So this video from The Atlantic (linked above) tackles one of the most debated issues today. . .does technology change our morals? Even though I don’t consider myself that old (yes, I did have Michael Jackson’s Thriller on vinyl), being a middle school teacher I hear myself saying; “kids these days. . .”
Really? Isn’t that something that my grandmother used to say? But, I do notice a shift in how kids communicate, entertain themselves, and relate to the world. Technology use is what divides our generations. While I facebook, tweet, email and text; I do this in a vastly different capacity from your average 13 year old. Most of my interactions are on a professional level and facebook is just to look at pictures of kids and animals and occasionally share an article. I don’t really think about who likes a picture or comments on it. For a 13 year old, most of their friendships are maintained on social media, and just like the good old days it is still about who likes who, who looks good etc. . . . only now this teenage social hierarchy is on display for the world. There have always been jerks and humiliations in middle school. . .only now the devastation is for a mass audience.
Has our moral compass really changed because of technology? Or has technology made human nature more destructive?
This school year I want to continue to affirm my student’s value, worth, potential for change and hope for the future USING technology. So many inspiring stories are shared daily, friendships built, collaboration across the globe. We need to embrace all of the positive aspects that technology brings to our student’s lives, instead of criticizing an entire generation. . .let’s start highlighting all of their truimphs and accomplishments. . .and tackle the challenges of the future together.
My first day with students is going to be spent taking “Us-ies” . . .let’s take the narcissistic selfie and create community within our classrooms. Our SEL theme for our middle school this year is “We are more alike than different.” Technology is a connection between our students. Our first “Us-ie” is going to connect us to our library by making a statement that “we are here and we belong.”