Thursday, September 19, 2013

Empowered by Technology

The reason that I like technology so much is that it's empowering. The Internet, programming, and even video games allow us to do things that would be otherwise impossible. These technologies also give us a very real sense of power and control over our lives.

The Internet is the greatest repository of information, and misinformation, ever created. You can learn how to do things, share your own expertise, and even look up obscure facts. Scientia potentia est.

Programming is another way that technology empowers us. Basic services such as "If This Then That" (ifttt.com) and more advanced programming languages such as Python allow us to make these machines do our bidding. We can turn our ideas into reality.

Video games are, for many, much more than entertainment. They are empowering in that they allow us control over our own stories and our virtual worlds. They make possible things that are otherwise impossible or impractical, such as driving really fast, flying, or building worlds for others to experience. Minecraft is a great example.

Of course we also need to consider the negative impacts that technology is having on our society and on ourselves. TLDR.

1 comment:

Jameson Epp said...

Don't forget engaging. Technology, used properly in the hands of students and teachers can be incredibly so.

Since you mentioned Minecraft, here's a personal example. Last year, I had a student recreate Baron von Richtofen's WWI plane, in the Minecraft world, complete with little signposts explaining its features. Partly because he didn't want to do the traditional pencil and paper or PowerPoint assignment, or perhaps simply to prove to his teacher that Minecraft was more than "just a game". His motivation to do his assignment in this medium was infectious - soon I had other students challenging the traditional modes of expression using iMovie, YouTube, and others.

I am a huge proponent of technology in schools, but like everything else, there needs to be some education as to its responsible and ethical use.