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Assignment 2: Response to Gardner Campbell’s “Personal Cyberinfrastructure” essay & “No More Digital Facelifts” video

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After reading Gardner Campbell’s essay and watching his talk about “Digital facelifts” in the video provided, I came out of the experience with a new appreciation for our advancements in technology, during this digital era. Some things I took away from Campbell’s presentation were the following quotes:

“Technologies begin to perform the function of art  in making us aware of the psychic and social consequences of technology…We are entering the new age of education that is programmed for discovery rather than instruction”

“Meaning happens when the two people connect” – John Modd

These words give meaning to what Campbell is saying about today’s students and, in my opinion, their fear to be braver when it comes to the importance of what they have to say, their voice in the world. Upon entering school, most students’ focus is to please their instructors, to do what they say rather than saying what THEY WANT to say. I also believe this is the reason people are so afraid of wanting “A Bag of Gold,” because of this fear that it is something new they must master. As comically said, Campbell imitates most refusers of the bag of gold by saying “Oh no! Not another currency to master…I don’t have time for a bag of gold!” When put those ideas in that context, it seems crazy for someone to pass up the endless opportunities a bag of gold would afford a person just the same as they would if they were to turn down the endless possibilities the digital medium provides us with.

One concept I didn’t seem to grasp at first but now I have a better hold on, is this “digital facelift” Campbell speaks of in both his essay and presentation. In the context of higher education, their way of the “digital facelift” was to incorporate some technologies they felt comfortable with, felt confident using, and by taking on so little in their student’s technological educations, a way of hiding their flaws of working with technology. I believe this trend of fear is the main reason why there is such a hesitance for the path from “instruction to discovery” to be paved within higher education. (The link below starts with a quote about higher education that I particularly liked and sums up my ideas/feelings about this shift)

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