21 September 2010

Return to India

I've wavered some from my focus on Tibetans in India, but I'm back again to share some of Dr. Burton's ideas and my thoughts about them.

We have, as participants in the digital renaissance, a different outlook on life and especially on education thanks to the conveniences of technology. We have new social-based ways to learn (Dr. Burton mentioned the information commons in the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU, which is a place where students can talk and eat unlike other places in the Library).

No longer are we worried about not having access to facts. As iPhones and other mobile devices with internet access become the norm, the necessity of memorizing facts will diminish and the potential of social learning will explode. What if, instead of learning French with a class of Utah kids, we skyped with a French student? What if, when learning about Indian culture, we contact someone who lives in that culture?

Digital literacy brings worldwide change just like print literacy did. Suddenly, anyone with Internet can access information that was, formerly, exclusive. Suddenly, like Mike told me, we graduate from college with less reading under our belts than ever before (but think about all that we read and write informally--emails, Facebook statuses, twitter, blogs, websites).

Another aspect of the digital renaissance is its worldwide scope. The World Wide Web is just that, and the shifts in attitudes and educational practices are not limited to the United States of America. Thus, how is the digital renaissance evident in the lives and attitudes of Tibetans in India, and how do the features of the digital renaissance overlap with elements of Tibetan culture like Buddhism and exile?

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