Friday, October 26, 2012

 Technology in the Classroom...Officially?

            Times are changes and so is the classroom. Troy Hicks, Carl A. Young, Sara Kajder, and Bud Hunt write the article to try and convince teachers to embrace the technologies that our students use and invite student to collaborate using technologies that will be helpful in their live. In this specific activity system, the groups involved are the English teachers, in fact any teacher that have to deal with technology – which is all of them. Also involved are the students, parents, and administrators. The roles the people play are all connected within the activity system. The teachers have to make the decision whether or not to work the technology into their classroom or not. This decision affects all other people involved in the activity system. We look at the teacher activity system versus the technology activity system. Are the students going to have to adapt to the technology? Are the parents, teachers, or administrators going to have to adapt? Maybe take more time to become advanced with the technology?

            The article, which has an average grade level of 13.4 or about a freshman in college, acknowledges the increase use of technology. The authors realize that students have access to multiple devices such as cell phones, iPods, tablets, laptops, and many more and they encourage teachers to use this to their advantage in their classrooms.
“The fact that we (and our students) are now able to hold a device in our pockets that allows us to read and annotate an original text, stream (on demand) multiple film adaptations of the text, look at the SparkNotes about the text, and find essays about the text from online paper mills—all at the flick of a finger—is significant.” 
That describes the context of this passage, but when looking deeper we can see some strong aspects of the official style. First of all, the passage isn’t extremely difficult to read, but there was some very “official style” words in the passage. For example, the authors use words like annotate and adaptations instead of explain and version. The whole article is like that. It is not written in extreme official style, but it is obvious that the authors are using the official style to seem more credible.  The official style is used in this context to make the article sound professional, especially when trying to convince other teachers that this is something that they should do. Also, they use the official style to be accepted into the English Journal by the National Council of Teachers of English. This is another group involved in the activity system. If the authors of this article did not write with some aspects of the official style, would be ever be considered for the journal?
            There are people surrounding the text that may disagree with the words, purpose, goals, and roles of using technology in the classroom. For example, some school districts are implementing a BYOD (bring your own device) in the classrooms. An argument against this movement that maybe there are students who cannot afford their own device and then what happens to them? Will this draw a line in the sand between rich and poor? Also, another argument that is being made is that there will be less control on the students’ personal devices. In the labs at schools, there are strict access rules and restrictions. Can they carry this control to every other device?
            I believe the authors find a good balance between credibility and clarity. It is well written and understandable, without becoming to challenging or inappropriate for the audience. In other words, they use the official style in an effective way to convey their message and make their argument. Obviously, it is good that the official style was used because otherwise the article would have never been published. Also, since they are writing to English teachers, it would be safe to say that for the most part, their audience would be able to understand what they are trying to say. They don’t extremely difficult language that would make it hard to convey their point, but they also use the right level of language to seem creditable.
Link to the Article:

Kacie Burke

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