My initial Prezi took no time at all I was able to pull together a pretty decent prezi without much effort. Revision however, made my entire Prezi process difficult. I was trying to make my Prezi more originally mine, not unlike the challenges we have been facing within this new Web 2.0 based writing. I have attached my prezi which I hope will give you insight into the resources available to writers today and also the challenges writers face within new computing environments.
Please watch it on a 4 second time
I saw recently, one of the top 5 podcasts this week was a 15 minute history lesson that the University of Texas created. It begs a question for me- can you learn anything from these short history lessons? I think the use of technology encourages a more in-depth look at an event in history. So technology used this way is advertising history in an attempt to wet the appetite for a greater interaction with history. I have heard great debate on whether the History Channel can even be used or should be used for educational purposes. ( for a comical look at this check out Cracked .)
But there are resources out there for educators to use technology in an attempt to get closer to history, making things interactive for students. I think the only problem is in thinking that all of the technology is enough research to understand a topic. For Example, when Researching Native Americans, I found it a lot more helpful to spend time in the library looking at books. In fact, the closer you can get to the authentic material the closer you are to history, for me I found, for example William Penn’s historical description of the Lenape Indians more useful (though ethnocentric) then the newer materials available online. You can not get every resource on historical events by relying on what has been placed on the internet.
We can learn something of interest in Podcasts, Youtube, the History Channel but the actual learning takes place when you integrate media ideas into historical text and make an educated guess as to the actual historical events.
Technology undoubtedly, has offered great improvements to education. In fact, perhaps technology and education are similes. I’m sure Jason Silva would think so. Technology and Education are ever evolving, the tools we use define the way we think and experience the world. Education is a technology, an individualized recording of human experiences that rely on the technology of books and experience to presumably prepare for a future.
If children in a classroom engage with their teacher with an iPad , will their work truly become more organized as the teachers suggest or is it just as easily lost in the digital world as stuffed in-between books in their desk? What other affects of overexposure to screen time can occur, ADHD? Or even not as extreme as labeling it- ADHD, how about the skill of developing slow cognitive thought?
I don’t question the use of some technology and exposure to technology, like in Art class if you don’t ever take out the fancy oil paints you never understand that medium. Or in the culinary world if you never use an ingredient or it’s cousin how can you prepare it without a really clear recipe. But the immersion of students into total technology feels wrong to me. Digital Technology can teach us many things but the process of learning needs to be multi-modal. I don’t want to raise children who can program software but can’t count apples in the grocery. Technology needs to enhance our education, release our minds from mindless tasks to create greater higher level thinking ideas, but first we all must learn fundamental life skills.
Have we gone too far perhaps in a few years we will provide educators with the tool to read student’s thoughts.
Literacy is presumed by many to be a marked achievable accomplishment. In kindergarten we can assume you will read and write your name- that is literacy to a child. To an adult we know that there is a level achieved, being able to read a newspaper, complete a mathematical equation, write a letter, understand a contract and of course sign it.
In Kevin Kelly’s “Becoming Screen Literate,” he addresses people becoming literate in a media of digital video. Kelly states “The habits of mashup are borrowed from textual literacy. You cut and paste words on a page.” The problem with this technique of borrowing and synergy of ideas is where does the original authors work actually end and the new author begin. In this type of digital media for example, we can see how dangerously words and ideas can be clipped and formed to represent out of context an author’s intent.
Additionally, the student that is clipping segments of ideas and representing them as something different then their intent is learning dishonestly. They are learning the skill of misappropriation rather then the skill of complex thought.
Kelly states “truth is something you assemble yourself on your own screen.” This refers to an elemental truth of all people we do really create our own version of the truth, because from our perspective we are only able to understand our version.
Literacy, to me is seeking further then our own original version of the truth, it is an ever moving target made up of every possible media and experience. You are illiterate to a road until you experience that particular road, but once you experience it you start to become familiar and understand the way to make your own route.
Education has definitely changed in the last 20 years. We have been inundated with technological advances. Personally, I have seen changes in students ability to be in a the present without devices- concentrating on the lectures we attend. Is it making our thinking disjointed? Is there something to be said for quiet, reflective thought? Or is the ‘external brain’ of the internet making us greater thinkers?
When I first came to college, I was anti-technology, I saw it as a distraction from all things that helped me come to larger thoughts. In a way I still think that is the case, in the time I will have written this short blog, I will have checked my Facebook, Oh by the way my friend Jenea likes CVS for their banning of cigarettes, Matt says ” Just fun fact now is the best time to get out to a park around dusk to see/hear owls,” and Ashley recounts a funny story of a girl falling over a hot guy. Wait where was I. Oh yes so it is distracting but it’s not totally making me incapable of thinking. because I can quick do a search and find out what the experts say.
And thank good for automatic spell check because I don’t actually have to know how to spell.
and get more then one perspective… but if I don’t know if I should have used then or than- I can check
But because I let to look at that I will probably check my email— I will see that Red DRAFT sign and know I still haven’t figured out what to say on the real thing I care about today… so it will sit there like that DRAFT… Yeah, never sure where to go with that- things left unsaid- no I got to get back to my Blog.
But by then it will be too close to out of time and I will think I should just find something quick that says technology isn’t all bad so I will search out a pithy quote or two:
I mean I really should have looked for another perspective- but am I gonna? Or am I going to check out the latest things my friend Jen pinned– Wow I really do love those shoes.
Are we changing our technology to art or our art to technology? In Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print, J.D. Bolter introduces the concept of emerging technology in writing. Bolter explores both the path of the technological tools used in the writing and more importantly, the technology beyond the modern conventions of writing. Technology will educate the machine, and the machine will then influence the art.
Bolter quoted McLuhan “the invention of typography…provided the first uniformly repeatable commodity,” which placed greater appreciation of the physical product of the book. In streamlining technology, we then create a clearer message to our reader. In the technology of writing the transfer from an oral technology to create a written or linguistic culture. The conventions of writing have developed dependant upon the writers experiences of the written word. This rings true when you consider for example the connection, between writers and the texts they read. Ask 2 writers in the same genre to list their favorite writers and they will have taken inspiration from the same writers, some of that is location, some of that is the timing. I know I feel like Rowan’s Writing arts department is Walt Whitman obsessed- which is both because of the degree of saturation of his work in the literary world but more importantly, the location, it is part of our cultural identity to connect with Whitman.
What concerns me most about the technology of writing is not that there will be a change in the technologies employed in writing but rather the technical change in the artistry of writing. I have seen with different teachers the exposure to their particular aesthetic has shaped and molded my aesthetic. What concerns me is that as the technologies change my writing may change and lose artistry. In oral traditions for example, the sound of words play a more important part in the presentation of material as opposed to in scientific writing there is a convention of precision being more important.
If our writing is changing to employ new technology are we also changing our individuality? If for example we are employing the new technology of writing in shortened form- “Lol” how long before we actually think ‘Lol” and stop actually laughing? If we change the words we use to use modern social/technology conventions are we changing the emotion behind them. Bolter says “ We can identify an interaction between technical qualities and social constructions– an interaction so intimate that is hard to see where technology ends and social begins.” We must choose carefully the technologies and the conventions we chose, as an artist, we must learn them all and then decide how to shape them into art.