|"...you're so thick! You're mister thick thickity thick face from thicktown thickannia. And so is your Dad!"|
Why thank you Doctor, you always have such eloquent observations. The good Dr. Who may have been drunkenly talking to a robot, but hey, he could have been talking about my tech skills. Technology has always felt unnatural to me, something I have grudgingly come to terms with out of necessity. I much prefer days when I can leave my phone and computer behind to go explore my surroundings or immerse myself in tales of feisty maidens and elaborate castles. I prefer the jumble of voices and hum of a living city to pre-recorded, auto-tuned, rehearsed music pumping through tiny ear buds. I think iPods and 3-D TVs seem like inventions dreamed up on the set of a sci-fi television series. I try to act cool, and roll my eyes at my mom when she tries to import pictures on her MacBook. I keep my iPhone at my side like my peers, doing my best to keep up with the Joneses, but I constantly wonder what the heck people do on their phones all the time. Sometimes I think I am 22 going on 82- sounding like my grandpa when I complain about how easy the kids have it these days. Instead of saying, "I had to walk uphill, both ways, in the snow, with barbed wire shoes (I was thankful to have shoes!) just to get to school," I am saying, "When I was your age, I had to go to the library, find the correct section of the stacks, retrieve a book myself, and learn to figure out what sections were important instead of searching for key terms!"
|Is this what the future has in store for our beloved low-tech goods?|
I worry that involving technology will threaten the classroom as we know it. For some students, this would not be a bad move. Computers provide instant internet access, camcorders produce instant records for review and analyzing, and Smart Boards allow students to interact with text and images- all these technologies are used by teachers to try to enhance the learning experience of students. In class, we talked about the use of digital cameras to display student work to the whole class. The purpose of the picture-taking started as a teacher simply playing with his new camera, but resulted in the realization that students work harder when their work is going to be displayed. We talked about using computer labs to work on research projects and creating multi-media presentations that allow students to use their creativity. I know there is sound research behind the claims that technology enhances the classroom experience, but I shrink away from this progress. Is it really a good idea to have kids' work constantly on display? Are we as educators failing at our job to provide a safe environment for students by exposing them to the world of cyber bullies and a digital trail that can never be erased?
|I'll take a day in the stacks over a day in the computer lab any day.|
Until next time,
Philosorapter leaves you pondering.