Turkle and Wesch’s discussion of new media and technology make some interesting points about how our world has become so accustomed to technology. Although they present the information with opposing points, they essentially are striving for need to have “conversations”. While Sherry Turkle views technology as the springboard to depress personal relationships, Wesch views technology as an avenue to expand students’ knowledge through questions that have answers at their fingertips but opt for the “real talk”.
Wesch talks about participation and not following along...Do you like school?
Sherry Turkle makes some interesting points in her article “The Flight from Conversation”. The manner in which she portrays how technology impedes face-to-face conversations is “somewhat exaggerated” but I agree with her to some extent. When people communicate with their devices, there is not need for discussion because conversations are shorter. She claims that people are so engaged with their technological devices that they have forgotten to have real conversations. The move from conversation to connection is evident in our society. “We are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be”. This is a sad reality. Although technology can bring us together, it also separates us. While we can to talk to people, we opt for the commodity of texting at our fingertips. We don’t even need to think anymore. These devices have limited our creativity in having real conversations.
As Dr. Turkle says, “Face-to-face conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience”. When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits.
Wesch, on the other hand embraces the need to have real conversations. He claims that good questions are those that force students to challenge their thinking. He argues that questions open the opportunity for interesting communication and that students crave this. Off course we need to provide students with the right questions to engage them in communicating their own thinking.
Teachers need to embrace conversations initiated by students. When students develop their own questions, there are endless opportunities for intellectual discussions. The fact that we have devices that can support students in finding answers quickly, allows them to have deeper conversations. Therefore, teachers need to welcome technology as a learning tool rather than an obstacle in the classroom.