Sunday, May 24, 2009

Technology and why I have a problem with it sometimes...

I am not a big fan of sitting here and using cutie catch phrases, but technology has always been a double edged sword in my eyes. Reading Web, Library, and Teen Services 2.0 written by Kimberly Bolan, Meg Canada, and Rob Cullin I started to see so many problems with the way the youth of today is coddled through technological advantages. I am only 31, but when I was in school you went to the library because it was a place of peace and quiet. It got you away from the distractions of the dorm room and suite mates. It wasn't meant to be a place to hang out and be distracted there as much as in the comforts of your own room. I honestly find it hard to believe that students today are going onto MySpace to check out pictures of the library and Twitter to see what event are going on down in the A-V room. For every student that might read those posts and networking sites for that reason, there are 10 that don't. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the Internet in general are all so tempting in so many ways to not be lead astray and down non-work related paths. I guess I am sad to see the days gone where the lady in the Library was shushing you for being too loud and the card catalogs were in the corner in light tan wooden cabinets. I feel the changing of the guard to new wave library is getting away from everything that school and studying once was. Now, we change everything to make sure people are happy in the Library. None of us were happy in the Library, but we went and we were better students for it, period.
I was a little more intrigued by Examining Social Software in Teacher Education by Richard E. Ferdig. While I still don't feel a social software such as Facebook will ever be usable in the classroom, it may be a springboard to software in the future. Facebook, when started, was an innocent college networking based software. It has now taken on a life of its own. It is used by all age ranges and all types of people both in and out of school. There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that it will never be conducive for learning. Call me old fashioned, but unless a software is 100% monitored and taken seriously by its users it holds very little benefit to the masses. We may sit here and say in theory it will work, but tell me that you can trust Facebook 100% when tweens are posting risque photos and killers have been known to stalk their victims. It will take some work, but that software will need to be monitored and monitored closely to keep it in check!
Alfred Weaver and Benjamin Morrison hit it a little bit better when they wrote Social Networking. That is exactly what this is all about. Networking! Not learning for the most part. It is about friends keeping in touch and relationship/status updates. Who doesn't enjoy posting as well as looking at pictures? I know I do! All I am saying is look at these networking sights for what they are. Let's not try to make them more educational then they ever will be. People go on MySpace and Facebook to unwind. Nobody I have ever met in the youthful age range of 18-35 has ever sat down and wondered what was going on down at the Library and said "Let me check Facebook". That's not the reality. A tool like Moodle is a great example of being able to network via Q&A as well as forums while keeping the content professional and educational. It will take more sites like this to show a true educational site vs. Facebook and who is going to what kegger and who cheated on who last night. That's probably not going to be on the final exam.....

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with what you stated about being the old fashion way of doing things. It seems like students don't even have to leave the comforts of their own homes to research anymore, and instead of finding their way to the library they sit in front of their computers and look up helpful information, look on myspace, look up more info....and so on. I think social networking has taken over todays generation of kids and leads them to be dependent upon eachother for the happening things going on in town! It is sad that technology has amounted to that sort of idea, but to me and you sites that deal with social networking seem to make kids a bit more irresponsible today