Friday, April 11, 2008

Imagine Possibilities

As I was brainstorming ways in which technology can be deployed for learning and instruction, I came to the ubiquitous cellphone. How can we use this technology for teaching? I was pleasantly surprised, though not shocked by what I learned from this article. A Japanese lady had written an entire novel using a cellphone:

"One such star, a 21-year-old woman named Rin, wrote “If You” over a six-month stretch during her senior year in high school. While commuting to her part-time job or whenever she found a free moment, she tapped out passages on her cellphone and uploaded them on a popular Web site for would-be authors..."

Critics were quick to condemn such a form of literary writing as poor and inferior writing. What good writing can come from someone typing on a cellphone while riding a train home? Where is the angst, the agony, the fretfulness over selecting the wrong word?

I am not sure if there is not a bit of intellectual snobbery in this. Can good writing not come from anyone, anywhere? Granted, some writing may be bad if one doesn't spend too much writing reflecting and thinking about what to write. However, I don't think one can categorically say that where or how one writes determines the quality of writing.

I would say, good for her, for using her time so constructively. As to the fame that came with her novel, and whether it was justified, I'm not in a position to comment now or perhaps ever, since I can't read Japanese.

Other ways to use the cellphone for teaching and learning? Read this post in the Literacy is Priceless blog by Anna.

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