Technology

This is what I don’t get about the big divide between people who email and those who text or twitter; [as in “My teacher emails (giggle, rolls eyes) and doesn’t believe in texting (sarcastic snicker), s/he’s so old.”] email is text – what’s the big deal?

I find IM to be intrusive; it is a rude intrusion into my life and space – I don’t wish to be ‘on call’ all of the time. Not everything needs to be shared the instant it is felt, seen, reacted to – I find that people who need constant monitoring to be extremely infantile and by accepting such behavior, by endorsing it through educational tie-ins, leads to a tantrum society of people who feel entitled to constant affirmation.

Texting is cell phone email without grammar rules. I don’t need to be so connected that I need to ‘read’ about one’s heartbeat, dating mishaps, binges and moral dilemmas. Twittering is totally obnoxious – I don’t care what a person isn’t wearing at a moment in time, or who someone is with, or a personal tweet about Piglet. You have a right to all of those thought tidbits but you don’t have to share them with me. I fire off hundreds of thousands of thoughts throughout my day (and night) but they aren’t all shareable (and shouldn’t be) unless, perhaps, I were a writer for Larry David.

Twittering, to me, is like a toddler pointing to a newly discovered object and asking, “Wazz dat?” without retaining wazz dat was. Just because something is digital doesn’t make it educational. And don’t let anyone fool you – the mind has more depth than a digital recording device – because digital devices can only be created and manipulated by the human mind. Teachers have been encouraging children to think for ages. I was encouraged to think as a 1960s student throughout my school career. I thought a lot about getting rid of those hated SRA readers, and creatively daydreamed, too. I think therefore I am. When did thinking become baggage?

America couldn’t have led the world through innovation of Great Britain’s, and our own, inventions during the Industrial Revolution, through medical science research and NASA space development if students weren’t being encouraged to think and be creative. We haven’t stopped teaching problem solving and our student’s creativity proves this day in and out. If we believe that we are defunct in our methods and empty in our pedagogy then we will make it so.

I was struck by a sorry image in a recently viewed youtube.com video titled “A Vision of K-12 Student” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8& feature=fvw] of a young girl with a place card that announced that she read 2 hours per week. I want to emphasis 2 hours per week. It is sad that reading would be delegated has a useless task. Other students qualified their time in front of their computers and televisions, texting and using their cell phones. No one bothered to add up the hours they spent in school because apparently students don’t get anything out of school (too low tech) and while there they certainly don’t believe that they are reading anything worthwhile. They would like to use the internet Wherever-Whenever-Whatever to expand their minds and are looking for educators that can/will fulfill their wishes. School will then be cool and they will be on equal ground with English speaking Chinese students. This video had been viewed 509,481 times (I watched it twice, once for quotes) and it received a four out of five star rating. At first I liked the flow f the video, then it began to eat at me (reread above), and then I scrolled down to the comments and bingo! a comment with a response that perfectly makes my point!

ever2146
man at college here is this old dude that wrote in f***ing cursive all uglie and refused to use power points!!! no one could read his writing!!! i droped out of that class. at the end my friend told me there were only 5 students left in that class!!! stupid old close minded ignorants!!!
iyasaekki
“ugly”, not “uglie”
“dropped”, not “droped”
“ignoramuses”, not “ignorants” (which isn’t even a word)
Sounds like your instructor couldn’t have helped your stupid a** even with all the Powerpoint presentations in the world.

Students can’t receive information without reading – pillow osmosis doesn’t work no matter how hard one tries one can’t sleep on a book, or keyboard to sop up knowledge. Yesterday I told a student that “A good book allows you to lose yourself in its pages .” Creativity can’t live in a sterile mind; imagination doesn’t grow from a blank slate. Somehow students have to engage with a page, whether e-book or printed page, there must be an absorption of ideas (fiction) or facts in order for education/knowledge to happen. A student not exposed to Shakespeare will think that a rapper that raps about to be or not to be is crafty, and won’t understand that a reference was made which enhanced the rapper’s meaning. This same scenario can take place in the art or music room – not knowing something encroaches on another’s copyright and I didn’t know becomes an anthem for the educationally disenfranchised.

Technology is an additional tool in the student’s backpack; technology is not the definition of education – it assists education. Without technology the mind is no dumber, learning just may require a little more activity like researching, reading, and problem solving. And effort, and what’s wrong with effort?