In Jenkins and in some of the other readings, we’ve thought about how netroots (a term used to describe political activism organized through blogs and other online media) might bring about change. Yet, sometimes, as we all know, real change does not happen.
Chip is interested in how libraries might contribute to sustaining and supporting such efforts. What might libraries do or do better to connect with netroots activity?
Impressed by your media work yesterday, he also asked you to think about how you might create a podcast that articulated this issue.
These are certainly not easy questions, but please take a moment to post any ideas you might have.
Thanks Rebecca Bilbro for this link!
Are two spaces after a period an antiquated throwback to the days of typewriters? Here’s what Grammar Girl has to say.
We’re pleased to announce that Professor Dennis Baron, from the Department of English, will speak at our next digital literacies meeting: Tuesday, March 2 from 5-7.
His presentation is titled “Should Everyone Write? Democracy and the Digital Revolution.”
Readings are from his 2009 A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution, published by Oxford University Press.
Chapter 9, Everyone’s An Author
Chapter 11, The Dark Side of the Web
You might also like to explore Dennis’s blog, The Web of Language.
Links to readings are available here.
The meeting will take place in room 107a English and a light dinner will be served. Hope you all can make it!
Some of you may be interested in the English Department’s upcoming annual literary competition:
“The English Department sponsors and administers two annual undergraduate literary competitions in Short Fiction and Poetry. Depending on available funding, there will be 3-4 prizes in Fiction and 2-3 in Poetry this year. Past prizes have ranged from $100 to $1000. When this year’s amounts have been determined they will be announced here, so please check back for more information.
Contest rules are as follows:
Short Fiction: no contestant may submit more than one story
Poetry: no contestant may submit more than 200 lines, as a single poem or a group of poems
The English Department office (208 English) is in charge of accepting and processing entries. Only undergraduate students are eligible to compete. The name, address, phone number, e-mail address, net id, status (undergrad), and UIN number of the writer are to appear on a title sheet that will be separate from the entry. The writer’s name is not to appear on the entry itself. Entries will not be returned.”
On Tuesday, February 16, Joyce Walker, Associate Professor of English at Illinois State University will join us for our first spring semester meeting. Her talk is entitled, “The Greener (Blue)Grass: Michigan Folk Music Communities and the Development of a Grassroots Research Project.” She has provided us with some readings to explore ideas of community and technology in music.
TIME: 5:00-7:00pm, 107a, English Building
You can access the readings at: http://www.cws.illinois.edu/IPRHDigitalLiteracies/schedule.htm
As you listen to the brief presentations today, identify the rhetorical strategies that different presenters used. Which ones caught your attention? Which ones helped you better understand the reading?
Timothy shared this “generic news report” video at the end of class on Monday. It reminded him of our conversation about the predictable ways in which news is shared and distributed. It reminded me of some the issues we’ll likely encounter as we begin our explorations with PowerPoint.
After reading Chip Bruce and Maureen Hogan’s “The Disappearance of Technology: Toward an Ecological Model of Literacy,” our class created movie posters using Photoshop that attempted to capture a central them of the reading.
The result of this effort is available here: http://gallery.me.com/pb112233/100088.
If you’d like to get a better sense of the thinking behind each poster, see the description below. We’d welcome your comments:
I considered the following quote when I came up with my movie poster:
“As technologies embed themselves in everyday discourse and activity, a curious thing happens. The more we look, the more they slip into the background. Despite our attention, we lose sight of the way they give shape to our daily lives.This disappearance effect is evident when we consider whether a technology empowers people to do things that would be difficult, or even impossible otherwise” (2).
I thought about how technology really does become taken for granted and “invisible” in our daily lives, and how in many ways this can be more harmful than good. The idea that technology is becoming more commonplace, so much so that it disappears and goes unquestioned stood out to me because I immediately thought of times when technology is noticed more than the things going on around us. For example, in the case of the picture I found, there is a GPS unit and either an iPhone or an iPod mounted in the front of a car. For a driver, this seemingly commonplace, necessary technology can be dangerously distracting, yet many people don’t consider that when driving. So I decided to make my poster address this.
The idea that jumped out at me from this article was that our society relies on the use of technology so heavily that we barely even think of it anymore. As the article states, “embedding of the technology in the matrix of our lives makes it invisible.” Technology has become just an everyday occurrence – it’s natural. That’s the concept I was working with as I created my movie poster. The photograph shows what looks to be a palm tree (something that represents the natural or organic) but it’s actually some kind of phone tower. It shows just how the line between “natural” and “technological” has blurred.
“Through this process, we move from looking at the technology as an addition to life to looking at life through that technology. The embedding of the technology in the matrix of our lives makes it invisible. In fact, the greater its integration into
daily practices, the less it is seen as a technology at all.” (Bruce and Hogan 2)
The process which Bruce and Hogan speak of in this quote deals with humans looking through technology and not at it. This implication suggests that the over abundance of technology forces the user to be unaware of how technology works. Bruce describes the disappearance as more than a metaphor; therefore, the merging of technology and everyday life helps create the inability see technology as it actually is. My movie poster consists of the insides of a computer, a computer mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor. The poster strips away the normal visions of what a computer looks like and encourages the viewer to understand how the system works. Bruce argues that technology physically disappears with the over abundance of various technologies.
“As technologies embed themselves in everyday discourse and activity, a curious thing happens. The more we look, the more they slip into the background. Despite our attention, we lose sight of the way they give shape to our daily lives.” (2)
For my poster, I had this quote in mind. I wanted my poster to convey an aesthetically appealing yet nauseating feeling; I wanted people to wonder about what they were looking for. I felt like the idea of a child reading an I Spy book trying to find the riddle’s objects was synonymous with us trying to find what we felt the definition of technology was. Like Bruce and Hogan stated, we forget about things that we use every day and they meld into the background – just like how the various technologies do in the movie poster.
“As technologies embed themselves in everyday discourse and activity, a curious
thing happens. The more we look, the more they slip into the background.” (2)
I was trying to display the idea that technology disappears so easily that we forget that it’s even technology in the first place. Yet these technologies are often more than just useful, they have become necessary, and because of this we are often at the mercy of technology because we rely so much on the fact that it works. So in the end the relationship of power between us and technology changes, because the more we use technology, the more its absence means an absence of power from us, based on our reliance on technologies.
“Once the status of the tool as technology has fully merged into daily practice, the disability to use it becomes an essential attribute of certain people” (3).
The thought process behind my poster involved how technology builds upon itself and how different technology looks and feels to people of different ages. From the Bruce and Hogan article, I gathered information about how technology becomes integrated into our lives and eventually becomes seemingly “natural.” This poster attempted to look at all the technology that had to be invented first to make the Iphone possible. For the kids in the photo, they do not see these older technologies and know the Iphone as adults may know and recognize the technology in the background and have not adjusted to the new technology. Adults often have the choice to reject new technology if they choose, but also understand what they understand was once a new technology as well. The older technology fades and gives way to new inventions that become normal in our lives, especially for children who do not know any different.
Bruce and Hogan discuss the dynamics of technology and how it is evolving in our society. One issue in technology that is brought up in the article is that more basic types of technology are not being recognized as much as the latest and greatest, “literacy today is becoming dependent on embedded systems that are invisible to the user” (4). Some facets of our everyday lives are possible because of our dependence on the most basic of technologies. This poster attempted to convey the differences in how different generations envision technology. An individual from an older generation may appreciate the innovations of stairs and architecture, while today’s students may envision instruments they use which have buttons.
In Bruce and Hogan’s document, they state, “the ambient technologies can alternately able or disable an individual…” This quote was interesting because while the stairs are viewed as an invisible technology they still provide a disability for people in wheelchairs. This is disheartening since people in wheelchairs already see themselves at a disadvantage. As such, I created this poster to explain that technology is unintentionally biased. It creates biases in order to advance civilization on a technological level. However, in spite of these biases people in wheelchairs have accepted elevators as an improvement to their handicap which semi-balances the spectrum.
The part in Bruce and Hogan’s text that caught my attention the most was when they discuss how certain people are disabled by technology. If you are not up to speed with technology, then you will be left behind. As someone who is not as adapted to technology as others, I really related to this disconnect from technology. So, with my poster I used a picture of a frustrated girl next to an iPhone to represent that not everyone understands how to use the most up-to-date technology, and that includes the younger generation, like myself. Not all technology is a perfect fit with everyone, so that’s what I wanted to highlight. Not everyone is able to use technology to their advantage, and I think that is an important aspect for all of us to keep in mind.
Bruce and Hogan discuss that, “Tools are often portrayed as mechanistic, exterior, autonomous, and concrete devices that accomplish tasks and create products. We do not generally think of them as intimately entwined with social and biological lives…More than mechanistic, they are organic, because they merge with our social, physical, and psychological beings” (2).
This poster attempts to show how many technologies either go unnoticed or are not regularly thought of as technologies. It attempts to present the idea that over time, a technology becomes so natural to our lives that it seems to disappear.
Bruce and Hogan discuss the idea of technology in the classroom and how
rather than simply being an aid, “new technologies [are] becoming a premise, a requisite for success” (4). Today, the only way for academic success is to have the technology. At the very least, you need a computer to succeed, and as technologies continue to progress, we will need those as well. Technology is mandatory for success.
I wanted my poster to convey this idea of technology as a mandatory aspect of the classroom. I used the school supplies list to demonstrate the idea that you need certain tools in school, but all the ones that were necessary in the past have become almost obsolete. And, in demonstrating this, it demonstrates how our society is changing and new technologies become more and more predominant and necessary.
In “The Disappearance of Technology,” Bruce and Hogan examine the differing views of technology. They consider two positions in particular, those who support technology and view it as an equal opportunity tool for all, and others who view it as a tool that discriminates and takes away jobs and creativity. This led me to ask the question in my poster, “The Computer: Friend or Foe?” because I feel this is the focus of their article. The question of whether the computer, and technology as a whole, caters to all and serves them the same way is examined in the article, and using this in my tagline would engage viewers to see my “movie.”
On March 8, we’re fortunate to have Scott Filkins, a literacy coach at Central High School, join us for a discussion on the use of blogs in our schools. Scott has a great deal of experience working in our schools, as well as with the National Council for Teachers of English the University of Illinois Writing Project.
For the past year, Scott has been experimenting with blogs at Central and inviting students to have a conversation with a variety of community members, many if not most of whom are teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Scott on this project and am currently working with one of his students.
What questions do you have for students participating in this project and what questions do you have for Scott (or for me)? Scott will do his best to have students respond to at least some of our questions and we can be sure to have a productive discussion when Scott visits us in a few weeks.