I am one of ten faculty fellows participating in an NEH-funded seminar on Technology, Self, and Society at LaGuardia. Today we’ll have the first meeting where we delve into the material – we are responding to Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together. While reading Turkle I was also hearing Cathy Davidson’s remarks during our Opening Sessions. I found Davidson’s talk particularly engaging and important, especially as an educator at a community college. In my mind, we should be thinking of ways to use technology and social media to enhance collaborative and democratic practices in our classrooms rather than eschewing it wholesale.
An excerpt from my thoughts over at the seminar blog:
Davidson argued that standardized testing forces us to be “silent and alone,” not technology: she sees the digital as an exciting space for collaboration and connectedness, defying the restrictions on time and individual labor set in place by the Industrial Age. For Turkle, digital technology is instead what makes us “silent and alone.” Technology can subvert capitalism and its resulting alienation, or can be used to support it.
I imagine we’ll have an interesting and productive conversation during our meeting later this afternoon, because there are certainly a variety of opinions on Turkle’s arguments shared on the blog.