Course 2 Week 2: Evolution of Connections

The Change of Communication through the Years. How Communication Has Evolved With The New Technologies. Irene Rufferty, May 24, 2017

The development of new technologies created a new way of communication if we compare how we were communicating with our friend and how our kids are doing now.

The way people communicate with one another has changed significantly. 

Back then, we had to go to see our friends because not everybody had a simple home telephone, and we spend hours to speak and to play together in a real place and real-time. Nowadays the young generation communication transformed from real life to virtual reality, they use different social platforms to communicate, search the news, get new knowledge in a variety of areas (drawing, cooking, fashion, new heroes, new movies, games, news about celebrities, memes, etc.). It has advantages and disadvantaged. Unfortunately, as an ES teacher who is running a Distance learning program now, I could not ask my students about the advantages and disadvantages of social media. But I have a young lady at home who has graduated this year, and we as a family went through positive and negative sides of social media.  

ADVANTAGES OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • You can reach your friends and other people (it can be a vast audience of people with the same interests) in a timely manner 
  • You can reach people from another country or continent not only from your street
  • You get access to the enormous database of your interest (learn another language, how to dance, how to take photos and edit the movie)
  • You can be up to date with the current technology
  • You can join it for free
  • You can support each other by giving immediate feedback

DISADVANTAGES OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • Cyberbullying – it is easier to bully others through social media than to do it physically. You can get negative response or feedback. You are vulnerable (if you put something that people do not like, the negative comments will be spread across the network quickly as well and stays there)
  •  It is time-consuming (you start and finish your day reading the news and comments, and you need to put new content constantly in order to keep your audience (new photos, comments, etc.), play a game or chat about various things not related to your everyday life and school. 
  • Destroys social skills (you do not know how to approach another person, how to read the facial expressions, what say immediately in a different situation.

How do students learn to communicate in digital spaces in my class?

We are using a variety of educational apps to teach, assess, reflect and report on students’ learning:

Kahoot, Linguascope and Explain EDU – for teaching new vocabulary and develop skills 

Book Creator and PuppetPals – for teaching and assessing

Seesaw – for giving the instructions, sharing the  evidence and reflecting

Google Doc – to keep the information, write drafts and final assignment, share information

Google Slides – to create final presentations

Google Forms – to create questionnaires, to give/ collect feedbacks

The role of technology in education has been changing accordingly to the nowadays reality; teachers start to explore options on how to bring new technology instead of ordinary classroom materials, to move assignments and projects into the web to make more authentic and meaningful for the students.

4 Replies to “Course 2 Week 2: Evolution of Connections”

  1. Hello Katya! Communication and connections have certainly changed drastically in our lifetime! The image which you use at the beginning of your post really makes me reflect just how much technology has transformed our communication and our lives. Thanks for getting me to think!

  2. Hi Katya, do you think there is a place for Social Skills teachings within technology? I noticed that you kept “Destroys social skills” was listed as a disadvantage, though I agree, it also leads me to think about the possibilities Social Media could lend itself to teaching kids about the importance of face to face interactions, and like you said- “how to approach another person, how to read facial expressions, and what to say immediately in a different situation” but allowing them the think time to plan and have structured situations from the comfort of a behind screen (at first)… thoughts? I’ve just been learning more about facial recognition programs and other tools and strategies (on-line) to help with kids on the Autism Spectrum, but would always love to know more and keep exploring as I think true explicit Social Skills direct instruction is few and far between, especially for those in general education classrooms or the “mainstream.”

  3. Hi Katya,

    I am sure it is interesting to see your own child grow up with social media. I did not grow up with a computer or a cellphone. I did not have my own computer until I graduated from college in 2007. I got my first cellphone in 2002. I am not sure how life would have been different, but I am thankful that I did not have these things when I was a teen. Girls were already mean and I can’t imagine what it would have been like with the added pressure of social media. I’m also not sure that I would have been thinking about the pictures and information I was putting out at that age.

    What are some ways you monitored your daughter’s social media use? Did you have to have any conversations with her about safe use or what she posts online? It must be so tough as a parent to prepare your children for the digital world, but I am sure there are positive, helpful ways to do it.

    1. Hi Andrea,

      I am a lucky mom. My daughter is sharing her good or bad experience online so far. But when I see some requests or comments from different groups of teenagers, I am horrified. The language they use is mean most of the time. The new generation of teenagers should be very confident in order to survive in this digital environment.

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