Evolution of the Technologically Challenged
So it’s not a full draft, but i’m hoping y’all will be able to see where i’m going with this. I’m new to Prezi and i’m learning all of its features as I go along, so right now what I have is not….fantastic. Here is how I will continue:
- Examples of technology/media/digital literacy, that we went through over the semester.
- Then there will be an implementation section- In this section i’ll cover the DALN, digital edition, etc.
- The last element that I know I want to have is an “in the end” section
- I also need to incorporate the video elements
Please please please please give suggestions.
So my original idea came to a screeching halt and I am forced to consider other options. I’m trying to get excited about this new idea but my heart kind of belongs to the old one….
What i’m considering now is an ‘Evolution of the Technologically Challenged’ theme. I’ve always been very basic with my computer/technology skills but this class has taught me a lot. I want to show how a class like Cyber Rhetoric can comfortably ease someone like myself into the world of technology. To be quite frank I had never done a screenshot until a few weeks ago…
I don’t know what format this is going to take yet but I want to include a before and after element. For instance I might include the technologies I used before this class and then the software/techniques I have learned along the way.
These are some of the examples I would like to explore. Becoming proficient in a variety of software/technology is increasingly important, and courses like ours introduce and strengthen these skills.
Any thoughts/suggestions/better ideas are always welcome.
After reading the chapters from Murray and Hayles the ideas that stuck with me created a bit of irony.
In chapter 10 Murray goes through a range of points about medium comparisons and the further complexity of narrative in the digital realm. Murray goes so far as to not only compare the print medium, but television and movies. The more we are able to manipulate plot and character development with technology the more possibilities narrative will have. The point that stuck out to me the most though was about the immediate perspective on new mediums. There has been backlash of some kind on new forms of narrative all the way back to the shift from oral communication to the written word, and the basic written word to mass production of books. With each new form the immediate perspective for some seems to be that this new way of expressing thoughts and stories is somehow inferior to the old way. As history has shown time tends to integrate each new form. Murray highlights this point by comparing reading to television.
“The very act of watching television is routinely dismissed as inherently inferior to the act of reading, regardless of content.”
In chapter 5 Hayles does a great job of showing the effects of technology on the way stories are conveyed in the print medium. I personally loved her explanation of the choices used in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. When I read the book it never occurred to me that Foer’s use of spaces between words to portray static was a reflection of technology on literature. We consider the print medium to be separate from the digital medium (with the exception of production and distribution) but the books Hayles looks at show that the lines have been blurred.
I find it funny that digital narrative and technology are still considered a new medium, and yet print is incorporating them. Some might say that reading a novel is superior to reading\viewing\interacting with narrative through digital technology, and yet these forms are now reflected in print.
The topic of technology’s integration into our way of life seems to be mirrored in both the Murray and Hayles selections. Technology has integrated so seamlessly into our lives, thought processes, behaviors, and instincts that it is sometimes difficult to separate it from ourselves. I imagine a scenario where all computers, cell phones, ipods, etc. are gone and the sheer frustration and panic that would ensue. We would reach for the phone and the computer out of habit\instinct to communicate and to understand, but we would be left empty handed. It would seem like a part of us has failed.
How would be react?
Hayles brings up computer errors as a reality check of sorts. When we receive an error message it is a way of “puncturing the illusion that the human life-world remains unchanged by its integration with intelligent machines (Hayles 137). We only recognize the complexity of technology and its distinction as something separate from ourselves when it no longer works. She goes on to describe our reactions to the computer as part of body knowledge. We react to these beeps and error message automatically, and we usually correct the problem without much thought. Machines are complicated but they have become such a part of us that our interactions with them are like breathing. When I think about the number of times I fix small glitches with my computer and printer it amazes me to realize how little thought I put into it. The problem may boil down to a code problem, or input, etc. all of which I don’t understand, and yet I fix it automatically with a click of a button.
In his article The End of Books Robert Coover brings up the never ending debate over the extinction of books by hypertext. I choose to look at this article through the lens of integration. Hypertext and online narrative are working their way into our every day lives and becoming so common that their use is evolving to instinct. Instead of looking for the physical copy of a narrative most of us automatically turn to the internet to find the electronic version. If books are on their way out maybe this is why\how.
I must admit I do love the responses to Coover’s article. There are others who share my sentiments.
In short, Robert Coover and all others who predict hypertext’s eventual outdoing of linear forms of written communication should be loaded onto a rocket and shot to the moon with limited supplies of oxygen and Tang.
J. E. EDWARDS
Hyperfiction’s champions aren’t the first self-styled revolutionaries threatening to liberate other people from their pleasures, but they make one of the weakest cases. The end of books will come only when readers abandon novels for the deconstructed stories of hypertext, and that exodus is strictly a fiction.
Shifting Away From Literacy?
I thought the extinction of books was horrifying…but the end of literacy? No need to read or write? With the technology available to us I fear that is an unfortunate possibility. In his article Ben Bova: Knowledge really is power — for better or for worse, Ben Bova brings up supposed reversed trends in literacy, audio books, and other digital devices. Bova points out that a combination of: failing to learn how to read and write properly, and the technology to replace it has the potential to make literacy unnecessary. It’s a scary possibility. We already have audio books to ‘read’ books to us, and software available to record our voices; will we really choose to go down that road? If literacy is indeed going out the window I think it will take many years of developing technology and shifting perceptions of education and communication for it to happen.
We are already seeing huge changes in communication and conveying information. In the article A Graphic Text, Wojciechowska discusses the creation of a textbook into graphic novel form. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed or the use of graphic novels in classrooms outside of art and design. I personally think it is new, inventive, and creative, but I think it has its place among traditional textbooks rather than in place of them. I think the integration of information this graphic novel uses is incredibly beneficial, but that there is something to be said about the ability to understand information without such a simplifying tool. We should use both and let them compliment each other.
When I initially read these two articles my thoughts went straight to Tumblr. I’ll be the first to admit that I love Tumblr, and spend far too much time scrolling through gifs and memes. Tumblr is a prime example of the shift in communication and literacy. Tumblr allows individuals to post their thoughts, expand fandoms, and express themselves through images and video clips. Just recently I wrote a paper for an English class in blog form using gifs. When I think about that it boggles my mind. Tumblr seems to be developing its own language even. When i’m upset I find myself saying, “I have lost the ability to can, there is no can left”. If i’m conveying this feeling to a friend I may post a gif like this on their Facebook wall:
I have even used a meme to convey my confusion about a reading in this class. The use of gifs, memes, and ‘Tumblr talk’ allows us a form of communication that does not require correct grammar or even full sentences. Teachers are seeing students write in text message form and I feel like ‘Tumblr talk’ is not far behind. I guess i’m at a crossroads. I love Tumblr, I love the ease of not having to be correct all the time, I think gifs and memes are funny and creative, but that they have the potential to lessen our ability to communicate traditionally.
There were quite a few points that struck me in these chapters. Murray brings up everything from the intricacy of narratives from authors like Tolkien on our expectations of internet narrative, the barrier users need between fantasy and reality, the balance of detail and freedom with this barrier, navigation, etc. There was a lot to sift through.
One point that we’ve talked about in class, authorship, was presented\worded in a way that I had not quite considered.
The interactor is not the author of the digital narrative, although the interactor can experience one of the most exciting aspects of artistic creation-the thrill of exerting power over enticing and plastic materials. This is not authorship but agency.
This quote from Murray comes from Chapter 5 Agency on the very last page. Up to this point Murray talks about the various aspects of the user’s experience with gaming and narrative. With all of the options with MUD and LARP it seemed very much to me that those playing the game have a great deal of authorship. Apparently not? I made the very mistake Murray points out in this quote. Games like LARP give interactors so much freedom it can be hard to realize that rules and structure were already in place before people began to play the game. No matter how many choices a gamer has to change directions, costumes, and even plots he\she is not the author. On page 153 Murray likens the procedural author to a choreographer and the gamer to a dancer who improvises with the steps and rhythms provided for them.
Thinking about Murray’s quote and analogy I consider one thing in particular; all of the components of the online narrative Murray discussed in these chapters show how to create an interactive experience that makes the gamer feel like the author. Creating an online narrative requires more than good layout or coding, it requires serious thought on the balance between fantasy and reality. A good online narrative mirrors the conventions of reality while allowing users the freedom to add their own imagination.
I liked the categories we already had in place for the class heuristic and thought they would be useful for the last two projects. The IML Honors Thesis Heuristic is composed of a few broad categories that cover the necessary elements but leave a great deal of freedom for the student. I thought this would be a good structure to use.
- Content is more important than length
- Analysis is more important than summary
- No technical problems (make sure everything works the way it should)
- Make use of: color, framing, organization, alignment, proximity, and sequence based on form you use
- Must have logical reasoning for layout and other content choices
- Website\blog\video, etc. must be easy to use
- Does the purpose of the project make sense?
- Include specific references to the text you are using – i.e. quote the text or include a page number
- Include links for sources outside of the required reading
- When in doubt, include some form of citation
- Use links, citations, etc. for borrowed images, clips, layouts, etc. not just text
- Write for a specific audience, even if it is a general audience
- Keep in mind the “unintended” readers – this is a public blog! (others will have access to the project via the link on your wordpress)
Grammar and Mechanics:
- Proofread for readability
- Remember that this is a 500-level writing class!