I am really interested in Sarah’s blog entry from February 18th. In it, she talks about the benefits to writing online via blogs, etc., as well as the benefits of actual writing. I find it an important topic to think about, especially as our society moves to a more virtual one. One thing that Sarah said that I found very interesting was that “traditional writing, in [her] opinion, is a far more personal process than virtual writing will ever have the capacity to achieve.” At first, I felt obligated to disagree, feeling that online writing has a great deal of benefits to it. There are so many interesting ways in which you can write and put in that “personal” touch. I think about how easily the internet, especially blogs, has made it for people to rant about anything. After their rant, they are able to share it with millions of people that they could not possibly reach. I can only imagine that so many things have changed because of what people say on the internet. However, now that I have considered it more, I think that I agree with Sarah. The internet does provide a great deal of places for my personal input and opinions, but writing on paper keeps it to one single audience, myself. I think that I am much more willing to say what I think when I know that no one else will read it. Personal writing on paper is much easier for me to “thought dump.” I think that this may be simply because I grew up writing on paper first, and technology became implemented into my writing. I got used to computer-writing as a final product, that I no longer understand the concept of brainstorming on a computer, especially online. To me, online writing is a completed product that everyone will read. I know that people say writing is never complete, but publishing something online seems pretty complete to me.
As I flip-flop back and forth with the “best” way to write, I think that I realize how difficult it is to choose. Anyone who refuses to accept the other side is doing a horrible injustice to themselves, as well as their students. As much as I have difficulty writing online, I know that my students will grow up in an age where a large percentage of writing happens online. More newspapers are moving to online only prints. It is my duty as an educator to make sure that my students learn as much about writing, in as many innovative ways, as possible. The possibilities that technology present for writing are exciting and challenging; both of which are things that I could never possibly pass up. I am excited for the unique experiences that I can create with my future students.
Thinking about how technology is changing the way that we write has also led me to thinking of how technology has altered the way that we read. In a generation where students grow up reading off of computers, iPads, and e-readers, I fear for the loss of books. I am all for learning about and using technologies, but I am not sure that I will ever get over buying actual books and reading them. I love the process of flipping pages and “getting to the end” of the book. I think that what prevents me from changing my opinion is my refusal to try out any of these new technologies.
What I find interesting is that I dislike reading via technology, and am much less open to changing that fact than I am with writing. I enjoy writing much more on the computer. My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that I find a greater interest in reading than with writing. I dislike my lack of attempts to try different ways of reading, especially when many of my classes have provided me with opportunities. Whenever I have articles presented to me as links online, I print them out to read like a book, instead of directly off the computer screen. Some of this may be due to the fact that I wear glasses for prolonged reading, and computer screens tend to strain my eyes. However, most of it comes from my strong “dislike” of reading anything unless it is in print. Although this class has opened my eyes to many of the benefits to writing, as well as how much fun it can be, I think that I will forever be a bookworm in the worst way. I need to make conscious efforts to change my opinion, especially because I am slowly making gains with online writing. If I can accept the writing process as a technology-based process, then I can also help myself to understand the reading process via technology as well. I need to be cognizant of how it affects my students, as well as myself.