Equity or Equality?

It’s truly funny how these debates are continually shocking me in a positive way. When we do the poll before the class starts I always take the side which I think is the clear winner. Before the debate begins I do think with some topics that I cannot possibly be swayed. But I do enter each debate with an open mind of course willing to change if an argument can sway me. And once again I have been swayed and changed my vote. I began by thinking that technology promoted equality and that everyone with the same technology would be placed on a level playing field. But Doug came out with some ammunition I was not prepared for. As an educator I cannot help but think that technology has its’ place but it’s how educated we are within the technology that can make or break us.

But not every place has the same technology. Doug used a great article about two cities with the exact same technology and how different the level of understanding came about. One city used the technology much more effectively than the other. Low income families were not being served correctly because they lacked experience other families had and could not utilize the technology they were given as well as others who had more experience. This is the same at school, sometimes we are greater a greater divide within our students when technology is being used without the proper direction. A great point was brought up that we had discussed in other classes about throwing money at a problem and expecting it to fix itself. We may be able to have equality in terms of everyone having the same technology, but where we want the equality to come from is how the technology is used to create understanding in a child’s education. And in no way is everyone getting the same high level instruction in regards to how to use technology and maximize the potential it can serve in an educational setting. But steps can definitely be made to rectify this.

This was a great debate by both Robbi and Doug and one where I was very torn. It is one of those questions where you’re never going to be totally on one side but you can see the benefits and problems of both sides. I really am looking forward to this weeks debate, another debate I’m sure will shock me and make me critically think.

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DEBATE MASHUP

I must say, when I found out that Emily did a completely different debate topic than me I was a little freaked out. Especially since it was 30 seconds before it was time to reveal our findings via our videos. Thankfully Katia and everyone were super amazing about it and let it slide. We are all future teachers though, so we have to learn how to adopt on the fly. Thankfully both topics intertwined beautifully and it went smoothly.

Emily made some amazing points about our schools selling out to corporations. That we could potentially be only using one company and their resources and that could hazardous. That apps like Google could be aiming to target kids for ads and that we may become entrapped in this world of advertisement and money. It is a very capitalistic idea and one that definitely cause for concern.

I on the other hand argued a completely different topic about sharing and that being unfair to our kids. I of course do not think that it is unfair and only raises our kids quality of work.

I am so glad that I got Emily as someone to debate against, she is so knowledgeable, and when she talks she always has a strong idea. Overall I thought I learned a lot from this week and look forward to debating another topic tomorrow night.

Technology making us unhealthy?

Another awesome debate topic that I wish I could of signed up for! Jordyn and Rebecca made awesome arguments regarding their respected cases. What it came do to for me was the actual wording of the question which I did not really dive into until the end of the debate. I weighed the information both sides provided and then re-read the question and came to my conclusion that I will mention later on.

Jordyn posted some great articles that made reference to the fact that technology is addicting. So addicting in fact that we are neglecting things in our life that should be important, and outweigh technology, like family and friends. I agree I have seen friends and people I know lose things due to abusing technology. I knew a guy that played “World Of Warcraft” an online role playing game. He actually had a girlfriend at the time that he lived with, but was always coming home at the end of the day to play 5-7 hours of “WOW” everyday. Eventually his addiction became so severe that his girlfriend of 3 years left him. I do think this is the case for a lot of people it just comes down to how severe of an addiction each person has.

Rebecca showed some great articles on apps that help create more healthy versions of ourselves. I do think that there is so much information out there for us to utilize now for us to be more healthy than we have ever been as a society. We can now keep track of every macro-nutrient that enters our body (fats, carbs, protein). We also can access apps that have fully developed training programs that we can follow at the gym. Before there was technology if you knew nothing about working out one would need to hire an expensive trainer. Now everything one needs to know is a click of a button a way. It is just a matter of sitting down and learning the information, and finding information that is trustworthy and reliable.

When it came down to the final vote I had to re-read the question. “Is technology making us unhealthy?” It was the “making” work that really stood out to me. Maybe I am taking the question a little too literally. But I do not think it is technology that is the real problem. Technology is not making us do anything, how can it? It does not teach us our values, and tell us how to spend our free time. It does not prioritize our lives and give us perspective. It is our parents at a young age who give us accessibility to technology, who have the power to take it away from us if we are abusing it and explain why they did it. Really it comes down to parenting and lifestyle for me. And that is why I voted that it is not making us unhealthy. I think that is a “scapegoat” argument. Once again I may be taking things a little too literally but that’s how it is going to stay for now. Awesome debate ladies and I hope I can match it when I debate this week!! Cheers!

Is technology or poor decisions causing childhood obesity?

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic across the world. This rings true especially in Canada where obesity rates remain high, despite the public’s vast understanding of the problem facing their children. According to Statistics Canada “almost a third of Canadians aged five to seventeen are overweight or obese.” This is a very scary statistic, and raises many questions as to why the obesity rate for our children is so high. It is up to us as a society to understand this threat and the consequences our children face if we do not take action to correct our bad habits. The action plan that follows can help get students on the right track in regards to physical exercise. Shooting for particular goals that they can be proud of. There are just a few more reasons I would like to highlight and speak about why our youth are overly obese.
The first reason why I think our country is obese pertains to a lot of the public’s eating habits. Calories are very easy to attain, and consume into our bodies. The food industry has made it very easy for children to eat unhealthy and consume a lot of calories every meal they eat. Through the lines of processed foods, high in fat, and sugars, and low on price it is very easy to understand why kids can not keep the correct diet. Fast food chains also make it very easy for parents to become complacent when thinking of a meal for their kids. Parents often have no problem going out to eat at a restaurant like McDonalds which serves large portions of food for very convenient low pricing. Nothing on the menu is healthy, and is loaded with fat. A normal can of coke alone contains 39 grams of sugar, combined with a meal that has little to no nutritional value is a main reason why children do not have a chance at being healthy and fit. Parents are setting children up for failure by being lazy and not getting the right foods for their children to consume. Children are too young to be placed with this responsibility, and eating right is not a burden to be placed on their shoulders. It is on the parents and the older generation to understand this concept of nutrition and apply it to our children’s lives accordingly.
Along with dietary issues lies another obstacle: children not being active enough in daily life.The Canadian Department of Health and Human Services recommends “that young people aged 6–17 years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.” These requirements are not being met, as children are evidently addicted to technology. The internet and cell phones along with other products have made it easy for a child to be distracted from being active. It is much easier in today’s world for a kid to become complacent and be lazy with all the entertainment that is provided. Kids are constantly obsessing over video games instead of out playing a recreational sport which would keep them active. As teachers in school we need to promote healthy living, and instil the importance of active living. We need to get kids into sports and recreation and we need the support of the parents to back this notion. Finding an active hobby at a young age for a person and giving it constant attention is a great way to build a habit of love for constant activity. The requirements are very low in our nation and it is unacceptable as a society to not have our children even reach that low plateau. Let’s instil a thought process in our kids that active living is the only way to be and they will follow.
I chose to write about this subject because it is one that truly troubles me. I do not mean to pass judgement on anybody for their eating habits. But far too many times have I walked past a fast food chain and seen a severely overweight child continually being forced to eat the same toxic meal provided by their parents. The thing that upsets me most is when the child grows to a certain age and can finally understand their physical state, it is too late. They have been set up to fail by their parents, and those that could correct themselves through the exercising at the gym are already mentally defeated. I came across a very interesting article about the Puerto Rican government trying to pass a law along to parents. This proposed law would label parents of obese children “child abusers. Although I understand the fact that this law would be incredibly hard to enforce, I respect the notion as it justifies some of my thinking. These parents would be fined $800 and if the child had not seen any improvement in a years time they would be punished more severely every time. The government would be shaming these parents and adding a fine along with it. On the contrary, this article does bring up opposing aspects of the argument “This law ignores the fact that while moms and dads play a big role in their kid’s eating habits, so do a plateful of other factors, including education, friends, social norms, the food that’s available, and, of course, genes.” It is just something to think about and there are always two sides to the argument. We cannot just be blaming the parents for every child’s misstep in life but they are a huge factor in this. Overall in my findings I believe there are things we can do to help the youth in this growing epidemic. It will take time but as more and more people become more educated about the topic. That is when we can we can make a very powerful step to correct this, one person at a time.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/31-of-canadian-kids-are-overweight-or-obese-1.1154456
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/physicalactivity/facts.htm
http://reason.com/blog/2015/03/17/proposed-law-would-label-parents-of-fat