Hey again Blog Family,
This week we are going to discuss some of the changes in our educational world thanks in part to technology. This was a hot topic in this evenings EDTC 300 class, and I would venture to say that the class chat room was the busiest it has been all semester; which I would argue speaks to the number of opinions on this topic.
After a brief trip down nostalgia lane (MSN messenger, napster, dial up internet etc…) we dug into the new generation that is ‘born digital’. And quite frankly, some of the statistics regarding digital footprints and children are terrifying. Now, I will readily admit that I am decidedly ‘old school’ when it comes to posting online. I go out of my way to keep my limited social media usage professional and clean, and I certainly do not post any videos or pictures of my children. Before I turn this post into the ‘get off of my lawn’ type of rant, I will try to turn this back to an educational reflection.
I think the discussion we had regarding ‘The Big Changes’ was the most eye opening to me. The Big Changes were grouped into Content (Netflix, YouTube etc…), Tools (cell phones, computers etc…) and Relationships. To me, the content and the tools are categories that explained themselves pretty easily; however, I was interested to hear where our instructor would go with relationships. After a few good memes and some insight from the instructor, my eyes were opened to the idea that relationships have become a public forum for peoples judgement. That today’s relationships (some, not all, but a growing number of them) are no longer “Private by Default and Public with Effort” but instead, “Public by Default and Private with effort“. I took this wording directly from the presentation our instructor provided.
As a future teacher, that’s a scary thought, and it’s even scarier for a father of two girls.
There is no doubt, that today’s teachers and those of tomorrow will need to work towards helping students understand the importance of positive internet behaviour. How will the teacher go about this? Good question. One I do not have the answer to. I’m not sure if anyone has a full proof answer to this. My best guess is that it would involve a delicate balance between dictating the students every internet move and letting them find out the hard way how harsh the web can be. With each individual student needing a sprinkle of this or a dab of that based on their personality and the teachers relationship with the student…Ah ha! There is that word relationship again. It just won’t go away, and nor should it. Relationships are the foundation of human interaction, whether it be online or face to face and the ability to form relationships is vital. In the below video, Michael Wesch goes into great detail about the not only YouTube, but the internet, media and their role in Anthropology. He said that “The web is about linking people” (6:30) as well as he said he thinks of media as “mediating human relationships” (11:51).
This video in conjunction with our class lecture has led me to the opinion that technology can be used to help form and strengthen relationships. Conversely, it can be used to damage and destroy them; and it is up the individual to determine how they will let technology effect their life, because it no doubt will.