What's wrong with this picture?

This foto was taken at a lovely bookstore/café in Denver…lots of books, lots of comfy chairs where one could get lost in those books. Or maybe not.

This gent found the wireless access point and was off exploring Second Life via his laptop. And yes he was there for quite some time. Apparently this First Life was just not exciting enough….? Does anyone else find this image just a tad bizarre?

Meanwhile, I racked up a huge VISA bill and wanted to do nothing to sit down and -read- my purchases immediately.

spot the geek

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Doug Canfield · March 15, 2007 Reply

    Barbara, I’m shocked. This is the first time in my memory that I have “heard” your “digital immigrant accent”. I remember seeing this photo up on Flickr, and the comment referred to “some clod” playing SL. I refuse to believe that you are unaware of the growing body of scholarship about pedagogy in virtual environments like SL, so I have to assume that you were having a generational (I won’t use “senior”) moment…longing for the “good ol’ days” when you went to a bookstore to… oh… buy a book, read a book, look at a book….

    To me, this picture is priceless in that it affirms Marc Prensky’s findings that digital natives have different media literacies than do you and I. “they prefer their graphics to their texts. They prefer gaming to ‘serious’ work.”

    So how do we get these digital natives into books? “Just do it” is diametrically opposed to everything we know about cultural migration: “Children born into any new culture learn the new language easily, and forcefully resist using the old.” Flexible teachers accept that they don’t know why you would want a Second Life and take advantage of their students to help them learn and integrate, all the time finding ways to use their Second Life (or strong media literacies) to teach them to improve their real life (and media illiteracies).

    Otherwise, we are left sounding like _our_ parents, who still grouse about how they had to walk to school in the wind and snow uphill both ways…..

  2. Ryan · March 15, 2007 Reply

    Barbara: free wireless is free wireless.

    Doug: don’t forget the “with wet hair” part. 🙂

  3. Doug Canfield · March 15, 2007 Reply

    Oh yes…with wet hair…for miles and miles… on dirt roads… dirt which they were occasionally required to eat, etc.

  4. Barbara · March 15, 2007 Reply

    Okay you two, but I bet you had shoes. We didn’t. Anyway…

    I am such a nerd (or is it because I am over 40…no wait, according to my 14 year old they are synonymous) that I don’t download the pdf…I buy the book. Whilst in said bookstore I in fact bought several books that I could have downloaded… but I brought them home. To read. On the couch.

    Now, that being said, I was recently walking through the middle school at my kids school and a kid whom I did not know walked up and said “is it true that you know what WoW and Second Life are?” And I said yes….and poof! I was a goddess in this 11 year old’s eyes.

    So Doug it appears I have been accepted into the guild on some levels, but perhaps not all.

    And where ARE my glasses, dagnabbit…

  5. Barbara · March 15, 2007 Reply

    Oh and by the way, I am indeed thinking about teaching a Winter term course in Spanish next year in Second Life. I am not thinking about it because it is glitzy, rather I am thinking about it because I believe there might be a section of the student population here that might gravitate to that type of a tool and have a productive experience in the Second Language because this medium is comfortable to her/him. (Note: I did not say the entire generation or the entire incoming freshperson class… I am referring to a section of the community. I worry when we make blanket assumptions about our students and their readiness to indulge in technology.)

    But first this digital immigrant native troublemaker has to wrap her brain around SL and learn more…

    Yes, I am quite aware of the scholarship out there about virtual worlds and different media literacies and I am enthralled by it all… I am reading it (in books and on my comfy couch) just as fast as my weary little eyes can manage it!

    The more I work in technology, the more I need and appreciate books. It’s ironic, perhaps, but the truth.

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