Jones and Hafner: Chapter One

As I was reading the introductory section of this week’s reading assignment I was struck and impressed by how human of an approach this book has to technology. In other articles and books I have read, not too often or in much depth I will admit, I have noticed a bit of a detachment from the human user. These texts usually focus more on the tools itself and how to use them to get the exact outcomes that we can get out of our technology, which is of course useful and necessary information. This chapter focused so much on the implications of technological use while assuming the reader has prior experience with technology. I find this approach to looking at technology so much more interesting and useful to me as a person who knows her way around basic tech and the internet. My favorite part of the introduction was, “The purpose pf this book is not just to help you become ‘better’ at mastering these and other literacies associated with digital technology, but also to help you understand how they are affecting the way you make meanings, the way you relate to others, the kinds of social identities you can enact, and even the way you think.” As young people are growing up with technology and the internet more easily accessible, so accessible it has become a major part of daily life, it is easy to overlook the very human affects it has on us. Our habits and understanding shape us as people more than we might think, and being able to see and process the digital side of our lives is our responsibility.

Traffic signals are in use to make driving an easier, safer, and faster process, they allow drivers to move through higher traffic areas without having to determine themselves when to drive through or let others pass. They are meant to balance out traffic so that all drivers can be on their way as quickly as possible, so at some points they do not allow cars to go and allows others to drive through. They are just lights but the social construct that goes along with traffic signals keeps cars from blowing through intersections at their own discretion. Traffic lights control the delicate balance on the road, when a driver steps into their car they take for granted that other drivers will follow traffic signals. There is a trust that drivers do not often notice or feel when at traffic lights, when I am driving I don’t think about why I stop at signals or how me stopping at this point is allowing other to move safely across intersection.

PowerPoint is used essentially to add a visual element to presentations, it is a streamlined way to present information in a varied and pleasant manner. Images, videos, animation, graphs, and text could be presented side by side in an effort to share information effectively. However, PowerPoint has allowed many a college professor to stand just to the side of their classes and teach from behind a screen. The overuse of PowerPoint presentations in class disconnect students from teachers where it used to be used to engage students. Learning from a glorified slideshow was once seen as a fresh way to present information to visual learners but now educators use these tools to distance themselves from their students. Where professors used to stand in front of their classes discussing and sharing their ideas and opinions they now condense them into small bite sized bullet points that make cramming for a test easier. There is less personal connection between the educator and the educated with the use of PowerPoint.

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Reading Response Week #1

The introductory chapter of “Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices” goes into depth about the understanding, uses, and diversity of Digital literacy. As I read through the chapter I thought back to the classes I have taken that focused on Information literacy and realized how similar these concepts are. Digital literacy is a more in depth technological version of information literacy. As stated in the “Sociocultural View of Literacy as a Set of Socially Organized Practices” section of the chapter both types of literacy are a set of literacies. Just as digital literacy has different facets to it, the concept of Information Literacy may seem too broad and overwhelming to put into one category. They are to sides of the same coin, they are both sets of skills that help people learn how to learn. Whether it is how to find the exact kid of information like information literacy or learning how to learn to use technology to its fullest capacity. Both are complex educational concepts that challenge the idea of traditional literacy.