My first memory of an educational technology

If we consider that blackboard, chalk, pencil and paper are technologies, my first memory of an educational technology was at pre-school, when I was 5, or even before, at home.

Taking into consideration a different concept of technology, I remember when in the 80s I started using word processors and spreadsheets to produce my university papers – at that time, papers were produced by hand writing.

My first paper using a word processor was (from what I am able to remember) a creative reading of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, which I still have in a printed version. My first use of a spreadsheet (this I am sure about) was in a structuralist reading of Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões. I produced some statistics and graphics on his major work, the epic poem Os Lusíadas (1572), composed of 10 cantos and several stanzas.

My Portuguese Literature professor reacted astonished, and, more than 20 years after, I still clearly remember her face when I told her I had used a computer, and a spreadsheet, in my statistical reading of the poem. Something seemed to be out of place, and I myself was not sure of the validity of the procedure – sometimes I thought I was pushing frontiers too much, on the technology side, forgetting about literature and education.

I also remember my father’s reaction, at the same time, when I told him I wanted to be a writer, a professional writer, but using a word processor to write. Although my father, a medical doctor, was a technology fan and, because of him, I was able to live the history of computers at home, as he purchased all the successive versions of hardware and even videogames, he did not understand how the 2 things could fit together. To become a writer, for him, at that time, had to do with hand writing. Writing using computers seemed too technical, too technological, incompatible with the magic and humanity behind creative writing. A very nice reading on this topic is:

HEIM, Michael (1999). Electric language: a philosophical study of word processing. 2nd. ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.

My father died some years ago, but he not only had the opportunity to read some books I published using word processors, and many other technological tools, as well as to follow my first experiences with distance education (now using another Blackboard), but he was also able to naturally write many scientific papers using Word, prepare presentations using Powerpoint, analyze data and generate graphics using Excel etc., and even edit a book on Intensive Care.

About 20 years after his suspicious reaction about my professional future, those tools did not seem to threaten anymore our humanity. They had become accepted educational technologies, as chalk, pencil and paper.

Esta entrada foi publicada em Edtech501, Educação. Adicione o link permanenteaos seus favoritos.

Deixe uma resposta

O seu endereço de email não será publicado Campos obrigatórios são marcados *


Você pode usar estas tags e atributos de HTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>