I am getting a bit tired of the fear mongering and rhetoric going on around the use of technology both in schools and in the wider community.
I, for one, have never said that technology use should replace ALL other activities, that pen and paper have been superceded by a superior force. I have actually never heard anyone even tech evangelists suggest such a thing.
Nevertheless, I find myself constantly hearing and reading Warnings about the potential harm of too much screen time. Listening to teachers who seem to glow with relief when someone says “It’s not all about technology” and almost outwardly heaving a sigh of relief that the role of tech is challenged. Current affair television thrive on articles about research showing how family lives are being harmed by over use of technology and communication tools. I almost shout at the TV to say “Where are the parents, the teachers who should be setting BOUNDARIES, producing opportunities for BALANCE and supporting their students or children in PURPOSEFUL use?”
I am left wondering why people have this resistance and I assume it is a fear or a definite discomfort with change. The media certainly thrive on any opportunity to spout the ‘Technology is evil’ campaign. A friend brought this brilliant blog post to my attention :
Crowley debunks the fear mongering and explains the situation as part of evolution. Mark Crowley concludes:
There can be no question but that technology can provide the potential for isolation, for synthetic relationships, for a sedentary lifestyle, an anxiety-ridden social existence, a failure to focus, concentrate, and engage. But surely this is a worst-case scenario conception of technology without balance, without thoughtful schools, informed, engaged parents? An education system that emphasises the need to be cultured as well as educated, well-read as well as literate, articulate as well as able to skim, physically healthy as well as mentally engaged … surely an individual in this context will only benefit from the interactive tools of contemporary technology to allow them to create, design, persuade and engage? Yes, perhaps our brains will be rewired in the process, but isn’t that what the brain has always done throughout history? Perhaps Feifer sums it up best: “Our brains changed to meet the challenge of driving cars. They changed so we could dance to recorded music. Now we are witnessing more change, and our brains will change again. Yes, change can be scary. But it’s what we’re built for.”
Perhaps, I take it too personally as my job involves trying to get technology used in thoughtful, purposeful ways and I am affronted by people who cling to the negativity, inferring I might not be making judicious decisions. I rarely, if ever see teachers using technology because they are mandated, they always make wise, considered choices about where it will enhance the learning. Is the negativity a band-wagon that will have its’ day? I hope so.