“ Born between roughly 1980 and 1994, the Millennials have already been pegged and defined by academics, trend spotters, and futurists: They are smart but impatient. They expect results immediately. They carry an arsenal of electronic devices—the more portable the better. Raised amid a barrage of information, they are able to juggle a conversation on instant messenger, a Web-surfing session, and an iTunes playlist while reading Twelfth Night for homework” (Bauerlein, 86).
-Scott Carlson author of The Net Generation in the Classroom”
“ The total amount of leisure time kids spend with media ‘is the equivalent of a full time job.’ On average, the subjects in the study log six hours and 21 minutes a day. Here is a breakdown of the percentage of kids who consume different media in an average day and for how long” (Bauerlein, 77).
-Watch television: 84% (3:04 hours)
-Use a computer: 54% (48 minutes in online usage alone)
-Read a magazine: 47% (14 minutes)
- Read a book: 46% (23 minutes)
- Play video games: 41% (32 minutes at console, 17 minutes with handheld)
- Watch videos/DVDs: 39% (32 minutes)
-Watch pre-recorded TV: 21% (14 minutes)
-Go to a movie: 13%
“ Add up the television times and they reach three hours and 18 minutes, and coupled with 49 minutes with a video game and 48 minutes online, they yield a daunting screen time of 295 minutes a day, 2,065 minutes per week” (Bauerlein, 77)
Students are spending more time using technology and media than spending quality time with their friends. This hinders their social skills and interpersonal relationships.
Students are “addicted” to their cell phone. Not only does it cause interruptions in school, but also interruptions outside of the school setting. In turn this has influenced their social skills. How one interacts in the social setting of school, is greatly influenced by society.
"[T]here is something genuinely disturbing about the cell culture itself. The cellular telephone (as the old folks call it) has changed social behavior just as radio and television did....The cell phone 'encourages us to connect individually but disconnect socially, ceding, in the process, much that was civil and civilized.'”
“ When we talk on cell phones in public, we are, as Rosen points out, intentionally removing ourselves from the public space in a form of ‘radical disengagement’ with the public sphere. We're participating in an activity that doesn't just exclude those around us, it imposes on them too--in effect declaring our neighbors to be less important than we are. Or worse: It's a little bit like telling them that they don't exist.
“ They're e-mailing, IMing and downloading while writing the history essay. What is all that digital juggling doing to kids' brains and their family life?”
… . And school life
“ As for multitasking devices, social scientists and educators are just beginning to assess their impact, but the researchers already have some strong opinions. The mental habit of dividing one's attention into many small slices has significant implications for the way young people learn, reason, socialize, do creative work and understand the world. Although such habits may prepare kids for today's frenzied workplace, many cognitive scientists are positively alarmed by the trend.”
‘ Kids that are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online and watching TV, I predict, aren't going to do well in the long run,’ says Jordan Grafman, chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Decades of research (not to mention common sense) indicate that the quality of one's output and depth of thought deteriorate as one attends to ever more tasks.
“ MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP)--Banning baseball caps during tests was obvious--students were writing the answers under the brim. Then, schools started banning cell phones, realizing students could text message the answers to each other. Now, schools across the country are targeting digital media players as a potential cheating device.”
“ Devices including iPods and Zunes can be hidden under clothing, with just an earbud and a wire snaking behind an ear and into a shirt collar to give them away, school officials say.”
Some students use iPod-compatible voice recorders to record test answers in advance and them play them back, said 16-year-old Mountain View junior DamirBazdar.
“ Others download crib notes onto the music players and hide them in the "lyrics" text files. Even an audio clip of the old "Schoolhouse Rock" take on how a bill makes it through Congress can come in handy during some American government exams.”
Neil Postman argues that in the “game” of technology, there are always winners and losers alike.
He cited (and criticized) a 1996 Washington Post article about Maryland’s then plan to connect every one of the state’s public schools to the Internet as part of a $53 million effort “to give students greater access to far-flung information via computers”.
-Here (and since then), he claims the thousands of school staffers who are already severely underpaid or who have faced lay-offs are the real LOSERS.
Who else loses? Postman argues that the STUDENTS who henceforth lack quality “human” teachers and who are forced into overcrowded classrooms end up LOSING as well.
*Todd Gitlin, a sociologist and media critic, argues against the growing role of the “media torrent” in students’ lives and the electronic media serving and promoting it.
-"Sensations within reach, emotions on demand, ease of access and rapid rewards: these are the hallmarks of the prevailing media experience. Given that media take up so much of a child's life, the nub of the matter is plain: media values are not strong training in the disciplines of schoolwork.”
-"Popular culture itself serves as the repertory on which popular culture draws, so that there is little or no recognition that any other, perhaps more demanding, more difficult, worthier culture might exist.”
-What should we value instead? "Intellectual receptivity, disciplined competence, and methodological deliberation."
There is no denying the many benefits of technology, but new technologies all come with a cost, not the least of which is stress.
“ One of the biggest stress producers of technology is knowing that you have a tool right at your finger tips that will do the task you need done right now, but not knowing how to make it do so. This is frustrating” (Calloway 3).
More than likely, everyone who uses technology has felt stress associated with its use or its failure to work as planned.
“ The use of technology speeds up the pace of everything.
Living in a technological society is stressful.
The use of technology always involves trade-offs.
Dealing with changes generates stress and technology will always be changing.
Information technology distances the human element in communications.
You can be connected all the time and you cannot be connected all the time.”
Robert Reich, former Rhodes scholar, and Bill Clinton’s first term Secretary of Labor, talks about the loss of confidence caused by technology.
“ There’s a trade-off for speed and flexibility: insecurity” (Stone 2).
“ Nowadays, the very speed and information explosion Reich describes also makes it impossible for him to stay ahead of the curve. His concern about the intrusiveness of cell phones, faxes, beepers, and email on our lives is hardly news” (Stone2).
Stone tells us that Reich is concerned because “…the vicious cycle of knowledge and technology-driven success in the marketplace can quickly morph into the vicious cycle of brutal competition that has vastly widened the income divide between the haves and the have-nots and diminished the quality of life for even the well-off” (Stone 1).
Technology Transfers Power from Workers to Management. Many people have lost jobs due to technology. Job loss is considered by many to be more stressful than nearly anything, including divorce and death of a spouse.
“ Business Week speaks of a revolution in America’s workplace, ‘involving the law of the jungle and warning that only some will prosper, only the strong survive’” (Richardson 1).
“ New technologies have been used to create workplaces where people are continuously monitored, where processes are increasingly lean, where repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) are common place, where stress is increasing, where new chemical hazards are introduced daily, and where dull and dead-end occupations reign” (Richardson 4).
“ Technological Innovation Must Be Limited to Protect Humanity” (Gerdes 1).
“ The Future of Technology Can Be Predicted” (Pearson 1).
With a promise of amnesty, this audio message was offered up by a student who had typed it and sent it to another as she worked on a class assignment. Think twice if you believe this could never happen in your class.
57% of students said someone had said hurtful things to them online, 13% said it happens often
53% admit to saying hurtful things online, 7% said they do it often
35% have been threatened online, 5% said it happens often
42% have been bullied online, 7% say it happens often
20% have received mean or threatening emails
58% have not told a parent or adult (Keith, 2005)
What might the numbers be in 2008?
Pervert From Petoskey?: Online Predators Among Us
Our kids are prey. (Technology Wire, 2008)
Be aware, 60% of the students interviewed said they wouldn’t report abuse because they felt nothing would be done. (Barack, 2008)
Network safety: It’s all about education…NOT
Your expectations are clear. You’ve taught about Internet safety, etiquette and monitor vigilantly. What could possibly go wrong?
The unsuspected predator: This teacher’s recounting of a 2007 classroom incident.
What would you have done?
Do you know what’s really going on in your class?
Schools must be proactive. Having a firm action plan in place is an absolute. Extensive staff training is a must. (MacFarlane, 2007)
Bibliography Barack, Laura. “Cyberbullying dissected.” School Library Journal . 1 October 2008. 12 November 2008 < http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6599771html?q=cyber+bullying >. Keith, Susan, and Michelle E. Martin. "Cyber-bullying: creating a culture of respect in a cyber world.“ Reclaiming Children and Youth 13.4 (Wntr2005): 224(5). Educator's Reference Complete . Gale. Library of Michigan. 28 November 2008 http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org/itx/start.do?prodId=PROF>. MacFarlane, Maureen A. “Misbehavior in cyberspace.” School Administrator .” 64.9 (October 2007): 14-16, 18(9). 28 November 2008< http://0-firstsearch.oclc.org.elibrary.mel.org/sic >. "Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: 1 of 3 Teens and 1 of 6 Preteens are Victims of Cyber Bullying; Teenager Recounts Harrowing Tale of Online Death Threats." PR Newswire (August 17, 2006): NA. Educator's Reference Complete . Gale. Library of Michigan. 2 Deember 2008 <http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org/itx/start.do?prodId=PROF>. “ Teens engage in Internet bullying.” Technology Wire . (7 January 2005): NA. Computer Database. Gale. Library of Michigan. 23 November 2008 < http://0find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org/itx/start.do?prodId=CDB >. A complete bibliography & presentation notes on this topic are located in the Internet Safety folder found on the Resources page of my website.
Are calculators contributing to the demise of American math skills?
Bring up this topic around most college math and science teachers and they will start spilling out the stories of how students use calculators for simple calculations.
Mr. Taylor, who won Teacher of the Year for Perry Townships schools in 2008, says most kids don’t use technology to reinforce things that they understand, instead they want to use calculators to replace understanding.
Schools are quick to jump on the technology bandwagon singing the praises of it’s ability to enhance curriculum, foster collaboration, and extend the knowledge base of staff and students and more.
However, the very cell phones; PDA’s; iPods; calculators and computers that work these wonders are waging a moral and ethical battle for the hearts and minds of our youth and winning. Their dangers are insidious but real.
We must take control and not allow the dark underbelly of technology to further corrupt and degrade what was once precious. For the sake of education and our youth we must master technology before it totally masters us.