IS2k7

Blogging from IS2K7 this morning.  John Palfrey is currently speaking.

I am going to try and post this blog entries as quickly as possible so some of this may be a little raw.

I declare myself a digital native.  At 33 there may be some argument here.  I technically wasn’t born into digital technology, so some argument can be made for me being a digital immigrant.  I remember my first digital device was a Texas Instruments “Lil’ Professor” calculator.  It has games, red LED display, and most importantly it did calculations.  It was also looked at with disdain by my early elementary school teachers, a product of evil that was to be shunned because it was a cheat, and wasn’t real learning.  Later on in High School calculators were required for certain courses.  A complete reversal of the my original experience and a very interesting development.

My first computer was at 11, my first online experience was at 12 at 300 baud, but it was mind blowing.  I felt tortured in school and finished textbooks ahead of the class because the class was running too slowly.  The computer brought me beyond the textbook and allowed me access to essentially any resource I wanted, from learning a language to computer development to making gunpowder. 

This is important to me because I consider the public education available to as a failure for the most part with some small shining exceptions.  Without the wonderful gift of a computer and access to networks I would not have the job I do today and certainly not have the views I do now.

A computer (which is a rare gift that I realize a lot of people do not have) helped lift me out of poverty (by US standards) and by proxy my children have access to this new life which access to these tools and networks have wrought.

If UNIVERSITY takes this role and opens up this access, frees information, and is not concerned about maintaining a false class structure in the world then what will happen?  I am very eager to listen to this conference and possibly catch a glimpse of the future, and what it may mean to millions of individuals who started out just like me.

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2 Comments

  1. Randeep

    March 10, 2008 @ 2:22 am

    1

    Greetings, I ran into your blog while wandering aimlessly on the internet.

    That you see your child’s relationship with technology an opportunity for him to better control and define his environment, as liberating and progressive this might seem, is me thinks a further step towards robbing your child of his natural and necessary mode of relating to the world. No doubt in this technological age, we see that which is around us in terms of its affordances- and therefore a certain dominating attitude towards the world. The iPod is just another tool, just another means for satisfaction until the next one pops up that may reinforce that underlying attitude that the world itself is an object to manipulate for one’s ends. Your child, still new from the womb, demands most of all a richness that is beyond the fetishistic and fad-like contemporary philosophies of progressivism, conservatism, whatever. Unfiltered love in all of its forms, even in violence, is the richness of spirit your child needs. This love should drown out the twisted technological fetishism of this day and age.

  2. jcallina

    March 10, 2008 @ 10:17 am

    2

    Adding my response to Randeep so that the critisism doesn’t sit on my blog w/o context. My comment seems pretty negative, but I assure you it was thought out and a true representation of my feelings on the matter. The response is slightly edited from the original email response that I sent to Randeep.

    —-

    “robbing your child of his natural and necessary mode of relating to the world” – Randeep

    Please tell me what is natural about how a child relates to the world in this day and age. This may have started with fetishism, but is now about discovering new music and about helping him get a good nights rest.

    I’m not sure if you really read the rest of my posts and it just seems like you are bucking the idea of a child having an iPod. My child understands marketing and consumerism better than most adults.

    Technology is a broad term and I am wondering where you are drawing the line. Are books inherently inferior to scrolls? Are pencils inferior to cave painting? Would it have been better for my child to have a tape recorder or a record player rather than an iPod?

    We purchased an iPod for him because it was the best tool for the job, that was the primary motivation. I find it offensive that you offhandedly suggest that my child does not have my unfiltered love and that we are are simply fulfilling his selfish desires to placate him.

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