Collaborative Bolter Response

Technology has come a long way in a short time. Some of the technologies that have come along can amaze people. Sometimes it’s funny that those technologies amaze people because people have made predictions as to what they think new technologies will bring. Will printed text be able to compete with these new technologies? Bolter states, “Although printed books, newspapers, and magazines can and do combine graphics with text, new digital media seem often to favor graphics at the expense of text” (6). The problem is that digital media can show video, animation, etc. that printed text can’t. Writing is a technology that has come a long way in a short time. People guessed we would be doing all kinds of crazy things with technologies and writing and look where we are. We have all kinds of technologies with writing .

Bolter discusses these technologies with writing in books. Two of the possible technologies he mentions have not only been created, but are in frequent use today. These being the “specialized devices styled as electronic books” and the “system whose flat screen display is built into the top of a desk or lectern…where the writer can work directly by applying a light pen instead of typing at a keyboard” (p. 8). They can have pictures that move and interact with the reader. Does this mean the demise of paper books? This could be a big problem for old school teachers where they have maybe hundreds of books in their classroom. While new teachers, or soon to be teachers think of a classroom full of technology and less books. In the Bolter article, he quotes,” It is time to see how it could be applied to education and the development of virtual classes in the fullest sense as wraparound environments for learning where students as telepresences can see, hear, touch, and perhaps one day even smell and taste.” ( Tiffin & Rajasingham, 1995, p.7)  This could be a very interesting advancement in technology for the classroom in the future. This could allow sick students to be able to participate in class.

You are able to see that even with the change in writing with technology, each new development incorporates the technology and knowledge from the previous one. All writing has different technologies in which they are used or the materials that are used. In a classroom, this could be a good or bad things for a teacher. It could be bad, because as new technologies come out, the teacher has to keep up with those technologies to be able to teach with them. It could be good because it allows the teacher to teach in different ways and giving students more opportunities to understand the material by learning it in different ways. Also, costs of certain writing materials could be a factor.

As you can see, that is just one small aspect where writing and technology have changed ,in a classroom. The technology in writing will continue to change and teachers, along with students  will have to keep up.  Technology and writing have come a long way in many aspects. They will both continue to change tremendously throughout time, too.

Yet, despite these changes, books still have not been entirely replaced, and they do not seem to be on their way out just yet, either. I agree with Bolter’s statement that books have a more unified, singular voice, and perhaps they still hold a bit more authority than the constantly fluctuating Internet. I know that some people, particularly those of my parent’s generation, it seems, have a hard time accepting that the Internet has much validity in terms of reliability or truthfulness. Instead, they turn to books as sources of fact and sureness, and perhaps this will always be the case.

The Internet’s allowance for multiple authors and remote contribution of material does leave vulnerability when it comes to fact checking. The possibility still stands that this may change, however. As was previously mentioned, the Internet is still rapidly evolving, probably more quickly than most realize. So, this particular weakness may be eradicated sometime in the near future. However, it is also possible that people still may cling to physical print, or that it may in some way evolve to match the digital world. To sum up Bolter’s argument, the future of writing is really unknown. With the qualities of digital media, it is safe to say that text has become “hypertextual”.


One response to “Collaborative Bolter Response

  1. I agree with what you said about teachers having to keep up with the new technologies which would in turn mean that students need to mold themselves to these technologies as well. With technology having an important place in the classroom in today’s educational system, I wonder how it will affect us when we become teachers. Will our role be decreased? Or will it be increased as we have to teach our students to use these new technologies to further facilitate learning?

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