What’s Hiding Behind the Keyboard?

May 26, 2021 2 By Julie F.

Technology… what can one say when it comes to technology. Most have a love hate relationship with it. Sometimes you love it and sometimes you hate it. I personally have this love hate relationship with technology.

I have this relationship with technology because social media and the internet can be places where we share memories and connect with friends and family near and far. However, it can also be a place of hate and malice. People are awarded almost a disguise called a keyboard, to hide behind in order to say things that are not always beneficial to all. Things that many would never say in person.

I don't always hide behind a keyboard... ...but when I do...I make assinine  declarations. - The Most Interesting Man In The World | Meme Generator

I’m sure it sounds like I am making the internet out to be a bad thing but thats simply not the case here. Wesch shares the quote, “Brolsma’s video singly handedly justifies the existence of webcams” This a time when we can share our joys with the camera without caring what anyone else thinks about it. This quote alone shows that while there are reservations when it comes to the internet it is a place that ultimately brings joy. With the availability of YouTube we can share this joy and connect with people all over the world in ways we never imagined possible. With this being said, the availability of the internet also comes with vulnerability.

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As the world evolves so does the internet. What used to be YouTube has turned into MSN Messenger, MySpace, Tumblr, and Facebook what used to be MSN, MySpace, Tumblr and facebook have turned into Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and most recently Tiktok. It is inevitable that children and students will most likely be using technology by the time they reach the classroom. Katia’s slides state, “On average, children are 10.3 years old when they get their first phone and 11.4 years old when they sign up for their first social media account.” This is alarming when I think about myself being 10 years old yet completely normal when I think about my nieces and nephews now who are between 10-12 years old and have their own devices already.

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What does this new and ever changing use of technology mean for my future classroom? while I think technology has the ability to be dangerous I also believe it is beneficial. It is important to utilize technology in the classroom. The ways we use technology in the classroom is greatly related to the way it assists and helps our students education. Online activities can be extremely beneficial for all levels of learners and developments. Other technology platforms such as seesaw, twitter and many others also allow teachers and students to share the classroom with friends, family and community members. Which in a sense is building relationships and bonds between the classroom and the outside world. Wesch says it perfectly when he states, “many of us still have this really strong value and desire for community, so the more individual we become, the more we long for this community we have”. I believe this is why youth and even young adults idolize the idea of social media because it gives a sense of belonging. As teachers we must recognize and teach about what hides behind the keyboard in order to make students aware of the healthy use of technology and the unhealthy use of technology. In partnerships with parents I feel as though we can create a positive community involving technology and our students in the best ways possible in order to protect them from the negative sides of it.

In the end technology will be used for the good, the bad and the ugly there is no changing that but, what teachers can do is provide the opportunity to transform the bad and the ugly into teachable moments in the hopes that students’ will learn and grow into a generation that perpetuates love, respect and inclusivity.

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