Excuse the confusing title; I just found the concept of “Shift” on the keyboard being used for a single instance of alteration as opposed to “Caps Lock” referring to a more permanent or continuing alteration to be relevant to the idea that we, as a race, are moving into an age of technology that continually develops rather than a movement that can be defined by a single shift.
This being the first blogging assignment of the course, I am not quite sure as of yet as to how these posts should be structured, how formal or informal they are allowed or expected to be, and in general what exactly is to be included. And so, I would just like to apologize here and now if my post does not follow the expected guidelines.
The three articles presented to us, “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, “The Coming Apocalypse”, and “Learning to think in a digital world”, by Nicholas Carr, Richard E. Miller, and Maryanne Wolf respectively, all discuss the issue of the influence of the Internet on humanity. While the three articles do differ in their points and arguments, they all relate to the concept that the Internet is providing humans with more means of access to information and communication than ever before. In the articles “Is Google Making Us Stupid” and “Learning to think in a digital world”, both authors appear to find it heavily important to retain the ability to delve into “deep reading” and furthermore “deep thinking”. These abilities are attributed to the process of learning to slowly sift through and comprehend text that is not easily skimmed through and thrown about at the click of a button. As Maryanne Wolf puts it, “Children need to have both the time to think and the motivation to think for themselves, to develop an expert reading brain, before the digital mode dominates their reading.” Here, the authors Maryanne Wolf and Nicholas Carr slightly differ. Carr appears to have a desire for all readers to constantly maintain this ability to delve deep into texts whereas Wolf appears to place the importance of this ability in the fact that it segues children into the masses of text on the Internet, so as to prevent them from losing all appreciation for actual text and digestion. On the other hand, Miller appears completely indifferent to this alteration in the functioning of our minds. Rather, he appears to have a strong distaste for the overuse of “prehistoric” texts in education. He goes so far as to say, “The message of the middle-school language arts curriculum is quite clear: literature is a refuge for those who cannot contend with the present.” Miller makes this claim on the reality that the Internet has created a possibility for global exploration and development, even from a classroom, and appears incited by the fact that it is not utilized in almost any educational institution.
Of the three authors, Carr appears to be the most opposed to this movement into an age of the Internet, Wolf appears somewhat reluctant, and Miller appears to strongly advocate it. Personally, growing up in a generation where utilization of both texts and the Internet has become an integral part of my life I can relate to the arguments made by Maryanne Wolf. I feel that developing the ability for deep reading has helped to deter some of the superficiality found in skimming articles online and has helped me retain a sense of deeper comprehension when reading. However, I feel that this is the only point made by both Carr and Wolf that is relevant, and even then, to the individual at most. They both discuss the usage of the brain and our developing of skills found from browsing and reading texts that are bound rather than online, but nowhere is it found that browsing and reading online promotes any sort of growth that is less useful or applicable than what is developed through text reading. Carr simply appears afraid of change. Miller, on the other hand, brings to the table the idea that this movement into an age of the Internet allows for the globalization of education and access to a web of never ending thoughts from individuals everywhere. I agree strongly with Miller’s idea that education needs to be modernized as technology progressively develops; instead of opposing change because of ritual, we should take advantage of these technologies because they are what should be integrated into everyday life.
Living in a time where breakthroughs in technology are a daily occurrence, I suppose I have grown unwary of just how profound the effects of technology are on society. However, even so, it is clear to me just how dependent the generation that I am a part of is on technology and the Internet; observing younger children I often take notice of at how early an age they begin their technological trek into the endless universe of the Internet as well as other electronic devices. Even to me, I sometimes find it astounding at just how young an age children begin exploring these outlets as sources of entertainment. Ultimately, I feel that the development of technology and the Internet is beneficial to society as a whole, but impacts each individual uniquely.
Neither of these images really support my arguments, but I found them somewhat relevant and entertaining.