After watching the Wesch lecture about how the internet has changed the world, I felt nostalgic. Watching the gentleman who dances to the “Numa Numa” song via his webcam, reminded me of my early teen years when I used to chat with friends over msn, icq, aim and among a few other programs. The opportunity to converse with other people from different parts of the city, province, country and globe made me feel connected. Yet, I would eventually choose to connect with those who did not live near me, more than those who do.
I remember giving out my phone number, and receiving phone numbers of people I had never met. Digital literacy or citizenship was not even remotely in any of my thought categories. Little did my family and local friends know that I would be engaging in these conversations with complete strangers.
That isn’t to say that being able to communicate with a complete stranger from somewhere else in the world is a bad thing. However, I didn’t consider things like how my personal information could be easily spread out (since I was already giving out my phone number). I loved the idea of not having to leave my house to enjoy getting to know someone. I also see this as a digital form of a pen pal.
When it comes to the classroom and students using technology; I see it as a positive thing. Technology is often changing and advancing, and it is important that we keep up with it, so we are not falling behind, as our students will be the ones creating a future world. I think the difference between my experience with technology and how it would be different in my classroom, specifically; is that I would talk about how once we post things online, it can be permanent. I would teach my students how technology can be helpful and how it can cause harm if we don’t use it properly. Whether that be giving out personal information to strangers, or simply believing everything you read or hear on the internet.
I am grateful that we have websites like youtube that allow us to learn things that would normally cost us money to learn. Because individuals are able to upload something they may an expert in, and they are willing to share, it can in turn help others who want to learn the same thing. Especially if you are in a socio-economic position that would make it difficult to obtain the resources to learn whatever it may be.
Our digital world is not going anywhere. So I think it is time that we all jump on the bandwagon and learn how to responsible digital citizens so we can make the digital world a better place. Here’s to learning!