manner? With multiple opportunities for student expression in the English language arts classroom, these nonprint media offer new realms for teachers of composition.

The now-standard computer applications for desktop video editing, for example, incorporate visuals, text, motion, graphics, and sound. Computer-based nonlinear video production alone provides a grand new palette for students and teachers. Teachers need both the theoretical and pedagogical base to guide their students in the best educational uses of multimedia composition. Because NCTE has always led the promotion of new literacies, be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English

  • encourage preservice, inservice, and staff development programs that will focus on new literacies, multimedia composition, and a broadened concept of literacy;
  • encourage research and develop models of district, school, and classroom policies that would promote multimedia composition;
  • encourage integrating multimedia composition in English language arts curriculum and teacher education, and in refining related standards at local, state, and national levels; and
  • renew the commitment expressed in the 1983 Resolution on Computers in English and Language Arts to achieve equity of access to the full range of composing technologies.


This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.

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