Agenda: Class 5

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

"If anything, these distractions have begun to serve an almost accidental function: They give people a false sense of shrewdness. Once anyone penetrates the Net's first few layers of junk, it's easy to think that the hard work has been done and that whatever information remains should be relatively solid. When it comes to learning the principles of academic research, nothing could be further from the truth." --Oppenheimer, p. 156

"And this is where I begin. The questions for the future are not whether children will love their robot companions more than their pets or even their parents. The questions are rather, What will love be? And what will it mean to achieve ever-greater intimacy with our machines? Are we ready to see ourselves in the mirror of the machine and to see love as our performances of love?" --Turkle, p. 138

"Nurturance was the killer app for robotics. Tending the robots incited our engagement. There is a parallel for the networked life. Always on and (now) always with us, we tend the Net, and the Net teaches us to need it." --Turkle, p. 154

"I have come to value the few remaining quiet places in the world. They remind us that there are things that must be thought about in the privacy of one's own mind, not in the presence of fragmented, graphical interfaces, or chattering printers, or beeping, blinking video displays. Thought about--with an investment of interpretive effort and critical skill, not simply, passively registered as a stimulus or clicked-on like a hypertext button." Roszak, p. 200

"The self shaped in a world of rapid response measures success by calls made, e-mails answered, texts replied to, contacts reached. This self is calibrated on the basis of what technology proposes, by what it makes easy. But in the technology-induced pressure for volume and velocity, we confront a paradox. We insist that our world is increasingly complex, yet we have created a communications culture that has decreased the time available for us to sit and think uninterrupted. As we communicate in ways that ask for almost instantaneous responses, we don’t allow sufficient space to consider complicated problems." --Turkle, p. 166

"Apps are great if they take care of ordinary stuff and thereby free us to explore new paths, form deeper relationships, ponder the biggest mysteries of life, forge a unique and meaningful identity. But if apps merely turn us into more skilled couch potatoes who do not think for ourselves, or pose new questions, or develop significant relationships, or fashion an appropriate, rounded, and continually evolving sense of self, then the apps simply line the road to serfdom, psychologically speaking."  --Gardner & Davis, pp. 9-10

"In the psychological terms just introduced, we can see apps either as the latest shaping technology in the repertoire of the behavioral psychologist or educator, or as a technological lever for inducing the kind of exploration endorsed by the constructivist psychologist or educator." --Gardner & Davis, p. 31

"With respect to identity formation: Apps can short-circuit identity formation, pushing you into being someone else’s avatar (that of your parents, your friends, or one formulated by some app producer)—or, by foregrounding various options, they can allow you to approach identity formation more deliberately, holistically, thoughtfully. You may end up with a stronger and more powerful identity, or you may succumb to a prepackaged identity or to endless role diffusion.

   With respect to intimacy: Apps can facilitate superficial ties, discourage face-to-face confrontations and interactions, suggest that all human relations can be classified if not predetermined in advance—or they can expose you to a much wider world, provide novel ways of relating to people, while not preventing you from shutting off the devices as warranted—and that puts YOU in charge of the APPS rather than vice versa. You may end up with deeper and longer-lasting relations to others, or with a superficial stance better described as cool, isolated, or transactional.

   With respect to imagination: Apps can make you lazy, discourage the development of new skills, limit you to mimicry or tiny trivial tweaks or tweets—or they can open up whole new worlds for imagining, creating, producing, remixing, even forging new identities and enabling rich forms of intimacy."

--Gardner & Davis, pp. 32-33

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This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: February 10, 2015