Big Data Book Review

Big Data. It seems to be changing lives. The term Big data refers to the use of Data in our everyday lives that’s becoming increasingly more present. Not only that, but now things such  as Data analysis by companies like Google that use searches to map out the number of people who had to flu in the past year, are erupting with rapid speed. When you look around it kind of makes you wonder whether or not Big Data is the right term. Something along the lines of HUGE Data or Ginormous Data seems more fitting, don’t you think?

In their book “Big Data,” Victor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier focus on the term itself and exactly what this means for us. Comparing the good, and the bad about Big Data they seem to take an unbiased approach at mapping out just what Big Data is. They do however make it apparent that Big Data has made its mark, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – but that it’s not a scary looming technological robot to be feared. While yes, we do compromise some privacy when you get down to the nitty gritty of Big Data, this seems a small price to pay for the insight and capabilities that Big Data allows.

By highlighting different ways technology has been used historically a number of times in their book, they allow a reflection on just how far Data has come in the passing years and what it can be used for today as well as how it’s used today. It’s obvious throughout this book that the authors are educated and know the true and honest facts and that’s hard to ignore when taking into consideration how you should feel about Big Data. This book leaves the reader feeling refreshed and knowledgeable, with a clear understanding of Big Data and allowing you as a reader to form your own educated opinion on Big Data.

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Literature Review

Technology Integration in K-6 Classrooms: Is it negatively affecting today’s youth?

The majority of the population in the twenty first century seems to have become dependent on technology in their daily lives. The children of the 21st century have never lived their lives without the convenience of technology, and will never have to. It is because of this early introduction to technology that it would seem sensible to use technology in K-6 classrooms as a tool to teach, but regardless technology still seems unable to successfully and comfortably be incorporated into 21st century classrooms. The ongoing debate about its effect on students, whether positive or negative, paired with teachers both old and new not receiving enough training on how to easily and successfully integrate technology into their lesson plans, seems to be the biggest contributor to the lack of technology in the lesson plans of K-6 students.

It’s been over twenty years since schools first found their way into schools, but even with the time that’s passed, todays teachers still seem clueless and uncomfortable with how to use technology in their lesson plans. Boni Hamilton, an instructional technology specialist, makes a career out of finding ways to assist in facing the issues teachers face when trying to integrate technology into the classroom. In the first chapter of her book “It’s Elementary: Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades,” Hamilton addresses exactly what Technology Integration is, and why it’s important. According to Hamilton “Integration is when classroom teachers use technology to introduce, reinforce, extend, enrich, assess, and remediate student mastery of curricular targets”(20). She explains that the integration of technology must include collaboration and deliberate planning in order to be successful. The ultimate goal is that teachers will approach the presence of technology, and have the ability to incorporate it into their lesson plans as easily as traditional methods. Throughout this first chapter Hamilton stresses that research and application prove the multitude of positive effects technology in the classroom has on those younger students, and the potential to enrich K-6 lessons greatly.

While there are studies that have shown negative effects of technology integration, there seem to be a significant number of studies proving otherwise. In 2011 The Florida Department of Education funded the “Leveraging Laptops: Effective Models for Enhancing Student Achievement” program. The goal of this program was to “develop effective models for enhancing student achievement through integration of laptop technology and student-centered instruction in the classroom” (Cavanaugh, Dawson, & Ritzhaupt, 2011). The FDE comprised a team of 440 teachers from multiple Universities in order to study the effects. This study included 41 schools all together, out of those 41, 12 were elementary. Their findings show that the greatest differences once technology was incorporated into the classroom were an increase in student attention, and an increase in interest and engagement. Other increases include student engagement in project based learning, independent inquiry/research, and the use of technology as a learning tool or resource. There were a few negative effects reported, but they were shown to be caused by the students in the class having no experience with technology.

When the topic of Technological Integration in the classroom comes up, researchers tend to focus more on the intellectual effects of it rather than how the students actually feel about using technology in the classroom. Kate wall, a researcher from New Castle University in the UK, had a particular interest in just how the pupils felt about technology. Once her research was conducted and studied it showed that their positive feelings towards using technology significantly exceeded that of the negative. (Wall, Higgins, & Smith, 200)

References

Cavanaugh, C., Dawson, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2011). An evaluation of the conditions, processes, and consequences of laptop computing in K-12 Classrooms. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(3), 359-378. Retrieved September 19, 2014.

Hamilton, B. (2007). Chapter 1. In It’s elementary!: Integrating technology in the primary grades. Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/ITSELE-excerpt.pdf

Wall, K., Higgins, S., & Smith, H. (2005). ‘The visual helps me understand the complicated things:’ Pupil view of teaching and learning with interactive whiteboards. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(5), 851-867. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2005.00508.x

Response #4

Just how much do you rely on the internet? To be specific, just how much do you rely on Google? Well, if you’re anything like me – you rely heavily on Google, and usually a day doesn’t pass that I don’t google at least one thing. But, I will say, after reading the articles this week I will definitely think twice the next time I pull up my Google task bar and type in my more than like extremely unnecessary and silly question. The three articles we read this week touch heavily on “Big Data,” and explain just what it is, what it’s used for, and whether it’s necessary. In his article “Big Data: are we making a big mistake,” Tim Hartford explains that while Big Data is definitely something to get excited, we have to make sure we keep in mind that just because it’s bigger – doesn’t mean it’s better. I was honestly really interested in the story he includes about the 1936 elections between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Republican Alfred Landon. The magazine The Literary Digest took on the task of outlining just how the elections were going. They sent out, and received back, thousands of polls. Once they came back, and were tallied, the magazine stated that Landon would win with 51% of the overall votes, with no competition at all it seemed. However, when the election took place, Roosevelt won and had received over 61% of the votes! A smaller magazine had decided to do the same as the Digest, but on a much smaller scale – and surprisingly enough they were more accurate than the well-known Digest. Hartford points out that this just goes to show that while the bigger it is, it may seem better and more effective – but that is not always the case.

In the 21st century it seems that there is not a doubt in many minds that technology is the way to go about anything, and this doesn’t exclude businesses. Google, who in the past is known to carry the slogan “Don’t be Evil,” are continuously finding new ways to collect, study, and quantify their users search history as a way to get a read on the people and be better prepared for the future, and the worst part of it all, they don’t require your permission in order to do that. Essentially, anything you’ve ever searched for using the very popular search engine – they reserve the right to use in studies and whatever else they see fit. While this might seem harmless, and actually might be, it’s truly an invasion of privacy. But, because our generation has become so accustomed to the convenience of Google and just simply the internet in general, the population doesn’t give much thought to how much of their privacy they’re sacrificing for a quick search engine answer. Put simply though, I doubt the majority of the internet’s users would give up such simple convenience over a privacy issue.

Annotated Bibliographies (10)

Megan Crowson

Knowledge Management

21 September 2014

 

“Integrating Technology: Is it a good thing?”: Annotated Bibliography

Cavanaugh, C., Dawson, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2011). An evaluation of the conditions, processes, and consequences of laptop computing in K-12 Classrooms. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(3), 359-378. Retrieved September 19, 2014.

This article explains and evaluates the use of laptops in K-12 classrooms. The Florida Department of Education funded “Leveraging Laptops: Effective Models for Enhancing Student Achievement.” This study took place over a single school year, and 41 schools we observed. Out of those 41 schools 12 were elementary. The “Leveraging Laptops” program was “based on the premises that changes in the learning environment foster changes in teaching and learning”(361). This particular work will be exponentially important in my paper because it does well to highlight the good, and the bad of integrating technology in our elementary classrooms. However, as with most of the research I’ve done, it become blatantly obvious that there seems to be far more to gain from integration than anything.

Dietze, B., & Kashin, D. (2013). Shifting views: Exploring the potential for technology integration in early childhood education programs. Canadian Journal of Learning & Technology, 39(4), 1-12. Retrieved September 18, 2014

In this article, the authors lay out research and logic to show that it’s of the utmost importance that technology becomes a part of Early Childhood Education. The authors point out that in the growing age of technology, Educators must keep in mind that their students are growing more knowledgeable and capable of technology with each passing year, and to avoid the students surpassing the teachers, technology must begin integration as early as possible. The authors also explain that while technology should be implemented in “active play” it should in no way replace hands on experience – it should simply expand the child’s ability to learn. Again, in this article, it’s shown that technology – if implemented properly has the ability to help more than hurt a child’s development.

Hamilton, B. (2007). Chapter 1. In It’s elementary!: Integrating technology in the primary grades. Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/ITSELE-excerpt.pdf

This source, while only being an excerpt from a book, is extremely helpful in showing the positives of integrating technology into our classrooms. Boni Hamilton received her Doctorate in Education in 2011, and has worked most of her career towards a goal of integrating technology into classrooms. She points out that computers have technically been in our schools for over twenty years now, but the teachers abilities to integrate technology effectively into their lesson plans is still very much a work in progress. Hamilton explains that the only way integration works, is if the teacher focuses on working it into their daily lessons. Learning with technology should be treated no differently than more commonly used traditional methods. “Students from computer rich classrooms show better behavior, lower school absentee rates, lower dropout rates, earn more college scholarships, and attend college in greater numbers that do students from non-computer classrooms”(21).

LeBaron, J., & Collier, C. (2001). Technology in its place: Successful technology infusion in schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Unable to find book. Will locate next week and review to see if it is relevant to my paper.

McGrail, E., & Davis, A. (2011). The influence of Classroom blogging on Elementary Student writing. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 25(4), 415-437. doi: 10.1080/02568543.2011.605205

In this work, the authors explore and explain the positive effects technology can have on students. But, interestingly enough, not in a way most would think of as a way to encourage and motive students. These authors are encouraging the use of blogs in elementary classrooms. In a study done by the authors, their findings show that when the students were expected to have a blog and given time to write in their blogs their overall view of writing changed all together. Unlike traditional writing, the students realized shortly after they began writing, that what they were writing was actually being viewed by an audience and not just the teacher. While the authors do recognize that proper grammar and spelling weren’t always perfect, the blogs helped the students learn to enjoy writing in a way that they would have never had before.

Slavin, R.E., Lake, C., Hanley, P., & Thurston, A. (2012, May). Effective Programs for Elementary Science: A Best-Evidence Synthesis. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Research and Reform in Education.

This work explores the best possible science programs to help Elementary students succeed.  It is shown that Technology programs such as BrainPOP, The Voyage of the Mimi, and web based labs are the most effective when teaching elementary students science. The result of their study shows that technology applications, such as the use of video or computer graphics to illustrate scientific processes, show significant promise. When these programs were implemented correctly, the students seemed to not only retain the information better, but were more motivated to learn what the teacher was presenting them.  By using these types of programs in the classroom the teacher has the ability to not only teach, but to become interactive with their students and make learning interesting and relevant.

Shaw, E. L., Jr., Giles, R. M., & Hibberts, M. (2013). Does technology make a difference? Investigating the impacts of instructional method on Second Graders knowledge acquisition and retention of rock types. Global Education Journal, 2013(1), 83-92. Retrieved September 15, 2014

This article discusses a study that was designed to investigate the impact of instruction using SMART technology, and more specifically SMARTBoards. These technological tools are designed to work as a white board, where the teacher can display information important to the topic being discussed. Unlike traditional white boards though, these SMARTBoards have the capability to become an interactive teaching device. This study focuses on whether or not the IWB (Interactive White Board) has any effect on how students learn a Science lesson centered on rocks. The findings discussed are interesting and will provide my paper with more positive research to support the use of technology in Elementary Classrooms.

Sun, Y. (2012). The EMPIRe model as a thinking tool to prepare Teachers for technology integration. Journal of Educational Technology Development & Exchange, 5(2), 95-110. Retrieved September 17, 2014

This article explores a new method of helping teachers become familiarized with technology in order to work it into their daily lesson plans with comfort and ease. This new method has been dubbed the EMPIRe Model, and it consists of five important stages: 1. Evaluating; 2. Matching; 3. Planning; 4. Implementing; and 5. Reflection. If the EMPIRe Model is exercised and utilized, it’s projected that the integration of technology would be made easier on those teachers not familiar or comfortable with technology. This article also touches on a number of things relevant to my topic, and explores the “barriers” that are faced when looking to integrate technology into the classroom.

Vega, V. (2014, April 13). What Is Successful Technology Integration? Retrieved September 17, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

This source lays out and explains exactly what Technology Integration is, and how to effectively implement it in the classroom. According to this site, successful Technology Integration is defined as “digital technology permits users unprecedented control over the content they consume, and the place in and pace they consume it. At the heart of effective technology integration practices, digital technologies offer learners great opportunities to be more actively involved in the learning experience.” This source is important to my topic because it focuses solely on explaining what Technology Integration is, how it should be implemented, and the steps that teachers need to take in order to do so.

Wall, K., Higgins, S., & Smith, H. (2005). ‘The visual helps me understand the complicated things:’ Pupil view of teaching and learning with interactive whiteboards. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(5), 851-867. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2005.00508.x

The study outlined, and implemented in this article in my opinion is one of my papers primary sources and best supporting research. This study, unlike others, focuses on how the students feel about using technology in the class. So, not only do they observe the positive and negative effects technology integration can have in the class, they also interview and compile responses from the students in order to see if they feel that the technology is helpful, and are they comfortable using it in their daily lessons. The findings of this study seem to show that not only is technology helpful and effective, but that the students enjoy using it, and it helps motivate them to learn.

Response #3

When you take a look around you today, you’re without a doubt going to observe multiple people not just talking on their cell phones, but texting, blogging, updating their status, pin pointing their location, checking their email, ‘video’ chatting, or even reading a book. It’s been said before, but it’s without a doubt going to be said over and over again in the coming years – technology has become a staple in our everyday lives. We have grown to depend on technology to help us perform daily functions in our lives, and most would say that without their ‘digital toys,’ they’d be lost.

The use of technology, and essentially our dependence on it, isn’t all bad though. In his article “Does Digital Scholarship have a Future,” Ayers discusses the ever growing use of and importance of “Digital Scholarship” as a tool in academic research. Essentially, with the invention of the World Wide Web, we gained access to a plethora of knowledge, and if taught how to use correctly, this information has the ability to expand your knowledge more than most could dream of. While most have been quick to jump on the “Digital Scholarship” bandwagon, a number of “Digital Immigrants” aren’t so quick. These scholars seem to have an unwillingness to learn how to incorporate digital scholarship into their research, which seems to stem from the old saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Basically stating that – if the old ways worked for them for so many years, why bother learning a new way.

The point that Ayers seems to want to get across the most in his article is that while yes, digital scholarship is a growing, and innovative way of conducting research – we shouldn’t come to rely soley on that. It’s important to recognize that the traditional way, if having been in place and effective for so long, should never be disregarded or done away with simply because there is a new way, because in the end – the traditional way has served, and continues to serve its purpose. Ayers recognizes this and reiterates that instead of just using one type of scholarship, you should learn to combine those traditional practices with new and growing one’s in order to broaden your research into something more creative, and rich with information and knowledge. The idea of learning the new, but never forgetting or disregarding the old is emphasized greatly in Ripley’s “Introduction.” In this article, Ripley explains that in today’s society educators have convinced themselves that pupils can be educated simply by reading, writing, and practicing what they learn. Ripley however, explains that this practice is far from the truth if the ultimate goal is learning. He claims “Rules may be printed out and learned by rote, but truth cannot be printed out, and probably not absorbed just by reading, and certainly not learned by rote”(8). Ripley explains that in order for you to genuinely understand, absorb, and learn something you must immerse yourself in it. You must touch, feel, and experience that specific topic. This idea seems to compare greatly to Ayers belief in supplementing the old with the new, instead of just doing away with one altogether.

The points trying to be made by both Ayers and Ripley is that it is great to expand ones knowledge and ability through resources such as Digital Scholarship, but we must not forget that in order to truly learn something we cannot just read it, and memorize it; we must experience it. We must take the information we’re learning, and apply it – and in a sense “go back to the basics. Personally, regardless of how much I’ve come to love and depend on the technology around me – nothing will ever beat the smell of the freshly printed pages of a new book you’ve just cracked open, or getting out the ol’ pen and paper to write longhand whether it be notes or personal reflection. It’s just a personal truth for me, that despite the inevitable estimation that technology will just continue to expand, I will never prefer the feeling of a digital screen in my hands over that of a heavy book with pages beckoning me to turn them and get lost in an adventure. What about you?

CITATIONS: 

Ayers, E. L. (2013, August 05). Does digital scholarship have a future? Retrieved September 19, 2014, from         http%3A%2F%2Fwww.educause.edu%2Fero%2Farticle%2Fdoes-digital-scholarship-have-future

Ripley, S. (n.d.). Introduction. Knowledge Among Men, 7-11.

Response #2

Imagine this – it’s a bit of a dreary day, the leaves are turning, and the wind is silently rustling in the soft breeze of Fall. You’ve set aside a rest and relaxation day for yourself, so unlike the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you don’t have necessary and time consuming obligations. You’ve been itching to read a book you’d bought a few weeks ago, and your excitement has only grown with all of the positive reviews you’ve heard over the weeks. So, after your morning routine, you grab the book, and settle into your favorite chair – taking a little extra time to get comfy. Once ready, you open the book, and the smell of the unturned pages hits you with an overpowering force that only a brand new book has the ability to do. You begin to read, and, before you know it you look up and realize hours have passed by. You have in fact embarked upon a journey. You were lost in an adventure that thanks to skillful writing and your vivid imagination, was able to come to life right before you. There is no way to describe the feeling of joy when you’re able to get completely lost just by simply reading the ever so neatly typed words on a stark white page in front of you. . .

Can you remember that feeling? Have you experienced it recently? If your answer was no to one or both of these questions it’s sad to admit that it comes as no surprise in the 21st century. And if you’re younger than 10, more than likely, you may have no idea what this feeling even is, because using technology for everything – including reading – is becoming the norm these days and seems to be thrust upon you from the second you exit the womb. In both of the articles read this week, this blatantly obvious fact is addressed and discussed in extensive detail; and while both articles are similar in more ways than not because they essentially address the same point, the authors discussed and made many different points between the two. The overall question though is without a doubt most simply put – “Paper vs. Pixel – the never ending battle!” In class these past few weeks, we’ve examined and taken a close look into what technology has become in our modern world. Keeping with that theme, Jabr and Keim’s articles explore the frequently asked question “Has the transfer of reading text via technology had an effect on your ability to maintain focus and essentially ‘get lost’ in deep reading if it’s on paper?”

While it may not seem like a valid concern to a majority of today’s youth, it is definitely something that the worlds “Digital Immigrants” have not only noticed, but have started asking questions about and conducting studies in order to clearly define what’s happened. According to Jabr’s article “Why the Brain Prefers Paper,” you learn that the growingly popular E Book makes up about 20 percent of book sales in the US alone; and while 20 percent may not seem like a large amount at first, when you take the time to consider the grand scheme of things while also considering the very large US population – twenty percent is actually a pretty significant figure. Studies have been conducted, and continue to be conducted, to answer the many questions associated with this topic though. Is reading via technology more efficient? Has it affected our ability to “deep read,” especially when required to do so from text that’s printed on paper? In Keim’s article “Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future Maybe Paper,” one of his most valid conclusions in my opinion though seems to be the idea that as far as paper and screen are concerned, it’s better if we stop comparing them and recognize them as individual and equal resources because while they do have many similarities, and there are valid questions and concerns, there is no question that Technology will only continue to grow in how we’re able to integrate it into our daily lives for convenience, and with this the number of individuals who come to depend on it will undoubtedly continue to grow with it.

 

Exploratory Essay

Being completely honest, my Ted Talk has absolutely nothing to do with the topic that we’ve discussed and that essentially needs to become my idea and my thesis. This however, does not discourage me, simply because we’ve accessed so many great tools over the past few days – and the four classes that we’ve already had. When reading and considering the “Digital Native, Digital Immigrant” argument, I’d consider myself a Digital Native. Something I was aware of before taking this class, but never was really apparent – if that makes sense. Upon reviewing all the texts, and discussing topics in class it’s been made more apparent to me just how much my generation, to include myself, has become dependent on technology. Overall, my first thought is – well technology in the class room is bad, for obvious reasons. This however, is such a small one box thought. I’ve come to realize just how essential all technology is in learning in this day and age. The real question to me seems to be though “When is it too much?”

Disconnecting during class time seems like a given. You need to be focused on what the teacher, or professor is laying out in front of you. This class however has been nothing but technology based. Learning how the tools of the internet and the data bases that the University can be and will be beneficial to me. Exploring new ways of doing things, and expanding on topics and tools that I thought I already knew how to do. Prior to the beginning of this writing, I made myself write out a few questions that I feel I want to be answered. I figured this way I could narrow my topic essentially out of these few questions and come to a central idea and topic to expand on. These questions include:

–          Is technology a good thing?

–          Is it possible to integrate technology in the modern classroom?

–          Is technology taking over?

–          Is technology more good than bad?

Most of these questions have obvious, if not already answered responses. So, then my thought process turns to “What steps are Schools, Universities, and more importantly Educators taking to expand on the use of technology in the classroom, and how are they using these new tools?” I’m a big believer in the fact that everything, and I solely mean everything, is good, in moderation of course. So, are there new uses for technology that I’m unaware of? Is the use of technology in the classroom being properly monitored? Is technology in the grade school setting acceptable, and is it beneficial to those students?

I seem to have a million and one ideas bouncing in my head of topics that I’m generally interested in, but the question and idea that seems to be plaguing me the most is “Has the use of technology in K-6 expanded because it’s actually been proven to work more effectively, or is it expanding because technology is all these children have come to know and they feel it’s the only way to learn?” Essentially I want to learn what technology is actually being used in those classrooms, how it’s being used, and how effective it’s been proven to be. Sure it seems simple to just hand a child a laptop and they can learn, because they have the world at their fingertips. But, the real question is do they know how to use this as a helpful learning tool, or would going “back to basics” per say be more beneficial, even though it may be a little more time consuming. Even though technology has become a staple in the everyday life of adults, does it really need to be integrated and used in the classroom of young children with new and developing learning skills?

Ted Talk – Margaret Heffernan: Dare To Disagree

 

I won’t lie, it may seem as if I only picked this talk because it was headlined when you open Ted.Com – But, I promise this is definitely not the reason I chose this topic.

See – I was having trouble accessing all of the video’s & I saw this topic video in the begining. I saw the title, and it grabbed me. “Dare to Disagree” – it just has a way of making you pay attention. This is a topic that I’ve run across a lot lately! I’ve been having many discussions about allowing yourself to say NO! and fight for what you believe in, and what you know. So, of course, I clicked on it, & man oh man! I was blown away by what Margaret had to say. The topics she discusses grab at you, they suck you in! And a 12 minute video felt like only seconds had gone by. She had my complete and total attention, from the start! 

She discuss how corporations have lost their abilities to have a voice, to fight for what they know is wrong or what could be wrong. A survey she discusses showed that 85 % of big corporations have been said to have the inability to fight for something they know is untrue or could save time and maybe even lives! This is definitely something I’m interested in, & would love to look at more during this course. At the end she says “Most of the biggest catastrophes we’ve occurred rarely come from information that is secret, but in actuality comes from information that is public knowledge, that is well known.” 

 

“Openness isn’t the end – it’s the beginning.” 

Response #1

It is undeniable that we now live in a technological dependent world. In his article “Is Google making us Stupid” Nicholas Carr addresses this undisputable fact. He discusses the noticeably growing problem not only he, but his colleagues, have focusing on something that’s written in front of them. Getting lost in a book has become nearly impossible, seeing as merely pages after he begins reading, his mind starts to drift, and he suddenly feels the urge to do something else. Is this because our world grown increasingly more dependent on technology? Or is our way of thinking just literally changing?

When reading this, I felt an overwhelming sense of connection. I’ve noticed in myself my inability to connect with reading like I used to. Looking around, it seems as if maybe most of the world feels this way too? Who needs anything in print now when books are available on Kindle’s, Nooks, and Tablets – even our phones! I can purchase a book simply by going to “Google Play” on my phone, and voila – a full novel at the touch of a screen. Is it okay for us to live this way, to be so heavily dependent on technology? Casey N. Cep discusses a day for “Unplugging,” something I’ve never heard before but would be extremely interested in. One day, from sun down to sun down the next day, a full twenty four hours where you literally disconnect! This seems desirable, but hardly possible. I depend on technology for so much in my daily life, from the simple things to staying connected to family and my boyfriend, to the more advanced things such as keeping up with school. To simply disconnect for me seems far more frustrating than relaxing and rejuvenating.

Being so dependent on these devices can’t all be so bad, right? Right. I personally think that having technology in our lives can’t be all bad. Even Casey N. Cep recognizes the good in technology. Noticing that in this day and age, technology can be used for so much good – but only in moderation. Like everything these days, of course it’s good, in moderation! As living, breathing, functioning human beings we’ve got to learn how to function with and without technology and when to put it down. One of the disturbing truths though, is recognizing that sometimes forgetting how  to function without technology can sometimes lead to catastrophic events, as shown in Nicholas Carr’s article “All can be Lost.” Because those pilots had gotten too comfortable with their autopilot functions, they had literally forgotten how to do their jobs, leading in many people including themselves to lose their lives.

Becoming so dependent on something that could one day just literally stop working isn’t only dangerous, but impractical in so many ways. Those before us were able to live full, wonderful lives without things such as cellphones, tablets, and wireless connections; and while many are still able to reflect on what’s become known as the “good ol’ days” – those that are growing up with technology in their lives from day one are unable to reflect and remember, leaving it up to us to show them that there is more to life than your next “update” or “scoring free wifi.” Knowing when to unplug, and learning to use technology in moderation would lead to a much happier life meshing your life with technology – and learning to be less dependent.

 

Cep, C. N. (n.d.). The Pointlessness of Unplugging – The New Yorker. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pointlessness-of-unplugging

Carr, N. (2013, October 23). All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-great-forgetting/309516/

Carr, N. (2008, July 01). Is Google Making Us Stupid? Retrieved September 4, 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/2/