Final Blog Post (mentoring)

The process of mentoring was a very rewarding one. It is always nice to see someone grow in front of your eyes. But specifically with the way the EDTC 300 class is set up you really get to see a different type of growth take place. With the EDTC 300 final project which involved someone taking on a personal skill or project. In my case their was ASL and intermittent fasting. Having these students document their growth and show what they struggled with and enjoyed is amazing. It documents the process that everyone goes through when taking on something new and intimidating. But more importantly it shows what trusting the process can accomplish. Putting in the time and practice into something and getting results is what life is really about.

The things that I found challenging was finding the time and keeping up with the actual commenting through a busy semester of classes. Also some of the topics were hard, I do not really know a a lot about ASL so giving constructive advice was hard. Talking about their blogs and and stuff was easier because I knew what I was talking about but other than that it was hard. But overall it is rewarding, giving constructive criticism or encouragement to mature students that take it and use it to better themselves is always rewarding. This process taught me that teaching an online class would be very challenging. You do not get to meet your students in person and it is difficult to build a relationship when you do not have time to ask them questions or interact with them outside of the class in person that I get a lot of the time with my in person classes. What it had taught me about teaching is just introducing me to another avenue of teaching and what the challenges entail. Like many other careers there are avenues you can take to do your profession. And teaching an online class is one of those things that involves the practice of teaching but puts you on a much different platform and presents different obstacles for you to overcome as an educator.

Mentoring Log Post:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ybWHF2kKvYISkFIpGw2iAhZav1C9hVBdxGW2vzA9syc/edit

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UNPLUG OR KEEP PLUGGED IN!?

This week’s blog post has to do with whether we have become too dependent on technology and what we really need is to unplug. Anther awesome debate which had Morgan taking the pro side and Noah taking the con side. It had some classic questioning the question within itself that we have seen from previous debates which only added to the conversation. I actually love it when we get philosophical with the debate topics. That’s the beauty about these debates is that they can be so layered. Maybe every subject we could debate could get to that level but this one definitely contained some of that element within it.

I will start with Morgan’s side of the debate, and the article “Connected, but Alone?” which is a Ted Talk that I have heard in many of my other education classes throughout my 4 years in this Bachelors of Education program. Sherry Turkle talks about how technology is taking over our lives. Sure it is good to stay connected, but that is only a momentary thing and it cannot be sustained. It is just creating a more lonely feeling. What I like to think about that Sherry really highlights is that we are so connected to our devices that we do not even know what to do with ourselves when we are alone. If we were actually to unplug from everything some people would lose their mind because they have never been put in a situation where they have just been by themselves. They might actually have to go talk to some people without a screen in front of their faces, or pull out a board game, maybe read an old fashioned book. It’s crazy to me but I can see the truth, it just reminds me of the story I shared via our last class about my cabin. The second article “How Much is too Much?”. Talks about technology in the classroom and how we as teachers still need to be the teacher and not let technology take over that roll. I think this is very true, I always try to incorporate some technology into my lesson if it’s possible just to spice up the lesson. But there are not too many instances where I want the technology itself teaching. Because there is so much differentiation within the classroom. And knowing your students specific needs and attention is irreplaceable, and that’s why robots cannot do our jobs.

Noah had very good points as well that I agreed with, his first two articles “Is Technology Good or Evil?” and “How Tech has Helped Or Bettered Our Society?” are both very good articles that talk about the advancement of technology and how it is helping us live more efficient lives. They talk about the modern day technology and military technology. And this for me is where the articles really hit home. And this is where it hit home for me in some of the other previous debates. And it comes down to choice, how do we use this technology responsibly? Because just like an overweight person can abuse food there are responsible ways to approach food and use it to better our lifestyle. Same with technology, if we are using it to save time and make ourselves more efficient, than sure why not!? But if we are sitting at home on Facebook and Netflix all evening. And that is preventing you from going out and conquering your goals than that’s terrible. I know too many people that want to get in shape, they say they don’t have time to go the gym, but they have enough time during the day to waste a few hours on social media. It is how we utilize time and technology which can make tech so valuable to us. Maybe I am getting a little off topic but I think it can all apply. I really do think I am in that grey area where yes I think some people do need to unplug but we all can’t completely unplug. It’s about learning how to use and not abuse technology and showing our kids how to do it. Even though there are adults that abuse it as well. Like a lot of things in this world it will never be a perfect science. But I like to think that there are ways of getting the right information out there and letting people make the choice. Just like a smoker who knows all the risks using a known carcinogen like cigarettes. I don’t know I don’t really have a winner in this debate because both debaters did so well and gave great points. I’m going to be a fence sitter for our last and final debate! Cheers!

Is Social Media ruining Childhood!!!?

Is social media ruining childhood? Now there is a loaded question if I have ever heard one. I thought both debaters gave great points on another topic that I immediately chose a side with. I did initially vote that it is because I could not help but to think of my childhood. I did not have social media and grew up on a farm near to all my cousin’s farms. And I remember going over to their houses and creating games, and playing with Lego, exploring the great outdoors. There were just so many things that I cherish from my childhood that I do not think would have been possible if I was stuck trying to be on social media. But then again we did play a lot of Nintendo 64 back then. And I am sure the parents from that day and age said the same thing about us. “those kids should not have that Nintendo! They’re missing out on their childhood.” So that highlights the point that was made that we do not know what childhood means to the current day child. Which is kind of the point that swayed me to the other side.

Reading the articles were very interesting “Is Social Media Ruining Childhood.” Emma Misom raises some valid points as to why the internet is ruining childhood. And that’s what I like about a lot of these topics, they’re not cut and dry. We cannot just take a side of one topic, there is a lot of give and take. Valid points that we must consider from both sides. I definitely agree with her that there is increased cyber bullying as it gives a platform for kids to go at one another in an unhealthy way. And also talks about Facebook depression which I think is something that effects adults as well and is a real issue. The thought that you are missing out on some lavish lifestyle just because you see it on someone’s social media account. When in reality it is usually lifestyle someone is just portraying to us that even they know they don’t daily live by. It’s very important not to get entrapped in that way of thinking and something to talk about with our students. I thought the second article had some interesting statistics. Especially the one that “spending an hour on social media reduces the probability of being happy by 14%.” I do not know if that is entirely true, but it is something to consider.

Cassidy’s picks were also very insightful. I liked and could relate to her first article. How we use social media to make connections, find opportunities, and communicate with others. And I really agree with this, especially from experience. There are so many people in my life that I would not have met if it was not for social media. So many great events and experiences that I would of missed out on if it was not for social media. There were people in our class that would not have met the people they are dating if it was not for social media. It just provides a platform like not other for people to connect that would not be made possible in a life that existed without social media.

Overall there are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument but I think that social media does have its’ place in our world. And really to the question at hand as to whether or not it is ruining children’s childhood. Can we really say that it is? Do we know what it means to experience childhood in today’s world? Every generation has grown up with different technology and access in their time. And things can be said as to why they were negative and positive for that time. But once this generation of children grow up I think they will say they would not have changed their childhood for the world. Because there is always something special that makes them remember their childhood and gives them nostalgia looking back. And once they grow up will look back at their kids and ask the same question about them, whatever piece of technology comes out and faces that generation.

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.

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!