Alston 1Yolonda AlstonEng 101Professor Alicia Bolton25 July 2012 Technology overTraditional Ways In today’s worldtechnology is all around us, it’s unavoidable. Technology is being integrated intothe smallest aspect of our lives. Computers are everywhere they are in the cars we drive, they run thesupermarkets we shop in, and even the smallest toy can out compute an actual computer from a decadeago. Amy Goldwasser’s article “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” argues that the internet has apositive effect on today’s youth in response to the older generation’s blame that the internet isresponsible for the decline with kid’s actually reading literature. The internet is now the largest sourceof knowledge on the planet. They can research almost any and everything at the click of a buttonanywhere they please through cell phones, PDA’s, laptops, etc.Even though technology is everywhere,some people simply refuse to accept it. Others have accepted it but refuse to let older ways of life goand last but not least, the generation that grew up, and perhaps can’t live without technology. Since thisgeneration is so immersed in technology, it would make sense to incorporate it into education.However, there are a lot of people that say technology may be the downfall of today’s youth andtechnology shouldn’t be used as much in today’s classroom.If this way of life is all that kids know, whynot use it to our advantage? Technology has its place ineducation; it can be used to get kids involved inlearning, and if they arereading and writing through social media andtechnology why not uses it tofurther education.
Alston 2 Technology has its place in today’s education. Thinking otherwise is just backward thinking beingthat the kids of today grew up using and interacting with the world through technology. Marc Prensky,author of Digital Game-Based Learning (2001) and “Don’t Bother Me Mom--- I’m Learning” (2005) statedin his article “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”that It is amazing to me how in all the hoopla and debate these days about the decline of education in the U.S. we ignorethe most fundamental of its causes. Our students have changed radically. Our students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach(Pensky 3). The digital immigrants (older generation) need to adjust the way the digital natives (new generation) are being taught. If you think completely opposite to someone, how can you effectively teach them? Why try to force kids who are already thinking forward to move backwards?Adults seldom try to look at life through a kid’s perspective; this is where the problem lies. Adults are sostuck in their ways that they won’t consider any other way, which won’t benefit anybody. The rules ofthe game have changed and so should the way we educate children. Technology is a viable way to teach and to get kids involved in education. The digital nativesgrew up with entertainment through technology so why not use that as a means to teach. In thesegment that Media Can Do for My Students” from Integrating Media into the Classroom: TheoryandResearch; John Condon, the science teacher at Skyridge Middle school thinks that “the youth will dobetter in school, better test scores and performance, and captive their attention and focus more in classwith the entertainment of multi-media.” Condon agrees the point that using what is normal to digitalnatives to teach them will get great educational results. Kids will perform better with audio and visualaid. In the film “What Media Can Do for My Students” from Integrating Media into the Classroom:
Alston 3Theory and Research, Becky Kozak , a student from Celebration high school in Florida states that “whenthe teacher describes that the jellyfish is a purple dot in the water it doesn’t mean anything but, whenshe shows the actual picture it gives a better understanding of the jellyfish.” So if the kids are interestedin using multimedia to learn, why deny them that way to learn. Kids today are reading and writing on their own through social media and technology, so whynot use this fact to our advantage. In Prensky’s view, today’s college grads spend less than 5,000 hoursof their lives reading, 10,000 hours playing video games, and 20,000 hours watching TV (Prensky4). Iftechnology is where their interestlies, why not focus on that fact and use it to improve our educationalsystem. The article “Making Students Literate in the Digital Age” talks about how the principal of NewMilford High School Eric Sheninger in New Jersey encourages his students to use digital media in schoolto help with education. According to Sheninger,“The teachers routinely ask students to power up theircell phones to respond to classroom polls and quizzes” (Toppo 1). Sheninger states they use Facebook tocommunicate with the students and parents, plan events, and they also encourage students to write andpost their work on the school Facebook page(Toppo 1). This is a great idea to get kids involved inlearning. Sheninger states that “the internet as we know it is the 21st century; and, it is what thesestudents have known their whole lives”(Toppo1). In Sheninger’s view, “They’re connected, they’recreating, they’re discussing, they’re collaborating”(Toppo 1).If kids are doing this on their own time, whynot entwine this practice with school work. That’s a win win situation the students are entertained andwillingly doing their school works at the same time. Marilee Sprenger, author of the book Brain – BaseTeaching:) In the Digital Age states, thatschoolshave to adapt to the digital learning instead of thetraditional way which is boring lectures and textbooks(Sprenger 42). Schools have to be creative tocompete with the evolving world around us. Why should the process of teaching and learning stay in the
Alston 4past while the world is forever changing. In the film “Future of Media in the Classroom” fromIntegratingMedia into the Classroom: Theory and Research, John Condon states that “he would like moreinteraction between media sources such as websites, DVD players, and digital / streaming sites. Hewould also like to have “sound activated environments to do commands in the classroom while helectures.” I’m pretty sure this will keep students from falling asleep during a lecture, or in class period. Even though I am all for the integration of technology in school, they are many who oppose thisidea. Some say that kids must first develop their minds by reading traditional literature before thechangeover to digital learning. A land line survey conducted by the research organization Common Corefound our young people to be living in stunning ignorance, but this is a biased survey. They didn’t takeinto account the amount of hours kids spend reading and writing online. Goldwasser states,”We’retalking about 33 million Americans who are fluent in texting, e-mailing, blogging, IM’ing and constantlyamending their profiles on social network sites” (Goldwasser 667). According to Prensky,“DigitalImmigrants don’t believe their students can learn successfully while watching TV or listening to music,because they (the Immigrants) can’t” ( Prensky 6). One-sided thinking in today’s society is a big problem,so why should it extend into how we teach our kids. Technology is not the problem learning how toadapt to technology is the problem. Paulson states, “ Increasingly, fears over bullying and impropercontact with students are promptingdistricts and schools to try toregulate the vast world of social media– often, say some educators and technology experts, with too heavy a hand, however well intentioned (Paulson 1). To fear something just because it’s different from what they are used to is backward thinkingwhy go back while you can go forward and progress. In conclusion, technology has its place in education, it can be used as a viable way to teach andget kids involved in learning, and if they are reading and writing on their own thru social media and
Alston 5technology why not encourage it and its use to further education. Others arguethat kids today don’tread enough traditional literature. Times have changed, kids today don’t think like the older generation,so why should we as society expect them to learn like the older generation did.
Alston 6 Works CitedGoldWasser, Amy. “What’s the Matter with Kids Today? “The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook. 2nded. Ed. Marilyn Moller. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. 666-669. Print.Integrating Media into the Classroom: Theory and Research. “What Media Can Do For My Students?” Films Media Group, 2005. Films on Demand. Web. 15 July 2012. <http://digitalfilms.com/PortalPlaylist.aspx?aid=3503&xtid=34583>.Integrating Media into the Classroom: Theory and Research. “Future of Media in the Classroom.” Films Media Group, 2005. Films on Demand. Web. 15 July 2012. <http://digitalfilms.com/PortalPlaylist.aspx?aid=3503&xtid=34583>.Paulson, Amanda. “Schools Weigh Risk and Benefits of Facebook.” Christian Science Monitor 27 Sept. 2011: n.pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 July 2012.Prensky, Mare. “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” The Digital Divide. Ed. Mark Bauertein. New York: Penguin, 2011. 3-11. Print.Springer, Marilee. Brain – Base Teaching:) In the Digital Age. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCO Host). Web. 14 July 2012.Toppo, Greg. “Making Students Literature in the Digital Age.” USA TODAY 25 July 2011: A.2.SIRS ISSUES Researcher. Web. 25 June 2012.