On the rise is a new age of technology which is rethinking and reimagining how we participate with and utilize technology as a whole. Today, we are seeing this integrate itself into our classrooms as well as education in general. In relation to Michael Wesch’s An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube and future classrooms, I can see this new age of technology having a significant impact on access to information, collaborative learning with others, and interactive learning opportunities. As our society changes, education must also adapt and continue to change to keep up with the times.
In today’s age, as an educator, we are blessed with an insane amount of resources and tools at our fingertips to both help plan and accomplish the lessons we create. When thinking about it, these resources and tools have had a direct impact on the functionality and efficiency of not only our classrooms but also our teachers. Technology in the classroom has evolved from TVs on carts and overhead projectors to smart boards, a tool that I would classify as a “jack of all trades”. Lessons and activities have become more interactive, with teachers seeing a return on engagement and participation with their students. Additionally, we see students with direct access to technology when needed. Rather than taking the class to the computer lab, students have their own individual Chromebooks, iPads, etc. they can use to complete tasks. With this access to technology, students can create and develop connections with their digital footprint with classmates, those in the communities they are part of, and beyond.
However, there are always pros and cons to everything. From my perspective, I still do have an appreciation for simple worksheets and the use of pencil and paper. In their daily lives, our students are constantly connected and exposed to technology in many aspects. Unplugging for just a while in the classroom, and getting hands-on with physical manipulatives, objects, materials, etc. does our students some good. We also see the improper use of technology with students using artificial intelligence (ai), or even the addiction to technology.
The integration of technology into our lives has made a major impact on how we view, understand, and share information. Regardless of how amazing and helpful, I think that it also has its limitations. For most of us humans, it is imperative that we set boundaries with ourselves regarding the use of technology in our daily lives. We should also ask ourselves about the validity and accuracy of sources online. A TikTok video “blowing up” overnight, does not automatically deem it credible. Technology has changed the way we think, create, and connect. However, we need to remain balanced in both the quality and quantity of the technology we consume regularly in our daily lives and within the walls of our classrooms.