Author: Kennedi Wittenrich

What I’ve Learned Throughout the Semester

When I first started this class, I never really thought of how technology came to be, particularly how it affects communication. When I started to read The Information by James Gleick, I become aware of how communication has evolved over time and how technology has impacted that. In The Information, Gleick describes a form of communication that was used within an African tribe, drums. This tribe used drum beats as a way to communicate between members. Each beat of the drum represented a different message. Members of the tribe that were in close range to the drum, would then interpret what message the beat was transmitting. This was their form of technology and communication. Today, the most popular technology is cellphones and communication is through texting. People can send a message within the click of a button to anyone around the world, no matter how far or close the range may be. The tribe in Africa did not have that luxury. The technology they used, drums, only allowed for a message to be sent to people who were within close enough range to hear the beats. Today, we have the luxury of being able to communicate with whoever we want, no matter where they are. Using drums as a form of communication doesn’t closely represent what technology we have today; however, we can see some similarities between the two. With communicating by using drum beats, it was often easy to misunderstand or misinterpret a message. The person sending out the drum beat may have intended for the message to say one thing, but the person receiving that beat may interpret it differently. The same can be true for when we use text messages or email. We can interpret a text message or email one way, but the way that someone on the receiving end of that text message or email may interpret the message in a different way. The tribe that used the drums really had no way to make sure that the message they sent, was the same message the person received. There weren’t any supports that were used to make sure the correct tone was received. Today, we use emojis to support us in making sure the message we are trying to send is the message that is received. For example, if you don’t want to sound too serious you may send a smiley face. Or if you think something is funny, you may use the laughing crying face. Using emojis, is our way of making sure the receiving person understands what we are trying to say, and with what tone.

Looking at communication, I have been able to see how communication has evolved technically. Just like how we use symbols when texting, symbols and codes can be used when working with virtual box. Virtual box is space that uses a command line and a series of codes, and allows for you to access folders and documents within your computer. For example, by typing the command, “cd /media/sf_Journal/” it accesses the folder that contains all of my journal posts from this semester. Then by typing the command, “ls” I am able to see the names of all my journal entries and how many of them I have. I used this command line a lot when putting together my ebook of all my journal entries. One important thing to keep in mind when using virtual box, is that typing out each command line needs to be precise and accurate. If you don’t correctly spell a word or miss putting an under dash when needed, then the command line will not go through in the way you want it to. Making sure everything is precise has helped me with other assignments in and out of this class. It has made me more aware of mistakes and helped me to slow down and take my time whenever completing an assignment.

Learning about technology and communication has made me look at the way I use technology. When I pick up my phone, I now think of how other people have communicated and the different forms of technology that have been used. The way that technology and communication evolved, has transformed our society and will continue to do so. Every day, there’s a new technology device or a different way to communicate such as through new emojis. Learning about the way others have communicated, helps us to look into the way we communicate and use technology. By learning about the tribe in Africa who used drums as their form of technology, has helped me become more aware of the technology we use and how it can relate to theirs. Communication is an key component in every community, and understanding how different communities use technology to communicate helps us to connect to those around the world.

Understanding Technology

Before coming into this course, I never really thought about the connection between humanities and technology. When I thought of humanities, I thought of hard cover books and reading articles that discussed different cultures. I thought of people analyzing the way people lived by using hands on materials and artifacts to due so. When I was introduced to this class, I began to see humanities in a different way. Using digital humanities, instead of normal humanities, makes it easier for people to stay connected. One way people can do this is through social media. People can share ideas back and forth with each other within a matter of seconds. Conversations can occur between people, which would encourage people to share thoughts and gain other’s insights. There is also access to blog posts and online articles that give people more of an insight into what the humanities involves.However, I think that the relationship between computers and humanities can have negative qualities. For instance, using the internet gives anyone the opportunity to post whatever they want and the information that they post can be false or misleading. I think it’s important to make sure that when using the computer or internet to learn about humanities, that it comes from a reliable source. Now looking at the relationship between computers and humanities, I think that it provides people with easier access to information, making it easier to stay connected and learn about those around us.

Coming into this course, I did not really know anything about computing. I have seen people use different networks and apps that allowed for basic computing but I never really experienced using it for myself. In high school, I took a computer class in which we created our own websites. We got to design the layout of our websites and determine what material we wanted to feature. Creating our own website got us familiar with how to navigate the internet, as well as creating our own web addresses. Besides for the experience with creating my own website in my computer class, before this course I have not been introduced to any other form of computing. Throughout this course I am hoping to increase my knowledge on computing. As an education major, I think that it’s important to have a general understanding of computers and how to use them. With the advances in technology, it is likely that the students in my class someday will use computers, therefore I hope to have enough knowledge about computers so that I can support them.

When I first came into this class, my relationship with my computer was very minimal. I used very few apps on my computer, mostly just Chrome, Spotify, Safari, and Microsoft Word. I mostly used my computer for school work and when I wasn’t using it for school work I was using it to watch Netflix or online shop. I very rarely explored the different features of my computer and would only stick to using the basic features. Now being a few weeks into this course, I have begun to explore the different features my computer offers. I like being able to use different apps and networks, such as Slack and Virtual Box. I never knew that these networks existed, therefore it is exciting to explore something new. I hope that through this course I am able to expand my knowledge on computers and be able to use my computer in ways that I have not been able to before.