Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 4- "You are not a Gadget" reading

You are not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier was a very interesting take on technology and how it is shaping the world today. So many educators in our program thus far have taught about how technology is amazing and can be used in our classrooms to enrich the education students are receiving. This book offers another stand that I think touches on some good points, though I do not agree with them all. I do agree that technology can be great for the classroom, but I also understand Lanier’s viewpoints on the effect it is having on this generation. In the YouTube video he stated that he is concerned people are “fitting into data based representations” of themselves. To a certain extent, I do have the same concern that he has. Many people portray themselves differently online than they would act in real life. Consider “Autumn Edows,” the young lady that we learned about in our methods course last week. She spent hours online responding to posts made by people she has never met and probably never will. Or, how about dating sites where people often times can post pictures of themselves looking 20 years younger than they actually are.
This concept of fitting into a representation of your self is very fascinating. Many students in my classroom would be able to relate to this topic because almost all of them will probably have a Facebook, Twitter or other type of social networking account. They need to realize that although they can display things about themselves online, not all of it needs to be made public and they still need interaction with people in the world. After all, not all jobs are online and social skills are still important. 

1 comment:

  1. I get the impression that Mr. Lanier might believe that we as a society are using the technology that we have available today inappropriately. We aren't using it to be creative or to be individuals, but somehow it's turning everyone into a single, impersonal entity dominated by the internet.

    To bring this into a classroom context, I think we have all wrestled with ideas about how to integrate technology and, especially, social media into our teaching methods as a way to better reach out to students. You're right Alecia that students today are very connected with technology. They might even be moving in the direction of the world that Mr. Lanier envisions, as scary as that might sound. Maybe one of our roles as educators is to help students navigate this internet-fueled future landscape successfully. Hopefully our students won't end up as uncreative blobs simply existing on the internet and instead can be the kind of creative forces that Mr. Lanier so desperately idolizes.