I have been a somewhat passive user of technology, I will admit. My confidence using the LMS and “willingness” to do so well is now, I realize, an insulator against moving beyond it. The readings this week, especially the Tour article that Loren and I will present this morning, have made me realize that I use technology as an “add on,” or a way of doing things I did before in a more convenient or organized way. I understand now that I must be open to doing new things and to seeing technology as a way to actually evolve out of old tasks and approaches and totally invert my “affordances” of technology.
For instance, I have valued the LMS because I can easily keep track of students and my communications with them. I don’t lose them! I can look back and see who has logged in and who has not, if I responded to an email and what I said, etc. I need to learn, I know, how to get beyond my idea that these new ways of doing old tasks is not the be all and end all of my use of technology. I still worry, though. When I am busy I am apt to “lose” students. Many of us teach five classes comprised of twenty or more students — how can I be sure that I respond effectively? notice when someone is floundering? be sure I have commented on a question or concern?
In the literature classroom, especially, I am resistant to technological innovation. For me, literature is holding a printed book in my hand, circling, underlining, annotating, handwriting notes, and seeing a beloved book get old with re-reading, new reflections written in the margins, and a place on my bookshelf like the best piece of artwork. I do love e-books for some circumstances, but in the lit classroom I feel one of my best efforts as an instructor is sharing what literature has been, over the ages, and how–while technology takes us away in so many ways–reading a book brings us into a space that is still worth having, that is not tied to a power source.