Technology for me had been this big encompassing word to describe not only the internet but also the devices we use. While I interact and engage with technology in both a professional and social capacity, I never really questioned the growing role it plays in our lives. Taking Technology & Evolving Forms of Publishing in conjunction with the History of Publishing puts into context how relatively young technology is as an industry. This course has given me the opportunity to think about technology a little more critically through the various learning objectives.
Objective 1: To whet your appetite for thinking about the role and effects of digital technologies, especially as it relates to the content we consume;
Having written a few of my papers for PUB 801 on AI and publishing technologies, I came into the technology course with an interest in learning more concretely the ways which technology is shaping the publishing industry. I had a particular interest in how scholarly publishing is changing as a result of these new technologies. Although these topics were not covered in this course, the mini-lessons were a bit helpful in this regard. I do feel that they would have been more effective had they been a more hands-on exercise rather than a mini-lecture.
Objective 2: To help you develop a framework to analyze and interpret technology-related events and trends;
Having developed a more critical framework of how I interact with technology, I feel more confident engaging with developing technology-related events and trends. Throughout the course, I have been able to see varying perspectives when it comes to technology. When discussing data privacy, I felt like I was able to see the value of data mining through the lens of the company who are choosing to sell their consumer data as well as the consumers. Going forward I am interested in being more learning more about the more “technical” side of publishing. Being able to think more critically about the extent and the ways we use technology would help in being a more responsible member of our society.
Objective 3: To better understand (but not necessarily fully comprehend) how different technologies work; Give you practical experience with three digital publishing tools and formats: blogging (WordPress), wikis (Wikipedia) and annotations (Hypothes.is);
As most of the digital publishing tools we used in this course were things I never really engaged with normally it was a great way to learn about these things worked. While I thought the Wikipedia assignment was interesting, I did come into this course with my own set of biases. The last time I really even looked at wiki pages were in high school and was discouraged from using it as a source as it was not the most credible at the time. It was interesting to know that it does engage in peer review which helped reframe the way I thought about this. I personally enjoyed doing annotations in reading as I would often find it hard to focus on digital readings. Having to annotate did force me to slow down and engage in the readings. Blogging is not something I would normally do so it was a great learning experience. The lack of clear expectations was a little frustrating at first. I also found it to be time-consuming and having to do it for every week meant that I did not really have time to devote on each one nor was I really engaged in all the topics which made having to write a blog post for them even harder. Perhaps having students complete a certain number of blog posts by the end of the semester instead of every week would be more effective.
Objective 4: Allow you to develop and express your own thoughts about various aspects of technology.
The online discussions through Hypothes.is and in class had been a valuable experience in learning more about technology. I thoroughly enjoyed reading my peers comments and insights into the readings. They also provide some valuable resources and we often collaboratively helped to understand larger concepts. The discussions we had in both platforms were helpful in both solidifying some of the thoughts I had regarding technology and at other times put into question my own thinking. This was especially true in our discussions on data privacy, while I came into the discussions being comfortable with being open (to a certain extent) on the web. It was helpful to see my peers stance on this and their logic behind it.
This course has introduced several new concepts and ways about thinking about technology. I feel that I’m better equipped to engage with the technological world more responsibly. As mentioned, going forward I am interested in engaging more with technology. One of the key things I’ve taken away from this course is how technology shouldn’t be seen as being the opposition by replacing the place of humans. It would be more helpful to see them as helpful tools that could improve many processes.