Technology and Trends article 1
Though Singapore‘s future depend on technology and innovation, it’s citizen’s are not as eager to embrace the public nature of the interactive Web.2.0Though other people find the experience of working collaboratively on a wiki invaluable, students from the Singapore management University are having a hard time embracing the use of Web2.0. The public, open nature of the tool and the ability to change other people’s work are factors that do not sit well with cultural norms. In the Asian context, keeping face or not embarrassing one another in public by being sensitive to each other valued. The fact that the assignments ask people to put up work in progress is also another deterrent it seems.
One professor noted that having been used to students being outspoken and vocal before coming to Singapore, he found student mentality in Singapore often is the opposite. He had to make it an assignment for his students to go on Twitter. He said “the sarcasm and edginess he is accustomed to seeing in American classrooms was absent, Singaporeans tend to practice a certain level of self-control when communicating on-line” (Young, 2010)
The article gave possible explanations for this difference in characteristics of students, Dr. Nesbitt, a Psychology professor from University of Michigan,” argues that the difference stems from contrasting notions that people grew up with about the complexity of the world.” (Young, 2010)
Professor Nesbitt argued that whereas “the western world sees the world as a series of objects to be rationally controlled and easily described, those in the east focus on the flow of systems they see as connected in complex and ineffable ways”.(Young, 2010) Therefore this leads to Asian tendencies for silence while sorting through issues. He also mentioned that in the east, silence rather than words have often been equated knowledge.
Then again, another obvious and practical reason might be due to the fact that the Singaporean government monitors on-line speech. This would certainly inhibit people from speaking out. There was a man arrested because he criticized a government minister. His arrest led to widespread complaints, which came in the form of blogs and tweets about government’s overreaction. This incident just proves that change is on its way, use of Web 2.0 will be the norm on both side of the hemisphere though it might just take a little more time in the east.
I chose this article because I can identify with the reticence felt by the Singaporean students, like them, it will take a continual exposure before I can feel truly comfortable with the public nature of this media. The societal shift in communication is forcing me towards use of this technology. Perhaps it’s the same for every other person. Please comment on what it’s been like for you and the world of web2.0.
You can find the article href=”http://cclsw2.vcc.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=53997128&site=ehost-live”>In Wired Singapore, Classrooms and Cultures Clash Over Web 2.0.</A
Young, J R (2010) In Wired Singapore, Classrooms and Cultures Clash Over Web 2.0.
Chronicle of Higher Education; 9/17/2010, Vol. 57 Issue 4, pA10-A10, 1p, 1 Color Photograph