With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The title o256px-Spidermanf my blog this week may seem a bit confusing, but it really does hold meaning towards what we are discussing in class thus far, and it has caused me to observe my surroundings both inside and outside of the classroom.

By Cristian Bortes / bortescristian ([1]) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watching the video below titled “Kids React to Old Computers”, within the first minute of the video we note that the students are very confused with the computer in front of them.

In the video we see students seemingly becoming impatient trying to figure out how to turn the computer on – no instantaneous screen “popping up” once the cover (or lid) is opened on our modern devices. We also see a girl who taps on the screen and waves at it.  These are just a few examples of how integrated technology is into the lives of our students and communities.  It seems apparent that digital citizenship is alive and well within our students everyday lives, which leads me to the ponder why some schools and/or teachers are not integrating this into our classrooms.

I was very intrigued with Jason Ohler’s article, Character Education for the Digital Age, and began to dig into the one life vs. two lives perspectives. Students who are asked to live two lives, live with technology at home – being “plugged in”  to social media and digital resources, but once they enter the school/classroom they are asked to unplug.  In this case, schools are asking students to live two separate lives simultaneously.  On the other hand, students whom live one life are in schools where technology is present, and students are taught responsible ways of using technology.  This speaks to digital literacy and social media awareness that Branelle posted on the class discussion board.  If we, as educators, are simply integrating technology into the class to simply “check” a box, why not ensure that technology is being integrated properly? Following the SAMR model helps to ensure that as we allow our students to live one life, they are able to use technology to expand their learning – in one sense moving away from the traditional “lecture based” classroom model towards one of holistic project-based, inquiry, and collaboration among peers with the teacher facilitating their learning.  I really liked Genna’s poster on the SAMR model, as it is very easy to understand to those whom are unfamiliar with it.

By allowing students to actively live one life, and embrace all that technology brings to them, they must be taught to respect the power that they hold in their hand – literally, their smartphones are held and operated in one hand!  Let’s be honest, most of our students are on one form of social media or another, and most of them, if not all, post in the spur of the moment onto social media.  After viewing Ron Johnson’s Ted Talk, How One Tweet can Ruin Your Life, I reflected on why I shy away from tweeting, and why some people do not. Honestly, Ron’s Ted Talk hit the nail on the head regarding my apprehension of actually using twitter.  I am an avid social media reader but not poster as I am afraid that I may post something that could get into some trouble – better yet – my social media post may hinder me from a future job position or get me in some sort of trouble with my employer.  But do our students understand this?

Earlier this week I was listening to a radio show that I enjoy.  On this show, the hosts were discussing three women journalists whom were not allowed entry into a locker room after the Jaguars-Colts football game because the men may not have been appropriately clothed.  One of the journalists, Graham Watson, immediately took to twitter and posted her frustrations stating “I was just blocked from a locker room by an old, out-of-touch geezer who wasn’t sure women were allowed because “you know how guys are.””  This statement really got me wondering how she would feel is someone called her grandpa an “old geezer”, and was the tweet really necessary?  Eventually (really only 90 seconds later), the women were allowed into the locker room, but her tweet was out and damage was done just as was Justine Sacco’s.  Incidentally, Graham’s tweet was re-tweeted 309 times and favourited 150 times, and not all comments supportive.  I wonder how she felt after her tweets that night?  Keeping in mind that once you hit send, you can’t un-send.  Is social media allowing us to be impulsive creatures?

According to Medical News Today, research is being done and indicating that negative tweets may increase your risk of heart disease. Makes sense that social media may have the power to induce negative feelings leading to stress, in turn leading to medical conditions.  Look at how the internet impacted Monica Lewinsky!  Do you really think that if we did not have the power of social media, the dentist who shot Cecil the Lion would have been as hated as fast as he was?  But, the opposite is also true!  If used for good, social media has the power to induce positive feelings!

To end off I thought I would induce a positive feeling via Kid Snippet, enjoy!


3 thoughts on “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

  1. I don’t doubt the increased heart risks! I think there are a lot of people who, rightly so, avoid the digital ‘residency’ because one thing said can have real negative impacts on ones life. I might also question the authenticity of online comments…are we really speaking our minds when we know that our comments are accessible to the world?


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