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Is Technology Changing the Way We Communicate?

Copyright © 2010. 8 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-868-0.ch002
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Bodomo, Adams B. "Is Technology Changing the Way We Communicate?." Computer-Mediated Communication for Linguistics and Literacy: Technology and Natural Language Education. IGI Global, 2010. 9-16. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-868-0.ch002


Bodomo, A. B. (2010). Is Technology Changing the Way We Communicate?. In A. Bodomo (Ed.), Computer-Mediated Communication for Linguistics and Literacy: Technology and Natural Language Education (pp. 9-16). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-868-0.ch002


Bodomo, Adams B. "Is Technology Changing the Way We Communicate?." In Computer-Mediated Communication for Linguistics and Literacy: Technology and Natural Language Education, ed. Adams B. Bodomo, 9-16 (2010), accessed October 21, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-868-0.ch002

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In this and the next chapter, I will discuss to what extent technology is changing the way we speak, read, and write. The present chapter takes the form of a debate or discussion where we look at different positions on the issue. This issue is taken up early on in the book because its consequences come up again and again throughout the book, as it is one of the main themes of the book. In chapter three I do a particular study of reader preferences vis-à-vis electronic and e-books and their traditional hard copy counterparts. The chapter is structured as follows. In the first part, I outline and define more clearly the aims, objectives and theoretical positions that constitute the discussion in the chapter. Following this I then take up the question whether there is a causal relation between new forms of language and new technologies, and discusses whether the internet in particular and other ICT tools are changing forms and uses of language. After that I then provide a list of the most frequent shortenings as an example of the new forms of linguistic expressions that emerge through the use of the internet, championed mostly by young people. The chapter concludes with a summary of the issues discussed in it.
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Ict Features And Tools

We have already defined and discussed ICT in Chapter I. I will now outline the main features and tools of ICTs that will enable us better understand the roles they place in bringing about linguistic and communicative innovations.

Main Features of Information Communication Technology (ICT)

In this section of the chapter I outline the main features of ICT, based on which I show later on that these features distinguish ICTs from previous communications technologies which is the basis for the new forms and new uses of language that we observe in text-based CMC. These are multimedia integration, flexibility of use, connectivity and interactivity (Blurton 1999, Bodomo 2000, Shortis 2001).

Multimedia integration underscores the fact that ICTs enable us to combine various types of media for the purpose of communication. It is impossible, for instance, to seamlessly integrate text and images (drawings), and even voice features into a piece of writing or lecture presentation far more than would have been the case without computers and allied technologies.

Flexibility of use underlies not only the fact that it is easy to do this integration, but that one can have many options in a communication or information exchange situation. For instance, one can choose to do real-time communication or delayed communication using the same ICT tools, such as email.

Connectivity deals with the ability of ICTs to bring together people who may be living oceans apart. For instance, it is now possible for academics in Asia and North America to collaborate reasonably easily on writing an article for publication. This involves a lot of communication which would have been virtually impossible or too slow prior to the advent of ICTs.

Interactivity is the ultimate feature of ICTs. Because of all the above features participants in communicative situations using ICTs are more interactive, that is, they can control the communication situation in terms of back and forth exchange of information and in terms of how they control the content of the information. In a learning situation for instance, we may distinguish between learner-teacher interaction, learner-learner interaction, and learner resource interaction, all of which would be more enhanced with the use of ICTs than would otherwise be the case, even to the point of making learning from a distance look like a physical, on campus classroom learning. Interactivity and its role in creating learning environments will be discussed in-depth in chapters X and XI.

All these four features lead to an incredibly generous choice of modes of communication that are at the disposal of ICT users. These modes of communication include one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many communication scenarios. One-to-one communication may involve a simple mobile phone or MSN chatting between two people, one on each side; one-to-many communication may involve a blogger, a kind of online diary, sharing his or her life experiences with his or her readers; many-to-one communication may involve an interview situation where a candidate is linked to a group of interviewers; and many-to-many communication could for instance involve an online chat situation or a situation where two classrooms are interacting across vast oceans.


Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
James K. Ho
Chapter 1
Adams B. Bodomo
Given the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of computer-mediated communication in an era that is often referred to as the Information Age or even... Sample PDF
Definitions and Basic Conceptual Notions
Chapter 2
Adams B. Bodomo
In this and the next chapter, I will discuss to what extent technology is changing the way we speak, read, and write. The present chapter takes the... Sample PDF
Is Technology Changing the Way We Communicate?
Chapter 3
Adams B. Bodomo
Digital literacy is an important aspect of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and in this chapter I focus on particular elements of it, including... Sample PDF
Digital Literacy: Reading in the Age of ICT
Chapter 4
Adams B. Bodomo
In line with our theme of investigating the relationship between new communications technology and the way we process (i.e. speak, read, and write)... Sample PDF
TeLCU: A Model for Technology-Conditioned Language and Literacy Change
Chapter 5
Adams B. Bodomo
In this chapter I look closely at one type of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), Microsoft Network (MSN) instant messaging. MSN instant... Sample PDF
Insights from an MSN Corpus
Chapter 6
Adams B. Bodomo
Mobile phone communication as an instance of computer-mediated communication (CMC) has not received as much attention as email and others. Indeed... Sample PDF
Insights from Mobile Phone Voice Communication
Chapter 7
Adams B. Bodomo
In the last chapter, I concentrated mainly on mobile phone voice communication. In this chapter, I will focus on mobile phone text communication.... Sample PDF
The Grammar of Mobile Phone Written Language
Chapter 8
Adams B. Bodomo
“This is the story of Rita, who carries a vital piece of information on which depends the future of India. It is written by RoGue, but controlled by... Sample PDF
New Forms of Reading and Writing: Cell Phone Novels
Chapter 9
Adams B. Bodomo
We have in previous chapters undertaken a quite detailed analysis of the features of language and literacy practices within the medium of... Sample PDF
New Languages, New Literacies and the School Curriculum
Chapter 10
Adams B. Bodomo
In this chapter, I will discuss how to take advantage of youth interests in these new technology that have been discussed at length in previous... Sample PDF
Educational Technologies (WebCT): Creating Constructivist and Interactive Learning Communities
Chapter 11
Adams B. Bodomo
In this penultimate chapter of the book, I will continue with my discussion of how we can take advantage these youth interests and practices with... Sample PDF
Evaluating Learning Technologies
Chapter 12
Adams B. Bodomo
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), with particular reference to linguistics and Literacy and how the technologies that drive this exciting area... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Communication: Emerging Media and Themes