Sometimes there are issues in our society that we’re not fully aware of, or that just take a backseat in our mind, and stay as subconscious ideas until pointed out to us. Personally, that felt relevant when reading the two articles. Until now, I was aware that my generation, and of course those coming after me, are going to be heavily rooted in technology for their education, work prospects, and even social life. So, reading articles, “The Web We Need To Give Students,” and “How Public? Why Public?” helped me to think in different terms about what it means to be a student in this day and age. Students of the past focused on hand-written notes, paper portfolios, and discarded most coursework that they physically could not store. But that does not need to be the future of education.
From the article, “The Wed We Need To Give Students,” the quote, “The kids came in to the class with what I would call fair and average teen tech skills,” he said. “Lots of iPods, iPads, and laptops. Lots of Facebook and Instagram. But none of them had a presence online they were in control of before this.” put into perspective how educated my generation truly is in regards to using the internet and the overall digital world to our advantage. We’re just not quite there yet. Sure, there are plenty of young people designing and coding websites, learning how to work in information technology, and computer science, but a large portion of the generation Z population that I have personally witnessed is not so tech savvy as Cookie from Ned’s Declassified, rather, they have 3,000 dollar macbook’s dedicated to basic word processing for school, and then surfing youtube, facebook and other media sites. The same can be said for our cell-phone experience. There is a whole viable world of coding, promotional endeavors, and networking very literally on the tip of our fingers, and yet we have extremely expensive mini-computers, primarily used for scrolling through memes on Instagram, and posting on Snapchat. To think that with a generation so able to adapt to rapid changes, as most people my age remember days of flip phones to the modern day face-identification technology, anything really could be possible. So, if more universities, or even high and middle schools, were to follow the approach of UMW, perhaps kids would see their computer as a way to create their own digital world and identity, in order to market themselves to future jobs, or even universities.
In the arctic, “How Public? Why Public?” the quote, “Even the greatest teachers can’t expect to get things right if they only try them once or twice, and I would not claim to be among the greatest teachers.” really stuck out to me. The concept does not just apply to teachers, but to all of life: you cannot succeed doing the bare minimum, and you cannot succeed by giving one attempt and expecting that to be good forever. Integrating a learning digital portfolio to travel throughout the years of education is not a one and done type of deal. Students will need to put effort in to maintain, update, and market their blogs for all to see. The work, though, will pay off in the future, especially if this approach becomes widely accepted as the norm, as I feel it should.