Week 6: Technology with Children

Ask yourself….what is social media worth to you? Would you spend $1 day to use it? What about $10?

This week Jesse Miller came in to discuss mediated reality. Within the 2 hours talk he touched on many diverse topics within social media and technology. Below I have highlighted a few of these topics and some key ideas.

One interesting idea that he opened with is the negative view technology, specifically social media, has from parents. To them, their children are always on their phone during family movie night or gatherings. From here, we were shown biased articles that were written by mothers for mothers. This the article was written and posted to Pinterest, where we found of that this is the demographic for users. However, these fears are misplaced. This lead to a discussion on biased information and the fake news that society was not prepared for. This shift was completely unpredicted. I think it is very important to educate children on how to see through information and sort through all of the false information. A problem today is that any idea or notion can be confirmed for people because anyone can post anything. It self-confirms beliefs that may not necessarily be true.

For me the biggest takeaway is that although technology has it downfalls, it can be harnessed for incredible things. Even though some use it for mindless streaming, gaming, or seeing how many followers they have. It can be used in prosocial ways, for leadership and learning outcomes. Moreover, even for things such as gaming it is subjective. Prior to this, I thought that gaming was harmful for children and induced more aggression. I now know that I did not have enough information to inform that belief, it was just an assumption that over time became more of a firm belief. This class taught me that gaming can teach important skills such as mathematic, planning, and communication. I think it is also important because, as a teacher, I need to be engaging for my students and that involves creating lessons that are based around cultural preferences. An interesting thought was brought up. There is a reason why children do not check their phones in the middle of the soccer field during their game, but they check it in class. It’s simply not as engaging. Students enjoy gaming and it seems that it is a big part of our culture. Even for students that do not necessarily play games it could become a new avenue within their interests. I also saw how effective gaming was for youth. It became a positive outlet for students. Another factor that was brought up was that Vancouver is becoming a huge hub for technology. In response to this, more people will populate the surrounding areas for more affordable housing. Therefore, it is highly likely this new generation of children that we will be teaching will have technology as a big part of their world.

Children we are going to be dealing with don’t know a world without netflix, cellphones and youtube. How do we as educators mend that and show that we are part of that world. Currently if you were to go into a class and say Ice bucket challenge, students would have no idea what that was. If you said fort night dance, they would all stand up and start doing it! and it will keep changing. I think it’s imperative to stay updated on the newest trends so activities in the classroom can remain relevant and engaging.

Technology as a Teacher

A large portion of the speech was based on teachers and their use of technology and social media. Ideally, one should use a pseudonym to minimize being found online by students. However, through the connections within sites it becomes increasingly harder to not be found. For a teacher there is 3 audiences for social media. First is the public, the parents, and all media should be reflected on how the school district wants technology to be used. Secondly, is the staff. An important thought was said that not all your colleagues will be your friend so even a personal account should be moderated. Lastly is the students, I know from personal experience that if there was news of finding a picture of my teacher while I was in school, it would have been a big deal. Students find pretty much anything amusing, so social media even at a personal level should be kept professional.

It is also crucial, in this age where everyone is accessible by text, not to message children but instead to communicate to parents through emails. This keeps everything to one platform so all parents see it and there is less confusion. Moreover, teachers cannot friend students on social media while the student is still in the education system.

One thing I was unaware of was the how a teacher must receive permission for all media related things in the classroom. It must be brought to the attention of the administrator. This is so everything is transparent and informed on. Before learning this information I assumed it would be ok to create an instagram account solely for a project in a classroom as long as it was private. However, now I see that

It’s crazy to think that this is all new territory for us. This is the first real generation where looking at media is part of the hiring process. That every act that has been done is documented and will follow you for the rest of your life. I wonder if students will embrace the fact that their lives are all online too? Maybe it will gradually become a societal norm so no-one will look at my childhood photos that are online and we can all live in a less judged world. Or maybe we will all have to just learn from our mistakes.