Are We Lost in Technology?

Here’s a question I have to ask you, ponder it for a while and be honest. Now here is the question. Sherry Turkle had a conversation with a boy who said “someday, someday, but certainly not now, I would like to learn how to have a conversation…,”how would your grandparents react to a statement like this one? I know my grandmother would be disappointed in a question like this, if she was asked 5 years ago. Yes, that’s right, I just indicated that my grandmother may have a different take on this statement if I told her it today. I say this with reason. My reason being, my grandmother used to threaten to take away all of her grandchildren’s’ cellphones the minute they walked into the house. Since then she bought an iPhone and will literally pause conversation with anyone to answer a text. Honestly, I was appalled and disgusted by this behaviour by the way my grandmothers take on technology changed but then I realized, this has happened across the globe to millions, maybe billions. 

Let’s start when the world as we know it today began…

Picture this, you turn on your box-style television and watch the evening news. CBC broadcaster Peter Mansbridge appears and starts talking about a world turning event. He begins talking about the internet (which is even included in one of his career highlights) which he explains can be used to “communicate across cultural and continents”. While this may hold true, we are not only communicating with others who are miles apart from us, we are also using it to communicate with the person across the table. So, what exactly has happened? The answer is quite simple, technology has consumed us. 

Photo Credit: davidstewartgets Flickr via Compfight cc

The Effects

Technology is everywhere. The only way you are able to read this post is because it is online. 

Returning to Sherry Turkle’s TED talk, she mentions “some of the things we do now with our devices are things that, only a few years ago, we would have found off or disturbing, but they’ve quickly come to seem familiar, just how we do things,”. As I reflect on this, I believe it is true. Who would have thought sending a picture of yourself to other people multiple times a day on app called SnapChat would be might be normal? In class, we talked about how SnapChat has created streaks so people have to go onto the app if they want to keep the streak alive. Who would have thought? We keep the streak alive, why? I could not tell you, I have multiple streaks but do I actually talk to those people? Barely. Strange, right? That’s our norm. 

To my surprise, Turkle says some people have wished “that some day a more advanced version of Siri… will be more like a best friend, someone who will listen when others won’t,”. My reaction was this: The human touch gives a sense of safety and comfort, Siri may be able to listen but will not be able to console us

Nathan Jurgenson’s article “The IRL Fetish” raises points similar to Turkle’s but adds other ideas. He mentions how some may brag about NOT being on social networks, and that is our accomplishment. We are consumed so much by technology so often that when we are off of it, we notice. This goes to show how consumed we have become by technology. 

Can Siri give hugs?
Photo Credit: Iain Purdie Flickr via Compfight cc

How are we learning? 

This week in class I was introduced to a news story where Ethiopian children were given tablets with the intention the children would learn from having these tablets. While the researchers claim the children were learning with the tablets, the question is: do they know what they are doing? From experience in the field, I have seen children who have had the privilege of educators to teach them basic skills such as reading and writing use technology to learn a lesson but not actually learn what they are doing. I am the same way, if I was to hear a song and not be familiar with it but it had a catchy tune, I too would learn how to sing it just so I could jam out to this song. My question is, where the children learning for intrinsic purposes or were they learning for extrinsic purposes encouraged by apps with reward such as moving up a level? 

Also, the app Class Dojo seems to be controversial. One article provides insight on the app. Some may claim the app is “a quick behavioural fix”as Mr. Manolev points out as it provides a point system which decides if students are good or bad. While teacher, Leanne Cairns argues the app motivates students and is good to use in the classroom if used and managed properly. We have become consumed by technology in our classroom by using apps like this one by using it to guide students’ behaviours while also allowing parenting monitoring. 

While I am not completely against technology in the classroom, I do see it’s downfalls. This week Katia provided us with an article related to computer note taking compared to the traditional pen and notepad note taking style. The result of the study: “students perform better academically when laptops are banned from the classroom” (Straumsheim, 2016). After finding out this result, I questioned why schools are wanting paperless classroom when studies are showing students do better without technology? I understand both sides of this argument. Yes, some teachers speed incredibly fast and it is quicker to type everything. But, what happens if technology fails? Where do your notes go? I may not know much about computers but I know it is way easier to recover notes on a piece of paper covered in orange juice versus notes on a computer covered in orange juice (I know this from a friend’s personal incident, she swears she had a heart attack and the only thing that kept her alive was the fact she had a hard copy of her notes). 

Photo Credit: verchmarco Flickr via Compfight cc

Lastly, I want to add one comment about computers in particular. Most expect youth to automatically know how to use computers but they do not. This prior weekend I went home and my brother had over 5 friends. They were preparing for finals with their Chromebooks in front of them. As they answered questions I noticed NOT A SINGLE PERSON was able to type correctly. All 5 of them sat around my kitchen table, chicken peckingtheir notes. I asked my brother later on if he knew the proper way to type and he said no. He added that he has never learnt to type properly. Interesting, isn’t it? What I find even more interesting is my brother is three years younger than me but I was taught to type and he was not. We had the same teachers, but I had to take computer literacy until Grade 9 yet he has never taken a computer literacy class in his life but was given a Chromebook to use every day since Grade 10 and assumed he knew how to use it. 

Has technology taken over our lives? Is it assumed younger generations will automatically know how to use technology? Maybe, but that’s for you to decifer. 

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

  • Miss. Lang

Digital Identity? I Barely Have One

My initial reaction after creeping myself online was: “Man, I am boring to follow on social media”. I was not surprised about what I could or could not find about myself online. Instead, I actually bored myself because I literally am not active on my social media pages at all. But before we get into what I found on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on, let’s start at the beginning of this.

I started by reviewing the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation document STF’s tips for professionalism in a digital world. As I went through the top 10 tips, I was able to say that I already met the tips. I like to keep my life private and away from others, mostly because I don’t want everyone knowing my every single move (I find it kind of creepy).  I also do not want someone I do not know being able to look at my profiles on various social media platforms because again, it’s creepy to me. I like knowing who I follow and who follows me on social media so I keep all my accounts on maximum privacy (but do not worry, if I know you, I will definitely add you).

When it comes to posting on social media, I honestly don’t. If I do post on social media, it’s because it’s either a) a really nice photo or b) I haven’t posted for a while so I might as well make a presence. My motto for posting online is “if my Mom sees this, will she be disappointed in me?”, and it’s a really good motto to remember when posting on social media. But I should start writing about what I found when I looked at my social media.

Results for “Jayden Lang”

Let’s start with the classic search of typing your name into Google to see what comes up. When I Googled “Jayden Lang”, what showed up was Facebook profiles but when I clicked it, guess what? My profile didn’t even show up. What did show up was multiple YouTube Channels, Track and Field Records, Chess scores, cross country profiles and so many more results that were not me. Interestingly, my Twitter account I use for education and my blog appeared, but I do not have privacy settings set on those two accounts because I want people to see my growth and development as a teacher. It also makes interacting with other professionals so much easier because there are no privacy restrictions.

Yup, the results of “Jayden Lang melville” are of me

 After I searched my name, I added the name of my hometown to my name. The results were me, not someone else. Appearing in this blog, my Twitter I use for education, newspaper articles discussing scholarships and my results from when was speed swimming, and my grandfather’s obituary. For images showing up for the result of “Jayden Lang Melville”, there are pictures of me. My Twitter profile picture shows up, pictures of my swim team and I, and my grandfather. These pictures are available to the public because they are from a public Twitter account and from newspapers which I have no control over if I appeared in the picture.

I think it’s time I dive into those private accounts of mine to show everyone what is posted (warning: it’s not exciting)

 

Facebook 

I made a Facebook account much later in life compared to my friends. As a matter of fact, I was in Grade 11 to be exact, and the only reason I made an account was for group chats with my volleyball teams. As shown above, I do not have a biography written, and my profile picture is of my brother and I. As I scrolled through my Facebook I realized I have never actually written a post. What will be seen on my Facebook is grad photos, volleyball photos, birthday wishes, and a couple of shared videos that I couldn’t help but share. I believe the highlight of my Facebook is my grad photos, which was two years ago.

The most exciting post on my Facebook account

Instagram

Here’s a glimpse into my Instagram account

When I looked at pictures I posted on Instagram, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. The photos are selfies, of awards, of my family and of volleyball. I don’t post often as the last photo I posted was in November and that was only because I was so proud of my brother medalling at provincials for the second year in the row, I wanted everyone to know. I also reviewed photos that I was tagged in. Those photos are very similar to the ones I posted. Again, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. But one can view my bio on Instagram which is my Snapchat username.

Photos I’ve been tagged in

VSCO

You’ll see throwback photos of my brother and I

On my VSCO are pictures I have taken in which I would like to share or photos of my friends and me. My photos are once again, okay for anyone to see. On the other hand, my collection on VSCO features quotes about what country song I want to dance in a kitchen with my best friend, or country songs for any occasion, or about relationships. In a way, I wouldn’t want my students to see this but my VSCO is impossible to find and honestly, it holds nothing bad just my basic goals for what I want in a relationship and life and such. I’m thinking I should go through my VSCO collection very carefully and think carefully about the message the collection is portraying.

Twitter

As you can tell, I have never posted on this account

Okay, I have two Twitter accounts. One is for education and this is the one that is public. This is a professional account where I post resources, ideas and anything else related to education. I check this Twitter a lot as it is on my MacBook and iPad. My other account is to see what my friends are tweeting but I have never posted anything on this Twitter account. I mainly use this account to read Tweets by Regina Police to see about accidents that may affect my route to the university, SaskPower to know about power outages and Highway Hotline to know if roads are good if I am planning to go home for the weekend. This account is on my phone and is private.

Pinterest

Honestly, my Pinterest account would show others what food I like (chocolate anything), what I want my house to look like, quotes (way too many), wedding ideas (I’m not even sure why this exists but it does), photography ideas and teaching ideas. Again, not very exciting.

What did I learn from stalking myself?

I learnt my digital identity is hidden from the public for the most part with the exception of my Twitter I use for education and my blog. If people were to see my other social media accounts, they would see only pictures of me and get a general idea of what I look like and a little bit about my interests. As an educator, it shows I respect others as I am not shaming anyone, I respect my body and appearance, and I care about education (you would notice this by the number of Tweets I’ve been doing since the beginning of class. I just love seeing new ideas and learning about the art of teaching).

The message I send on social media, that is a tough question. Mainly because I never thought about it. It may be because I am not very active on social media, but I honestly do not know. On my education Twitter account, the message is simple though. I want to show parents/employers/other teachers that I care about my job and I am passionate about it. I am willing to learn more about teaching because I believe a teacher learns just as much as the students, maybe even more.

For the most part, my digital identity is hard to find. Majority of my accounts are private and I couldn’t find any of them and I tried everything. Comments, pictures, and anything else you can think of, all set to private, so you have to friend or follow me to see what is posted. If someone found any of these accounts, I’m okay with it, there is nothing I wouldn’t want anyone to see because of my motto stated earlier.

Areas I would like to work on with respect to my digital identity and steps I will take:

  • Letting people get a sense of who I am, aside from a future teacher
    • I should include my personality into my social media more often as personal identity is important
    • Tweet a photo of my dog, post a selfie of my family and I hanging out on a Saturday, make a category on my blog with photos I have taken
  • Being more confident
    • If I appear more confident in my Tweets, my profile pictures (a picture where it shows I’m happy and not trying to get the perfect angle and trying too hard to look like a model) and so on, students may feel confident in their teacher because that is how their teacher presents themselves.
  • There are probably more areas I could work on, but I can’t think of any but I am certain I will learn more as I continue my education on my way to being a teacher!

Who Am I?

Hello!

My name is Jayden! I come from the community of Melville, SK where I lived my entire life. I attended high school at Melville Comprehensive School. During high school, I played senior girl’s volleyball and coached the junior team. After graduation, I assisted in coaching the senior team for a year.

After graduation, I attended Yorkton Parkland College, taking university classes through the University of Saskatchewan for a Kinesiology degree. During this year, I learnt that Kinesiology was not for me, so I applied to the secondary education program at the University of Regina. This year is my first year attending the University of Regina, taking the secondary education math program with a minor in social studies.

In my spare time, I enjoy going back home to visit my friends and my family. I also like to read, take photos, and go for walks with my dog.

 

3 Goals I Have for EDTC 400

  1. To learn how to communicate with other professionals in education using platforms such as Twitter.
  2.  Be aware of debates and discussions surrounding technology use in the classroom.
  3.  Become more familiar with social platforms such as WordPress and Twitter.

 

Check out my Twitter I will be using for this class!

@JaydenLang7