Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I am part of the “dumbest generation,” so maybe, I take this a bit more personally than say a thirty-two year old reading the book. I don’t know how the author decided to draw the line in the sand at age 30. There are people of every age that take technology a bit too far and forget about the books. Have you seen “The 40 Year Old Virgin?” Case in point, this movie is set in a Best Buy look alike store and the guy is surrounded by screens all day long, every day. I don’t believe he really picks a book, say Shakespeare, the whole movie. This guy is forty years old. It doesn’t matter how old a person is, they are capable of losing themselves in technology and forgetting about real life, books, or music.
Overall, I was severely disappointed in how the author went about discussing the matter. Yes, technology can become addictive and lead to poor writing, reading, and test scores. However, there are those 30 year old and younger members of society, who successfully contribute. There are those who read classics and correctly write. There are those who do well on tests.
I took from this book a lot of negatives. However, there is one positive. I realize that, as a teacher and parent, I have an enormous responsibility to the students in my classroom and my son. The children need to know how technology can take them places they may never see. It can provide many opportunities. It can provide new and innovate ways to learn and communicate. But, they also need to know about all the great books available to them. They need to know life doesn’t revolve around a computer, or any kind, of screen. They need to be able to communicate in person. As adults, teachers, and parents, we need to create a healthy balance between screens and real life. Our students and children are not going to create the balance themselves. It is like when children are learning to tie their shoes, they need someone to show them the correct path.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I am a parent of someone under the age of 20 and I believe that technology and the new digital culture is at an exciting place and that it is these young people that will take us into an exciting future! Like anything in life, there are exceptions to the rule and those that take shortcuts, but let's not forget those responsible young people that want to make the world a better place. Not everyone is being "dumbed down" and spending all of their time in social networking. The author stereotypes young people so much it is infuriating! The world has changed so much and we have got to keep up with it!
If there is one thing this book has done for me, it is to make me even more aware of the huge responsibility that we as parents and teachers have in teaching our kids and students how to be responsible technology users and responsible people and citizens. Parents and teachers must work together on this and we must also teach the concepts of the need for the balance between technology and the "old way" of doing things. I believe kids must be exposed to and taught at a very young age and have opportunities for trial and error when it comes to technology. I am amazed at what my high school aged daughter knows about technology and some of her school assignments she has to complete using the computer. However, I also want her to be able to function by reading a book and doing her own research, should the Internet go down! Thus the need for balance and teaching kids to be responsible people with the ability of using technology, or not, to better our world.
In summary, I'm sure I will think about this book as I continue to teach and seek new, interesting, and exciting ways to help my first and second grade students learn how to be responsible technology users, and to try and rid the stereotype of being "The Dumbest Generation" for their generation and beyond.