Here is a snippet of text from my dissertation that is no longer needed but I don’t want to lose so I though I would keep it here for safe keeping.
Two camps, technological determinism and humanism often dichotomise tradition media theory. Dovey et al.(2008) outlines the “Williams/McLuhan debate” which is described as “the question of whether it is a machine’s users that are in control of what they are using, or whether the machine in some sense determines the users”. In contemporary media theory the debate riles on with the adoption of two new figureheads, Kevin Kelly and Jaron Lanier. In Kelly’s book, What Technology Wants (2010), he uses the term technium to refer to the “greater, global, massively interconnected system of technology vibrating around us.” He likens the technium to nature to justify the statement, “we can’t demand that technology obey us any more than we can that life obey us. Sometimes we should surrender to its lead and bask in its abundance, and sometimes we should try to bend its natural course to meet our own.” Kelly embodies the persona of the technological determinist, much like McLuhan, whereas Lanier takes a much more humanist approach siding with Williams. In his book, You Are Not a Gadget (2011), Lanier argues that common technological design patterns of today have an emphasis on people as relays to feed the technium, “deemphasising personhood and the intrinsic value of an individuals unique internal experience and creativity”. This dichotomy is perhaps what underpins the drive for this research; do we allow technology to determine the landscape of the classroom?