Posted by mollynolte
I have to say reading through the beginning of Digital Literacy for Technical Communication was a little bit sobering for me as a technical communication student. When I was researching graduate programs and schools, I found that the options were limited for what I was planning on doing. I knew I wanted my Master’s degree in Communications, but was not interested in technical communication. It just so happened the only graduate program available through any UW school that could be earned online is the MSTPC program at UW-Stout. So I’m more or less incidentally a technical communication student. But I suppose these days, communication is technical or digital regardless. As Spilka points out, communication has evolved and “every aspect of our work has changed”. (2010, p. 7).
What was sobering for me during the reading was the realization that I am most definitely resisting becoming “digitally literate.” As I’ve stated before, I’m not very keen on technology, computers, social networking, etc. I’ve never been very technologically inclined and I tend to stay away from computers and other electronic devices except for when I’m at work. And at work, I mostly use e-mail and the Microsoft Suite, so it’s very basic. I have a smart phone that I use for texting, checking the weather, GPS, and scrolling through Pinterest when I’m bored. That’s really the extent of it. Right now I work at the Rock County Council on Aging and an elderly lady asked me last week to help her with her iPhone and I couldn’t! I have never used one and I couldn’t figure out how to access her voicemail like she needed. As technology has evolved, I’ve kept my head buried in the sand. I figured if I avoided it, technology wouldn’t have an effect on my life. Now I’m hoping that my ignorance doesn’t negatively affect my educational success.
Spilka mentions survival, evolving, and adapting or dying. When did we take a right turn into The Hunger Games? Spilka assures the audience that the purpose of the book is not to “alarm, scare, warn, or provide ultimatums” (p. 3) but I have to say it certainly felt like it. Realizing how behind I am and how I fundamentally disagree with a lot that comes with the world of technology–the voyeurism of Facebook, the obsession created among children, the effect of blue screen on the body and mind–sort of makes me feel ill-equipped to take on the remainder of the MSTPC program.
At this point, I’m going to swallow my pride and look at digital literacy from an educational perspective rather than a personal one. There is so much more to it than I had previously considered. So much so that the experts are still trying to properly define it and agree on a single definition. Heck, they’re still finding new terms to describe the practice itself (p. 7). I’ve always approached technology with a place of disdain, but, like the book says, it might come down to “adapt or die”. I’m still barely starting to create my professional self. The last thing I want to do is “die professionally” before I even begin.
About mollynolteMSTPC grad student scheduled to graduate in May 2017. Lover of the outdoors, my dogs, autumn, yoga, and travel.
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