Technology and media go beyond simply just being content-based or a tool of communication with people around the world. As Alan Kay states, “technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born”. Not only does this quote show how massive technology can be, but it also links the evolution, advancement, and creation of new technology with peoples’ age and lives.
As discussed in lecture, the time you are born has a large impact of what technology you know and use. For example, I remember growing up and playing games on sites like Addicting Games, Miniclip, and Club Penguin. I used the GameCube and the Wii, and utilized MSN to communicate with my friends. I remember creating my own Facebook account and gradually leaving MSN to chat with my friends over Facebook. As Wesch states in his video, media is not only content and a tool used for communication. Technology and media mediate human relations. Since technology is constantly evolving and changing, that means that our human relations are simultaneously shifting.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I would say that I am not a huge social media person compared to my peers. However, it would be ignorant to say that I do not use or benefit from technology. Technology always has, and will continue to have such a profound impact on my life. It is impossible to reject technology and live a life without it. You may be able to avoid some forms of technology, but the general public cannot separate their online and offline lives. They are interconnected and intertwined.
This leads me into how this digital world and culture of participation and networking ties to education. As a future teacher, I need to know how technology can be used in the classroom to support my students learning. Denying my students the opportunity to explore technology is depriving them of an essential aspect of their lives. Furthermore, the new digital world allows for new forms of expression, identity, celebration, empowerment, and community. Technology allows my students to have a voice and presence outside of the classroom by enabling them to create global connections that transcend space and time. Not only does this connect people who have never been linked together, but this also creates greater social awareness. Since education is never neutral, technology is a means for students to consider ideas, concepts, social justice issues, politics, and opinions from various perspectives and voices.
As Wesch said, humans are at the center of this integrated mediascape; and as educators, we can influence and guide students on how to take advantage of this digital world. However, I think that it is very easy to cling to the comfortable and familiar, especially when it comes to technology. Accepting change is challenging and daunting, but as Wesch points out, technology shifts about every 6 months. I think that being open to learning about new technology is extremely important as an educator, whether that is from other teachers, online resources, or even your students. As I mentioned earlier, age has a huge impact on the technology you are familiar with. Thus, your students might very well be more knowledgeable about new and upcoming technology. As a future teacher I want to model being a lifelong learner. One way of doing so is to recognize the change in technology, realize how this influences human relations, and to get on board.
What are your thoughts about the new digital world? How will you deal with the consistent evolution of technology in the classroom?