I recently had a conversation with my mom about how much progression and change that her generation has seen in terms of technology. Her generation went from not having barely any to this. Whatever this is. In contrast, in my own life time so far, I grew up with minimal technology such as old clunker cellphones that actually looked like home telephones, walk-mans which then evolved into disc-mans (which were a pain to run with), and then the old infamous windows gam
e, mines -perfect, in our pre internet days. Then came the internet, and well, you know, the rest is history. My youngest sister (as well as any kids today) were born into a world of high speed internet and social media. They will never quite understand the changes that have taken place and the positive (and negative) implications of such. I feel like those who have experienced life before technology may experience resistance to this new era, but the younger generation will so easily be engulfed in this! I also feel like this is is not bad thing, but children should be educated to see the progression, the positivity, the precautions, and potential technology has to offer, and not just a streak on snapchat.
Michael Wesch speaks of the web as being being a tool for, “new forms of expression, new forms of community, and new forms of identity.” People are able to express themselves in an authentic way that goes beyond mainstream media and fake news that cannot truly be trusted. In addition, there is a global community taking place in that the web is connecting people in all parts of the world which never used to be the case. Take Skype or FaceTime for example, we are able to maintain and create human relations through these forms of media. Alec Couros, who spoke to our ECMP 355 class last week and also mentioned the idea of how much we can connect to others and how this is underestimated. For example, to expand on this idea, connecting through technology can aid in global issue initiatives. The other week, I recall a classmate, Kaytlyn Placatka, tweeted an article about Google pledging $50 million to close education gaps world-wide (article found here) This would an example of using media and technology in creating that global community.
The classroom is a very practical, safe, and efficient space to show students the positive implications of technology and media (if used appropriately and purposely). Classrooms are about learning, and Alec Couras talked to us about how the web makes learning visible. A way to do this is through the media. Youtube can teach us many things from changing a tired to playing a song on guitar. In the ECMP 355 class, we are currently putting this into practice with our learning project. I am learning a song on the guitar, and for another example, my classmate Laura is learning how to draw her face. You go girl!
Alec goes on to say that this is developing student identity and voice which is so important if we are teaching our students to be critical and creative thinkers. I recall in his guest lecture, he displayed the example of a boy who created a Rube Goldberg Machine and posted the video to youtube. When it worked, the boy was so enthusiastic, and his excitement was off the roof! Alec posed the question, “why can’t our classrooms ignite this type of excitement?” (paraphrased). I think they should, so by using technology in purposeful ways, this is one strategy of going about doing this. For example, doing a learning project, creating a video, using apps to engage and enlighten students in ways that the could never access otherwise (virtual museums, instantly talking to other students across the world).
A final quote from Michael Wesh I could like to conclude my post with is this, “Media is not content or tools of communicating, it is mediating human relations; when media change, human relations change.” I agree with this statement, and the implication this has for schools and my own teaching career is that I believe it is essential to understand human relations within our world and teaching through media is a way to do so.