Technology in Education From the Eyes of a Millennial

In school I’ve studied millennials and their technology habits. I’ve researched that we are the most technological generation and all of that. Naturally I understood the limitations and realized that some industries don’t need to be as technologically advanced as others.
Before my education career began, it was common sense to me to integrate as much technology as possible in the classroom.  It is something all the kids are growing up with and are interested in.  And it isn’t going away. It is really less work for you as an educator to grab their attention when it is something you are already interested in.
Anyway, I went through these technology training sessions for teachers – which was great! – except I am the youngest faculty member, and was incredibly bored to the point of clawing my eyeballs out. Since I couldn’t focus on the actual material, because I knew more than what they were presenting, I focused on observing the other faculty members. So I learned: many teachers do not understand the inner workings of a SMART board, or that I-clickers exist or even the tricks of using a computer or user-friendly webpage. NO WONDER WHY THERE IS THIS PUSH FOR TECHNOLOGY AND ENGAGING THE KIDS. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was a serious realization. My middle school was one of the testing schools for the SMART board so that thing is like second nature. It is really weird to think that some people don’t know how they work or the advantages of this type of technology. I guess that’s just the millennial in me.

I’m the kid that pulls out a piece technology to look up something that people were wondering mid conversation. Why leave it to later when there is time right now? There is a higher chance you’ll forget about it- plus if you look now, it will give you more time to ponder that idea and ask more questions. Anyway, in my career as a student, I’ve become an EXCELLENT researcher. I can find so many things and I love it. Do you know how many looks I’ve gotten when I’ve pulled out my tablet and begin writing on it? Way too many. I find it extremely convenient and easy and really fun. I also struggle with handwriting notes because of fabulous carpal tunnel. Anyway, it’s also helpful in the classroom. But too many people believe that you as a millennial abuse forms of technology. So if I were to pull out my phone or tablet, people automatically assume I am up to no good until I pull the stylus out and begin writing (I loveeeee the Samsung note series).
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I guess what I am trying to understand is their possible thoughts. If you are there for the kids and want to help them understand, wouldn’t you do as much as possible to engage them? Engaging them will open the doors to learning. Like learn how to use the technology they are already used to? I mean that even goes way beyond the classroom and teaching. This technology one day will be outdated; hell, the computers, no matter the type, are outdated the minute you purchase them. But, listen, if you learn this technology and become accustomed to it, you should have little to no issue “upgrading” – provided you know how to properly use technology, and there are a lot of other factors that only fellow scientists care about. If you choose to ignore the current technology, you are only going to fall further behind or even “off the planet” for lack of better words. If you cannot keep up with today’s technology, how the hell are you going to survive in tomorrow’s or next year’s? You won’t. That future technology is way more advanced than the technology you are currently skeptical of. To me, I see the benefits of learning all of the new technologies outweighing the cons.
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It’s all just so interesting to me. I guess I am surprised and perhaps concerned that this topic just connected to the brain.

LZE

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Roles of Technology: Income level v. Tech, Gender v. Tech

In class, we found articles that talked about changes in technology and their impact, technology used in the workplace, and the image millennials receive from growing up in this technological world. Most of the articles discussed how people tend to misuse their social media profiles and lose their jobs or get in trouble. Others talked about how to properly use social media to help you get a job – which is cool. Two main topics that stood out to me today were: income levels v. technology literacy and men/women gender roles v. views on technology.

Income v. Technology Literacy

In another class I took last semester, we discussed the impact of technology on inner city kids. Teachers assume that kids can type their homework or find things on the internet at home, but in reality they may not have a computer at home. They may not even have a calculator or a place for them to do their homework quietly. I would hope that they had a home at all. Some don’t live close enough to the public library, or have the means to get there. I’m not just speaking of inner city kids, by the way. But all kids. We can’t just assume that children have these things because we see them all the time. There’s a good chance that they don’t. I know I just recently got into the smartphone world. I’m not in their house, I don’t know what is going on. I bring this up because an article came up in class today how more higher and middle class people are expecting to know how to use computers or be technology literate, and lower class people abuse technology. Jobs are expecting people to have these skills. Now I didn’t read the entire article, but from what was summarized, the article was talking about how middle/higher class use technology to advance their career, or use it in a more useful way like to create Word documents or inspirational Youtube videos. Whereas lower income classes tend to abuse technology by playing games, and not using it to it’s full potential. While I can’t say I agree with any of these, because I feel that both uses of technology are found in all income levels, I can understand where they are coming from. If you don’t grow up with a computer, you don’t necessarily know how to use one. I mean we all have that person in our lives that still needs some help attaching a document to an email. So for these lower income families that can’t afford computers, how are they going to learn useful ways to use the technology given? Or better yet, who will teach them how to use the computer? Games are easy to figure out. Games also keep the brain active, so it isn’t entirely a waste.

I feel that the generation gap or the poverty gap we experience in our public schools stem over with technology too. One thing that I found interesting is that the SOLs are now all digitized – taken on the computer. First, don’t get me started on the standardized movement. That’s another post for another day. But first, we throw all of these tests down these kids throats. Second, we already know there is a generation/poverty gap, whatever you want to call it, present in our schools. It’s shown on the standardized tests. And now they want to make that gap even bigger by assuming that everyone knows the basics of a computer? Excuse me, what? How does that make sense? I don’t understand why generations before us automatically assume we know how to do everything regardless of our age. Young kids, old kids, it doesn’t matter. We’re expected to fix everything.

Men/Women Gender Roles v. Technology

Not like I’ve written enough. As I said in my “Who dis be?” post, I like to write. This one will be shorter. hahaha So, another topic from an article that was brought up in class was that women adapt better to I think it was to changes in technology, or use more technology. I don’t quite remember the exact wording. I think it was that they adapt to new technologies, or can easily adapt to using new technology. Something along those lines. It had to do with women adapting and men liking it simple. But it didn’t have any scientific research or enough of it yet to boldly say that statement. But it made me think (obviously), ‘well no shit women adapt easily to new or changes in technology. They’ve had to do something similar their whole life.’ In our culture and with our gender roles, women are supposed to be the ones that take care of absolutely everything; kids, house, food, pets, neighbors. The men are supposed to go to work, and then be tired the rest of the time (i.e. sit at home and do nothing). Now, this isn’t always how it is, but this is how it used to be and in some ways still is. Anyway, do you see the list the women have to worry about as opposed to the men? 1. it has a lot more items. 2. Those items are always changing. Aside from the obvious, the work men do don’t change quite drastically as a kid running all over throwing tantrums. Mothers/women NEED the ability to adapt to fix all this shit out. If they couldn’t everything would fail and we probably wouldn’t exist. Someone in this world needs to adapt to stuff. I mean men adapt, but women seem to be more likely because of all the other pressures they face. Am I just repeating myself? Maybe. Anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting. I like making connections like that; causes you to think.

Goodnight!

xo, LZE