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

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GOOGLE!!?

What an interesting debate topic this last week’s class covered. Whether or not teaching things inside the classroom that can be “Googled” should be allowed or not. The main thing as an educator to me is how does this affect my student’s learning? I think that there are positives to both sides of the argument. However, I do believe that whatever the learning outcome is, we should be using the tool that helps our students understand that particular outcome. Whether that makes the work easier or harder it does not matter to me. The only question is what side does make it better for the student. And is there a correct answer? Or is it a mix of both sides?

I want to start by talking about the benefits of technology in the classroom. I listened to Sugata’s Mitra’s Ted Talk. I found it very interesting when he talked about the school system and the schools themselves. We are clearly working and teaching in schools that are outdated and not very much has changed over the years. We are continually teaching the same stuff, as the outside world completely changes rapidly, especially regarding technology. Technology is so important to us in everyday life. Especially the fact that so many jobs once students graduate from the school system will be based off the technology that we do not provide in the school system. I definitely agree with what Surgata is trying to say. That we need to be advancing our practice inside the school and meeting the rapidly changing world of technology.

Both debaters made some excellent points about memorization and how that would play a factor. I thought both sides had excellent points, and I am on the side that memorization should not matter as much as being able to understand the content. As well as being able to demonstrate the content in some form of matter would be key. I think that the debate was a draw for me. There are positives and negatives to both sides, great debate you two! A+ Effort!

Great Debate 1!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had an exciting week and it excited for the upcoming week which I’m sure will be full of much more exhilarating debate topics. So the question that was posed to us was “does technology enhance learning?” This was such an easy question when I first thought about it. Of course it does! How could it not!? Webster was the first video we watched and I read the article he provided ” Benefits of Technology in the classroom”. I was even more swayed and did not think I would budge at all. Especially when it talked about how it connects students through a variety of ways. I thought that was interesting, especially in a world where technology is becoming more and more dominant. There is no way that it could not help learners.

It was then Melanie who came in and presented her findings, her article was very interesting and how lack of support could make technology not the right choice. The one point she made that completely made me change my thinking was when she noted the statistic about how technology does not help students that use to hit their desired outcome better than students that do not. This made me take a giant step back and think about the question more in depth. Sure technology may make a lesson more interesting but does it actually enhance the learning. I would have to say at this point no. When looking at the question I was not reading the question correctly or thinking about it in the right context. I am coming out and admitting that I was one of those people that flipped and changed my vote. Sorry Webster!! Anyways I thought the debate was awesome and very well done. Thank you both debaters for placing the bar so high. I only hope I can follow! Cheers everybody.

Digital Identity

Digital identity is such an important issue that needs to be looked at intensely when looking at our youth. More so than at any point in human existence are we more closely monitored by our peers due to social media and our online presence. No longer are we at a point where our actions in the public are the only things that give our character merit. We now have a personality on the internet and how we use it is usually how we are judged/respected by our peers. A staggering 59% of kids under 10 have a social media networking account, that number blows my mind. With usually 6 and a half hours of screen time. You cannot tell me that these young children have been taught the skills necessary to act and conduct themselves as proper digital citizens.

I think that the school has a huge role in developing their students at digital citizens. I believe as an educator that a child needs a strong role model within their home life. As well as somebody outside of their “family” circle. That is where we as educators come in. In a lot of cases children do not even have that role model at home, or have anyone at home for that matter that can teach them this essential knowledge. But we as teachers can guarantee that they will have somebody once they step outside of their home life and into a school setting. Often times students do not have the technology that other students are provided due to their socio economic status. Schools provide that technological platform where everyone can be working on the same thing with the same technology. We have a duty to our students to teach them how to be responsible digital citizens. The schools job is to teach knowledge to students about life to make sure that they graduate and are ready for the working world. We teach them proper decision making skills, etiquette, and how to live a healthy life. So why shouldn’t we be teaching them about something that they are going to deal with their entire lives. Technology is clearly taking over and is here to stay. So the skills needed to better ourselves with that component in our everyday lives needs to be taught. Like everything in this world we have to understand that children are going to make mistakes. They are often times impulsive, and are doing their best to fit in socially with their peers and find their place in this world. So we have to be forgiving in terms of mistakes being made on social media. And we have to move quickly to teaching them these skills so that it does not effect their future career goals once they enter the work field.

EDTC 400 Technology’s Control

Technology and its’ control over how we as humans function is a fascinating topic to both think and talk about. Katia started off with an interesting opening to the topic through last weeks lecture. I think we often forget that it was not long ago that most of us had maybe one form of social network that we used. Nowadays many of us have several social networking platforms that we use every single day. It’s a strange think about billions of people being connected through these devices, even to think about this very class (EDTC 400) and the methods and technology we use to accomplish our weekly tasks.

I found Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk “Connected, but Alone?” very interesting and informative. She references her daughter who always “sleeps with her phone” and I find that true when looking at my life. My phone is usually never an arms length away even when I am going to sleep. Phones change who we are. They change the way we behave out in the real world. If we are on our phone there is no way that we can be giving someone who is talking to us our full and undivided attention. Yet at work during a presentation or classes or even a funeral people can be found on their phones. I found it very sad when she talked about the 18 year old boy who wanted to learn how to have a real conversation. I feel sorry for today’s youth that have been brainwashed into thinking that talking to someone through text correlates to real life social interaction. That texting someone is spending time with someone when really it’s just making a more lonely generation. We are living “edited” versions of our life because we can filter entire conversations. I often like to think of this in terms of building a false character within ourselves. We have these “perfect” conversations with people where we have time to think of the wittiest/clever responses to whatever is said. Then we wonder why people have so much social anxiety when they eventually have to go talk to that same person in the real world and live up to this false personified person they built through these conversations.

When she talked about Siri becoming someone that could eventually become our best friend I had to laugh. It makes me think of a movie I watched a couple years ago. It was called “Her” and the entire movie is about a man who ends up falling in love with an artificial intelligence. He builds his life around this relationship he has with this AI only to be crushed when he finds out that his relationship he has with this AI is being shared with other users of the same device. We turn to technology to connect but in the end it makes us feel all the more alone. Just like in Neil Postman’s article/talk “technology giveth and technology taketh away.” There are the winners and the losers and they winners use technology to make the losers feel like winners.

In conclusion I have to say that although I learned some new perspectives on the ways we use technology it does not change any thought I have about technology. To many of us technology is a virtual crutch that many of us lean onto for social acceptance and things that we could easily find in the real world if we applied the effort. The next step is finding a way to break away from this addictive technology and find a way to get the same feelings that we crave from the pleasures of the everyday world.

Super Bowl XLIX Hot Take

Super Bowl XLIX (If you don’t care about football don’t read)

      I took a good portion of last night to reflect on that final series the Seahawks had on offence and how the whole world is blasting the OC and Pete Carroll.  I went to school today and had to listen to more and more blasting on the Seahawks.  I had to bite my lip, I understand where they are coming from but you have to look into the series in great depth to truly understand what happened.  Which takes a little bit of explaining and time, time I was not going to waste on people that I know whose minds are closed and just want to ridicule what they perceive on the surface.
So let’s jump right into the situation.  Forgive me if a few specific details are a little off because I am writing this just off the top of my head.  So Marshawn busts off a run that places the ball at the Patriots half yard line.  The clock is somewhere around the 40 second mark continuing to tick.  The Seahawks understandably would think that the Pats are going to start burning their timeouts to stop the clock to get the ball back with some sort of time to at least run a couple plays.  Bellicheck doesn’t call timeout which was making me squirm in my seat because I was pulling for the Pats.  Clock continues to tick down around the 26 second mark and Russel Wilson throws the pick which ultimately was the end of Seattle (and of course the offside on the goaline afterwards)  People saying the Seahawks coaching staff wasn’t prepared for the situation?  Yes, maybe they were taken aback when the Pats didn’t use that timeout to stop the clock.  But the play call to throw that ball right after that Marshawn Lynch run is completely understandable.  Seattle is sitting in that 2nd and goal situation with 1 timeout in their back pocket and they have ultimately 3 plays to use to convert for that game winning TD.  The Pats had the box loaded on that 2nd down.  If they had run the ball and somehow it gets stuffed.  Clock continues to run obviously forcing the final timeout by Seattle.  Then that leaves them in a third down situation in the same position with no timeouts.  What do they do?  Run the ball with Marshawn risk another stuff and a very hurried 4th down play?  No Seattle had it planned right, they had 3 downs to work with, 1 timeout to use,  they chose to run a quick slant hit with the slot receiver.  The route just happened to be jumped and the pass got away from Wilson.  What happens in that play 99% of the time?  Best case scenario, you get your go ahead td with that low risk play.  Normal situation it get’s batted down move on to third down with your time out still in your back pocket and then give it to marshawn for back to back carries.  It just happened to get jumped and the worst case scenario played out.  What I’m getting at is that it’s about maximizing your opportunities which Seattle carried out.  It just happened that the execution was not there on that quick slant in the slot.  Telling these coaches that they were not prepared for the situation?  Are you kidding me?  These are the big boys.  These are the best coaches in the world.  They were prepared, Marshawn was going to get his back to back carries if that 2nd down conversion plays out the way it should 99% of the time.  It was a throw that got away from Wilson where he lead his WR a little too much and the route was jumped, and it wasn’t even at Revis of Brandon.  Not to mention that the clock would be close zero if it happened to get to 4th down.  This is all hypothetical what happens beyond that 2nd down that ended up in an interception.  I love the play call and if I was the OC I would call the same thing the same way.  You just have to believe that Russel Wilson isn’t going to turn the ball over there.  And he is a player I could trust and would trust to make the right decision.  He just needed to put the ball somewhere that only his WR could make a play on it.  Every play the world wanted to see was going to be run right after that throw.  They just wanted to get that extra play into the game without putting them in a rushed situation for 3rd and 4th down with that timeout in use. Those are my thoughts tell me what you think.