I have mentioned before that I am not very resourceful or knowledgeable when it comes to technology. However, when it comes to YouTube, I am not only addicted, but I have learned a lot about the platform for over a decade. It all began when I was eleven years old and my mom had just let me buy my first piece of makeup, an eyeliner. I was scared to use it, and my mom certainly did not have the teaching skills to translate to an eleven year old how to put on eyeliner properly. So, I turned to YouTube to search if someone else could teach me. I has no idea if YouTube would have any content of the sort, but to my surprise there were about two or three videos on “How-to Apply Eyeliner for Beginners” . I was amazed that through this website I was able to get the help that I needed from a complete stranger. Now, the YouTube beauty community, as well as so many other categories have endless videos that connect humans from around the world for common purposes. It is almost impossible to not find what you are looking for.
Watching the video “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube”, Michael Wesch explains the beginnings of YouTube as platform for people to share content and the expansion of it into a means of “mediating human relationships”. As I watched this video I not only recalled my first true encounter with the internet and the means in how it has developed (as explained through my own narrative above), but I also thought about how this has impacted me throughout my journey in becoming a teacher and how it will impact me as I move into a role of a teacher.
Technology has already become a huge part in teaching our students. It impacts their lives daily as a larger portion of their day is spent staring at a screen in and out of the classroom. Many view this as negative and that cellphones and different forms of technology being distractions. However, it is important to realize that these forms of technology are part of our life now and are only becoming a larger portion of human connection as we move towards the future. Therefor teachers need to keep up with the changes being made and continue to incorporate the use of technology so we can establish a positive practice and mean to use it so it has an appropriate and beneficial impact on students.
By incorporating the use of technology within classrooms and exposing to students the benefits it has in “mediating human relationships” and what we can learn, we push technology into a positive light as we simply have to accept it is such a huge part of everyone’s lives now. I think the best way to create an open network where students want to participate is not only giving students the resources so they know how to use certain types of platforms, but also giving them the reason WHY it is important to know how to use and the benefits behind the use. If we simply present students with a platform to use and say “use it” they will not see any need to do so. We need to find websites and forms of technology that the students find useful and WANT to use in their everyday lives. When we, as educators can present them with something they can have fun with and learn at the same time, that is easy to use, that is where technology become beneficial in connecting knowledge and creating relationships.
I think we also need to educate our students on the negative effects of technology and social media. Being transparent in the dangers of the internet and the lack of privacy that can come from interacting online needs to be outlined. In order for students to be successful, they need to understand both the benefits and the cons to what they are learning and how they will learn it. I have always had this idea of doing a project where students find an article about the dangers of the use of internet where they get to read a narrative of someone who may have run into some trouble or suffered from social media or some media platform. They would tell their narrative and then investigate a means to try and prevent that from happening for future students. Whether it be a presentation to outline the simple steps within a program to secure a personal account or perhaps re creating whatever the narrative was trying to achieve, but finding a program that could do it in a more safe manner. Or they could simply find new platforms to use within the classroom and outline the benefits and cons to it.
I love “50 Ideas to..” articles or websites and through my internship I always looked up ways to incorporate technology within the classroom. One website I constantly referred to was “50 Ways to Integrate Technology in Your Classroom TOMORROW”. They have a plethora of ideas that you can find here: https://sites.google.com/site/anchortechnologytomorrow/home/50-ways-to-anchor-technology
There are many things to consider when talking about technology and how it allows us to build and connect with people from around the world to share knowledge, but the biggest factor is simply that technology continues to grow and expand. As educators, we know our students are changing with the technology as its influence is extremely hefty in their lives. Therefore it is our job to change with the progress that is being made and utilize it in a positive manner to teach our students appropriate, beneficial and safe ways to utilize it.