We now live in an age where the internet and social media are big parts of our lives. I think I can safely say that most people spend more time online than they do with engaging themselves in other activities. We are constantly on our phones checking emails, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. All of these online services helps connects us with people through virtual means and creates an online community. People are being connected through sharing their stories, thoughts, opinions, emotions and personality through this online space. Michael Wesch describes in his video, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube, that this is a celebration of new forms of empowerment with having a stronger voice and presence, new forms of communities, global connections, and new and imaginable possibilities.
With the rise of this new culture, I think it will play an important role in the classroom. As Alec Couros mentioned in the online presentation, many schools are incorporating technology into their classrooms as a tool for teaching. There are even some schools who are encouraging students to bring their own device (BYOD). Although it is a great idea, it can also cause some problems as not all students can afford to have their own device. With this potential problem, many schools have devices like tablets and laptops for students to use (borrow).
Some may argue that technology can be a distraction to students rather than an educational tool. This is why teachers and maybe even parents, need to learn ways to support and teach students how to use technology and engage them in meaningful learning. In an article, they suggested that even texting can deepen learning: One study found that when teachers engage students in course-related discussions, offer feedback and open themselves up to questions via text messages, students’ assignment and exam grades benefit.
The emerging culture of online participation is our future.