February 10, 2005

Influence of Technology

In Churchill's article "What Socrates Said to Phaedrus: Reflections on Technology and Education" he discusses the influences technology has had on our culture and our ability to access information. While I've always known that technological changes influence the way we see and access the world, I never really thought about the sociological impacts it has. Churchill mentions that the invention of the fireplace allowed for more private sleeping quarters which paved the way for the concepts of romantic intimacy and love. In our present world, we look on romantic love as a part of human nature, not as a consequence of technology.

Churchill also outlines the importance of integrating new technology in the classroom - exposing students to vast amount of information available on the internet, as well as certain features such as chat rooms, can increase their capacity for learning as well as the quality of learning. He does caution against totally substituting teacher/student relationships and interaction with technology, however. As beneficial as our technological advances may be, they can in no way replace the subtle gestures and flexibility that a teacher utilizes to best instruct each individual student.

While I find myself enjoying the changes that technology brings to my life, I know plenty of people who don't. Until recently, my mother refused to use a computer in her office, and to this day doesn't have an answering machine. She finally bought a cell phone, but doesn't use her voicemail. She says that the dependence we all have on our machines is a liability should any of them fail. While I understand her point, I have become so accustomed to having them in my life that I wouldn't enjoy adjusting to life without them, just as much as she doesn't enjoy adjusting to life with them.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at February 10, 2005 01:37 PM | TrackBack
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