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An Age of New Literacies

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Studying with my roommate in our apartment last week, I glanced at his computer screen and was dazzled by what I saw.

Instead of poring through the dense collection of information in a textbook in order to acquire knowledge about the content his class was covering, my roommate was participating in a virtual scientific laboratory experiment on his computer so lifelike that he was essentially wearing a white coat and doing the work in-person.

Blogging: the New Literacy

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"...digital tools have created a renaissance in the written word."

Clive Thompson starts off chapter three by talking about Ory Okolloh and her blog. This got me thinking about how the new literacy relates to blogging even though this wasn't in the New Literacies chapter. Before computers and the internet, everything was read in print. This is not the case anymore, not by a long shot. With the technological revolution that came with the internet, blogging was created. Blogging is done solely on the web which makes it a new literacy. Most of us have blogs that we read daily or weekly. some of us even have blogs! Here is a link to my Clemson sponsored blog. Check it out!

Balance and Lifelogging

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[This post is in response to Smarter than You Think... A week late... too bad I didn't have some Lifelog apparatus to help me not forget....week 3 blog commenters, carry on.]

Smarter Than You Think is very thought provoking, and embraces a topic that I know only a tiny bit about. Thompson’s anecdotes of lifeloggers were wholly terrifying to me. After being thoroughly creeped out for a a page or so, I asked myself—what is so terrifying about this? I am a social media junkie—to a fault, I’d say—and a photographer, a writer, someone curated to record and document, recall and describe. But lifelogging takes it too far for me.

Don't Forget to Make Memories

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My college experience would not have been remotely the same without technology.

Technology has facilitated my learning and allowed me to gain knowledge that I otherwise would not have had access to. Though there is much to be gained in reading Chaucer in Old English or a detailed biology textbook, this alone would leave something to be desired. Technology has enhanced my education; this course is a great example, along with one of my favorite courses I've taken at Clemson, a United States Congress course that relied heavily on "LEGSIM", an online simulator that allowed us to mimic the Senate.

Paying Attention to Your Own Attention

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Print, or PC? Clive Thompson, in chapter one of Smarter Than You Think, “The Rise of the Centaurs,” notes the implications of choices we inevitably face when encountering advanced technology in higher seminaries of learning like Clemson, and emphasizes the importance of introspection in the process. Thompson tells readers that “paying attention to your own attention” (14) is a must when deciding whether, for example, to accomplish long reading assignments on a computer carrying elevated distractions, or to read it in paper form without the helpful tools of technology.

Technology & Memory

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The thing that I loved most about the first chapter of Smarter Than You Think was when Clive Thompson was talking about man and computer working together. Instead of humans or computers being the best on their own, the best outcome came when the two were working together. "Which is smarter at chess-- humans or computers? Neither. Its the two together, working side by side."(page 5) I think that this harmony between us and technology is great and it is exactly where we are headed. I feel like everything I do has technology involved. For instance, (this might be odd but) I work at Starbucks and we have a warmer to heat up the pastries. I tell the warmer what the pastry is but then it knows what temperature and for how long to warm it.

Back to the Future

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In response to the two chapters “The Rise of the Centaurs” and “We, the Memorious”, I began to realize how truly important technology is today, and how it is becoming even more-so necessary as the future progresses. Clive Thompson hit the nail on the head when he said, “At their best, today’s digital tools help us see more, retain more, communicate more. At their worst, they leave us prey to the manipulation of the toolmakers,” (Clive, 6). I would normally shy away from anything new and foreboding; especially if people begin questioning if a machine is smarter than a human being.

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