Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

Gosh Darn Electronic Writing Technololgies

It is strange to imagine a world where all communication forms are found online or through technological devices. There is something empowering about holding a book in your hard and physically moving the pages. There is something genuine about going to the library and finding a book source for the paper you are writing. I am not against technology in any way, I just believe it will be hard to adapt to a world where books do not exist, where libraries are rows and rows of computers, and a world where everything is at your fingertips. As a future educator, the fact that there may one day be a world without a physical book for my students to hold, feel, and look at, scares me. Everything I know about how to teach my students how to read and write may become a source of pointless information. I understand that for the content area of writing, the written word is the technology itself. J.D. Bolter, in the chapter, Writing as Technology, explains, “The Greek root of “technology” is techne, and for the Greeks a techne could be an art or a craft, “a set of rules, system or method of making or doing, whether of the useful arts, or of the fine arts’” (15). Writing, of course, has its own set of rules and would be considered a useful art. During school, the content area of writing is one of the most important subjects because of the implications for the future. For me, I learned how to write using the pencil, the same way that many of you learned. However, today, there are preschoolers learning how to write the letters of the alphabet using apps on iPads. They are using their finger as the “pencil.” Bolter also states, “When one medium sets out to remediate another, it does so by claiming to do a better job” (26).

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not intend on claiming that the iPad apps for writing are not helping the students learn their letters, but I disagree with the fact that they do a better job. If the students are using their fingers to write the letters, they are going to lack the physical skills and knowledge of how to hold a pencil. I understand how closed-minded I am on the subject, but I feel that if nothing is wrong with a technique or way of teaching, there is no need to fix it. I know the age of virtual classrooms is upon us, but I will hold on to every last paper and ink book that I can. If I cannot teach my students how to read and write without the use of technology, I will at least be able to teach them about how I learned how to read and write, and the differences between their generation and my own.

Read Bolter’s Chapters here!

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Inconsiderately Polite

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