EC&I 833 July 12: Blog Post #1

After reflecting on the video, I am guilty of checking my emails on my phone, while also watching the highlights of last nights MLB All-Star Game while the video was playing.  My undivided attention was not strictly on this video, and I did not think anything of it until he said, “I don’t doubt you’re doing something else while watching this.”  Looking back on every paper or assignment I worked on throughout high school or university, I have always multi-tasked while working on what had to be completed.  I found that having “brain-breaks” while working on an assignment was actually beneficial and had me recharged to complete the task (things like listening to music, stretching, browsing the internet, watching television, etc). 

Is the internet a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?  Both!  In my experience, many of my students are full-on addicted to their cell phones.  It distracts them the task at hand and become more invested in what is happening on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook.  Their reliance on their cell phones not only distracts them from their studies, but cyberbullying has become something that is affecting the well-being of a number of students in my classroom.  The easy answer to the problem would be to delete the app, or delete the person who is bullying you, but it is not as easy as it sounds.  The fear of missing out or wanting to know instant updates about what their friends are doing at any given moment steer them back to using the application.  After seeing what a lot of my students endured through cyberbullying, it worries me thinking about what my daughter will go through in the future once she discovers technology.  With all the distractions, and negativity towards the internet and how it is used, it certainly is a productivity tool.  I couldn’t image doing a research paper prior to when the internet became relevant.  The thought alone gives me anxiety, and I feel fortunate that I am attending university and teaching during the internet age.

When it comes to the idea if we are presently more productive than we are pre-internet and pre-Microsoft Office, I am not exactly sure.  The reason for this because I do not remember when there was no internet, so I don’t think I can provide a definitive answer on this.  Perhaps there were distractions, although not to the same level there is currently is.  However, we do live in the technological era, and it is essential to utilize these teaching tools to ensure we are not left behind and not using relevant tools, even though the distractions are inevitable due to the vast amount of information available at your finger tips.

4 thoughts on “EC&I 833 July 12: Blog Post #1

  1. Thank you for the post and insight, you raise a really valid point about the measurement of productivity in an era of the internet versus a hypothetical existence without it – the internet is not going anywhere and there is no way that we can separate a globalized society from the detriments and successes of the world wide web.
    Do you find that there is hesitancy in your school community – both parents and stakeholders – to continue moving toward and sustaining online tools and devices? I teach in a very small community where the largest obstacle will always be convincing parents that the use of technology is not a hindrance in their children finding future employment (weird I know).

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  2. Reid, much like you, I do not overly remember what it was like without the internet. I remember the infancy of the internet and the old dial-up, but then again, it was still around. Similarly to your post, I too found it difficult to say whether or not it was more productive before the age of the internet, as I didn’t spend a lot of time having to go through that. It would be interesting to hear some first-hand perspectives of people who have more experience pre-internet, and what their take would be on it today.

    Daniel also raised a valid point that much of what we have discussed thus far in the course probably would describe urban-centered learning a lot more than rural centers. I think it would be interesting to hear more of what people in rural situations would have to say about pre-internet productivity in the schools and in the communities. Thanks for the post!

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  3. Hi Redi, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You bring up a very valid point when discussing how cyberbullying is present in students’ lives. Is this “part of the price we pay” for greater technology as outlined by Postman? Or does it have more to do with students not having the skill set to use the tool efficiently?

    Unlike your experiences, my memory of the internet in school is that it was just being introduced in my senior year. We still had a computer lab and used dial-up. Beyond those memories, I do not recall using the internet in school for anything. I’m also interested to hear if there is a difference between rural and urban settings, good question, Kelly.

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  4. He Reid. Your blog post was insightful. I liked how you personalized and put it into realistic terms. As an educator, I tend to put on my teacher hat and look through critical lens. I enjoyed your style of responding. Your use of “brain breaks” when using technology is worth noting. This practice of yours is similar to my “body breaks” where I leave my computer and do a body exercise for about 15 minutes. It is very refreshing. The issues you discussed with cell phone distraction also hit home. I taught high school classes for about 15 years and am all to familiar with teenage culture. Teenagers like to think of social media distraction as the attraction despite the hardship and mental health issues from negative social interaction. I could only control what went on in my classroom and hoped that it was enough to influence my students as they graduated and moved on in life. I taught in pre-internet day, and yes, there were many distractions. I can think of social distractions, relationship problems, TV, boredom, social issues in the community, politics, commuting to work, cliques at work, to name a few. These distractions had an effect on education because issues affected everyone in a small community. The philosophy that “it takes a community to raise a child” has positive and negative connotations. I liked how you ended your blog with showing a little praise for the internet. This is a view I share- use it as a tool, to support our goals in our classroom. Thank you for your insightful blog. Ramona

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