Prensky (2001) noted that “digital Immigrant teachers assume that learners are the same as they have always been, and that the same methods that worked for the teachers when they were students will work for their students now. But that assumption is no longer valid. Today’s learners are different.” (Prensky, 2001). Similarly, Selfe (1999) argued that the price we pay for ignoring technology and its relation to literacy “is the clear and shameful recognition that we have failed students, failed as humanists, and failed to establish an ethical foundation for future educational efforts in this country.” (Selfe (1999, p.5).
The development of Web 2.0 imposes a new reality for language learning and practice. The meaning of literacy is no longer restricted to the traditional abilities to read books, write with a pen, and/or communicate orally face-to-face with other people. The meaning of literacy has become dependent on many things and various factors such as: the new technologies emerging everyday; the new social practices that these new technologies impose; the growing needs of people in a certain society; the new ways of communication; and the new challenges that globalization has recently imposed (Abdallah, 2011). Adolescents and children in the 21st century are accustomed to these developments in Information and Communication Technologies and are considered digital natives. Therefore, as educators we should find inspiration to enrich our teaching in order to meet the needs of our students who have grown up in a world of digital Information and Communication technologies.
I believe that the use of multimodal representations in classrooms encourages teachers to move beyond teaching with just text, and incorporate technologies students are accoustomed to such as computers and mobile phones. Through the use of technological multimodal representations, meaning making can be viewed as a social practice through a variety of semiotic affordances, including the visual, aural, spatial, and gestural. In the classroom, students can learn through a combination of these modes, including sound, gestures, speech, images and text. As a result, using and encouraging students to use multimodal representations through technology has risen to occupy a legitimate space that has traditionally privileged the role of language in the construction of meaning. According to Darvin (2015) learners communicate through a diversity of ways, therefore, the integration of multimodal practices into the classroom is a recognition of the multiplicity of identities, languages, and cultures of students.
- What key experiences have you had with technology during your life?
Perhaps the first technology I can remember was a camera. My mom had a polaroid camera and used to take pictures of us. I remember being excited to get my turn to take a photo and pull out the piece of paper from the camera then wave it until the picture starts to appear.
- Where did your ideas about technology come from?
In second grade, I remember we read with the teacher a story about a city in the future where cars drive without drivers and people would wear pack backs that transformed into rocket ships carrying people around to different places. The teacher told us to add an idea to this future city, I remember that I wrote about a watch which enables me to watch TV and listen to music all the time, (Steve Jobs stole my idea J)
- Who and what shaped your views of technology?
I used to have discussions with my parents about old technologies and new technologies. We used to compare communication in the past such as pigeon post to communications that were new at the time of our discussions such as post letters. Also my grandmother used to talk about how difficult life was when she was young, explaining the hardships of cooking, cleaning, and giving birth. She used to criticize us for being too lazy and too pampered to recognize how much we are blessed by these technologies we have today.
- Why is technology important to you?
Technology is an inseparable part of my life. It is difficult to just imagine how life would be without any forms of technology. As my grandmother use to say that technology made our lives easier but made us lazy and weak. For me technology did make my life easy but it also helped me to be an educated woman who can find time to do her Ph.D. while taking care of her home and educating her children.
Technology has indeed transformed my life; it was hard to go tech free the whole day. When I first told my husband and kids about it, they laughed and said that I will not be able to do it. They said that because they know how attached I am to my laptop and mobile phone. I use my laptop every day for reading and doing my homework, and I use my phone for social media mostly to connect with family and friends. I went tech free on Thursday because I did not have any classes that day. In the morning, I was able to finish cleaning my house and finish doing the laundry which was haunting me for weeks. I had an urge between cleaning tasks to look at my mobile phone but I ignored it. I felt that I would missing some important messages or emails. So, during my coffee break at around 12 p.m I cheated and checked my emails and my social medias (WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat). The funny thing was that I decided to open Facebook although it’s been months since I last opened it, here I knew that I am addicted to technology and social media. I also wanted to listen to music while cleaning but I decided to have a quite cleaning time as much as I can. However, at 6 p.m while I was waiting for my kids to finish their gymnastic class, which lasted for an hour, I felt bored so I used my mobile phone. There was nothing important, I checked messages, Instagram, and Snapchat. I acknowledge that all of these are social media which are not important and take so much of my time, however I feel relaxed and happy when I check them. I usually do not use technology or do homework between 5 and 9 because it’s the time I spend with my kids, help them with their homework, play, and have dinner. But at around 10 p.m I missed my laptop and I was not able to force myself not to use it, so I convinced myself that I need to do some homework, but after 15 minutes, I watched Netflix.
Overall, going tech free did help get more physical and finish the tasks I have been holding for a long time like cleaning. It did help me realize more how addicted I am to social media which is really not important and take so much time. I decided to cut back on my social media usage and take time to be more physical and finish other tasks my life demands me to do.
Comparing the two films shows how film technology has evolved through time. For example, the 1960 film had more emphasis on sound effects whereas in the 2002 film the emphasis was more on the visual effects. With early film technology, the director focused more on actors dramatic acting and on load dramatic sounds to show the intensity of the scene. However, with advanced film technology, the director focuses on camera movements and visual effects to emphasis the intensity.
Due to the technological advances to technology, we as viewers are always expecting more from directors. We always look forward for the next exciting movie that has the most advanced visual and special effects out there. we went from TV to cinama, 3D, IMAX, and Visual Realty. Story lines and dialogues are starting to be less interesting while the special effects are always an important component in movies.