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I believe that digital literacy is the ability to understand and work with the new digital media that today’s world offers. It focuses primarily on computer technology, as it is becoming more and more part of our everyday lives. I believe that this skill is necessary in today’s day and age, since most of our devices have some sort of computer aspect to them. I also believe that along with being able to work and understand these devices, digital literacy is also the ability to discern what will come next, or the next big step in this technological movement. Along with that, it is the ability to realize that even though the digital age is here and that these tools overall make our lives easier, we as human being should not get lazy and let our creativity and workmanship suffer because of convenience. 

I believe that I am digitally literate. Although there are software that I do not completely understand or some programs I have not touched, I have enough knowledge of computers and the basic operating systems to discern what to do eventually through practice, and trial and error. I believe that knowing the basic concept of a computer and just learning and adapting from there constitutes as being digitally literate. 

It is a good habit to form so as technology progresses, so does our understanding. And rather than being naive and letting technology take over our lives, we can still hold control over our creations. It definately makes you a better artist because your palette has multiplied as well as your overall understanding of current events that shape our lives.

I believe that with the growth of the most recent generation (those who are kids right now as we speak), we will ALL be digitally literate. This is because those children are so subjected to computers and technology at such a young age that they would not know what it was like before all this and would have a better understanding of it, since they have more experience. The only thing I worry about is that since the computer is all that they are used to, they will fall under its control and become lazy. I believe that it is their guardians job to teach them otherwise.


So I read this article that John Maeda wrote about the impact computers have on life today. It was interesting because his take on the subject this time around was unlike what I would have pictured his to be, since he thoroughly uses computers in his daily activities and design. He goes into  a brief personal history about the computer and how it affected his life. He claims that there is an “infinite loop” in a computer, first comparing it with the constant repetition between the computer and the printer. However he goes on to suggest that this loop also refers to the constant yes or no or cancel protocol filled throughout the computer. He states it makes “our future existence as a species requiring only one finger for clicking and a brain as optional accessory hardware.” He asks the cliche question if WE are using the computers or are they using Us. He states the computer, since it is making things easier for us, is dumbing us down, making the race lazy and thinking less. He also states that contemporary education needs to start teaching students both on their creative side (arts) and their technical side (science). He claims we need to be wary of the computer and educate ourselves to be beyond our own technology.


I believe that this article has truth to it. Computers ARE powerful machines and they do simplify everything into a click of the mouse. This simplification can have its repercussions, and some people might feel them. Computers can have a negative impact by making people lazy and less learned, just because of the shortcuts that computers have. Creativity might be subjected to this as well, because people can easily recreate what has been done (another infinite loop). However, that is one scenario. Computers on the flip side can augment someone’s talent and intelligence. It is up to us humans to decide which boat we want to sail in. It is far too easy to go to the latter, be lazy and let the computer do all the work. We as humans need to educate ourselves and not be a slave to our own creation, but let the computer work for us.



ps- a good example of how computer and technology can dumb us down can be found in Disney’s cute new movie “Wall-E”





Nokia wants to make your home much smarter


On the same topic of convenience as my previous posts, it seems Nokia has been trying to do just that: trying to implement a program that allows people to control their household equipment right from their phone. It would act as a super universal remote of sorts, along with its other attributes (calling? internet?) It seems that people are valuing more and more their cellular devices and with that, companies are following suit and adding more worth to these mobile phones. I remember when cell phones were secondary to many other things, when people actually used their landlines. It seems now, everything is being streamlined to be mobile, whether its your phone or your laptop, or your entertainment devices.

Anyways, with its “Home Control Center,” Nokia will use a wireless system that connects stuff such as garage, lighting, cameras, etc, to your phone so control over anything is just a click of a button. Its ideas like these that make me wonder about the future. I can’t help but wait until the next thing the cell phone can take over.

Technology has a way of fragmenting one’s attention. More times than not, people multi task when using a particular technology, such as being on the phone and eating. I believe that one of the perks of technology is that people CAN multitask, and are able to do their business quicker and more efficient. Of course there are positives and negatives about this however. For the positive, being able to do different things at once, in theory, would get more things accomplished. For the busy body, who have little time to waste, ie the CEO or the workhorse, this would be convenient. How many phones nowadays boast that you can check your e-mail, surf the web, watch videos, get directions, AND talk on the phone at the palm of your hands? The more features on a particular technology, be it a phone or a computer or whatever, the more ideal the technology seems to be. Indeed, it seems that most technology is starting to develop, not only in its own respected field, but in other fields. Most of the time, it branches out into the territory of other technologies. Telephones are no longer just to call and speak, now they can access the internet. A computer is able to call another phone. A video game console is able to be used as a computer. It seems technology nowadays is double dipping into other technologies, in an effort to consolidate tasks people have to do so they will be able to multi task.  It seems to be the ideal thing. One trend that is interesting, besides the multitasking, is that most technology is gravitating towards the internet. Being able to connect or use the internet in specific tasks.

Although it seems to be the ideal, it sometimes may not be the case. The splitting of attention although it can theoretically get a lot done, it may lead to work that has not had the most effort put in. If put in a broader sense, since this more people are open to these technologies that multitask, the total effort and work put in by a certain group may lessen. Techblogs ( states 73% of the american population use the internet. Compared to other countries who’s internet population probably would be less than half, the probability of better work between both could be debatable. An example would be when somebody needs to get school work done, but is busy checking his e-mail instead of researching. DISTRACTION can play a big part because of this. Without focus, because of the capability of the technology, the results can be disastrous. Another example would be driving while talking on the phone or texting. Sometimes the multitasking aspect of technology can be completely dangerous..


G Speak

This link basically sends you to this new prototype platform called “G speak.” In essence, it is a gestural emphasized computer operating system where the user uses his or her hands to control the computer. It is popularly seen in the movie “Minority Report,” in which the user’s hands were used to manipulate data as they see fit as well as control the computer without using a mouse or keyboard. Aside from the innovations seen at the forefront (creating a three dimensional screen instead of a two dimensional desktop), it is a different way of classifying and ordering massive amounts of new data, using a “zoom in zoom out” type of feature throughout (a macro and micro system only more dynamic). 

I believe this type of system changes the perception of a computer from being a static two dimensional screen into a more interactive three dimensional one. It shows other features such as breaking apart videos and combining different sections of the two with ease. Along with that, it implements collaboration. No longer is a computer viewed as a personal, one person at a time technology, rather it showed two people working on the same computer, both using their hand gestures to control the digital area, no use of the mouse of keyboard necessary. I believe this is an important step because it completely forgets about the usual necessary “appendages” of a traditional computer (the mouse and the keyboard), and rather finds new solutions to get the same effect by different means. However, it is still unknown how to implement a system without using a keyboard (let’s say their version of typing using a word processor), however I do believe they are on the right track. Obviously, the “G Speak” is not entirely finished, but at the rate they are going, they are bound to find a different way to interpret what a computer is and to improve upon it without the use of the mouse and the keyboard.