Upon looking at even just the titles of the various reading that we did for EDTC400 this week left me with many questions. Was the internet made to make us feel alone in a space full of people? Is technology helping in the classroom? Can we still talk to each other face-to-face?
After listening to “Connected, but still alone” by Sherry Turkle, I am left to ponder if young people especially actually can have conversations with one another, or if we have simply become good at pretending to talk to one another through technology. We have a desire to feel connected to each other but we don’t want to deal with the burden of being connected to someone, seems utterly problematic to me. How can I prevent this from happening to my students, who by the time they get to me will already have such a connection to their device that they will be dependant on it? I don’t think I can prevent this problem, because students will already be facing it. Turkle give the example during her talk that a hospital has implemented robot
babies that are supposed to help people who are grieving a loss. It helps by letting the parents work through they emotions and the ‘baby’ follows their actions. But is this really helping the parents? Or are they now bonding with the baby that could always be their baby? To me this is a great theory, but seems to be causing some issues that could be more problematic.
Causing issues that could be more problematic seems to be a theme throughout the articles. Giving children in Ethiopia tablets, doesn’t solve their problem of not having a good education. It gives them the option to teach themselves, but what other lessons are they missing when they don’t have a teacher? Especially of those children choose to ONLY play on their tablet. To me this hasn’t solved any problems, it has just created bigger ones that are going to have a ripple effect. Much like giving a young child a cell phone creates a ripple effect that can be seen following them for years.
As teachers I think that it is our job to address the many issues that come into account when we see a rise in the ways that students use their technology. It is also up to us to ensure that from a young age children are able to understand what it means to be safe on the internet so that we might create students who know the implications of poor choices online.