Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The relationship between Turke and Wesch

Turkle shared many interesting observations about technology's impact on interpersonal relationships. The most fascinating I thought was about the relationship we have with ourselves. Does technology hinder our ability to cope with being alone - not being lonely - but with being alone and knowing ourselves and our own wants and desires?

The suggestion I appreciated most was to spend some time each day to disconnect, regroup, and process our own wants and desires. This is an important part of self-development in order to better connect with others.

Wesch is more concerned with technology as a tool to make education relevant - something more than a checklist students have to address. So he is concerned with fostering meaningful conversations and interactions among his students, but using technology to do so. His methodology reminded me of the activity we did in class - researching the princesses and filling in the graphic organizer as a group. He uses it to create more interaction and thought among his students by the way of longer term projects. And this is the beauty of technology - people like Wesch seem to be manipulating it to meet the ever changing needs of students who rely it for everything.

It seems that both Turkle and Wesch are more connected than disconnected in terms of adapting how we interact with technology. Wesch is concerned about utilizing it in to its fullest advantage in the classroom as a tool to create more meaningful interactions. What is the significance of a seminar room for 500 people when information exists already at the touch of a few buttons and clicks? The way he is recreating his classroom environment is brilliant, tapping into the collectivist approach that technology naturally breeds. I see that Turkle is also concerned with environment in relationship to technology - but interpersonal - not academic - environments. The solutions about unplugging and disconnecting in order to connect more to others is what will ultimately sustain who we are as humans - not a robot or piece of machinery. The alternative is a scary place - a world that is soo heavily reliant and dependent upon technology that interacting in a meaningful way with someone is awkward and something (as the 16 year old put it) that has to be eventually learned.

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