Our class discussion about digital identity has completely changed the way I view the technological world that we live in. Since my teen years, I have grown up with the shadow of social media and technology, but I haven’t really sat back to see the dramatic impact that it has had on my life and everyone else in society. Sherry’s TED Talk breaks down a discussion about how although we may feel “connected” online, our virtual presence is making us quite lonely in real life. This idea is expressed by the concept of digital dualism. Sherry points out that we are beginning to expect more from technology and less from each other, which is a terrifying thought for me. Relationships are the most important part of my life, and yet we constantly deny our full attention to those that we care about from the influence of social media.
So how do we show our students the benefits of technology while expressing the challenge of not being consumed by it? This is a difficult task, especially considering that I haven’t really been able to come to terms with this contrast myself. Therefore, that is the first step; to educate ourselves on the positive and negatives of technology, implement change in our lives, and then stand as a guide and role model to our students. We need to show our students that technology can be a great asset to projects and learning, but also that face to face conversations and relationships are vital to maintain. I think a great way to follow through with this (especially with elementary schools) is to only allow phones for educational purposes. Otherwise, (ie. at recess or at lunch) phones are put away so that students can build relationships and experience play without the need for social media.
After reading/watching this weeks’ resources, I talked to my boyfriend about doing a camping trip this summer with no phones in order to have a technology cleanse and appreciate life and each other. However, that is not to say we should avoid technological advances. Neil Postman points out in his article “Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change” that “[t]echnological change is not additive; it is ecological.” We need to adapt to the changes that happen around us. For education, perhaps there needs to be a class implemented that is dedicated to technology (or at least have outcomes related to this in the curriculum). In high schools, we could create a better variety of technology electives for students to participate in and receive knowledge that will help them in the real world, which is now a technology world. All in all, we definitely have a long way to go in accepting our new reality, but I plan to embrace it and prepare myself for the imminent future.