ETEC 540 was quite different from what I first anticipated when I began this course and I was pleasantly surprised by this. I found that the course’s broad overview of literacy and various forms of communication enabled me to make the link between several of the theoretical elements I had explored in previous courses, my personal interests in reading and Web 2.0 communications and my professional background as an educator.
Upon beginning the course, I was expecting to learn more about how to integrate new literacies in the classroom. However, I appreciated and even preferred this exploration of the history of orality, literacy, print and hypertext more, as I could apply it not only to a classroom environment, but also to the ways in which I communicate with others daily in my private life. This course enabled me to appreciate my love of visual learning and expression as a component of literacy rather than just a love of art. Bolter’s chapters on visual texts and expressing oneself in cyberspace were particularly interesting to me.
This semester I also took ETEC 531, which deals with technology and culture. There seems to be an interesting overlap between that course and this one, which made me appreciate the ways in which text and technology are an integral part of the way we live, and the ways in which we express ourselves textually are reflections of the changes in our culture and the affordances of technology. While keeping the courses ‘untangled’ was a challenge because of the close ties between the readings, assignments and interactivities, I would recommend that other MET students consider taking both at the same time, as both courses enrich each other and the course texts, that is Bolter (2001) and Murphie and Potts (2003; used in 531) echo each other on several topics.
In terms of the weblog, I particularly enjoyed the ways in which my colleagues’ research was available for me to peruse and review. While the course materials had a solid linear structure, leading us through history, the weblog allowed me to follow tangents that echo Bolter’s (2001) argument that hypertext (like thoughts) are non-linear. I was particularly fascinated with his statement that “if the mind is a hypertext, then the same arguments about instability and contingency apply to the mind as to literary hypertexts” (p. 197). The weblog is, to me, a tangible representation of the branching out of our collective thoughts and understandings of the academic materials we’ve explored and our personal applications of it.
Thank you all for enriching my understanding of how we communicate in this technological advanced world.
Best Wishes for the Christmas and holiday season and all your future pursuits,
Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed.) Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Murphie, A. and Potts, J. (2003). Culture and Technology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.