Monday, July 6, 2015

Wesch and Turkle

I found Sherry Turkle's argument in "The Flight from Conversation" and Michael Wesch's argument in "Crisis of Significance" to be independent of one another. Turkle is making a statement on society as a whole while Wesch is specifically targeting classroom structures. In addition to this, Wesch talks little of technology at all. His focus is how to maximize student product rather than what tools we use to get there. 

If I had to place them into boxes of technology advocates or technology nay-sayers, I would put Wesch as an advocate and Turkle as a nay-sayer. Turkle found that technology is keeping us from living. She feels it limiting conversational skills and lessening a need for actual companionship. Although Wesch does not explicitly discuss technology in his article, he does focus on creating relevance in the classroom and making students into producers. These two mind sets oppose one another in terms of technology use.

I am hesitant, however, to categorize them this way. If they are these categories then I, as an educator, need to chose a side. This polarity is difficult to decide between. I fully agree with Wesch's ideas to make students invested in content by changing the way we teach to make classwork more relevant and functional. However, I also agree with Turkle's view that the world is relying too heavily on technology and losing touch with interpersonal skills. I feel that discussion and technology can be taught alongside each other rather than as two opposing realms.

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