Tag Archives: internet

To Be Or Not To Be, Internet Is The Question

20 Nov

Bolter makes many valid points that can relate easily to the Elementary Education field. In today’s classroom, many students use different technologies on a daily basis to further the implications and real life connections from that day’s lesson. But in order to respond to a blog, for example, or do outside research, they need to understand the act of writing itself, and the overall product. In addition, for many students, the Internet and Web are the spaces in which they write and express themselves, whereas in other parts of the world throughout different times, students had different means of expression (papyrus, bound paper). The demands for paper bound books are decreasing immensely, and as Bolter writes, “communities of readers help to define the properties of the writing space by the demands they place on the space and technology.”

I do not, however, think that students value their own minds as a writing space, based on my observations in my field experiences. They see the computer as an endless pool of ideas, instead of using the Web to further their own ideas. At times, I think using the computer as a resource actually masks the knowledge each student possesses, and instead has them using previous concepts as their own. Students should be taught to write independently, using outside sources as support instead of a base. Technology also creates a separate area for students to share their ideas, and add to them based on viewer feedback. The revision process seems to be largely emphasized with Internet based learning, as seen on Wikipedia pages, or even with the quick response of a teacher’s email. Students have the opportunity to receive quick and efficient feedback from outside sources to correct information and enhance the learning experience. This seems to encourage collaborative learning. They can also use writing as a means of social interaction, in addition to a writing space, which I think most students are familiar with. Using blog posts and Facebook related assignments in place of pen and paper relate more to students today, and this may be where the writing space and the writers’ minds connect.

Completely opposing my view above, I do think that the Internet and Web provide a valuable learning space for many different learners. Visual, musical, verbal- every type of learner can be addressed within Internet based differentiated learning.  In my field experiences, the many uses of technology have positively impacted the classroom environment. Document cameras aid visual impairments, mathematics online learning programs assist those with verbal difficulties and SmartBoards encourage bodily kinesthetic learning.

Bolter also questions this new writing space’s effectiveness of communicating ideas to society, and I, myself cannot chose a side.  Collaboratively of course, the Internet poses a great space to add on to whatever is already out there. But individually, it could pose a problem to the classroom if students are using others’ ideas as a jumping off point for their own purpose. While this “new” writing space allows many different discourse communities to make connections to one another, individuality and credibility becomes limited with the expansion of the web.