Technology has revolutionized the world. We are able to connect with people across the world with the click of a button. We can watch videos and read blogs from people anywhere in the world. This created the idea of global participation. As Michael Wesch says in An Anthropological introduction to YouTube, YouTube created a participatory culture across the world. His talk showed how one video can become viral and allow for participation of remaking and sharing remixes of the video. This participation is a type of appreciation for the content that someone else made. This content could have come from anywhere. We see this culture all over the internet on various social media site, not just YouTube. With the creation of apps like Instagram, Facebook, and especially Tik Tok, trends are blowing up and being remade over and over again. Not only that, but the video can even turn into more than just the original trend. It evolves into more. For example, a video on Tik Tok went viral about a broom being able to stand on its own. This video had an audio that said something along the lines of “Nasa says this is the only day that the gravitational pull of the Earth allows for a broom to stand like this”. Now although the audio was not telling the truth, there were so many remakes and videos trials of standing a broom up. The video below shows a few videos that were remade during this time. Even celebrities get in on the trends, making the trend blow up even more. There were so many that I remember my friends sending me them saying “OMG this is so crazy”. With these remakes, we also see a combination of different trends. In the video below at 2:52, we see the “someone like you” trend from a few months earlier combining with this trend. This just shows how something can go completely viral and cause participation by others around the world.
Another example of a current trend is the game called Among Us. There are videos and memes about this game. I didn’t understand them until I gave in and downloaded the game. It was actually pretty fun and I could finally understand the memes that were all over my social media. One thing about the internet is the trends change so fast. If you miss something or are out of the loop, you may not understand exactly what the entire internet is talking about. This happened with me and Among Us. I didn’t understand what the memes and videos meant until I played the game. If you don’t know what Among Us is, or have not seen any memes about it, take a look at this website. It gives some context as to what the game is and shows some of the memes I have seen.
Technology is a very important tool for schools. It makes research quick, taking notes easy (documents), you can share projects, make videos and posters, and do so much more. Things like this can be incorporated into the classroom to elevate the learning process of students. Technology is even more important in our current situation. All of my classes are over zoom and delivered digitally. This would not have been possible without the use of technology. In today’s classroom, using technology is super important. Not only does this teach kids how to use it, but also how to keep up with the ever changing systems.
When I was in school, we got Smart Boards around my grade 3 year. It was so exciting, but no one really knew how to use them yet. Now, some teachers use it as a glorified chalkboard, but others are way more creative. Technology can be used for things that are not necessarily accessible in your school. For example, my Health Science class did an online urine analysis lab, we did online tours of historical sites in history, and planned an entire trip to Egypt in French. This is a great way to incorporate technology into the class.
Participation in trends that the students know can also be a good way to gain classroom participation or classroom morale. For example, we could use the broom challenge. Before the students come in you could stand up some brooms. It is a way for the teacher to connect with the students outside life. Using my other example of Among Us, there could be a recess game that comes out of the app, or even a teamwork skills activity to find out who the imposter is. You just need to be creative and participate in the trends.
One thing we need to be careful of is becoming too dependent on the technology. Seeing students be told “all your notes and homework is on Google classrooms” and having them just work through it with no student-student or student-teacher interaction while they are all in one classroom is sad. To me this is not good. The classroom is an interactive space, if the student wanted to do all the work online, why not take an online class. In the same way, a lot of our technology will not work without power. In my school there were multiple times where the power would go off for at least 3 hours. This caused us to not be able to do anything for classes except math and English (where we had assignments and reading to do). Becoming too dependent on the technology is just as bad as using no technology at all. As teachers we need to be able to find the balance between the 2 and use the technology to elevate our teaching and make learning easier for our students.