When Sharing Goes Bad, Pithy Quote Fetish and Kids These Days

This post was last updated on May 6th, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I left a comment on Wes’ blog after this rather unfortunate event happened. I decided to repost here with a few additional thoughts and modifications.



I think there are three issues that come to mind for me:

1. It’s important we understand and accept the trade offs with technology. Too often we in the ed tech community have to oversell technology in order to make in roads. We’re not naive, I don’t think we ignore the downsides, but perhaps if we prepare folks for deeper understanding, these kinds of things won’t be seen as a reason to discontinue. 99.99% of my experience in sharing has been overwhelmingly positive. I have to think that for most people who have made sharing a part of  what they do, it’s similar. But I’m afraid if you’ve not made this your default, it might make you gun shy. That’s unfortunate. Yes, occasionally sharing goes bad. But in the same way that being kind can backfire, I hope it wouldn’t stop you from continuing to be kind. Understand this comes with the territory. Some might suggest Wes shouldn’t post pictures of … Read the rest

The Polarization of Technology

This post was last updated on December 20th, 2013 at 09:54 am

In 1999, Douglas Adams wrote:

I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:

1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.

Technology has the unique ability to both create community and break it at the same time. I’ve continued to have many of these conversations as we try to understand the impact … Read the rest

The Mixed Message of Digital Citizenship

This post was last updated on March 28th, 2016 at 01:09 pm

Whenever I hear the term “digital citizenship” I usually am skeptical. When we began using the term several years ago, it typically focused on keeping kids safe online. It was generally a scare tactic that told students that they should be wary of posting anything online because it’s forever. The assumption was kids will post inappropriate stuff.  Recently the message has softened and most acknowledge kids are going to be posting online and so the message is about posting only the good stuff. These messages have some truth but like most things are nuanced and require more discussion than simple posters or mantras can provide. Jared Heidinger shared this video

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.

There’s a lot here to discuss but the part that hit me was at the  2:30 mark. My kids, who are teenagers and adults, often tell me how they get annoyed at many people’s facebook and instagram postings because they always refer to how awesome their life is.

“Reading a great book”
“My wonderful husband just made me the most delicious meal”
“Enjoying a glass of wine while … Read the rest

More on Digital Dualism

This post was last updated on December 20th, 2013 at 09:55 am

I continue to think about what is it that we struggle with as we consider mediated relationships, aka digital dualism. The following can be seen as a draft of challenges I hear and some attempt to respond to them and provide more fodder for discussion than simply a simplistic view of bad or good. This is not a zero-sum game. 

Complaint #1

Kids today expect immediate and constant feedback and connection. 

Think back to the days just before the telephone. The only way to maintain a relationship with someone not in your physical place was the mail. You wrote someone a letter and waited to hear back. You expected a response, you just didn't have a time frame expectation, or at least a very specific one. Perhaps you gave them a few weeks or months depending on your previous experience. But still, you expected feedback. If you didn't a response after a reasonable time, you likely did begin to get anxious and concerned. Today it's the same thing only the time gap has shrunk from months to seconds. So what is it the bothers people? Is it the Read the rest

Overcoming Digital Dualism

This post was last updated on December 20th, 2013 at 09:55 am

Digital dualism is the belief that the on and offline are largely separate and distinct realities. Digital dualists view digital content as part of a "virtual" world separate from a "real" world found in physical space. 

I had a great day yesterday at Dakota Collegiate in Winnipeg. This is a school that is in their 3rd year of a BYOD initiative and for the most part, they are making some wonderful headway. My observations and conversations with them suggest they are really trying to be thoughtful in their implementation. Like any large school, some are more comfortable and trying to push the envelope and others are in need of time to explore more and yet others still are questioning the value of the technology as a connecting device. 

I had the opportunity to speak with the entire staff in small groups throughout the day. Our conversations were very interesting. We discussed a range of topics from asessement, attention, pedagogy and more. Yet for many they still were very concerned and uncertain about this idea of connection. Their concerns mirror how many educators view online connections. 

…people, especially young

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