ETEC 540 Journal
The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing
A fascinating course, ETEC 540 presented a deep dive from ancient to modern writing and communication practices (from orality and storytelling to literacy, mechanization, hypertext, and hypermedia). The class painted a rich and complex picture of the ongoing debate–how text technologies modify reading and writing processes.
Evident was the notion that technologies have a large impact on the continued development of literacy and knowledge, as well as an impact on cognitive habits, processes, and understandings when operating within the bounds of technological writing spaces. It is yet unclear whether or not these changes should be considered evolutionary or revolutionary or if they alter people’s habits for better or for worse. Does the increasing velocity of technological change have an impact on our perception of this constant r/evolution?
Linking EdTech + Design Through Envisioning
The Edtech process links up to the Design process again in the stage of envisioning. In order to begin to form a coherent description or representation of any phenomena, we must first be able to envision the complex factors that contribute to it. “Envisioning implies a glimpse into the nature of an idea” (Moggridge & Atkinson, 2007, p. 734), a crucial step towards translation into a concrete representation of the phenomena.
Tasked with researching the implications for education and literacy of one writing technology (before the invention of the computer), I chose to examine the typewriter in relation to women’s changing roles and education. Rather than crafting a purely historical review, I chose to apply the notion of losses and gains as inherent in the application of technology as a lens for critical examination (Postman, 1992, p. 4-5).
My resulting documentary described not only changes to literacy and education, it also probed deeply into implications of social justice, gender roles, and the relationship of this technology to mind, body, and cognition. This demonstrated the development of an implicit stance regarding an educational technologist’s duty and willingness to explore, understand, and negotiate the complex implications brought about through the use of various writing technologies.
The artifact presented in the next tab, is the video representation or “envisioning” of this viewpoint as I embarked on my investigation. You will also find additional relevant writings located in the journal entries at the top right of this page. These address losses and gains, text storage, and phenomenology and aesthetics of technologies and writing spaces.
The Typewriter, A Brief Documentary: Changes in Women’s Roles & Education.
Video Script: (View script full-size in a new window).
Moggridge, B., & Atkinson, B. (2007). Designing interactions (Vol. 17). Cambridge: MIT press.
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.