Making Connections: Final thoughts

Hi all,

In this final reflection on the course material, I return to the beginning of the course.  I started thinking about Postman’s (1992) discussion on technology. He mentioned how “once a technology is admitted, it plays out its hand; it does what it is designed to do. Our task is to understand what the design is- that is to say, when we admit a new technology to the culture, we must do so with our eyes wide open” (p. 7). As we have explored throughout this course, when new technologies are introduced it brings on a multitude of changes.  When I consider our assignments in this course and how they have collectively lead me to the conclusion that change can be innovative and impact individuals’ views.  In my research assignment I explored the invention of the telephone and the significance  this particular technology had on the world.  Without Alexander Graham Bell’s work, we would not have had the remediation of the telephone to the mobile cellular phone.  Communication was revolutionized as a result of this device.

I was watching this YouTube video as I was preparing to do professional development for my schools today.

YouTube Preview Image

This video sums up how technology has changed education and how educators need to change the way they think about teaching.  As I explored in my final project, students are exploring transnational communities of practice online (Warriner, 2007; Lave & Wenger, 1991).  Lam (2004), Black (2006) and Guzzetti (2008) case studies all emphasized the significance of digital technologies on individuals.  Although experiences in online communities of practice are often not positive, we recognize how they can impact students’ learning of literacy.  It leaves me with the thought that as an educator, we need to acknowledge new technologies  (digital or not).   These technologies could potentially have a significant role in education.

In our final readings for this course I found myself agreeing with Bolter’s (2001) comments on how “electronic forms of communication give us the opportunity to redefine culture ideals inherited from printed genres and forms” (p.208).  I also enjoyed the idea of the “remediation of culture.”  Although I am probably not really thinking about it in the context that Bolter intended, however, when a technology is introduced there is a certainly opportunity for the “remediation of culture.”  As we have seen throughout history, the introduction of technology has continued to remediate culture on a daily basis.

It appears that throughout my reflection there is the theme of change.  We are in an era in which there is constant change and a need for individuals to adapt to new technologies. We may not understand them all, however, we certainly need to at least acknowledge their presence.



Black, R.W. (2006). Language, culture and identity in online fanfiction. E-Learning. 3 (2), 170-

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing spaces: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print (2nd Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Guzzetti, B. (2008). Identities in online communities: A young woman’s critique of cyberculture. 
E-Learning. 5 (4), 457-474.

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: 
NY: Cambridge University Press.

Lam, W.S. (2004).  Second language socialization in a bilingual chat room: Global and local 
considerations.  Language Learning& Technology. 8(3), 44-65.

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

Warriner, D. S. (2007). Transnational literacies: Immigration, language, learning, and identity.
Linguistics and Education. 18 (3-4), 201-214.

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

About mmwong

I am PhD student in the department of Language and Literacy Education. My research interests are how technology can be used to teach English as a Second Language students.
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