The impact of technology in our lives today varies on the age group one speaks to. Baby boomers have resisted the growing pace of technology as they did not grow up with it while millennial have had it available since birth. Regardless of which era one was born into, technology is here, and its use is part of our daily lives, whether we wish to accept it or not.
Teachers and students have grown up with computer, but I am amazed at how little they know of how to use them. Most people have learned how to create, amend, and save documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoints and pictures. I have seen teachers panic because the computer fails to operate of when they can’t find a file and not teach that day because they don’t know how to teach without technology. Student’s know how to load and play a game but have little knowledge of productivity software. Computers are not important to them and many still do not have one at home. Oh, but they love and must have their smartphones. The heart of any computer, the processing chip, is often the same chip used in graphing calculators and smartphones. The interface is the only real difference, other than size. We need to go back to teaching the basics of technology so they can appreciate and better utilized what they already have.
Madden and Rainie (2015) gives a view of how Americans look at digital security, it is very important to us today. You can be located by name, IP and Mac address if anyone is really looking for you. Companies today track your searches in the internet, what sites you visit and how you pay for on-line purchases using cookies. While you can turn cookies off, many sites will not let you proceed if you do so, especially when shopping on-line. Students need to be made aware so that they are more careful when they are on the internet. There is software anyone can purchase to further protect their technology, such as a virtual private network (VPN). Yet the most important security available is being conscious of where you go and what you do on the internet. We need to educate our students, and even our teachers as well.
Shapiro (2014), makes the case for teaching digital citizenship. Instant access to the internet and the ability to voice an opinion, respond to a post without thought of its impact is a problem today. The digital footprint we leave behind may come back to haunt us one day. I remember years ago when I started checking my name through search apps and that there were only a few hundred hits and now I get over 2 million. My specialty in the Navy required a very high security clearance and I have always been diligent on what I do or say as it could affect my clearance. It is a habit I have never stopped doing. I think before I post and ask myself, would this affect my clearance? I use social media, primarily for person use such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Since social media has become a high profile use today, I make sure I don’t post anything vulgar, but I will post my personal patriotic, political and religious views. My stance is that if you’re offended by my personal views, then don’t read it. I give myself a score of 4 on my digital footprint.
As teachers and students access the internet today, virtually from anywhere in the world today, we have yet to teach them proper and safe use of the internet. Access and speed are taken from granted. Students, as well as teacher, have no realization of the impact, not only today, but more importantly tomorrow that the post will have. The internet is a wonderful piece of technology, remembering when I had to call another computer on my modem in order to have a one on one connection in order to access each other’s information, limited as it was. Today, anything can be searched and have hundreds of materials available to choose from. The internet can also be a dangerous place as well, we must educate out students to the reality of the internet.
Madden, M., & Raine, L. (2015). Americans' attitudes about privacy, security and surveillance. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/05/20/americans-attitudes-about-privacy-security-and-surveillance/
Shapiro, E. (2014). The case for teaching digital citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-case-for-teaching-digital-citizenship/2014/01/23/