Rhetorical Analysis pt.2

Have you ever wondered what happens if technology was restricted in schools? Well Sig Behrens wrote an article just about this. In this article, Behrens goes through the positives of technology and how it created a new type of learner, “the active learner– who is using technology to drive change in ways that we haven’t seen before.” It seems that Behrens wrote this article because he wants to inform people about the current educational system right now and how it’s limiting students. Not to mention that he is the president of Blackboard Inc, a company that dedicates its time to create and help students learn topics in a different ways other than those being taught in schools. He wants to persuade his audience to re-evaluate the impact technology has on students, but also noting that technology itself is not a key to all problems.

At the beginning of that article, Behrens tries to capture the reader’s attention by writing, “Facebook will replace classroom instruction.” Behrens’ claim is that active learners move fast, and if schools want to keep up with them changes need to be made to accommodate for that. Throughout the article Behrens uses logos to show the connection between active learners and schools. He uses Borders as an example to how it continually failed to meet the consumer’s demands and Amazon eventually had to let go of Borders. Behrens says, “While they struggled to adapt, Amazon established an open platform that gave users more control, letting readers buy and share and discover on their own terms,” which eventually lead to Amazon creating their own “library” known as the kindle. Behrens uses this comparison, active learners being the consumer and schools being the company/institution, because most people are familiar with Amazon and knows how successful it is. He is using schools as a business, and to keep the consumers (active learners) happy there needs to be adjustments made to the educational system.

Behrens makes an appeal to ethos too. Whenever he supports his claim, he does so with hyperlinks so readers could dive deeper into the topic if they choose so. Before the article begins, there is also a direct mention that he is the president of Blackboard Inc. I’m pretty sure his target audience would know what Blackboard Inc is, but for those who don’t a simple google search would do the trick. Finally, when Behrens also touches on the fact that, “technology is no silver bullet” and cannot replace good teaching shows that he is prepared for counterarguments, so he addresses that concern first which adds to his credibility.

Behrens’ diction is very simple and to the point which shows that his target audience is for those who want to change the education system but don’t know where to begin. He also uses simple examples so he could better connect with his readers. Overall, Behrens’ use of logos and ethos was effective as it not only capture the reader’s attention but also kept his claim simple and easy to understand. Although I would’ve liked to see more of an appeal to pathos, as I think that it’s one of the most effective out of the three. In my future posts, I will keep in mind Behrens’ uses of simple and relatable examples to connect with the readers.


Works Cited  

Behrens, Sig. “The Education-Technology Revolution Is Coming.” US NEWS. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.


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