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 with how it affects communication. When I started to read The Information by James Gleick, I started to become aware of how communication has evolved over time and how technology has impacted that. The Information described how communication originally started. There was really no forms of technology back then, so to communicate people would use drums. The beat of the drums would communicate a message. However, in order to hear the message you had to be within range of the drum. ┬áThen, communication shifted to telegraphs. With a telegraph you would send codes that represented different words or messages. Here we can see how technology is slowly started to evolve. I picked to focus on these two forms of communication because they are the ones that relate most closely to the technology we have today. With the technology that we have today, such as iPads, and iPhones, we can see how the drums and telegraph has impacted our communication. With communicating by using drum beats, it was often easy to misunderstand or misinterpret a message. 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. Such as with using emojis. When you send an emoji, you know what you want that emoji to represent but the person receiving that message may perceive it differently. With communicating using the telegraph, people would use shorten codes because they were cheaper to send. When we send text messages, we sometimes use codes as well, such as typing “u” instead of “you.” We don’t use those shortcuts as a way to save money, but as a way to save us time. Throughout the course of reading The Information, it became clear to me that even though technology has evolved during time, the way in which we communicate has not.

Looking at communication, I have been able to see how communication has evolved technically. Just like how we use symbols when texting or how people used to use codes when sending a telegraph, symbols and codes can be used when working with atom. Atom is space that uses a command line and a series of codes. For instance, atom can be used to keep track of folders or journals within your computer. With atom, I have started to keep a journal of what we’ve been learning in class and different things that have happened throughout the semester. This has helped me keep track of the different technical computations we have been learning. In atom, there are a lot of codes or symbols that represent different commands or shortcuts. For example, typing “*title*” it would show the word “title” in italics. By typing “**title**” it would show the word title in bold print. Through atom, you can also insert pictures from the internet and make them appear as if you’re looking at an internet page. When Lawerence Lessig came to speak at the college, I wrote a journal post on the event. By writing it through Atom, I was able to organize it in a way that was easy to read, including a picture of Lessig. Using atom has helped me recognize the way in which technology and communication. As the drum beats represented different codes or messages, lead to the telegraph using codes and symbols to communicate messages, then to atom using symbols or shortcuts to communicate through writing.

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 we got to where we are today with technology. How the varies forms of technology and ways of communication has lead to me being able to pick up my phone and respond to a message within seconds. 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 emijos. Technology and communication will continue to transform and change the way we interact with people, but will always continue to connect in some way with past forms of communication or technology.

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.