In our readings, O’Donnell and Engell stresses that we should use technology as a learning tool. When I think of technology, it centralizes on the idea of “Control”. Who is controlling who? Are we that reliant on technology that it will one day control us? Or are we able to sit back a day or two without technology and lead a life with fewer distraction. This course has made me reflect back to when Toronto had its huge blackout day in 2008. Although it brought many people to their knees, not being able to phone, watch TV or drive. It also provided a time for many people to bond, to eat together, to talk to one another.
Everywhere I go, it seems that looking at smartphones around the dinner table is the norm, where if you’re not checking the newest apps on your phone, you are not with the “in” crowd. As Postman and maybacon have both desperately alluded to, we need to be able to have balance in our lives, so we do not turn out to be the monkey man bound to its computer forever.
Image retrieved from:
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.
I was living in Toronto during the big blackout, although I thought it was earlier, perhaps 2006? Anyway, I remember bonding with my neighbours and having a wonderful summer night. All these years later I still remember challenging each other to BBQ everything in our freezers. What fun!
Thanks for the post, it certainly has brought me back in time. Tara
I like the picture. Sometimes I feel like a slave to technology. A few years ago when I came home the first thing I would do was get onto the Internet. If my husband was working late I sometimes was on there for 1-2 hours, only stopping because I was hungry. One day I decided I had to stop. I made myself ignore the computer for at least one hour when I got home. At first it was really hard, but now I’ve gotten to a point where I rarely think about it when I’m at home. It’s nice to be free of the addiction.
I was just speaking about a related topic at a staff meeting. We are meant to be teaching kids, but I feel deeply concerned about how much teacher to computer time we are being asked to spend. Do attendance – online. Read emails- online. Check emails throughout the day – online. Email concerns about students – online. Check the school site/learning platform – online. And so it goes…I often wonder if we are feeding or perpetuating the deep attraction to computers at the expense of face time with the students, and in some cases, family/friends/pets. My dog has this desperately pathetic habit of laying her muzzle on my lap top when she needs attention, and I have to kick myself for being so strapped to my computer!
I agree! It seems like we do everything online now at our school too. Sometimes it is nice to be free of technology and its eternal death grip. I was reading a study that those who have instant access over their emails 24/7, such as Push notification on iPhones, had higher levels of stress than those who did not. Checking emails especially is so easily synced to our personal devices, and thus the lines between our personal and professional lives have been blurred.
I think that balance is vital, not just in this, but it certainly is a wonderful example! Within my group of friends we needed to make an agreement that all tech would be put away when we were out enjoying a meal or something together, as several of us had noted that we may as well have been dining alone while everyone else was staring at a screen. It’s sad that it took this, but now we have wonderful conversations and get much more out of our time than if we were all screen focused!
Yes Megan, sometimes my friends and I would make it a game. The first person who touches the phone first pays for dinner!