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Literacy and Technology-Selfe November 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — willis57 @ 6:24 am
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“As literacy educators, we prefer things to be arranged this way because computer-when they are too much in our face, as unfamiliar technology generally is-can suggest a kind of cultural strangeness that is off-putting. We are much more used to dealing with older technologies like print, a technology old enough that is doesn’t call such immediate attention to the social or material conditions associated with its use. Books are relatively cheap, they are generally accessible to students, districts, families, and educators; and they are acknowledged by our peers to be the appropriate tools to use for teaching and learning. As a result, our recognition of the material conditions associated with books has faded into the background of our imagination. Although we understand on a tacit level that the print technology in which we invest so readily, and in which we ask students to invest, contributes to our own status in the profession and in the public eye (in terms of performance assessment, promotion, and sometimes salary rewards), we seldom notice it” (Selfe: “Literacy and Technology Linked” 22).

I understand the need for people to become literate in technology, but I feel that there needs to be mastery in areas without the technology first. As a future teacher, I have learned many things. The first thing is that there are not enough hours in a day for any one person, but a teacher seems to have even less time. Teachers are expected to cover a vast amount of information in a short amount of time. Not only are they expected to cover it, but their students are expected to understand it. I feel that students should learn how to write first and write well before they begin using any other type of tool. Of course the computer and technology available is opening very large doors, but I think that they are missing the mark. Furthermore, there are some places where technology is not necessary and do not need to be integrated into a class. Books may be cheap compared to a computer, I can agree; however, many homes are unable to afford books. This is not because I am afraid to incorporate technology into my classroom, but a concern that the focus is moving students faster than they are truly capable. Like I said before, allow them to gain the mastery in literacy first before they supplement it with technology. The focus should not be on what school is best equipped with the newest technology because if you put a student in front of a computer and they do not know the basics about composition from the start, the computer is not going to produce a prize-winning paper. The computer is a tool to further develop students as they learn the ropes; then they can make it fancy. This can also be tied into something such as No Child Left Behind. If a country wants its students to succeed, stop forcing more information in a short amount of time and allow them to fully grasp information before moving on.

Are we truly benefitting our students by stretching them and their teachers even thinner? Is it possible to keep growing, when many students seem to fall behind in education?


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