Making connection and reflection
What an epic journey this has been! When I just started out, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. However, after delving in the rich discussions and readings, I was naturally drawn to the course and never let go ever since.
I am an instructor of literacy so I was very upbeat about orality and literacy even though I wasn’t too familiar with the term orality. However, after engaging with the reading, it started to fully register and resonate with me. First, I never thought about a culture where everything is done orally and print is absent. This opened up my eyes and took me way back to the situation that existed during the times when my ancestors were taken from Africa and placed in the Caribbean to work as slaves. It was there and then that I was puzzled and wondering how could such a situation exist. As I weighed my thoughts, I realized I was viewing the situation from my viewpoint since I am a part of a print culture. After careful analysis, I started reflecting on topics I discussed with my students in class about oral tradition and the impact it had on memorizing concepts.
In addition, I was fascinated by the discussions and readings centered around the invasion of our culture by technology or Postman’s technopoly as it relates to the cultural disturbances because of the sudden extension of communication technologies (Neil Postman, Technopoly, 1992). I am still very concerned about this erosion of culture by technology but never looked at it from postman’s viewpoint. When I compared what existed now and then as it relates to memorizing concepts, I realized that there were tremendous benefits in those oral societies. Today’s generation relies on technology for memory and also use it as external brains. In addition, it was amazing how this course brings the past and present so close. The connections made were so clear and vivid and the transitions from the former to the latter were obvious and put into perspective throughout; for example, the movement from writing on the walls of cave to hypertext especially when one considers that our written identity is, like hypertext, dynamic, flexible, and contingent.” (Bolter, 2001, p.190). From then I realized that every technology actually feeds off another.
Exploring digital natives also resonated with me and my current practice. As a result, of this course, I was able to zoom in on the netgeneration and contextualized my current situation. As a result, I was able to make connections with how I am currently teaching the netgen and the cutting-edge tools and applications involved. Also, how could I forget the definition of literacy and the advent of eBooks. I want to fuse both topics as the latter is integral in redefining literacy. I was always of the view that literacy cannot be defined without the inclusion of technology and this course put that into perspective. Ebook was a major factor in my interaction with this course and others as I figure it will be a major game-changer in literacy and how the netgen will learn in the future in collaboration with social media. Overall, this connection was great as one needs to know the past if he/she is to make the best of the future. Therefore, I intend to use this connection for the rest of my teaching career of which I know will be successful.
Last but not by no mean least, I want to say a big thank you to my professors and fellow classmates who were very supportive throughout the course. All the best to you all. :)
Bolter, Jay David. (2001). Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print [2nd edition]. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. ISBN: 0-8058-2919-9.
Ong, Walter. (1982.) Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Methuen.
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. NewYork: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, Inc.