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Literacies in Different Contexts and Technologies

For this week, we read about the literacy and development from Street as well as Freire's piece, Cultural Action for Freedom. Street discussed the use of different languages in different contexts in Ghana such as a different language for religious versus economic settings. I was amazed by this information, coming from a homogeneous culture where most people only speak one language or possibly two if their parents speak a different language. I was fascinated that despite multiple languages, people are still able to understand one another and communicate. Using Freire's piece to examine Street's, it also makes me think about the different values that languages and cultures have. Most people in Europe speak multiple languages and yet this is celebrated, there is no pressure to use an universal language. On the other hand, many colonizers forced African countries to try and have "one language", devaluing their languages. It also makes one consider the value placed on oral versus written language and how in most academic settings, we are taught only to write in a language with much less emphasis on speaking.

I wonder how the addition of iPad technology will affect our class dynamic? I am normally frustrated when people use their laptops in class because I feel is though it is impossible to be present in the moment when you have the screen as a barrier. However, I feel the iPad can also be a very useful tool since I will save a lot of money and trees by simply bringing the readings up on the screen versus printing them out. I will observe what happens throughout our future discussion and possibly request that we reserve certain portions of our class to be technology-free. This will be especially important as we transition into Ghana where most of us will not be bringing any sort of technology.