Technology: Terrific or Terrible?

“Clouds” in Lynn, MA (made by a group of sky writing jets last weekend)

Here I am, writing a blog entry in my bedroom, getting ready to send this text up into the Cloud.  I rarely think about what I am doing when I publish something online. However, it’s really amazing when I stop to think about it. In a few minutes, when I am done writing, this text will be sent to storage farms which could be anywhere in the world. In just a few more seconds, it will be made available to billions of people online. There’s no guarantee that anyone will read this, but they could.

Girl in Beijing fighting with her mom about her cell phone use

In fact, my statistics reveal that fewer people viewed my blog today than any other day all summer, but I still got views from Australia, Japan, and Germany. It’s hard not to feel like the internet is magic.

Over the 10 years that I’ve been teaching at Innovation Academy, technology has become a greater and greater part of the classroom experience.  Today, more 5th grade students have their own cell phone, email address, social networking accounts, and more. They speak this technological lingo as their first language, and not as a foreign tongue.  During our orientation sessions over the past few days, I led classes on technology for over 100 students. We are working to help students understand how computing works in the 21st century, to go beyond just clicking. We showed this fabulous video which I can’t take credit for, but does a hysterical job explaining cloud computing:

Students are impressed with the Cloud, but they were able to identify problems with increased technology in today’s society. Students named the following challenges that technology brings:

  • Less time to play outside
  • Frustrations waiting for broken machines
  • Empty wallets due to money spent on computers
  • Hackers and “haters” that can be very dangerous
  • Increased use of energy to run all the computers, creating more CO2 which is damaging the environment

Today’s youth are connected, and they are aware. Watch out.  They are not just taking in information. They are producing new knowledge. And it’s not going away. It’s stored up there in the Cloud.

Categories: Global Citizenship, USA

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3 replies »

  1. Wow!!

    I’ve never heard of Cloud Computing. But, then again, I don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, etc. page either.
    I thought the video was really cool, it’s pretty amazing how the photo of Frank is possibly in 12 different places at once!
    But the students are right about the bad things of technology.
    Here’s a question, if technology continues like this, what will happen to new Olympic athletes since people don’t play outside as much?
    And the frustration over broken machines is kind of like how you wrote in one of your Turkey blog posts, Ms. Krakauer, about the planes. Like when you wrote that people get angry over late planes when the planes can actually fly you over thousands of miles like a bird!! It’s kind of like what one of the students said about people being angry over slow or broken computers because the internet actually connects you to people from all over the world!! People you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

    Amazing technology!!
    😉 ~ Anna

    P.S. I really liked the photo of the cloud circle in the sky, it was REALLY cool!! What were the sky writing jets supposed to be writing?

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