Monday, 27 June 2016

The Final Countdown...

To Unplug Or Not To Unplug... That Is The Question.

It is obvious that our society is dependent upon technology.  Simply look at how we as teachers are required to input and track data.  Everything requires a device, Wifi, servers, and multiple online databases.  In the video Unplug to Play, Marv Minton starts off the Ted Talk with an image of kids "spending time together" as they are all on their devices.

I shared the first video this week  If this video doesn’t convince you to put down your phone, nothing probably will, with my grade eight math class. They found it interesting and they agreed that it made some awesome points, but when we discussed what they do to put their phones down, it was a different story. They said they have rules about no phones/tech at the dinner table, but then explained that no one really follows that rule. Others shared that the only time they are really unplugged is when they go to remote locations for their family trips where there is no service.

Forgetting My Phone

Personally I enjoy getting getting away from my phone, but I do not do it enough. I love having my phone on me, when I forget it at home (once a year) I usually panic until about 10:30 then I can feel my heart slow down and I begin to relax a little. By the end of the day I usually realize how less stressed I feel and contemplate leaving my phone at home more often... which never happens.

Check out this awesome BuzzFeed about the 16 Stages of Leaving Your Phone At Home.

Full Unplug

In terms of completely unplugging I do not see this happening. In the article The Pointlessness of Unplugging by Casey Cep from the New Yorker said
"Few who unplug really want to surrender their citizenship in the land of technology; they simply want to travel outside it on temporary visas. Those who truly leave the land of technology are rarely heard from again, partly because such a way of living is so incommensurable." 
I have developed a lifestyle that is connected. I have made the choices to use technology to stay connected to family, friends, colleagues, etc. I have made the choice to do my part in helping the environment by going paperless in as many ways as possible; bills, communication, assignments, or sharing family information. I am not willing to give up the lifestyle I have worked hard to foster.


As for communication and being a proficient communicator, I feel that by growing up in the age I have I have a huge advantage over the youth of today. That brings me to the question of how to develop strong communicators within my classroom. As with most topics this semester I believe that technology can assist with this task. Through using tools like Google Read & Write students are forced to enunciate and be proficient with their English language for it to work properly. I also believe that giving students the opportunity to record their voices for presentations helps build confidence that will eventually turn into being able to stand up in front of their peers unaided and speak with confidence.

What Is The Answer

As with the concept that has followed through the class. To unplug or not unplug is to black and white of a statement. It should be about a balance. Is it appropriate to be on my phone/laptop/or simply watching TV while we are having a family dinner and attempting to have a meaningful conversation, obviously not. Is it acceptable to share a proud dad moment with family and friends when my child does something, or share that outstanding assignment that a student knocked out of the park. It's about sharing and spending quality time and then knowing when to put the technology down and live in the moment.