Tech Encounters – Oct 8th

After last night’s class discussion, it’s pretty clear that the definition of technology I usually walk around with is pretty broad.  I have a strong background in archaeology and philosophy.  Between the study of ancient people and their use of technology and reading various phenomenologists, pretty much anything that has a use or potential use is a tool, and thus a kind of technology.  I think that this definition of technology actually fits well with the concept of bricolage discussed in the Brown paper.  A key part of phenomenological theory is that while a shoe may not have been made to work as a hammer, if you use it as one that’s what it becomes for you, in that time.  That seems to be central to bricolage and web 2.0.

Given this definition my days are packed with technological encounters.  For this assignment, I will pick one or two significant moments to focus on.

Last night I spent a significant amount of time tutoring a friend of mine in pre-calculus.  As we usually meet at my house, I use a pencil and paper as my “chalkboard” for writing out examples and explaining rules.  This time I tried using Google Docs.  As I am new to this technology, I simply used a blank document and typed out what I wanted to convey.  For a first attempt it went pretty well, but was slow compared to how quickly I can write with a pencil.  I am not used to typing mathematically.  I also found that it was more difficult for me to do things I normally find important, like emphasize part of an equation by circling it.  I think that with more practice I’d develop a new way of doing this.  I could also see that being able to cut, copy, and paste might be very helpful, although I didn’t get much chance to use these features last night due to time constraints.  This method showed enough promise that I am going to continue trying to use it.  I might also look for other programs to see if they might be more conducive to writing mathematically.

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