Making Connections in Cyberspace

            ETEC 540 was a different journey for me, a journey where sometimes I lost focus on what I was reading or learning.  At first, I found myself lost in different spaces, like weblogs, wiki, and vista.  I did not necessarily feel comfortable writing in cyberspace, probably because I did not clearly understand where this will bring me in the end.  

            Even though, towards the end of the course, as I was seeing the big “picture”, I was still wondering if the changing spaces of writing were all ones I like to be in.  At times, it might have felt unnatural, perhaps because I am a digital immigrant.  

            With that said, the way ETEC 540 is organized has made me experienced writing in new spaces for a much larger audience than the one I signed up for last September.  This fact alone is extraordinary, although it has made me and is still making me nervous.  Not knowing exactly who is going to read my thoughts is something new for me.  I have to say that each time we had to post in the weblog or even in the wiki I felt it was nerve-racking.  I assume an actor or actress must encounter this feeling prior to performing in front of his/her audience.  

            I have asked myself if this was a normal reaction.  As stated by Bolter (2001) “today in constructing electronic writing, our culture has chosen to blur the distinction between the public and private” and it is interesting to see that “the writer is never isolated from the material and cultural matrix of her networked culture” (p. 202).  Since it is part of our culture, I suppose it is fine to say I have been there and will still be there in the future.

            Indeed, when I first noticed that we will have to write in multiple spaces, and as I previously said, sometime in cyberspace, I was scared.  After all, before starting the MET program my digital print was nonexistent.  Yes, I was completely untraceable in the World Wide Web.  But everything has changed now.  Maybe I would have liked to choose the way to do it, to break the ice as a digital writer; I would have probably chosen a completely different way at expressing privately and publicly my views on orality, the remediation of print, multimodality, literacy, digital technologies, and all topics we have discussed in this course.  And perhaps, as language is part of whom we are, by using a different language it would have been easier for me to express myself and connect on a deeper level.  Or, maybe it would have been just different.  I wonder if it is possible to completely connect at a deeper level with each other in such an environment.  I mean truly connecting.  Sometimes, I wonder if my way of communicating was clear enough to interact efficiently with my peers.

            Towards the end of the course, I heard myself saying: “Oh, if I would have known this, I would have done things differently”.   Maybe, this is just like in real life.  It is difficult to know how something you have not really experienced will be unless you experienced it.  And I can say that I am grateful for what I have learned so far, in this course, from my peers and my instructors, but also in my other MET courses.

            ETEC 540 has given me the consciousness of my thoughts and writing what is on my mind (Bolter, 2001) means; I guess I am writing with all of you a part of the culture in which we are living in.  Ong (2002) argued that “writing and print isolate” (p. 73), it is certainly not the case anymore with the remediation of print (Bolter, 2001).  As with everyone, I might have a bigger role to play in the collectiveness of our thoughts than I would have given myself credit for; perhaps, I should take more time to reflect on my written words, which is somehow contradictory since we are living in an era of acceleration.  

            I have enjoyed making connection within the readings in the course material and most importantly, at sharing thoughts with this group of great people.  What’s making me sad is that, as electronic communication is allowing immediate connection, unfortunately, it seems to be also temporary (Bolter, 2001, p. 204).  I am always a little sad at the end of one course as I would have liked to keep in contact with everyone.  Is this how communication through electronic devices and social networks are working?  I am always asking myself how to keep in contact with the wonderful educational colleagues from around the world I have met here; I seem to value more the professional relationship than I will do for any reading.  I understand it might be difficult to do and at least I want to say how much I have appreciated the educational ‘moments’ I have shared with all of you.

             Thank you all for what was such a great learning environment for me!

References

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

Ong, W. J. (2002). Orality and literacy: the technologizing of the word. London: Routledge.

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