Disclaimer: This has been a rough week and so this post isn’t going to be up to my usual sparkling standard. Next week will be better, promise.
In terms of describing my orientation toward tech, I think I started out in the Utopian frame of mine. I thought that if everyone just had access, the world would be so much better.
And then I took tech classes and discovered just how nuanced my actual opinion ought to be.
My belief system has evolved to reflect a more sociological point of view through social construction of technology. One of the main viewpoints that really strikes a chord with me is:
…the ways a technology is used cannot be understood without understanding how that technology is embedded in its social context. (source)
To me, technology is inextricably linked to our social context and there is no way to describe the rise of some technologies (think Twitter, Fitbits, What’sApp etc) without first trying to define our social context. Our societies gave these technologies a place to thrive by identifying a desire within society for some kind of communication with one another, whether is a competition-based communication or simply to know we’re not alone in this vast space.
I think all technologies developed of the eons have related to some kind of communication or desire to reach out: writing, the wheel, semaphores, telegraph, musical instruments. These all have the base of trying to connect with someone at some point whether it is physical (like going somewhere to talk to someone) or emotionally (playing a song that touches someone’s heart).
(One of my favourite pieces of music)
In further examining SCOT, their wiki has been invaluable. It’s a way to dig deeper into understanding the connection between technology and society. While it can easily seem overwhelming and completely non-applicable to daily life, it is an underpinning to how we teach.
All teaching is a form of communication. How we use technology shapes and forms our communication either for better or worse. By understanding how and why we communicate and how this impacts our society at large we have an opportunity to become better communicators for our students.
Anyone else like the SCOT school of thought?