Lara's Blog

Always learning

I believe

I believe that learning literacy is specific to culture. It does not occur in a vacuum, but rather involves social and cognitive processes. Learning literacy can be connected to social justice.

I believe that teaching literacy requires knowing the learners and that it occurs through collaboration. Teaching literacy reaches far beyond reading and writing skills.

I believe that the facilitator of learning must question the learner to ascertain his or her level of literacy before initiating instruction. We must find out what skills and knowledge the learner already possesses and build upon that. Technology should then be integrated rather than imposed. For instance, a student who may be musically literate can be guided in the use of technology to write and record a song using digital media.

I believe that literacy pedagogy should respond to today’s technological world and digital learners through interaction. Online discussion boards, wikis and blogs can enhance and support out-of-class learning by developing skills that learners already have. Mauriello and Pagnucci (2003) introduced “the Internet into traditional pedagogy in response to the emerging national agenda to make technology a part of education” by using it as a “collaborative writing tool” (p. 79). 


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Technology Narrative

I remember the first time I ever sent an email. It was in 1996 and I was a junior at Clarion. I sat in disbelief that my mom would get the message immediately. I’ve always been a letter writer and was used to communicating by US postal mail.

I remember my first cell phone that was the size of a brick, but I was so excited to be able to make calls from wherever I was, without having to find a payphone.

I remember the first time I sent an email and made a call on my cell phone (before that, my friends and I used pagers that we thought were pretty cool) were just the first of many firsts that remain vivid in my memory.

I remember my first text message in 2002, how it startled me, as did my first photo taken with a camera phone. Even my first digital photo was thrilling (I didn’t have to send the film to be developed), and more so when I was able to send a photo of where I was at that very moment.

I remember my dad’s first video camera around 1990, into which we inserted a full size VHS tape that had to be played in a VCR. In the 8o’s and 90’s, our old computer games eventually were replaced by Nintendo; recording music videos from MTV and playing them back became the internet; trying to capture songs from the radio onto cassettes turned to burning mix albums; these were gems of my childhood that shaped my technological literacy.




What surprises me the most about our constantly developing technology is the things I never imagined could be possible, I’ve seen become possible. Things I could have never imagined growing up, like Facebook. When I see today’s younger generation becoming literate with social media and e-texts, I know that they could never imagine what it was like for me growing up without it. I passed notes in school, from elementary through secondary, and still have a bag of the folded, faded short letters that had been slipped under a desk or into my locker. I imagine that today’s youth would find this pointless when they can send messages immediately through their phones.

Today I tend to avoid what I’m not familiar with. I prefer turning paper pages, sending paper letters, smelling fresh print, and doodling with colorful pens. 


Going Tech Free

On September 25 (Sunday) I accepted Dr. Pagnucci’s tech-free day challenge. Overall I did pretty well, but found that there were certain technologies I could not live without even for several hours. I needed to communicate with a few people through Viber and text. Other than those few exceptions, I refrained from using my phone and the internet. I also had to check my IUP email for feedback on a class project.  After an hour, I discovered that I had made my coffee using technology, listened to the radio, and that I needed to watch the Steelers game on TV. I would give myself a B- on this assignment. I did journal throughout the day, longhand, and filled five pages with my thoughts on the experiment. This challenge was like working with an addiction or fasting, resisting urges to pick up, and thinking of new ways to achieve the same purpose without using technology. My dependence became quite obvious to me right away, although it was only a few things I just couldn’t do without. For instance, I had to drive from Pittsburgh to Punxsutawney and I listened to the radio in the car. Driving in silence is bad for my anxiety! Not using my phone and the internet became somewhat nerve racking as I couldn’t stop my mind from wondering what I was missing or what messages I wasn’t getting during those 12 hours when I gave my most sincere effort. The long term impact was my deeper appreciation for those technologies that have become a part of my daily routine. I also considered the word “NEED” and what I actually needed. Instead of texting my mom when I left her house, I wrote her a note by hand. This is an example of my finding a way around technology. In the evening, I wanted hot tea and music, but went without. In a sense I was able to relax, but at the same time felt preoccupied by what I was NOT able to do. I recommend that everyone try this experiment because it can be really eye-opening.


Time travel and technology

  • Primary Blog Question
    • When compared, the two film clips help illuminate a key question for this course: How has our relationship to technology changed over time?
  • Secondary Blog Questions
    • How has film technology changed?
    • How have we changed as film viewers?
    • How has our understanding of time evolved?
    • How does fiction/science fiction impact our relationship to technology?

The notion of time travel is a science fiction concept. We imagine time machines, read about them, visualize them, but as far as I know they don’t exist. If they did, everyone would be going back and forth between the past and future. It would be chaos.

The famous time machine is portrayed in two different versions of the film, both based on the 1895 book by H.G. Wells. Having watched only about a half hour of each film, there are many differences in film making technology, as well as setting, plot, and character. In this post I consider our relationship to technology over time by comparing the 1960 and the 2002 versions.

Props and scenery

  • 1960: Scenery includes numerous clocks and a tiny model of the time machine. Suspense is created through music crescendos and intense dialogue.
  • 2002: The time machine is life-sized and we see the man getting into it. This involves many special effects including the use of light reflecting off the spectacular machine.

Appeals to emotion and theory

  • 1960: The beginning of the movie shows several men in a sitting room of a large house on New Years Eve discussing the theory of time and how it moves. They are waiting for a man who has gone back in time, who suddenly returns from the past.
  • 2002: The beginning of the movie appeals to emotion by setting up a story of a professor asking his love to marry him; she is then killed. Here we see his motivation for wanting to go back in time rather than the actual theory.

As a viewer, I prefer older films that rely less on technology for special effects and leave more to imagination. However, I think that many viewers today enjoy such effects like those we see in the 2002 version.





My first blog post

808 is a useful class. i will learn a lot. 

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