Tuesday, July 5, 2016
My thoughts on conversation.
I absolutely agree with Sherry Turkle in The Flight from Conversation that more face-to-face conversation is necessary in order to show our true selves and make true connections with people. There should be device-free zones and times that enable people to pick up their heads and show who they are through conversation, expressions, gestures, and words that aren't "dummied down." If people don't use the skill of conversing then they will certainly lose it and if they never learned it then I don't know what will happen.
I also absolutely agree with Michael Wesch in Anti-Teaching: Confronting the Crisis of Significance when he states that students should be "fully engaged, talking, grappling with questions, and exploring resources to create more answers and especially more questions." In the article Neil Postman says, "Meaning and significance are assured only when our learning fits in a grand narrative that motivates and guides us." These ideas are great supports for conversation between people about significant learning experiences. This article encourages the use of technology to support learning in small groups and then to discuss and share about what has been learned.
I believe that Turkle and Wesch are definitely allies in using conversation for learning and engaging in higher level conversations. I don't feel either one believes that technology is a bad thing if used in the correct way. I believe they feel that technology should be a support in order to foster higher level thinking and conversations.