Agenda: Class 5

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

"These issues of apparent choice and consent always need to be examined in the context of circumstances that people may not be choosing; from this broader standpoint, the apparent voluntariness of certain choices might be questioned." --Burbules & Callister, p. 128

"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

"The ability to understand how context, audience, and identity intersect is one of the central challenges people face in learning how to navigate social media." --Boyd, p. 30

"Teens are struggling to make sense of who they are and how they fit into society in an environment in which contexts are networked and collapsed, audiences are invisible, and anything they say or do can easily be taken out of context." --Boyd, p. 53

"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

"Privacy is not a static construct. It is not an inherent property of any particular information or setting. It is a process by which people seek to have control over a social situation by managing impressions, information flows, and context.... Privacy is valuable because it is critical for personal development. As teenagers are coming of age, they want to feel as though they matter. Privacy is especially important for those who are marginalized or lack privilege within society. Teenagers have not given up on privacy, even if their attempts to achieve it are often undermined by people who hold power over them. On the contrary, teens are consistently trying out new ways of achieving privacy by drawing on and modernizing strategies that disempowered people have long used. Rather than finding privacy by controlling access to content, many teens are instead controlling access to meaning." --Boyd, p. 76

"Privacy has a politics. For many, the idea 'we're all being observed all the time anyway, so who needs privacy?' has become commonplace. But this state of mind has a a cost."--Turkle, p. 262

"When we live a large part of our personal lives online, these complex empathetic transactions become more elusive. We get used to getting less." --Turkle, p. 234

"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

"If I have learned one thing from my research, it’s this: social media services like Facebook and Twitter are providing teens with new opportunities to participate in public life, and this, more than anything else, is what concerns many anxious adults." --Boyd, p. 10

"What is new is the way in which social media alters and amplifies social situations by offering technical features that people can use to engage in these well-established practices." --Boyd, p. 13

"Nostalgia gets in the way of understanding the relation between teens and technology. Adults may idealize their childhoods and forget the trials and tribulations they faced." --Boyd, p. 16

"Most teens are not compelled by gadgetry as such—they are compelled by friendship." --Boyd, p. 18

Return to ET690 Home Page.

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

Last Updated: September 28, 2015