1. Last night, after several failed attempts on our part, Sean, Kristen, Parker, and I sat around a kitchen table in Provo, UT, and conducted a thirty minute interview with Norbu Jinda, the director of a TCV (Tibetan Children's Village) in India. On several points during the interview, a group mate would look at another with amazement in his or her eyes. That amazement spoke (among other things), "Can you believe this? We are talking to a man in India."
2. A few months ago, I quit my job as a shift manager at Little Caesars to begin a new employment opportunity. I now teach English to students scattered in South Korea and Japan, from a center in Provo. How do I do this? Through Skype, as well as other programs. I did not think it possible, but I feel a connection with these kids who are half way across the world.
3. There is a blog I follow with delight. Written by a college English professor, it details her struggles with teaching and understanding students, as well as her thoughts on knowledge. I have commented a few times on her posts, and was much surprised to see her and others respond to my thoughts. I even braved (thanks to the encouraging words of my professors, Drs. Burton and Zappala) to link a post of my own into my comments on her blog. This professor, whom I have never met, commented positively to my ideas.
How are these three opportunites and connections possible? Simply put, the Internet is changing. When I was younger, the things for kids to do was join chatrooms; parents were in an uproar. Still, I remember the amazement of talking with someone from England, without paying exhorbant landline fees. Now, I stay connected with friends in Mozambique through Facebook and Skype. I can see their pictures, read their ideas, and comment. The Web has evolved at a speed equivalent to Moore's Law. And it is still changing, accomadating to man's need. I read this article on CNN about the next Facebook; does anyone remember MySpace? I did not have time to watch or read the materials prepared for this lesson, so I did my own research.
This is not the first time I have embedded a video by Michael Wesch. He is an Anthropology professor at Kansas State University. In this video, Dr. Wesch explores the Web 2.0. I hope you pay attention to his insights at the end. They tie in nicely with the goals laid out by Digital Literacy Without Borders, and our desire to see how the evolving web connects and influences culture.