Future Teachers of Tomorrow

The future of technology in the classroom

Changing into a Digital-Friendly Classroom October 8, 2012

Back in High School, I remember buying a $130 TI-89 calculator to solve my tricky Algebra problems, and I constantly forget to bring it with to class with me. When I found that the class required strenuous computed work, I was faced with making a hard decision; whether or not to use my iPhone as a calculator. On my iPhone, there is an application that performed the same functions as a graphing calculator with a nicer interface. My teacher at the time was a very sweet elderly woman who liked to handle Math the old school way, breaking down the logic in sections and adding jingles to expressions as pneumonic devices, so when the cell phone and lap top came around she found it threatening to her lessons. You can’t blame her, I know many people would take advantage of this opportunity and abuse the privilege of a cell phone, but how are we as future teachers going to change that behavior? In an article by Cindy Matthews on Snow.ocad.ca, she suggests a new format to the classroom experience. Imagine couches instead of desks. iPads, iPhones and laptops instead of paper, that students could use to respond in real-time to questions proposed by the teacher through their own device. The classroom would all be connected without the threat of destroying the true definition of education, but rather redefining it. The modern school system is falling apart, and responsibly inviting technology into the classroom can greatly benefit student learning.

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Writing Spaces – Bolter September 17, 2012

Filed under: Writing Spaces — stonej50 @ 10:42 pm
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In the contemporary writing space, writing can constantly be changed. Bolter states, “The continuous flow of words and pages in the book is supplanted in electronic space by abrupt changes of direction and tempo, as the user interacts with a web page or other interface.” This is to say that it is much easier to alter and change text using digital technology such as a computer, than it is to change text in a written out book. This changes our society because it makes things more accessible and convenient. For example, writing out this blog post right now using a word processor on my laptop is much quicker and easier than if I were to hand write it. When I make mistakes or typos, I can easily go back and change it without having to rewrite things. If I decide I want to add something into the earlier part of the paper, I can easily do that without having to erase everything.

In the same sense, Bolter talks about the behavior of the writing space becoming a metaphor for the human mind. Where does the mind end and the writing space begin? When we have ideas in our mind, we might write them down, whether it be on our computer, on paper, or in a journal. That is all the materiality of writing, but is that part of our thinking of writing? When I use Twitter, some of my thoughts come from other tweets and discussions that I view on the site. Twitter itself is a place to express thought, and that is when “the writer enters into a reflective and reflexive relationship with the written page, a relationship in which thoughts are bodied forth,” states Bolter. This means that wherever the writer chooses to express their thoughts- paper, stone, clay, computer screen- they fall into that writing style and it is a fine line between their thoughts and the materialistic aspect of the writing.

In conclusion, Bolter makes strong points about the writing space changing and being culturally more powerful than it has ever been. The writing space is defined by culture. During this time, the main writing space is digital technology, which shows we are a digital cultural society. For example, computers, cell phones, and tablets are used in everyday life. However, back in earlier times, Bolter talks about ancient Greece and Rome using papyrus and the inner surface of a continuous roll, divided into columns. He explains that papyrus didn’t have to be used that way, but the ancient culture made that choice. Therefore, culture shows to be a dominant reason behind writing styles and the writing space changing dramatically from ancient times to now.