So is it the fear of being replaced by technology that has people screaming we are too wrapped up in its cords? As a teacher, the question of allowing children to use calculators on tests often comes up. When I was first learning about computers in the early 1980’s the phrase GIGO was commonly thrown about.
PCMAG reports that the new Verizon Promotion Doubles Data Cap for 4G LTE Users. In the article Sasha Segan reported about his data usage test. “In four days of testing, with half an hour of Netflix, three hours of streaming radio, two e-mail accounts attached and some app downloads, he ran up 600MB of data usage” Now for me, that does not seem like it’s going to be a concern. I don’t have a half an hour a day to watch Netflix on my phone, nor do I have three hours where I can be plugged into streaming radio on my phone. The only time that I have that need, I am at home and would be using WiFi rather than my 4G LTE connection. In an earlier article, he points out that 3G speeds with data were lower than WiFi speeds. It made more sense, then, to pick up using WiFi whenever that option was available. He goes on to point out that 4G feels just as fast as WiFi and that most people wouldn’t bother to switch it over. He says “fear of high bills is a less immediate driver than being able to speed up your connection.” Perhaps for him, but certainly not for me. As an educator that is raising 4 children (and for now, 6 children), money is THE driving force for me. Although the double cap is certainly a great incentive, simply lower prices would mean much more to me.You want to really catch my attention, hit me in my price point.
And so that brings me to a post I did on CTRLALTDELIVER.COM. I asked….
Are we too dependent on Technology? That’s the question that was asked of me today. It’s a question that has been asked for hundreds of years, probably. Every time that something new comes along to replace the old, fears creep in and people question. I have just finished reading The Giant Slayer by Iain Lawrence (@iainlawrence). It deals with the polio epidemic of the 1950’s. No one with any shred of compassion would think to ask if those children were too dependent on technology when the iron lungs were introduced. We all recognize the need for transportation to get us to work. Although 100 years ago I am sure that there was the fear of the automobile and technology replacing the blacksmith(OK, they had reason to fear that, hence the dearth of openings in the blacksmith industry today), generally people don’t decry our dependency on the automobile, per se. The gas versus electric debate is entirely a different discussion.
So is it the fear of being replaced by technology that has people screaming we are too wrapped up in its cords? As a teacher, the question of allowing children to use calculators on tests often comes up. When I was first learning about computers in the early 1980’s the phrase GIGO was commonly thrown about. Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you program in the wrong stuff, the output is not going to be what you wanted either. The same thing applies to the calculator. If a student understands the procedure and the operations that are required to solve the problem, the calculator doesn’t cheat for them. It simply gives them the correct answer to the problem, as they input it.
Computers, and by extension, cell phones and tablets have become an integral part of our lives. When my 12 year old was 4 (8 years ago and I DIDN’T use a calculator to figure that out, thankyouverymuch, she was sitting at the little table we had in the kitchen for the children. She wanted me to feed her and I wanted to get the dishes done. As she begged, “Feed Me!”, I replied “I don’t play that game.” Her response cracked me up. She said, at 4 years of age, “Then I need to go to WWW.I Need Some Help.com!” The Internet had already taken hold of her. I blog. I Twitter. I listen to podcasts that I download from the Internet. I teach in a classroom that has a projector and a SmartBoard. But my teaching is not better; the learning is just more engaging. And I could do what I do without the technology. It is just easier and faster WITH the technology.
And so that leads back to the question of dependency. To me, the question deals more with “since we are using technology to save us time, what are we doing with that time?” It is the answer to THAT question that concerns people the most. I am guilty of sitting in front of my Twitter stream and just watching it go by endlessly. But I have also learned the value of hashtags (#ctrlaltdeliverisawesome, #baldisbeautiful, #edtech, etc.) to filter out the information. I remember a time around 1985 when I lived with my brother. We sat in a living room with computers that were connected with each other and would text back and forth “what’s next on TV?” Is the technology overload causing YOUR personal relationships to exist only online?
And so, back to the 80’s, we return to GIGO. I think that it is not a question of dependency, as it is a question of quantity and quality. We are flooded with so much information from so many different devices that it is hard to get away from it. And a lot of it is Garbage! Don’t fill your brain with it and then wonder why the output is not good. I tell my students all the time that we have a limited space in our brains, so don’t fill it up with junk. READ A GOOD BOOK! I have to check my email at work, obviously. I enjoy the other aspects of technology or I wouldn’t be in the blogging business. So yes, I am dependent on technology for those aspects of my life. But my life doesn’t begin and end there.
So do you feel that you are too dependent? If so, send me a tweet at @ctrlaltdeliver with the hashtag #iamdependentbecause. If you do not feel that you are too dependent, please send me a message by carrier pigeon with a handwritten message that says, “Nay, you foolish churl, I am not dependent upon thee.”
The value of hashtags For my edTech website this episode, I wanted to share with you about Twitter hashtags. I was reluctant to get involved in Twitter initially. It was presented in the media as peope posting about their lunch choices and comments on the way the person across from them was dressed. No real value there. When I first started using Twitter, I thought it was interesting to read what some of the tech people that I follow had to say or were following for items of interest. And so, like I said earlier, that quickly turned into information overload. The value of Twitter did not move into the forefront for me until I started learning about filtering with the use of hashtags. And so, to that end, my website this month can be found at Hash Tags
As I mentioned earlier, I am taking on the responsibility of two extra children for an indefinite amount of time. My niece and her husband were in a tragic head on collision, that was not their fault. They are both in critical condition with severe head trauma. I have added their 2 year old son and 6 year old daughter into my family along with my own 4 kids. I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Check back in next week for some updates on that.