I'm not sure I agree with Selfe & Hawisher when they write, "computers and other didgital technologies may help bring about change - especially in regard to improving the environment for the acquisition and development of writing and literacy, increasing people's access to knowledge, and connecting them with others who have similar interests and needs. Information technology...can be a critical tool for advancing human development" (1500).
Not everyone who does have access to technology and internet capabilities can be said to be "advancing human development." In the United States, many people have access to these technologies but it is apparent by composition courses and remedial writing courses that many Americans are not taking advantage of these technologies as other less fortunate people in the world. The computer and all its potential for being an incredible learning tool for literacy seems to be doing the opposite for human development, just like the television 60 or so years ago. The television was looked at as an educational tool, but now it has been regarded as a tool for the zombification of humans.
I do believe that computers and information technology can increase literacy and knowledge all across the world, if used in a correct manner. Dipo, at first became engaged by the computer because of its gaming capabilities but he realized technology's true power is the information and the English literacy the computer provides. This is probably a result of his parent's influence and ideology on learning. If Dipo was not instilled with the idea that the computer and technology could advance his human potentialities, he would still be using the computer for only its entertainment value. There are people that understand the power and access to knowledge and literacy the computer offers, but if people are not careful, the computer can become what the television has become - a nuisance to learning and an impediment to advancing the human endeavor.
Response from Caleb
Ed, what a great point. Not only do I agree with you completely, I've seen how internet and computer technologies can lead to zombification rather than enlightenment. The online game World of Warcraft is the obvious example in American culture. I know a person that actually timed their schedule around when they had to do certain things in this online virtual community. Computers and technology in general will always posses the ability to advance human culture; however I don't think that humans always have the ability to advance human culture. Peak into any time period in human history, and this opinion could be certified as fact.