Oh good, an anti-technology guy.
I did find Birkerts' points interesting and legitimate and again I like the fact that he mentions other authors we've read thus far in the course. Birkerts first mentions the long term effects of technology in the academic world. Just as Plato felt writing made man lazy and less-able to memorize things, Birkerts feels that technology makes students bypass learning the primal communication basics of reading and writing in order to delve into the world of technology...
" Many educators say that our students are less and less able to read, or analyze, or write with clarity and purpose. Who can blame the students? Everything they meet with in the world around them gives the signal: That was then, and electronic communications are now." -Pg. 63
Considering my major is New Media Journalism, I wholeheartedly feel technology enhances my education. I don't think it is right to disprove of technology in the academic world, because students still need those basics in order to successfully use technology. Students must be literate and have motor skills to make the most of technology not only in the academic sense but in everyday life. Think about how difficult using a computer would be if you were illiterate.
"Nature was then; this is now. Trees and rocks have receded. and the great geographical Other, the faraway rest of the world, has been transformed by the pure possibility of access. The numbers of distance and time no longer mean what they used to. Every place, once unique, itself, is strangely shot through with radiations from every other place. "There" was then; "here" is now." -Pg. 64
Birkerts also says later on page 66 that, "spin doctors and media consultants are our new shamans." At this point in the reading he is again referring to the impact of technology on education. We need to remember this was written in 1995. He states that students are less able to read and their aptitude scores are lower than past generations--but really, can technology be blamed for this? Until a certain point parents and teachers still have control over the minds of our youth. Those influential people in a child's life should be exposing him to technology only after exposing them to reading and writing basics--the old school way. Using technology should not become a substitution to teaching children how to read and write. We still have power over technology as individuals because we have the choice to embrace it or not, just as parents and teachers have the choice to not use technology at home or in the classroom. I think the general population now embraces technology in the classroom, we certainly have at Seton Hill.Posted by StormyKnight at February 20, 2008 9:58 PM