An examination of Generation Always On brings mixed reactions. On one hand, technology leaders predict a future of new opportunity and expanded horizons for this generation comparing it to a revolution. For example, Dave Rogers of Yahoo stated, “It’s still early, but I believe we will see significant, positive, and even astounding improvements in the cognitive abilities of young people within the next five years.” Danah Boyd of Microsoft Research put it this way, "There is no doubt that brains are being rewired." Concerns about this trend, though, have also begun to surface. Injuries and fatalities caused by texting while driving are on the increase causing mobile phone companies to start campaigns alerting their customers to the dangers of this practice. More long range concerns include short attention spans and decreased social skills. I believe that despite these immediate concerns, being hyper-connected is a fact of life that teachers and educators must adapt to and use to guide their students to more productive uses of technology. Teachers may prove to be the leaders in reminding students that interpersonal social skills will continue to be a very important part of their personal development no matter how advanced technology becomes.
I consider myself to be part of “transitional” generation where technology is concerned. I did not have a personal cell phone until after I graduated high school. My interest in and use of technology current to the time I was in grade school was impacted by various factors. For example, I grew up in a rural area in which the school district I was a student in did not have the resources to provide advanced technology. For most of those years I did not have access to the internet in my home. It was not until I entered undergraduate school that I began to incorporate technology into my everyday life. Now 10 years later, I cannot imagine functioning without my smart phone, tablet and laptop. These are tools I use daily in professional life and expect to do so throughout my career. Social networking in the educational setting is simply a fact of life today. Educators must stay current about trends in technology in order to best serve their students. Prior to starting this class, I did not view Facebook as a learning tool, but now I am beginning to see the value this type of social media has to offer educators and students.
I chose Pearltrees as my tool to set up a PLN. I am learning how to navigate as I go so more information on my new PLN to follow.
Going on the internet to learn new things is part of my daily routine. Yahoo, ESPN, WebMD, Facebook and YouTube are my resources for what is happening in the world that may be of interest to me. As a matter of personal interest, I follow MLB, NFL and NBA news daily. For professional purposes, I enjoy look to the CSU, Chico Adapted PE Facebook page for fitness activities and games I might want to use in class. Social networking can be a valuable tool, but one that has to be carefully monitored so as not to become a time wasting distraction. Technology has enabled me to seek higher education through the online degree program I am pursing at FPU.
I have been told that I can put my degree to use for getting a job in the industry of my choice. But I cannot imagine not using my education to pursue my career of choice, that of Adapted Physical Education. At this point in my life and career, this is my "sweet spot". One major area that I would like to improve in is the world of technology.
I explored the PWP of DeAnna Butler at http://deannabutler.weebly.com. I enjoyed learning about her background in sports and her interest in sports management. While I have not had the opportunity meet DeAnna in person, her site left me with the impression of a well organized and motivated individual. DeAnna's site is pleasant to view and easy to maneuver through. I feel that DeAnna presents a good blend of professional and personal information appropriate to the intent of a professional PWP. Since I am new to using a PWP, I will hold back on making any suggestions for improvement as none occurred to me during my first visit to her site. I plan to make my PWP as easy to navigate as I found DeAnna's to be.