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Technology & Society: An Equal Relationship?

A common mistake that theorist and post structuralist make, Richard Grusin says, is ascribing agency to technology and electronic writing itself. The assumption that technology is the actor, ad we are just obstacles in the way of its progress, also know as the diffusion model, is one Grusin disagrees with. Ultimately, we can’t forget that we are the ones who disseminate the knowledge and cultural connections of technology. We are the ones who create technology, and without people to propagate the usage of new technology, technology wouldn’t be able to act on it’s own. This is an idea that Grusin reminds the theorist who believe in the prior technical fallacy to remember.

The use of electronic writing in the 21st century accomplishes great feats. It connects us through social media, links, and the idea of hypertexts adds layers to text that allows the reader to explore different avenue of ideas, knowledge, and work. Grusin says that electronic writing is remarkable, because of its capability to connect. He says in his essay, “What is an Electronic Author? Theory and the Technological Fallacy,” “I am confident that we will begin to realize that what finally makes electronic writing so remarkable is not its immateriality but rather its power to marshal such a diversity of material, cultural, and technological forces” (53). The harboring of ideas is one that has been promoted in schools, businesses, and any organization on the fringe of growth. While technology is rapidly progressing, one would think that the benefits of technology, in the form of knowledge, would benefit the majority. But unfortunately that is not the case.

Even with the innovations in technology that infiltrate the classrooms, education is still not equal. This is one of the ideas that Richard Grusin touches on in his essay. It is also the concern that piqued my interest the most. He explains how Landow, an enthusiast for electronic writing in education, believes that education will be enhanced by technology, because it will create new types of students. Students not reliant on outdated textbook and limited by the confinements of a classroom. He says with innovations like interactive video and text programs and electronic text books, new “self directed” students will emerge. While this idea is splendid, and it is a dream for the progression of education, Grusin makes a point in stating that we can not look over the fact that education is not democratizing. It is unequal, because there are people who don’t have the resources to make their classroom technologically savvy. That being said, I can first handily see the consequences of thinking that education is equal all around.

I come from an urban high school that was no where near as financed as the surrounding suburban schools. It was small, and it did not have iPads or laptops for its students, the school had about 50-80 computers for 300 students, there was an intercom that worked when it wanted, and the wifi was not accessible to students. This caused a disparity between the academic success of my peers, and students from schools that were well resourced. Even with the macs and smart boards we did have, we still weren’t as academically rigorous or innovative as other local schools. This leads me to a concern that Grusin mentioned that Landow had: institutions aren’t as concerned with pedagogy as they should. Landow stated some institutes are more concerned with prestige. Yes, this is one reason why the process of teaching wouldn’t be a main focus, but in my case, my school was more concerned about not being shut down, and simply surviving. Either way, schools can not democratize education with technology until they are equal in all senses. Furthermore we can’t place all of the weight on technology when we are an integral part in the process, as Grusin states.

Technology and electronic writing are powerful tools, Grusin makes that clear. So while it would seem we are the obstacle of technology, that is not the case. I believe technology and people are interconnected in a sort of check and balance. We create the technology, we are the ones that spread its usage, and we are now becoming the ones to make sure everyone has access to it. Instead of assuming technology is its own agent, and we are only made apparent when there is an issue with it. We must remember we are the ones to propagate technology, and if we truly want to make an equal field for students and citizens to emerge themselves in we have to take responsibility of the technology we create instead of putting all of the weight onto technology itself.

Food for Thought: Blog followers, what do you think? Do you think that we blame technology for issues we may have? Or overly praise it for the success we have? A good starting point for answering this is to look at the stigmas around social media, technology, and the youth. I know the generation of my parents (40s-50s) love to say that the reason why some youth “act up” or are disconnected from moral values is because of the ideas propagated on TV, Facebook, and youtube. While they may have a valid concern, shouldn’t we look at the real root of the problem. The people who post and create these things? The ones who share and promote such behavior, and utilize technology, and the network of electronic writing for their benefit?

Link to Grusin’s essay: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/configurations/v002/2.3grusin.html

 

And here is a funny, but real, comic of equality in America.

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Status of The Week #2

“Did you know this city actually sleeps.
That the sidewalks of 14th street can be blank and barren.
Broadway can be silent and lonely.
And 5th ave can glisten without eyes to capture it.

Cause I’ve seen things only the back bone of this city will ever know.”

The Iconic “I Have a Dream Speech”

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

TALKBACK4Teens

The Iconic “I Have a Dream Speech”

This speech is a must-hear! At the link there is the text and audio. Please check it out. 

Use it to motivate yourself to make this world better. It may be 50 years later, but these words continue to resonate today. 

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Square with No Walls

Check out: Square with No Walls. It’s been updated!

Day 30 (12/21): 1 Corinthians 6:12

Freedom is discerning right from wrong.

Youth Evangelical Fellowship

1 Corinthians 6:12

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything.

Only 10 more days! Let’s keep running, seeking to know God.

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My dad is a police officer, while I’m proud to say this, my child hood was much different from the average kid. My dad was very protective of me and my brother and instilled in us a very overly cautious mentality.

You can only trust family.

Everyone is out to get you.

No traveling without us.

Don’t go over your friends house.

Don’t eat anyone else food no matter what, they’ll try to poison you.

Little things like this were repeated constantly in my household as a kid, and while his intentions were in the right place, the over-protectiveness didn’t allow me or my brother to grow. It actually had the opposite affect,  making the world seem very dark and scary to us.

Of-course we left, and by moving to Rochester I’ve gained more than I ever would of thought. Even though I don’t have his influence over me, I’m still very cautious and protective of my family. Little quirks that he taught me come out, but usually it’s the good ones, like watch your back, and make sure all the doors are lock.

Now that I plan on leaving fr college next year, and the possibility of going to NYC is more likely  I’m a little nervous when I think about my family. My lil brother is 16, but he is so shy and anti social that I fear he won’t be able to man the house while I’m gone. I wouldn’t have that concern if my mom had a boy friend or husband to be with her, but she doesn’t and Jamichael is going to be all that she has left. Which is worrisome. For example I went to bed super early one day (around 6) so it was just Jamichael up in the house, I wake up 2 in the morning and I’m walking around the house and I notice that the door was unlocked. Anything could of happened! Another time everyone in my family left the house and when we came home I see that they left a candle on surrounded by very flammable things.  Little things like this cause big problem and it worries me to think they are going to be all on their own next year. I get slightly queasy thinking about it. This is another topic I think I want to make a slam poem about, because while everyone’s afraid to leave and be on their own, I’m afraid to leave them on there own.

~Frazier

 

 

Protectiveness

Young, Blessed & Free?

So I’ve given up on the idea that this break was going to be wild and free. (Back in September I told myself I was going to be in a tropical island at this time of the year). That obviously didn’t work out, but I’m enjoying what I am doing. Easter, NYU acceptance, and my birthday, all of these things back to back. So I haven’t been bored at all, I can tell you that. Of course I have to weave in home work and my senior project into all the things that are going on. I’m trying to make the most out of this break before I go back, cause once I get back to school it’s AP boot camp, Glee club intensifies, the poetry slam process will begin and my senior project will be in its last phase. Whew, what a year it’s been, can’t believe we only have two months left. I can seriously say I’ve accomplished more this year then I have in any of my other years. True progress! I don’t really have much more to blog about, I’ve been in a anti blogging, anti social media, anti tell people about my life kind of mood lately. Anyway, have a good spring break blog followers!

~Frazier

The Golden and Dark Months Leading to the Future.

The next couple of months are going to be a plummet to the finish line. There are a lot of great things happening  in the next few months (scholarship notifications, college acceptance, friends getting into their colleges, prom, etc), but there are also a lot of stressful/nerve wrecking things (studying for and taking the AP English test, waiting to hear back from Gates and NYU, deciding where I’m going next year, and finishing up my senior project). With all of these things happening in the next two months I never have a bored day. NEVER. It’s kinda exciting having so many things on my plate, and I can only imagine what my years to come are going to be like. 

A majority of my friends applied to college later than me so they are all starting to hear back from their places now. I get so excited for my friends, I feel like a parent a lot of the times. It’s just that my senior class has been together since 7th grade, and it’s exciting to know that in a couple of months we are leaving to fulfill our dreams and make something out of our selves. All of our 15 years of education has prepared us for this. 

It just hit me last Thursday when I was sitting in staff meeting that I’m going to miss my school. School Without Walls is the first school that I’ve actually stayed with for more than two years. I moved a lot as a child, from different parts of Ohio, to different parts of Florida  to finally Rochester. This constant moving made me feel as though I was never really permanent in Rochester and that I’d move again. Well that feeling is finally start to settle as I look back and see that I’ve been in Rochester for almost five years and have made such close relationships with my peers, I will never forget this place or the people I’ve met. 

~Frazier

Abrupt Change in Mood

So as you can tell I changed the colors of my blog from hot red, to green and pink. After a great night of rest and thinking I realized everything I thought was REALLY important is really trivial. So I’m trying to wheel in the CHRISTmas spirit and although I’d rather have red on my blog I had to go with pink cause red mad everything hard to read. 

 

Have a great week my readers!

~Frazier 

The Day Before Break

An update on my senior project;

1. I’ve graded the homework and I must say it was fun editing the papers and providing feedback. Felt like a teacher.

2. At the meeting this Wednesday we start assging the assignments for actual publication for NWW’S December 18th publication.

3. Still in the process of meeting with Mrs. Bond to decide on publication format and what program I want to use.

`Frazier