Prioritizing Technology

I think it is a school’s responsibility to prepare students for as many challenges as the world has to offer. Obviously, technology has/will impact our students’ future. It is our job as teachers to prepare them for that and that includes technology. My first priority is to make sure that my students know how to use the internet safely. Am I worried about how much they use it? Not really if I am being frank. I think that technology, just like every other materialistic thing can be used too much or too little. I have faith that my students will understand how much is too much when it comes to the internet. 

Some people argue that our youth are not having enough face to face conversations is a problem. Why is this a problem? Why must our youth be conversing face to face? What’s the biggest benefit from speaking face to face? I do not necessarily see the big idea. If some people do not want to speak to another person, I believe that is totally fine. Some people hate conversing with one another. Obviously, there is a time and place to be on your phone but, I believe that our youth can learn when the appropriate time is. Some of our youth learn/know how to act properly in public from the internet. I think we as educators just need to address when and when not to be on your phone. 

If the education system wants less screen time and more interaction, I would suggest incorporating that into classes. Have more group discussions on topics that start face to face conversations. In my high school experience, we did not have very many class discussions. I had learned how to converse in my Drama class the most. Doing improv and having pretended scenes helped me develop conversation skills. I am not too sure how to teach conversing directly in any other subject besides discussion. Another argument would be that some/most technology research is better than non-technology based research. If students are more engaged in topics when researching online, why should we shy away from that? I do think that technology is very beneficial in the classroom and it also allows for better independent work. From my experiences in school, when students were on technology for classes they were more significantly on task. 

If you would like to see more professional insight on this matter feel free to watch Connected, but alone? and you may also read Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change and The IRL Fetish.

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1 Response to Prioritizing Technology

  1. Interesting views Josh!
    In your writing, you say “I have faith that my students will understand how much is too much when it comes to the internet”. I have to highly disagree with you. I think that we are daily using the internet and our devices far to much. Over and over, we see the negative impacts of technology in large consumptions. Sherry Turkle’s TED talk that you linked, shares the idea of how important real life conversations are.
    The problem with students preferring the internet over real life conversations is that they simply will not be able to successfully hold a conversation. Whether this conversation is with friends, future employers during job interviews, their significant other’s parents, or with the check out person at the grocery store. Real life conversations are necessary for life, they cannot be avoided forever.


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