For better or for worse I have completed my final project for module 1. I have put more hours in on this project in 5 weeks than I probably have on work I have done throughout an entire semester in other classes. I have lived on very little sleep and have been difficult to live with, but I can finally put this to bed and say that I am done and I am proud of what I have created. I hope that it accurately portrays my evolutionary process as a writer over my lifetime as well as the extensive creative progress that I have made as a result of this module. I invite you to watch my screencast and welcome any comments you may have.
I was just reading through the requirements for the final project and I realized that you wanted us to write a blog post about the rough draft of the Prezi. I created a widget in the sidebar of our blog with links for the reflections and the Prezis. So this is the rough draft of my Prezi http://prezi.com/5swpxurhjuhs/edit/. It is definitely rough. I have put alot of thoughts and ideas together that I will begin stringing into a coherent, reflective explanation of my use of writing spaces. Hopefully it will make a lot more sense when it’s all finished.
I thought the Eli Pariser video on “Filter Bubbles“was very thought provoking. I never realized how all of these different search engines tailor the information that they feed to you based on what they think you want from previous information. Sometimes I get so frustrated when I am searching for something specific and the search engines take me to all of this nonsensical stuff that has nothing to do with what I am actually looking for. Now I understand that it is because of the filter bubbles. I don’t want to be boxed in or censored by what someone else thinks I want. I want the world at my fingertips! I want to discover things outside of my normal focal point. Isn’t that the point of having this vast world wide web available to us? Isn’t supposed to provide us with all the possibilites and not just the ones it thinks we want?
The most disturbing part of the video was that facebook essentially edited out his conservative friends from his feed because he was more active with his liberal friends. What we want to incorporate into our online database should be based on our own personal decisions, not decisions made by technology that has interpreted what my likes and dislikes should be. I do not want to be controlled or restricted based on data compiled from prior inquiries that may have nothing to do with my current needs. No one should decide who I am and what I want but me! I will leave you with one final thought, the following is a quote by Eli Pariser that we should all consider the implications of carefully, “Your filter bubble is your own personal, unique universe of information that you live in online. What’s in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do. But you don’t decide what gets in — and more importantly, you don’t see what gets edited out.” (Eli Pariser) Do you want to allow someone else to decide for you, or do you want to control your own destiny?
It’s been nearly a week and somehow I have managed to live without my beloved Facebook. I thought that without the distraction of Facebook I would get so much more done, but I didn’t. This has been an exceptionally difficult week for me on many levels and part of me wonders if being disconnected has contributed to how I have handled things in my life. Facebook is my guilty pleasure. I get to stay in touch with my friends despite my crazy schedule. It provides me with an avenue to stay up to date on all of the exciting things that are going on. We share laughs and tears, we complain to each other and and cheer each other on. On some level those seemingly insignificant connections allow us to feel special or important based on something as simple as a “like“. I think not having that outlet to vent and get feedback has made coping with the craziness of my life much more difficult this week.
I have tried to embrace Twitter and I don’t hate it as much as I did initially, but I do not get that same feeling of connectedness from Twitter that I do from Facebook. I’m sure that the reality that most of my friends don’t tweet plays into that, but I feel that Facebook is a much more personal forum for sharing. The limitations that Twitter places on you to be short and sweet with what you have to say makes me feel stiffled as well. Needless to say I will be counting down the minutes until Friday at 1:30 when I can return to Facebook and catch up on all of the exciting things I have missed in the last week.
In the last 2 weeks I have seen the teachers in the Washington Township school district actively picketing at three different back to school nights. I have also seen parents who refuse to take their information or make a nasty comments under their breath. I don’t think that the teacher’s realize that they are doing more harm than good for their cause. In the tough economic times we are faced with, many people feel that you are lucky to have a job, so too bad if you don’t have a contract. While I believe that the teachers should be awarded a contract, as a parent I do not agree with some of the tactics they employ to draw awareness to their plight. In Washington Township, teachers have refused to attend most of the home and school activities over the last few years in an effort to gain parent support, but I feel that it is creating dissention between the parents and teachers. The latest tool in their arsenal was to deny graduating seniors letters of recommendation to the colleges that they are applying to. I find this to be reprehensible. The kids have worked so hard to further their education and contract or no contract didn’t we choose this career because of the kids? It is not their fault (or their parents for that matter) that contracts cannot be agreed upon. When did teaching kids become more about a contract and less about the KIDS? I think as future educators we need to reevaluate the importance of contracts and focus on the kids. Having worked in business most of my life I have a very unique perspective as a future teacher. Most employees don’t have contracts or tenure. In my opinion, if you suck at your job , you shouldn’t have a job. I realize that a teachers salary is inferior to that of someone in the business sector with the same education and qualifications, but asking them to pay 5% biweekly towards their health insurance is not unreasonable. I currently pay 20% weekly towards mine. I think it’s time for teachers to understand that the times they are a changing so either roll with it, or realize that there are an awful lot of up and coming education students who will happily accept less stringent terms in order to secure a position.
I think Bolter put it best when he wrote “With any technique of writing on stone or clay, on papyrus or paper, and on the computer screen the writer may come to regard the mind itself as a writing space.” When you think about writing in these terms the reality is that no matter how much technology we invent to change the structure of how we create, we still create within our own minds. With technology we have the world at our fingertips. What we choose to do with the endless supply of information is completely up to each person individually.
Personally, I am not someone who enjoys to sit and read. Maybe it’s because I have to read for school or maybe because my life is so busy I can’t seem to find the time. Whatever the case may be, I don’t see why there is so much controvery over printed books vs. electronic books. My mother is an avid reader who typically reads a book in a day or two. Being an older person who is not very technologically saavy I did not know how she would receive my gift to her of a Kindle. She has taken on the challenge and really enjoys the diversity of this technology. The most difficult thing for someone who reads as much as my mom is keeping track of what you have already read. The great part about the Kindle is that it allows her to check a databank of books she has read so that she does not duplicate. She used to run around the book store with a giant handwritten list of books to compare her purchases to.
It’s always going to come down to personal preference and the ability to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the changing world we live in. Creative writers are not changing the overall writing process. The thoughts and ideas are still coming from our minds. It is the method we use to take the information from our minds and committ them to the written word that will be forever evolving. We can accept these changes and find ways to incorporate them into our creative process to make us more productive writers or we can refuse the changes and ignore the changing world around us. The choice is ours!