On Thursday, May 24th, 2018 our class had Dr. Alec Couros come and speak to us over Zoom about Educating the Selfie Generation. I had the opportunity to listen to Alec before in my ECS 100 class. Both presentations have blown me away and got me thinking about the internet, technology, and how to tie using technology safely in the classroom. When I think about walking into a classroom, I feel the students will know more than me even though I am a part of this generation that uses technology every day. One of my classmates Raegyn Fulmek made a Tweet that made me realize how the students I will teach know more about technology than I ever will.
Even before children are born they have a digital identity. Alec said on average there are 1000 images online of a child before their 5th birthday, but has now been updated to about 1500. This is crazy to think, but make sense since generations are becoming more technologic. I find no one carries a camera anymore instead they use a cellphone to snap the picture and have easy access to posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Alec was trying to show us since children are using different devices at such a young age it only makes sense that we as educators utilize these devices in the classroom.
Technology is everywhere, and as a future educator, I need to open my mind up to it. Students are a part of this new culture of technology because they tend to participate and listen more with the use of technology compared to sitting in a desk, listening to the teacher, and reading what is on the board. Since the generation, I will be teaching is so into technology it is important to be aware of what I am exposing my students to. Technology has many positive factors when it comes to the use in the classroom such as less paper, the internet right at our fingertips, and students are able to start creating a digital identity. However, with positives come negatives, there are some websites/apps out there that can have negative impacts and we want to steer students away from using them. It is important for educators to watch for signs that students may be abusing the internet and are bullying others online.
Some of the websites Alec mentioned that are anonymous were Ask.fm, Whisper, and Sarahah. Since these websites can lead to cyberbullying, as educators, we need to try to eliminate these from the classroom and online. It is important to be aware of everything out there that is online in order to help students, but as we learned last week, there are different extensions and apps we as educators can use to prevent students from using the wrong apps inside the classroom. Even though educators cannot monitor what students are doing outside of the classroom, we can talk to parents to monitor their children to ensure they are being positive online. When Alec started to talk about some of the different apps such as messaging, chat room, and live apps, I realized there were many I had never heard of. I need to start researching these different apps so that when I do walk into the classroom I am aware of all these apps/websites. Technology is always changing, and I need to continue to expand my knowledge on these new devices, apps, websites, etc., so when I am in a classroom of my own I am always up to date.
After class, I also watched An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube by Michael Wesch. Wesch was able to point out how generations have changed from what my grandparents know to what my generation knows. He also pointed out just how much YouTube has become a normal thing used in our everyday lives. Wesch says on YouTube, there are over 9232 hours uploaded everyday … and 88% new and original content.
Wesch’s video discusses the evolution of YouTube over the years, from when it started to how popular and used it is today. It was interesting when he talked about how the internet is a place where people look for acceptance from people. It was powerful when he showed many people having writing on their hands such as one world, united as one, etc. They do not have this in their lives they go to the internet to find these. It just goes to show how the internet and all the technology in our lives can bring people together with from across the world that may never have met they are able to. On Twitter, I have made new connections, and I would never have gotten if it were not for the internet. Creating a positive network online is great and is important to help students create their own inside the classroom. The chances of having no technology in the classroom are slim, so I might as well get used to it and be prepared for a technology classroom.