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  • Allowing for Creative Freedom

    Posted on February 6th, 2012 lisskane 2 comments

    While watching the Engelbart’s demonstration I was struck but the idea he talked about in the reading about how “this flexible cut-and-try process really did appear to match the way you seemed to develop your thoughts.” The word processor gives users the ability to let their thoughts flow creatively and quickly. There is no need to worry that what you are writing is wrong or doesn’t make sense. You don’t have to be constricted by the permanency of your thoughts. The quickness of typing allows you to get your thoughts down almost as quickly as you think them. When all of your thoughts are down you can easily go back and delete, modify and rearrange. I thought about every paper I have ever written for school or emails I have sent and how many times I went back over it, changing and critiquing until it satisfied me. Sometimes going through and deleting whole paragraphs or sometimes just a few words. In fact, I am doing it as I write this blog post. The expansion that came with this ability to edit your own thoughts in such an accessible and convenient fashion is astronomical.  I never really think about its convenience, since it is what I am used to. But if I were to be given an essay to write and was only allowed to use pencil or paper, I would be sure to notice the drastic difference. It would seem inefficient and restricting. The process would seem unbearably slow and my fingers would itch for a keyboard. Which pointed out how much truth there is to Engelbart’s argument that once you are aware of advancement it is beyond frustrating to go back to more primitive modes of operation. You begin to feel restricted and impatient with the slower and older method.  You are stuck noticing the lack of efficiency and how much more productive you could be with your hands on the improved option. Needless to say the word processor was an evolutionary invention in terms of the growth it gave. It drastically changed our communication, learning, efficiency and thus our world in a remarkably positive direction.

     

    2 responses to “Allowing for Creative Freedom” RSS icon

    • Jordan Jacobson

      I have much the same idea about word processing vs. hand written works, how inefficient are we if, in our schools and in our businesses, we are stuck to paper and pencil procedures. Over summer a couple of years ago I was stuck with the task of “digitizing” my mother’s law office. 100s of papers needed to be scanned and put on to their (much outdated) computers so that they could free up space and become more environmental. But, the economical benefits far outweighed the space that it freed up. Paper is money and the time spent paying me to transfer said papers over was also costing them money. I don’t understand how Engelbart had such wonderful, efficient ideas way back in the 1960s, yet businesses are just now embracing these practices. Even schools are just now realizing that computers are vital to the every day life of students. My middle school and high school allowed students to rent laptops suring their education, and without them I have no idea how I could be able to survive in college, a place where 70% of high school graduates end up. I was lucky, many schools across our country cannot afford or choose to spend money on other things that, in my opinion, should 100% take a back seat to technological advances in middle and high schools. Much like financial budgeting courses that should be implemented, computers and the internet expands children’s worlds immensely, and even just word processing allows for much faster and easier communication to teachers and other students. It makes assignments more enjoyable because they don’t take 3 hours, maybe only 1 hour. So, yes, I agree word processing and the whole idea of attempting to get computers to “think” like we think is important, but let’s take it a whole step further and actually implement these concepts on a broader plane so that we can make a difference! …see..even typing fast can get me impassioned about even the smallest of things, such as word processing…computers playing with my emotions!

    • I completely agree! The fact that we grew up with computers and word processing makes it incredibly frustrating when we can’t use them. I can’t begin to imagine how differently I would be learning if we did not have these devices. I feel like I would be restricted, like you said. It really is remarkable that we can delete words, sentences, paragraphs, spellcheck a 15-page paper in a matter of seconds, have immediate access to a dictionary, encyclopedia, and thesaurus without flipping through pages. I feel like we are almost spoiled having access to all of these resources constantly.


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