Thursday, October 09, 2008

Technology is not one

JBJ over at The Salt Box offers a nice little reminder that no one technology is "the" answer. Rather, they're all tools, yeah? Technologies of possibility. Technes. Rhetorical. An excerpt:

Anyway, all of this is to say that if you give me a goal, I can tell you why I prefer one form to another. I prefer wikis to blogs for my class notes assignment, for instance, because that assignment focuses on the public, shared work of the class. The collaborative nature of wikis is good for that. In cases where I want students to develop, over the course of a period of time (a month, a semester), a perspective on a topic, or when I want them to roleplay in an interpretative game–well, a blog sounds better for those tasks, since it’s probably going to be organized chronologically. But I cannot tell you, abstractly, why one tool is always better than another.

Now that Bloglines decided the other day that it was time to clean out my feeds, I'm keeping up a little better with my subscriptions. So now maybe that will feed (yes, riffing off yellow dog) my blogging again. Goal: blog more frequently. Tool: RSS feeds.


comoprozac said...


Juanita said...

I'm loving having a Ning for our class, a closed, invitation-only, Facebook-like environment on the web where we can share our concerns and questions, and no one who isn't one of us can fault us for thinking the way we do. So, my vote for best tool to use is ... well, Ning for a closed space, a wiki for a group project, a blog for a continuing conversation ... I agree that there's no one technological tool that's the answer.

Praxis Teaching Solutions said...

Technological tools are not made for people who speak more than one language, and there are many of us: immigrants, travellers, polyglots, emerging market facilitators, people from smaller language communities … In fact, people who are not Anglo-Saxon frequently use more than one language.

But technology is not made for us.

Although computers have operating systems in many languages, once you have chosen one of them you are completely locked in: support in any other language means going through complicated menus that are usually not immediately reachable and that have way too many options (e.g. every time I change my spell check language I have to select between ALL languages, not just between those that I actually speak); key widgets are available in the main OS language only (try installing an English language Apple dictionary/thesaurus on your Mac, while also installing an Italian and a Dutch one); going through user forums; or relying on the web.

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