What is the stone age? Driving cars with our feet. Living in boulders in Bedrock. Your next-door neighbour is Fred Flinstone. Is that the life I want? Heck to the no. This week in EDTC 400, it was finally my turn to debate. The topic “We have become too dependent on technology and we’d be better off returning to the ‘good old days’ before the Internet and smartphones took over,”. My competition was Kiera. I’ll just break the news right here, I did not win the debate but I did make a little headway so I consider that an accomplishment. Here are the pre-vote results:
I was on the agreement side of this debate and I highly recommend watching my video to what/listen what I had to say (and because Powtoon’s are difficult to make and therefore took a lot of effort). But if you don’t have 5 minutes extra, I’ll just summarize what I had to say in the video and in the debate.
- Technology is leading to injuries
- People walking and texting are getting hit and ending up injured
- Technology is affecting our memorization
- We are simply not remembering things such as a birthday because we can search it up on our phones
- Technology is causing us to lose skills
- Ask yourself: When was the last time I used a physical map when on vacation? Or how often do I use a calculator just to “double check” work?
- Technology is not actually the best for students
- Studies have found handwriting notes is actually BETTER for students than typing.
- Technology has us missing life’s moments
- Studies have found 4 in 10 people have missed important moments including their child’s first steps. Why? Simply because they were looking at their cellphones
- While technology is affecting human development in positive ways such as letting us communicate with people across the world, it is also affecting our brain development. According to Ryan Thomas’ Ted Talk, children who spend time looking at screens are having less developed pre-frontal cortex’s which is our brains main supporter for skills such as problem-solving.
With this debate, I also provided many articles but I will discuss the two I thought were the most intriguing to me. The first article is not an article, but instead a video. Partik Wincent’s TED Talk entitled “What you are missing while being a digital zombie” is actually quite frightening to watch. The video opens up with Wincent ordering the audience to give their cellphone to the person next to them, for the ENTIRE TALK. Letting a stranger hold your phone? Who would be comfortable with that? Not me that’s for sure. Wincent talked about using video games as a babysitter for his son, and continually talked about missing moments in his son’s life. One comment made was “there is no app for a lap”. I think this is true. Children need interaction with their parents, they crave it and parents cannot give a child an iPhone to cuddle. We are becoming too dependent on technology as the talk mentions we go on our phones because they are pleasurable to us, in the same way a cigarette is.
The second article I found interesting was 26 Once-Common Survival Skills We’ve Lost to Technology.While this article did not exactly relate to skills such as writing or navigation as I mentioned in my video, it discussed other skills. Skills such as knot tying, baking and I don’t mean adding water and a couple of ingredients to a box package, math (think of how many times you’ve typed something simple such as 1+1 to find out it still equals 2 but you had to just make sure), and writing a check – who has a cheque book? Or even carries cash with them? After reading the 29 points mentioned in this list, I can surely say I can do 14 of these things on the list but that may be due to the fact my parents were very strict of us knowing skills such as writing shorthand and all those fun skills.
Kiera, well, she won. She had strong arguments. While I tried to contradict the arguments, I did not get far. But that may also be partially because this class is literally about technology and in the 21stcentury where most people like cellphones and the internet and would not appreciate returning to the “good old days”. On the disagreement side, Kiera and the class debate brought up some very good points such as:
With technology, we are able to connect and collaborate with people from across the globe
Global movements such as the #buypens movement helped many Syrian refugees
New jobs are as technology is constantly evolving
Technology is efficient
Our phones are the niftiest little things in the world
We are able to check bank statements, pay bills and so much more just on our phones
Kiera also shared some fabulous resources. One of my favourites was the TED Talk “How to get your ideas to spread” by Seth Godin. This talk starts by talking about the creation of sliced bread and how the creation many people buy, the idea was almost a failure. But things have changed. Social media and those pesky ads popping up on Facebook or a news article, is allowing for more ideas to thrive. Social media is literally an ad campaign. Just go on your Instagram, chances are you’ll find an ad. The talk goes in depth about the money companies pour into ads. Flashy objects attract us. Therefore, we click on the ad. The talk talks about other advertising strategies companies such as Silk milk use. I highly recommended this video.Photo Credit: Simply Home Tips Flickr via Compfight cc
WAIT! WHAT! ANOTHER TED TALK? YAAASSSS, GREAT RESOURCES SHARED BY KIERA. DoSomething.org advocator Nancy Lublin’s “Texting that save lives” explains her organization. Youth can send texts to this organization where they can send messages for help on a medium they are used to. Police are using text message for crime report. Texting is being used to help others.
For more great reads and maybe the odd funny video – check out these links
- Is Our growing Reliance on Technology in the Classroom Healthy?
- Are We Getting Overly Reliant on GPS-intensive Systems?
- Overuse of Technology Can Lead to ‘Digital Dementia’
- A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute
- Live in the Moment: Delete Social Media – Ryan Thomas – TEDxAshburnSalon
- Put Your Phone Down! This video mocks cell phone use and reminds people to get off of their phones in a very dramatic fashion
- A Choir as Big as the Internet
- How the Internet enables Intimacy
- How the Internet has changed everyday life
Well, I lost the debate. But I would vote for Kiera’s side. I can’t go a day without my cellphone, let alone go back to the days before smartphones, the internet and all those other fancy schmancy stuff. But I do agree we need to cut down our reliance on it. As the common theme in many of our debates, BALANCE is the winner. Students should be taught short-hand notetaking skills as well as typing skills. BALANCE. We should be able to use GPS for navigation but have a map of the unfamiliar area in the vehicle if we ever need one. BALANCE. Overall, I had so much fun prepping for this debate and am open to any comments or questions you all have with this topic.
Thanks for reading,
- Miss. Lang