The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

Making Connections / End of Semester Reflections

End of semester reflections.

This was my first semester in the MET program and the past few months were quite a change from what I am normally used to. Not only were these my first online courses I also had to readjust to being a student again. I decided to take a sabbatical from my district this year in order to work on the MET program fulltime, and it was quite a challenge for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the reading for this semester. I particularly enjoyed reading the Bolter book. Although the Orality and Literacy book was a dense read, the information presented in the book was extremely useful and relevant, not only in this course, but in all of my courses. In taking 3 courses this semester a few things occurred to me. The MET classes are certainly a community in their own right. I have started to recognize names and even the type of writings and views that many of my peers have. I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone, in a virtual way at least.

Posting the projects to the community weblog was a unique experience. Although I am versed in internet and technology technologies this was a challenge for me. Although I read many, many blogs and wikis, I rarely contribute. I am not sure why this is. By requiring us to post on the weblog, it helped me in terms of feeling like I was part of a community. As well, it made me realize that this really is the way that literacy is going to be taught and presented in the future. All in all I had a great experience in this class, and in the semester in general.


November 30, 2009   No Comments

Commentary # 3

Is Web 2.0 Selling out the Younger Generation?

Commentary # 3

By David Berljawsky

Submitted to Prof. Miller

Nov 29, 2009

There is one underlying theme that involves technology and text education that I need to touch upon. Are we sabotaging the upcoming generation with the way that we teach technology? Or is it the opposite and we are actually giving them the proper tools to succeed? It is possible that in the shift to modern web 2.0 technologies we are neglecting to educate about the simplest things that we take for granted? This can include key knowledge’s such as social skills, communication and even basic literacy? Students are engaged in the web 2.0 process like never before. These technologies are creative based and offer the user a newfound ability to edit and modify information to fit into their respective wants and needs.  According to Alexander “In American K-12 education, students increasingly accept these kinds of technology-driven information structures and the literacies that flow from them (Alexander, P.2).” To me this quote acts as a double edged sword. Students are engaged in the new literacies (web 2.0) like never before, but are these new literacies appropriate and conducive to meeting proper educational standards? Or do they simply aid in creating an individualist society that is lacking a sense of community? This paper will examine some of the positive and negative aspects that occur when Web 2.0 is taught without providing the proper scaffolding. This commentary will examine its potential consequences both socially and educationally.

One needs to examine the benefits of these technologies and understand their positive influences before one can criticize them. According to the New London Group, in its article “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures, “As a result, the meaning of literacy pedagogy has changed. Local diversity and global connectedness mean not only that there can be no standard; they also mean that the most important skill students need to learn is to negotiate regional; ethnic, or class-based dialects… (New London, P.8).”  This melds together education, literacy and even community in a newfound manner. It is a mix-up or mash-up of sorts. Students are required, due to the changing landscape of the world and technology to concentrate on learning communication skills with other cultures in an online environment. One would assume that this is a positive and worthwhile endeavour to achieve towards. However, this can increase the creation of a more macro centered community. This will only increase the affects of globalization and prevent local communities from prospering and expressing themselves.

One benefit in using these technologies is that students are likely engaged in the process and the multicultural aspirations of our society. These are promoted like never before. However I can think of an obvious negative aspect. There is little actual social interaction. In Web 2.0 social interaction is promoted through websites that offer social networking in an online environment.  This certainly does have its benefits.  “Web 2.0’s lowered barrier to entry may influence a variety of cultural forms with powerful implications for education, from storytelling to classroom teaching to individual learning (Alexander, P.42).” What may occur is a socially constructed generational divide. Generation A’s perceived culturally appropriate way of communication (web 2.0) will conflict with the older generation who still use older technologies. This makes me think of an Orwellian future where we communicate entirely through electronic means, where physical interaction is seen as being against the norm. This is somewhat true already in our use of technologies such as Facebook and MySpace, where people communicate more through them then with old fashioned telephones. We are currently text electronically instead of talking with our own voices. Educators need to be aware of this paradigm shift and change their practices accordingly.

Another danger in using web 2.0 and modern computer technologies in the classroom occurs when the educators do not educate the students about why they are learning these new technologies. Simply providing the student with a blog or a wiki and expecting them to formulate appropriate arguments and concepts is unlikely to happen without the proper scaffolding. “They don’t link ideas,” the teacher says, “They just write one thing, and then they write another one, and they don’t develop the relationships between them (Dobson & Willinsky, p.3).” This can be seen as a failure in the education system. Regardless of one views of technology use in the classroom it still remains an imperative process to educate students about the proper forms of literacy and writing. Without the proper knowledge and skills communication with older generations can be difficult, especially in the workplace.

There is an inherent danger in education that occurs when any form of technology becomes dominant. What is previously seen as integral and important becomes seen as archaic and becomes lost. Educators need to allow the younger generation to develop the multiliteracies and computer intelligence needed to proceed in their career paths without ignoring teaching the traditional educational foundations. That is a huge challenge. Educators need to accept that the younger generation has different forms of communications and multiliteracies and adjust accordingly. Both educators and students need to respect the knowledge being transmitted. “We have our unique ways of knowing, teaching and learning which are firmly grounded in the context of our ways of being. And yet we are thrust into the clothes of another system designed for different bodies, and we are fed ideologies which serve the interests of other peoples (Donovan, P.96).”

If we do not accept this evolution and work on actually decreasing the social and communicative gap between the generations the divide will only be extended. The generations will have trouble relating with the each other both socially and in the workplace. This might ultimately lead to both generations harbouring feeling of resentment because they feel that their leanings and ideologies are being put down and disvalued.


Alexander, B. (2008)  “Web 2.0 and Emergent Multiliteracies.” Theory into practice. 47(2), 150-60. Retrieved, July 20, 2009, from

Alexander, B. (2006) “Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning?” Educause Review, 41(2), 34-44. Retrieved, April 5, 2008, from

New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92. Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from

Dobson, Teresa, & John Willinsky (2009).  Digital Literacy. (OlsonD., TorranceN., Ed.). Cambridge Handbook on Literacy. [Book Chapter]

Donovan, Michael (2007). “Can Information Communication Technological Tools be Used to Suit Aboriginal Learning Pedagogies?” Published in “Information Technology and Indigenous People”. Editied by Dyson, Laurel. Hendriks, Max and Grant, Stephan. Idea Group. USA. 2007.

November 29, 2009   1 Comment

Just a few links from social networking

Just a few videos for fun.

I chose to use social networking for this assignment because I wanted to show a few videos that I’ve found this semester. I used diigo for my links. This is a very easy to use site. I’ve found that social networking works very well with students, I have used it before with high school and middle school aged students and have always been amazed at the quality of links that they find.


November 29, 2009   No Comments

Commentary # 2

The Shrinking World. Literacy and Culture in the Digital Age

A Commentary on Bias and Technology

By David Berljawsky

Submitted to Prof. Miller

Nov 15, 2009

Modern technology has made the world a more streamlined and connected place. However there are many benefits and shortcomings that have arisen. One only needs to be aware of the way that hypertext has been developed to understand the inherent problem of digital technologies. It was created with a particular culture in mind, and represents the creator’s technological ideals and values. Despite this it is used by many different cultures around the world “…Freire’s ideas undermine the local commons by transforming indigenous ways of knowing, making them more susceptible to economic and technological globalization and thereby contributing to the loss of traditional ecological knowledge systems… (Bowers, from Lange, p.355).” Despite the aforementioned misgivings, there are many positives found about the current state of hypertext and the modern age. This paper will examine how the current hypertext revolution affected different cultures and the pros and cons of digital literacy in cultural terms.

If one looks at hypertext as a commodity, then it has been nothing but a smashing success. It has for all intents and purposes transformed our world. There is now an increase in long distance communication, global boundaries have been shrunk and news and media are more available than ever before. As with nearly every commodity there are people who benefit from it more than others do.  IT technologies not only have a bias, but often have technological limitations that handicap other cultures. “The cost of the new technologies, the geographic isolation of many communities, low levels of computer literacy and lack of awareness of how to technologies might serve indigenous goals and interest have led to this low adoption of the technology (Dyson, Hendriks and Grant, p.10).”

There is no question that modern internet technologies benefit the dominant western culture. Other cultures need to tread carefully when using this technology.  Its usage can initially be seen as exciting and as having the ability to advance one culture and knowledge.  “Writing is often regarded at first as an instrument of secret and magic power (Ong, p.92).”  Remember, writing and literacy is a technology.

How does this affect other non-dominant cultures? In terms of culture and identity much can be lost. If internet technologies are used to share values, transmit beliefs and other culturally specific ideals this can negatively affect the authenticity of the culture and their literary technologies. They are using a medium that was not designed for them, and is not representative of their values, education system and beliefs.   “Similarity, it is the nature of the computer that determines which patters of thinking, communication, or experiencing will be reinforced as well as which patterns will be marginalized or represented as nonexistent (Bowers, et al, p.186).”

If we continue down this path much will be lost. Other forms of literacy, that are not of the western dominant style will be changed to a hybrid of their original style and of modern western based technology. Perhaps they will be lost completely.  Computers and internet technologies are not around to promote multicultural values. Ultimately they are a commodity and need to be viewed as such.  “The computer industry has multibillion dollar reasons for maintaining the myth that computers are a culturally neutral technology. (Bowers et al, p.184).”

In terms of literacy there are many benefits to living in this day and age. One major benefit of modern technology is the ability to educate using the internet and computer. There are certainly positives to using this technology to promote literacy. “Certainly, digital literacy carries with it the potential for a far wider, more global access to knowledge… (Dobson and Willinsky, p.1).”

Students are able to communicate with other cultures and learn from each other like never before. This increased multicultural knowledge can be enhanced through the internet.  There are also countless software applications that allow students to increase their literacy and typing ability. It is imperative that educators realize that they should not simply rely on these technologies to teach because of the dependence that it can create. They also need to educate about the technologies inherent bias and shortcomings to allow students to be able to make their own decisions.  “Increasingly, students come to online learning with preconceptions gathered from both formal and informal experience in virtual environments. They exercise their mastery of communication norms and tools, some of which are not appropriate to an educational online context (Anderson, p.48).”

There is always the danger with certain cultures that they will use modern technologies to promote their causes and improve literacy. “Individuals and whole culture do mold techniques and devices to their own purposes, but the material properties of such techniques and devices also impose limitations on their possible uses (Bolter, p.20).” Often, when a culture or group becomes too attached to a technology, they lose something else. We may develop an increase in digital literacy, but we will likely lose a form of non-digital literacy in return. This is a form of progress, and can be seen as either positive or as a negative as long as one is aware of it happening. Postman discussed this in great detail in Technopoly, “If it makes sense to us, that is because our minds have been conditioned by the technology of numbers so that we see the world differently than they did. Our understanding of what is real is different (Postman, p.13).”

In conclusion I believe that it is important for educators to understand that literacy is evolving. We no longer can take for granted that all students are going to have learned literacy in the older, old fashioned way. It is important to understand that the internet is also not the most culturally advanced tool out there. However with the proper education and understanding of its biases it can advance the quality of life, and education for many cultures. Educators need to be aware of this because without the proper knowledge of how to manage and harness this technology it can hurt the longevity and authenticity of a culture “…but as its use expands and intensifies, so does the ‘overseeing gaze’ of encapsulation policies and transnational corporations (Prins, p.7).”


Ong, Walter, J. (1982). Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London and New York: Methuen.

Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Bolter, Jay David. (2001). Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print [2nd edition]. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Dobson, T, & Willinsky, J. (2009).  Digital Literacy. (OlsonD., TorranceN., Ed.). Cambridge Handbook on Literacy. [Book Chapter]

Lange, Elizabeth A. (2007). Transformative Learning: The Trojan Horse of Globalization? Concordia University College of Alberta. Alberta, Canada.

Prins, H. E. L. (2002). Visual Media and the Primitivist Perplex: Colonial Fantasies, Indigenous Imagination, and Advocacy in North America. In Faye D. Ginsburg, Lila Abu-Lughod, and Brian Larkin (Eds.), Berkeley Media Worlds: Anthropology on a New Terrain, (pp.58- 74). University of California Press.

Anderson, T. (2008). Toward a theory of online learning. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.) Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Chapter 2 (pp. 45-74).  Available online at:

Bowers, et al. (2000) Native People and the Challenge of Computers: Reservation Schools, Individualism, and Consumerism in American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Spring, 2000), pp. 182-199.

Dyson, L. Hendriks, M & Grant, S. (2007) Information Technology and Indigenous People. United States of America, Information Science Publishing.

November 15, 2009   1 Comment

The Influence of Television and Radio on Education

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The Influence of Television and Radio on Education

By David Berljawsky

ETEC 540

November 1, 2009

There is little question that the transition from radio to television media affected both literacy and education. As educators, television was a powerful new technology to compete with. Although in theory this evolution may have made educating easier, it also caused a ripple in the influence that educators held. This power struggle between education and technology is not new and it continues to this very day. The programming found in television and radio was reflective of the times. How did the change from an aural based media to a visual based media affect education, literacy and social change? Imagination was no longer the driving force in produced media, and this created a culture where instant gratification and visual stimulation became the norm. In this paper I will explore the cultural and social differences between television and radio, the developing power struggle between teachers and television technology and the increasing influence of television compared to radio on young learners.

The age of television has led to a decline in the amount of time and effort that younger students devote to reading and literacy based activities. “Typically, television tended to displace other entertainment activities, including radio, movies, and comic books reading for school-age children (Neuman, 1991, p.21).”  It is uncertain that there is a strong correlation between literacy rates and television due to a few factors. There is an increase in television shows over the years that do promote literacy such as Sesame Street. Some children’s television programming does have high educational standards. As well, due to urbanization, there are also a higher percentage of students who are able to attend schools and receive a proper education in today’s day and age. The percentage of children in elementary schools in BC increased from 87 percent in 1930 to 92.5 percent in 1962 (Statistics Canada, 2009). Educators became more experienced as well, with the teacher qualification standards increasing. In 1952 22% of teachers had a university degree compared to 57% in 1973 (Statistics Canada, 2009).

A Lack of Imagination

When listening to radio one needed to be able to imagine programming without the aid of visuals. This created a world where visual imagery was seen as something more sacred. People were unable to view things that we take for granted today. There was an optimism and innocence associated with radio. Without visuals, it was imagination based and its entertainment value lay largely with the mind of the listener. “They miss what now seems like the simplicity of those times, the innocent optimism (even during the Depression and the War), the directness of the medium itself. But what they yearn for most is the way that radio invited them to participate actively in the production of the show at hand (Douglas, 1985, p4).”

There is an interactive element of radio that we seem to take for granted today. With television we are given everything, both visually and aurally. Very little is left to the imagination with this media, unless the programming directs us to think this way. We expect to be entertained at all times. According to Neuman “…television has fundamentally shifted basic societal values, from those which had previously been characterized by the willingness to defer gratification, to a new set of attitudes where the present is amplified all out of proportion (Neuman, 1991, p.92).” This greatly affects teaching practices. It is difficult to compete with hyper visual imagery and a sense of instant gratification.  Some educational subjects are difficult to make entertaining, which affects the interest of the student.

Social Impacts of the Change

Television and visual media helped to develop the beliefs and values of our culture. Media programming is produced as a response to society’s values and norms. “In their view, children around the age of six lose interest in quality educational programs when they enter the school system; the only way to bypass children’s resentment of instructional content is to focus on social aspects of the programs (Lemish, 2007, p.199).” This makes educating students more difficult because of the type of television programming they start to watch as they enter schooling age.  In the radio days, specifically in the 1930-50’s the types of programming that were popular were reflective of the times as well. Shows such as westerns, dramas and mysteries were commonplace. The content was light, especially compared to today’s standards and was reflective of the culture.

Radio’s cultural influence was very strong, without the constant bombardment of visuals and advertising the power that these spoken words held were stronger than ever. There was no competition with television or other media forms. Much like television, and other forms of entertainment it represented the views and values of the era.  In a sense, radio broadcasting (or narrating) was similar in some regards to oral cultures, where the word held much power. “Moreover, skilled oral narrators deliberately vary their traditional narratives because part of their skill is their ability to adjust to new audiences and new situations or simply to be coquettish (Ong, 1982, p.48).”

The transition from a radio based world to a television based world affected social interactions in school age children. It had a very strong effect at the onset of the television age. Many initial studies in the early 1950’s have been seen as biased, because of the lack of regular households with televisions. They were initially seen as a status symbol and were not found in abundance, thus results were skewered accordingly. The first respected major studies occurred in 1958 and 1961 in Britain, USA and Canada. These results all had very similar outcomes. The activities that were the most affected by the introduction of television were “the use of other media, including radio listening, cinema attendance… and to some extent, play time with other children (Neuman, 1991, p.29).”

Television and Education

Televisions has influenced education and teaching practices. Educators have had to adapt and provide lessons that not only educate but entertain the learner. It has been shown that attention spans have decreased since the prominence of television. Reading is not seen in the same esteem as in previous generations. “Reading was not regarded as an elitist activity, and printed matter was spread evenly among all kinds of people (Postman, 1985, p.34).” This is not a new phenomenon. Whenever a new technology is introduced there is often a change in educational philosophy to adapt to the cultural shift. We have seen it more recently with modern internet technologies. After all “The medium is the message (McLuhan as cited in Postman, 1992, p14).”

How can teachers compete with educational and regular television? “In contrast, commercial television stations disavow having any educational responsibilities. Above all else, “their raison d’etre” is to make a profit by attracting as wide an audience as possible in order to sell advertisers products (Lemish, 2007, p.148).” This affects society in many different ways. The influence of advertising is amplified. If the television production companies only care about profit (attracting sponsors) than they will likely create programs that appeal to these advertisers regardless of educational value. This will only make teachers jobs more difficult. The influence of television on children is huge, if they are watching shows designed simply to entertain and maximize profit, then this will have negative effects on reading and writing. Educational value will be ignored.  It is frightening to imagine this, especially in relation to the school systems influence.  “A great media metaphor shift has taken place in America, with the result that the content of much of our public discourse has become dangerous nonsense (Postman, 1985, p.16).”

How has writing evolved from the age of radio to television? “Children come to school having been deeply conditioned by the biases of television. There they encounter the printed word (Postman, 1985, p.16).” Children are raised in the TV generation watching visual entertainment before learning to read and write in most cases. This makes teaching writing harder than before due to students having a different focus than before.  There is ample evidence to prove that television has affected student focus and made reading and writing seem less important. “Children of television will come to expect all of life to be entertaining; learning will be displaced in favour of the ready-made… this demand for entertainment will eventually lead children to be less enterprising and resourceful (Neuman, 1991, p.92).”

The impact that television has had on education is dramatic. It has helped to change the dynamics found between teachers and students. Children are being raised with the television turned on for a large portion of their lives. They enter school acclimatised to the views and beliefs that are found on television. Attention spans have been adjusted accordingly and this negatively affects the quality and type of education that is transmitted to the student. This is going to change. Technology is constantly in a state of evolution and the television movement is only a part of that evolution. Of course, with the upcoming generation engaged in hypertext and its issues, we may end up looking back nostalgically at the good old days of television.


Lemish, Dafna. (2007) Children and Television: A Global Perspective. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Neuman, Susan. (1991) Literacy in the Digital Age. Norwood, New Jersey. Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Ong, Walter. (1982.) Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Methuen.

Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. USA: Penguin.

Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Douglas, Susan. Listening in: Radio and the American Imagination. Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

“Elementary and Secondary Schools.” Statistics Canada., Oct, 2009.

November 1, 2009   No Comments

Teaching Elementary Text and Technology, are we Caught in a Power Struggle? A Commentary on Modern Text Teaching Practices.

An issue that has become more apparent to me during my revision of the course readings is that text is a constantly changing technology that is difficult to define. If the nature of text is that it is constantly being redefined than why have we not completely adjusted our teaching practices accordingly? If the current generation understands text as something that is viewed on a screen then their rules and definitions are different that the traditional views of text.  Why do (primarily, elementary) educators concentrate on the current ‘archaic’ ways of teaching writing with a pen and paper if this is the case? I propose that this phenomenon is based on power struggles between educators and the public and a lack of technological assimilation in the school system.

Ong states that “There is no way to write ‘naturally’ (Ong, p.81).” This statement can viewed in a negative perspective. Should educators be teaching students in this day and age to write with a pen on paper and to practice their handwriting? The reality is that they will be using computers for the rest of their lives. Educators see this as an unnatural way to write.  We are clinging to past views and perspectives by teaching writing and text in its current pedagogical form. Educators need to realize that it is alright to learn about and to use new technologies. It is actually natural to accept these new ways of learning and realize that this is the way of the future. “Technologies are artificial, but – paradox again – artificiality is natural to human beings. Technology, properly interiorized, does not degrade human life but on the contrary enhances it. (Ong, p.82)”

Despite what many educators may think, there is a benefit in teaching these modern technologies. Bowers states this idea clearly in the following quotation: “Computers continue the tradition of representing print as a form of cultural storage… (Bowers et al, p.188).”  If we think about text in this context there is much that can be learned about our teaching practices. Some modern internet writing technologies are frowned upon. We tell our students that facebook is a waste of time, and we do not encourage use of online forums, but why? Could it be that educators are worried about losing their grip on the power of text technology? “Some societies of limited literacy have regarded writing as dangerous to the unwary reader, demanding a guru-like figure to mediate between reader and text (Goody and Watt taken from Ong, p..92).” It seems that educators are engaged in a power struggle to maintain their control over the education system.

Are we simply selling technology monopolies to the public in teaching reading and writing in its current form? In the 21st century there is a unique digression that is occurring in teaching text to students. Despite the changing requirements and needs for computer knowledge in the workplace, educators are not teaching these skills adequately. In elementary schools, computers are not seen as a core component of text education despite the fact that most currently written text is computer based. This situation is power based, and educators do not want to lose the influence that they currently hold. “Those who have control over the workings of a particular technology accumulate power and the workings of a particular technology accumulate power inevitably form a kind of conspiracy against those who have no access to the specialized knowledge made available by the technology (Postman, p.9).”

Students are often more engaged in learning when they are using technologies that they relate to. “Students are more willing to do more editing, to spend more time reviewing their text and improving it (Viadero, 1997b, p.13).” Despite this, educators still concentrate on older fashioned methods for text education, why? Ong has stated that often it takes time for modern technologies to be assimilated into our collective consciousness. Until this occurs there is always going to be a divide and a power struggle between teachers who believe in the ‘regular’ ways of teaching text and those that believe in the benefits of computer usage. “People had to be persuaded that writing improved the old oral methods sufficiently to warrant all the expense and troublesome techniques it involved (Ong, p.95).”

There is no doubt to me that text and computers are becoming more linked together. It is commonplace for students to submit their assignments electronically. The modern workplace requires the ability to write and read text electronically. One thing that I’ve realized through the first months readings is that text is a constantly evolving process, from its origins in the oral tradition to modern computers. As educators we need to be able to evolve with those technologies in order to provide the workforce of tomorrow a modern text education. This starts with educators being able to accept that perhaps, it is our socially responsible duty to provide this education. Until educators are willing to work with, not against modern text technologies we will always have this struggle.  “Where technology is used and where the teachers are given the right kinds of support and training and the right kind of equipment, then (they) are able to actually implement some of the best theory and practice regarding the teaching of writing (Viadero, 1997b, p.13).


Ong, Walter, J. (1982). Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London and New York: Methuen.

Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Viadero, D. (1997b, November 10). A tool for learning. Education Week, 17(11), 12-13, 15, 17-18. Available:

Bowers, et al. (2000) Native People and the Challenge of Computers: Reservation Schools, Individualism, and
Consumerism in American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Spring, 2000), pp. 182-199.

October 4, 2009   1 Comment

David Berljawsky’s Refelctions.

I am impressed by the amount of material that has been posted on the weblog. Although I am aware (obviously) that this is an online project taken on by multiple students, the sheer amount of work that has been gathered in a short amount of time is nothing short of impressive. One can only imagine how a classroom of students would react to seeing a large amount their work online. One slight critique is that if I was new to blogs I might have had a difficult time navigating the site. I have read some extremely informative opinions on the nature of technology and text. I’ve noticed that there are many different and open ended views on the definition and I’ve enjoyed reading all of these varied opinions.

This is my first online course, and I feel that this activity was a wonderful introduction to me. Ironically, I think that I may have spent more time online in the forums and weblog than I may have actually spent in a regular class.

I’m unsure how to answer the question about my opinion of the structure of the existing web. It’s not perfect, but it is what we have and we need to use the positive aspects to our best ability. The entire communicative and collaborative nature of the web is what attracts me to it as an educator. Everyone is able to add their opinion and views to the web regardless of their technical expertise. This activity is a perfect example of how this is possible.

September 18, 2009   No Comments

Technology: Making Lives Better.


I believe that technology is a process that is ongoing and is hard to define. After all, we consider items like Blackberries and Computers technology, but technology is really everywhere as represented by this article,  I love this story because it caused an uproar and made for great talk show fodder. Most people were being overly critical about merging technology with sports, as if this has never happened before.

Technology seems to be constant changing and supposedly attempting to make our lives easier and better. In education this is a double edged sword, which is why I choose this picture. Another reason I chose this picture is because it merges technology and teaching together. Although technology does improve our lives it can also take away. I like this picture because it makes me wonder where we are heading as educators. Are we eventually going to give students a topic, have them Google it and present it as fact? Or is that already what is happening?

September 15, 2009   No Comments

What is Text?

Although we certainly do see and use text on computers and the internet, I wonder if there is something inherently flawed with using this way of viewing text with students. I don’t believe that the text excites students but that the computer that excites students.

A few short months ago I was teaching a primary summer school program. The program was designed for young learners to improve their English writing skills. I decided to have fun one class and have them create their own sentences using stamps. One thing that I noticed, apart from the activity getting really messy, was the excitement that the students had communicating their ideas onto paper using the stamps. There was something in the action of choosing a word, placing the stamp on the ink pad, and seeing their work that that engaged the students far more than a computer activity ever could.

Now is this text that the students created? I think that it is. The students printed their own work on paper, using letters and numbers.  It did not matter if the text was coherent or not. Of course, is this the proper way to teach writing skills? However the students received an intriguing lesson and were able to create text manually in an old fashioned way that hopefully enforces the message that there is more than one way to create text.stamp

September 15, 2009   1 Comment


iTeeth, originally uploaded by Brophy Photography Club.

My name is David Berljawsky. I actually found this picture pretty easily. To me it is a very relevant to the discussion that we will be having in this course. Talking and communicating through technology is what I thought about right away. This picture is certainly art, and is created in a form that was impossible just a couple of short years ago.

I am an elementary school teacher in North Vancouver, and regularly teach computers, and other technology related classes. This is my passion and what I want to pursue, so I feel that this program is ideal for me. I find that the current generation of students are very technologically aware and communicate in ways that older generations do not. It could be texting, facebook, twitter or a blog. One thing that I really enjoyed about this picture is that the author used a modern cell phone, hooked up to the internet for this picture. It is artistic and representative of the current generation of elementary and high school students.

I struggle with implementing and developing my philosophies concerning modern technologies. On one hand, I love computers, the internet, and all of those technologies. They make my life easier, assumedly better and, well, they entertain me to no end. However, I can see many negatives with the ways that students use this technology, and how it educates them. I’m hoping that I will be able to plan ways to open up my students understanding, using technologies as a tool, not as a crutch.

September 9, 2009   No Comments