For my fourth class this semester, an independent study with an anthropology professor revolving around the topics covered in the 360, I have explored in the last week a series of pieces of literature delving into the differences and paradoxes between oral-based cultures versus those that have developed systems of writing. Specifically, my studies started by looking at Jack Goody's theory on the "technology of writing" in which he essentially argues that societies that have developed a system of writing have created a new tool or "technology" which has enabled them to be cognitively more advanced. The argument has been widely critiqued and problematized and I think the literature in general raises some critically important, provoking ideas.
I will summarize here a few of the contentions I found most stimulating. The first is the presence of logic and the potential way writing enables various ideas and works from different authors and different times to be consolidated in a way that is more logical and thus helpful than what can be done via oral tradition only. A second contention is that of audience. Whereas oral tradition requires, at least seemingly, an audience, written works can be written and transmitted without knowledge of a specific audience. I find this idea particularly interesting because it feeds directly into a third point about variability. Written works are stagnant to a certain extent, copyright and authorial presentation are limited to the page, lacking change with time, speaker or audience.
In looking at the tweets and conversations this week, I have made a few observations. First off, I would like to recall the tweets regarding bridging academics and personal experiences in the classroom as a means of learning. Something I am finding particularly useful about the Twitter is that it is allowing us to, at some extent, create these bridges. Though our experiences are held to a 140-character limit, it does allow us to bring what we observe, notice, feel, etc., in a precise moment into the classroom. Questions via Twitter also serve as a basis for further inquiry, such as the questions regarding code-switching and world-travelling. These questions, and the ones that are generated in class provide a framework and basis for thought, in and out of the classroom, leading us to form more experiences with the mindset and understanding of what we accomplish in the classroom.