Snyder (2007)

Why do you think I chose this paper? What were your initial reactions to what Snyder is arguing? It is important to note the date of these pieces. Published in 2007 probably means most of the thinking/writing/drafting took place in 2005/6, that is about a decade ago.

Note the gesture to the generational argument. In here is this notion of just what is technology and what isn't to each generation. To my generation, a washing machine was not technology. It is furniture. It certainly was, however, to my mother who could easily recall the use of the copper to do the daily washing.

There is a nice, short piece by Kevin Kelly called everything that doesn't work yet1. He uses some lovely quotes from Douglas Adams, one of which is:

We no longer think of chairs as technology, we just think of them as chairs. But there was a time when we hadn’t worked out how many legs chairs should have, how tall they should be, and they would often ‘crash’ when we tried to use them. Before long, computers will be as trivial and plentiful as chairs (and a couple of decades or so after that, as sheets of paper or grains of sand) and we will cease to be aware of the things.

That prescient quote of Adams gestures to the Internet of things which will be an increasingly significant part of digital culture. As is the case with so much of the hype about new developments there is no shortage of prediction and claims2.

Allowing for the fact of its writing, what do you make of how she is describing digital culture? In your note books have you been mulling this notion, one of the elements of this course. What constitutes a culture? Is the digital just the means of sharing/communicating or is there something else at play?

Her argument about connecting school to youth culture is interesting. Have similar arguments been made in the past?

Her observations about our use of technology3 shaping "our perceptions, behaviors, values, and norms" has resonances with current writing about the effects of the Internet4.

It is worth noting that she writes in broad, general terms, attempting to link the big issues, ideas. Sometimes these kinds of argument can be handy but, I hope by now, you have learned to be a little more circumspect and pay attention to the specifics of examples, cases, stories rather than relay on sweeping claims that can be found in this paper.

In terms of the skills and knowledge she argues most folk need to have when she writes about education, think how quaint some of those now look in just 8 years. If this is read against Dave Weinberger's recent book5 about networked knowledge you get a sense of just how quickly things develop and how we struggle to continue to make sense of it all.

It may be me but when I read her educational framing I see a lot in common with current ideas about technology in schools/national curriculum and so on. This is 2017. Not 2006. :)

Perhaps I missed some of her points. Does this add anything to the way you think about digital culture and education?