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Technologies and the future of writing

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Technology and the future of writing addressed five major questions writers should think about in terms of how the writing process is changing. As the course comes to an end, I have taken these five questions and really put a lot of thought into the concept of writing and where it is headed. I remember getting our first computer lab in elementary school and being absolutely thrilled. Looking back, that was just the beginning of a long journey into technology. I could not imagine going through school without technology; computers and the internet, It makes life so much easier and everything is just a click away. Through this module, I have opened my eyes to the other tools available to students that can be helpful and extremely beneficial. Such sites like zite and feedly – tons of articles on any given topic set up to weed out the bad and excessive amounts of info to give you exactly what you are looking for. I generally use twitter everyday but within this class, it allowed me to use it in a whole new light and connect it to a blog that is accessible to anyone. Overall, using Web 2.0 tools and creating an information ecology allowed me to become a better writer through technology and better use sources to generate ideas. So, here is my final president summing all of that!

PLEASE WATCH AT 10 SECOND AUTOPLAY!

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Too Much Information

Classmate, blogger, and tweeter – Hillary Heck recently tweeted from the blog, Mind Shift linked to KQED homepage where you can find endless amounts of information through radio, television, blogs, articles, and so on. The particular blog post was titled – How Are Students Roles Changing in the New Economy of Information?

The title stood out to me while browsing through Twitter being as I am still a student and agree that the amount of information out there today is endless. The article stated that; “For students, this abundance of information means not only a changing role from the traditional classroom, but also a drastically different set of skills and expectations.”

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A reading done in class by Kevin Kelly claimed we are changing from book fluency to screen fluency and our students will need to learn and adapt to that. Many of which are already adapted perfectly fine and school is a bore to their daily lifestyles full of technology. But having all of the information at our fingertips and a click of a button away can be dangerous.

Students need to learn how to handle all of the information given to them. This is one of the main questions posed in our discussion of how writing is changing based on technology – how we handle the amount of information. We need to learn what to research, the correct way to do so, credible and non credible sources, and the consequences.

The article makes a point aside from the general idea of information, Shawn McCusker, author of the article writes; “At the core of finding and evaluating information from a wide variety of sources is the need to question and evaluate its validity to determine its true usefulness and worth. The student who actively challenges sources, as well as the thoughts and opinions of others in class, perches at the center of information processing. Social students excel in this environment as they collaborate and commingle ideas from individuals into greater community ideas, making them a potential asset to other students in their class rather than an interference.” As a future teacher, this could not have been worded any better.

 

How many iPhones will there be!?

Fellow tweeter and blogger, Shhannon Cahill recently tweeted from a popular site known as Zite – an article about the new and upcoming iPhone 6! Yes, iPhone six, already. According to Apple, the new iPhone will be their most massive iPhone launch yet! Personally, I think they say that about everything they launch but that’s just me.

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The above picture is the general idea and make of what an iPhone six will look like – similar to every other iPhone on the market. The article states, “In calendar year 2013, Apple sold 153.4 million iPhones, according to data the company revealed in quarterly earnings results.” Put that into perspective for a second.

Not much will be different with the upcoming iPhone other than the processing system, phone chip, and possibly the quality of the glass and camera. The usual stuff, as is every year. But this goes to show how dependent we are as Americans on technology and will do anything to have the latest and greatest out there.

When thinking of the newest iPhone, I automatically recall the Ferguson videos, Everything is a Remix. A remix is created from something that was preexisting and made to be better. An iPhone is just that, a remix of the previous version with new updates appealing to the target audience.

So why do we care, why do we have to have the remix of what we already have. We care  because we are dependent on technology and feel as though we need it on a daily bases to do just about everything. Checking emails, typing whatever it may be, texting, communicating, and so on. All of these things are done on a smart phone, an iPhone which was once done with paper and pen.

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What will the slogan be for the iPhone 6?

How many iPhones will there be before there is no more to remix?

Less Ink, More Money

 

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14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani came up with a brilliant idea on how the government and generally anyone who prints save tons of money. As many students know, when turning in a paper – most teachers generally as for Times New Roman font. Right? Right! Why, who knows  – because they can read it, it looks professional, who knows. But in reality, who cares what font you type in as long as it is done and people can read it but that is just my personal opinion.

Anyway, according to CNN Suvir’s idea started with the following, “interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, Suvir decided he was going to figure out if there was a better way to minimize the constant flurry of paper and ink.”

His study consisted of testing four different popular fonts; Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. Through his findings –  Suvir figured out that by using Garamond with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24%, and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually. Pretty amazing right!?

Through our class, we have been focusing on the impact technologies have on writing. Typing is done through a technology – the computer. As a college student, I type at least one paper a night and end up printing it in Times New Roman per professor request, so I could be saying myself millions (well maybe not millions but close)! This idea of changing from handwritten to typed and now from typed to printed but in a better way.

Bolter expresses the concept of writing in the late age of print and how the remediation of print is occurring. Typing and printing documents is something that is not foreign to us, we do it all the time. But when we do it, do we really think about what we are printing and if it is necessary? Speaking from personal experience, I work in an office where paper is endless and comes from every direction – we are trying to get away from that and move to online, emailing, and so on. The amount of pointless information we print is a joke and if we are going to do – lets save some money!

I think this concept of changing something so simple as a font type to save the government millions is brilliant, and it only took a 14 year old to figure it out! If the government could save that much money by changing something so small – what else can they save money on and put to better use?

Next time I get asked to type a paper, I will happily type it and print it not in Time New Roman but in Garamond. Just saved myself a few bucks! Think about it the next time you need to print something – is it worth printing, do you need it, if so save some trees and save yourself some ink and doing all that saves YOU money. Woohoo!

Trust through Viral Videos

“Trust is a confusing thing. It seems so simple, but when you try to pin it down, it can be so elusive.”

Over 200,000 views within a week of being on YouTube, this viral video generated by the acrobatic group Cirque du Soleil explains the power and luxury of trust. Realistically, we think what does acrobats have to do with trust and what is a video going to show us. We learn trust through our own personal experiences. Watching this video will better explain how important the concept of trust truly is. For an acrobat – without trust, they can not do their job or perform to standards.

The video is narrated by BuzzFeed EVP Ze Frank. Ze Frank does a sensational job conveying how the two acrobats rely on one another for trust and support throughout their routine. Cirque du Soleil is something people around the word pay good amounts of money to watch but do not know what effort it takes to produce such a thrilling show.

Trust is something we all know, some may have it, some may not but it is in our daily lives. We trust our cars to get us to and from everyday right? I trust that my cell phone will work whenever I need it to. Regardless of the situation – trust is there.

An anthropological introduction to YouTube by Michael Wesch explains the idea on YouTube and the communication between sharing information. He states in the video that the web is not just to share information but to link people together, in ways never thought of before. This video about trust links people together from all around the world because it is accessible on YouTube and now multiple other sites from sharing it. Trust is an idea we all have, as I said before and this video can help connect people that may have not been connected before.

Someone with trust issues could have easily watched this video and realized how important trust is in a relationship, friendship, etc. and grow from watching it on the Internet and move forward as a better person. We don’t normally think of that when we click something do we? We click it because we like the content or our friends shared it or we have to because of an assignment or work. The internet and viral videos that get shared amongst people are more than just videos.

Selfies!

Selfie_CaptureSelfie? Taking a picture of oneself and uploading it to social media. You can’t admit that you have never taken a selfie!? Everyone has by now, even if it was with your dog – he needs to be in the selfie world too! Anyway, selfie was Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2013 and has taken over the internet and social media sites one by one.

So what is the big deal with people taking selfies? Selfies became so popular that two artists joined forces with the help of a marketing firm to create a song and video that has taken the radio by storm. The video represents the idea of a “selfie” and our world we live in today that is taken over by social media. This video also represents how engrossed we truly are with the social networking idea and getting people to “like” or pay attention to what we post. See my previous blog, The Perfect Post if you want people to notice what you write. Take a look at the popular video.

The song based off of pictures we take of ourselves is a general representation of the modern day picture. Rarely do you see people pulling out cameras and asking others to take photos for them. It is much easier to click the button on your iPhone to turn the camera around to front view and snap a selfie. Try it, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

This idea of self portraits being the next big thing generates back to a video by Michael Wesch. The video explains how the machine, meaning the computer and the web is using us. Towards the end of this video, he explains that we need to rethink a few things based off of what we do on the internet. Things such as privacy, identity, authenticity, and so on. All of these things play a major role in posting selfies to a social media site accessible to just about anyone, anywhere, at any time.

When you post something, regardless if you delete it within minutes of it being posted – chances are someone, somewhere may have captured that within those few minutes. We do have capability to screen shot anything on a smart phone without the person knowing. Therefore, next time you post a selfie, think twice as to what you are posting and who is going to see that… but wait …. let me take a selfie 🙂

The perfect post?

Secrets to creating the perfect post!

The future of writing is rapidly changing with the help of technology. We all know that writing papers no longer consist of pulling out a piece of paper and a pen. When asked to write an essay for an assignment, I open a word document and start typing, the backspace button becomes my best friend. While browsing the web for anything viral to add to my posts, I stumbled across an article on Pinterest “Secrets to Creating the Perfect Status.” Initially, I scrolled right over it but I suddenly stopped and scrolled back up because I realized what the title said, is there such a thing as the perfect post or status? A post or a status is writing right? Writing with the help of technology?

Pinterst_CaptureIn my class, technologies and the future of writing – we use twitter. We use the social networking site to live tweet what we are talking about in class, tweet questions and comments about homework articles and videos as well as tweet topics related to our blogs (mine being viral). Twitter is a major aspect to this class and a huge part of communicating and getting information. The idea of the perfect post – facebook, twitter, pinterst, and Google are all social media networking sites that contain tons of different information. So what exactly is the right or wrong thing to post? Is it original? Do others judge you by your posts?

Twitter_CaptureThere is a such thing called “digital citizenship” that contains nine elements pertaining to the concept of what should and should not be of the digital citizen. K. Ferguson created four short videos that explain the idea that everything is a remix. Remix meaning to combine or edit existing materials to produce something new. Keeping with this idea of a remix, are our posts and statuses a remix of something prior? Retweets are remixes, pinning something you like on pinterest is a remix, and sharing a status on facebook is also remixing.

The article suggest that there are a few main ideas that perfect post should contain such as providing information, sharing vst when browsing social media sites. Speaking for myself, I rarely use Facebook but enjoy reading about other people. I tweet almost everyday and remain in contact with my friends and the latest celebrities and artists I enjoy. And lastly, pinterest is my escape from reality to like and “re-pin” things I like or wish to do and or see. So I guess you could say everything is a remix on social media sites. Whether you are tweeting, posting, or updating a status – reading someone else’s – or sharing something of someone else’s; it is all a REMIX!

Is Writing A Technology ?

“Each technology of writing involves different materials or different ways of deploying the writing materials and the differences are significant (Bolter, 19).” Jay David Bolter is Director of the Wesley New Media Center and Wesley Chair of New Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bolter focuses on writing about new media and constructs new digital media forms. He does a great deal of comparing and contrasting modern day writing forms to the origins of writing.

According to the Greeks, the root word for technology is “techne” known as an art or craft, a set of rules, or system and methods of making and doing art and craft (Bolter, 15.)” In our world today we see technology as something with a screen or a plug, something containing electricity or battery of some sort. What we fail to realize is that writing itself is the biggest technology of all and without the original concept, we would not be producing the content we are capable of now.

Bolter expresses in his article, “Writing in the late age of Print” that we are refashioning the voice of text. He also speaks about how writing is an art and technology is improving the way writing was once designed. Speaking in terms of college, everything I do is on a computer and nothing is hand written or produced from scratch. When asked to write a “rough draft” for a course, I do not pull out paper and pen and begin to write, I simply open Microsoft Word and begin typing on a blank document. Backspace and delete are the new form of erasers. The refashioning of the voice of text poses the question of homogeneity and the idea of writings being similar and comparable.

Take this class for example, Introduction to Writing Arts, the history, the technology, and the issues of writing. Throughout this class, we explore each of those three content areas with the common theme of writing and how it has and continues to change. Module one explained the ideas behind writing and what originated it and how we got to this place of writing today. Module two, my current module relates writing to the modern day world of writing, with the help of technology. I no longer need to write a paper by hand or check out books from the library for research, it is now available with the click of a button. Granted, what Bolter expressed about homogeneity is true, many things online are similar but we must learn as students and humans of the technological world to pick out those few substantial pieces of writing.

“The best way to understand electronic writing today is to see it as the remediation of printed text… the qualities that distinguish electronic writing from print, flexibility and interactivity become the bases of the enthusiasts’ claims that the computer can improve the printed book” stated Bolter in his article “Writing is Technology.” In short, this finalizing statement sums up the concept of writing today and how technology will engage more people to become active writers through flexibility and inveracity of writing.

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