“I Think Therefore I AM”

As I look back through the wealth of readings, videos, blogs, wikis and the abundance of posts, I can hardly believe how far this journey has taken me.  Upon reading Walter Ong’s book, “Orality and Literacy”, I remember thinking, “what does this all mean?” and “how in the world am I going to make connections to the ideas presented?”

As I read, and read… and read some more, I was astonished to how much it made me think about our current culture and how it lead the participants of ETEC540 in so many different directions.  Just as written text has changed the way in which we think about literacy, my thoughts and ideas have also been transformed throughout our time together in ETEC540.  The world of literacy has “given [me] a basis for constructing meaning and evaluating [my] own experiences in terms of it” (Ong, 1982, p.270).  Just as Danielle Dubien implies in the forum Papyrus to Cyberspace, “experience and new perspectives enrich and refine what we learn initially in a course or from a book”. Our knowledge is built upon connections and although we may be able to search for most anything at any minute, it most certainly does not build upon who we are as learners, citizens or workers.

As we examined orality and literacy, I began to understand how the digital culture allowed us to express ourselves in multiple ways.  Just as Bolter suggests, “digital media is refashioning the printed book” (Bolter, 2001, p3).  Throughout the duration of the course, I have been able to interact with various types of media and learn about scholarly theories on literacy. Digital media has allowed me to do this at my own pace while leading myself in the direction that suits my specific interests and research needs. Nelson views writing as a network and an “ongoing system of interconnecting documents” (Bolter, p34), which connects to my own experiences with the remediation of print and how it has helped me to extended my ability to search and understand multiple viewpoints.

In the forum, Mechanization: Before and after, Eric Gearey states that he’s “never done ANYTHING in [his] life and thought: perfect – it’s done. Everything could use a little touch-up here and there.”  To me, this is our constant state of thinking.  We are continually learning and revamping our beliefs and adding to our current connections.  In the final Chapters of Bolter’s book, “Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext and the Remediation of Print”, he quotes Descartes claim, “I think therefore I am” which summed up the premise of this course for me.  The idea of self and the very act of thinking is connected to all forms of literacy.  Thinking is literacy!

Throughout the course, I have been able to weave many webs and I’ve had many “AHA” moments.  At the beginning of each paper, I was unsure of where it would lead me, but as I researched I found myself deep in thought and each reading would bring a new connection or lead me in another direction.  The course itself is set up brilliantly and the connections are plentiful.

 

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

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

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