Unplugging. What does it mean to you?

We ended our semester with a final Great Ed Tech Debate and it was definitely a great debate. The focus was looking at whether or not we have become too dependent on technology and if what we really need is to unplug. I think this is an extremely important topic to discuss for everyone, not just those of us in our class.  Technology has become a part of our modern day lives, but do we rely on it too much? Do we really need to be on our phones as much as we are? 

Photo Credit: functoruser via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: functoruser via Compfight cc

The first group agreed that we do need to unplug because we are becoming too dependent as well as lonely. The connections that we make online may give us a false sense of our ‘real life’ relationships. Even though we are more connected now than ever before, many people are feel more lonely. As humans we crave intimacy and scientists have proven that to be intimate you need to be vulnerable which requires courage. Social media removes vulnerability and courage because we can pick and choose what we want to say, when we want to say it and how we want to say it. I’m sure we’ve all written a status or post to go back and re-write it 2 or 3 times until it’s exactly the way we want it to sound (or hope it to sound). It is interesting to think about that when we think about all of the statuses and updates we read in a day. How many are authentic? Or are they all authentic? Maybe even more authentic because we have the opportunity to think about what we want to say and put our thoughts together in a way that really gets our points out there?

Studies have also found that using technology can be just as addictive as drugs and that many millennials are becoming attached to their phones.  I think that there is a lot of pressure for students to keep up with everything on social media. Even for myself, I often find myself suffering from “FOMO” (fear of missing out) even though my friends and family don’t even update things that much. I find myself going back and forth between different social media apps throughout the day checking in to make sure I didn’t miss some major announcement like an engagement, pregnancy or birth. The constant ‘need’ to check in seems to be something that just happens naturally throughout the day. It’s almost as if I do it without thinking…it’s an automatic action. I often wonder why I feel the need to check in so often. I’m really not missing out on anything but the moment that’s happening right in front of me in ‘real life’. I try to make a conscious effort to put my phone in a different room while I am with my kids so that it’s not a distraction. But then they start doing something cute and I immediately go to reach for my phone to capture them on camera. Not having my phone with me, I usually run to grab it and by the time I get back the moment has passed. If I had my phone I would have been able to capture the moment.

Photo Credit: Martino's doodles via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Martino’s doodles via Compfight cc

But does capturing the moment on my phone have the same affect as capturing it with my own eyes without my device? A study has shown that we enjoy some moments more when we capture it with our phones. I would totally agree with these findings. However I do think that there is a difference between experiencing something while capturing every moment of it with our phones and experiencing it without capturing every moment with our phones. I think that taking pictures/videos can be a great way to experience an event. It’s nice to have something to look back on. But just like everything else I think there needs to be a balance. At a Garth Brooks concert I was at a few weeks ago, a lady in front of me recorded the WHOLE THING on her phone! She was basically watching the whole concert through her phone screen. Half the time the image being recorded was blurry because she was zoomed in and she wasn’t able to follow him the whole time because he moved all over. We made the comment that she will wake up in the morning and realize that wasn’t the best decision. Now if she had a tripod or something set up to record it so she could watch the whole thing in person and then be able to watch a quality recording of the video the next day, that would be a different story. I took some videos and a few pictures, but I knew I didn’t want to be on my phone the whole time because I would miss out on the experience I wanted in going to see him. I can watch youtube videos of his performances any day, so I wanted to make sure that I took it all in while I was there in person. Did I take some pictures and videos? Of course I did…two pictures before of me and the people I was with, and three short Snapchat videos of a few of my favourite songs. Do I regret not taking more? Not one bit.

Moving to the disagree side I have to admit I completely agree that it almost seems impossible to fully unplug. Even when we are in our cars, going for a walk or run, camping, travelling we are connected in someway. We use our phones to capture images that we will most likely share when we get a chance. Even when we are offline we are thinking about the online world. In reality, our offline and online worlds are not two distinct parts of our lives, they are our whole lives existing as one augmented reality.  It’s pretty clear that our online lives can exist without a lot of our offline lives, but do our offline lives depend on our online lives in the same way? Our offline lives existed long before our online lives, but this isn’t the case for our children who have been born with a digital life right from the day they were born without having any say about it. The idea of unplugging is something that our children will have to learn to manage more than we have had to because technology is still fairly new for most of us (10-15 years). Unplugging may also mean something different to each person. To me, unplugging is stepping away from social media most of all, and putting away our devices. I personally don’t worry about unplugging from TV but maybe that’s because I don’t use it too often, or I feel like when I do use it it’s to watch the news or a movie with my kids which I would consider to be positive uses.

Technology certainly plays a large role in our lives. It allows us to connect with people near and far. We can network, build friendships, meet new people and find communities that we feel welcome in. It allows us to video chat or FaceTime with no added cost. It helps us manage our personal lives including our mental and physical health. I think we can all see value in technology and appreciate social media but we have to be aware of the amount of time we spend on the devices we have. When it starts to take precedence over quality time spent face to face with our family, friends, spouses and kids I think we need to take a step back and think about how we can unplug and reconnect with the people around us.

Photo Credit: rbatina via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: rbatina via Compfight cc

Itlaian 101: And the award goes to…

This semester I was given the opportunity to learn something – just like I am given the opportunity in any other class. However the opportunity was presented much different than it has been presented in any other class. I was given the opportunity to pick something that I was interested in and learn about it using technology and online connections to help me along the way.

Obviously when you are given the opportunity to learn about anything a lot of possibilities run through your head. I wanted to choose something that I would enjoy learning about. I wanted to learn something that I could use at some point in the future. I would have loved to pick something creative like sewing or knitting, but I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money purchasing materials along the way (especially with my limited income on maternity leave). So I decided I would learn a language.

The language I decided on was Italian. Why? Well I didn’t want to do French because I already have some experience with speaking French having gradated with a French 30 credit (even though that credit is from way back in 2004). I wanted to start with a clean slate. In my travels I have spent some time in Italy and I just love everything about the country. The food, the culture, the scenery, the cities and of course the language. I have always thought that it would be great to learn a language and be able to travel and use it someday. Now that I have been learning some of the language maybe it’s time to go back.

Throughout the semester I found a lot of resources that are very useful in learning a language online and found even more that seemed to be of little help. If you want to check out all of the resources I  reviewed in detail look back at some of my previous posts. But here is a quick list of my top resources for learning Italian online broken down into categories.

To practice site words, memory work and phrases.

WINNER: Duolingo – great tool for rote memorization and practicing words & phrases. Uses audio, text, written and spoken language. The biggest negative is the sentences that are used to practice sometimes – they don’t make a lot of sense and you wouldn’t use them in daily conversations very often.

RUNNER UP: Babbel – similar to Duolingo but is a paid service. This focuses on themes for each lesson and can be helpful in learning phrases for basic conversation or travel. Uses mostly writing and listening to complete the lessons.

Honorable Mention: Mango – A free online service provided by the library in Regina. Similar to Babbel in the sense that you practice basic phrases and conversation by listening and repeating the audio.

To listen to audio.

WINNER: News in Slow Italian  – provides slower audio with text to read along. The text is also translated into English to help with further comprehension.

RUNNER UP: The Italian Experiment – this site is good but provides limited resources. There are three audio books you can listen to and follow along with text. The text is also translated into english. It is a great site but would be nice if new material would be added.

Videos

WINNER: Learn Italian with Lucrezia  – most of her videos are fairly short and very informative which make them really nice to watch. The lessons range from beginner to advanced. She also has an instagram and twitter account that I would suggest following.

RUNNER UP: Learn Italian Words App – this app works offline and has a large variety of video lessons ranging from beginner to advance.

Social Media

WINNER: Twitter – @italianlanguage Instagram – italianwordoftheday – both accounts provide you with one word a day to practice and learn. The Twitter account gives you a word and a sentence most days to learn. The Instagram account gives you a word with a picture each day, but no sentence.

RUNNER UP: Twitter @ItalianLearn this account also gives you a word a day and you can click on a link that will take you to a sentence that uses the word and audio for the pronunciation.

Speaking with Others

WINNER: WeSpeke – a great tool to connect and chat with others online.

 

 

Italian 101: WeSpeke and LiveMocha

For my final post discussing my progress and learning journey I will be focusing on my connections I made with others online in order to practice speaking Italian. I shouldn’t say speaking Italian because I didn’t end up speaking to anyone face to face, but I had a few conversations with people to test out my skills and learn along the way.

After searching for different ways to connect and chat with others online I came across WeSpeke. This website is an online community that allows you to connect with people who speak a language you would like to learn. In return, you help them learn your language by chatting/speaking to them. I was a little nervous about joining because I didn’t know if I was ready to connect with people through Skype, but I was happy to learn that I could simply chat with others through the site.

When you sign up the site will ask you for your native language and the language you are interested in learning. It will also ask you to rate on a scale of 1-5 your level of mastery for the language you want to learn. It will then give you a list of profiles for people on the site that may be a good match for you. From there you can select some people to connect with and start chatting away.

The most difficult part of using the website is dealing with the time change. For myself it works because I am at home all the time being on maternity leave so I am able to be around to connect with people. Most of the people I connect with are in Europe so it is usually late evening for them when we connect. It may be hard for you to connect with people depending on the time change between you and them and of course daily schedules.

I was able to connect with a couple of people and have a very brief basic conversation. It was nice to be able to connect and put my skills to work. I quickly found that I don’t have all the basics down and I need to refer to a translator like Google translate often to help me complete sentences. Even though I needed to refer to a translator and get help from time to time it was a great learning experience. Certainly more realistic than practicing with Duolingo. Here are a few snapshots from my conversation using WeSpeke.

 

One thing I did find after using Google Translate is that it sometimes translates differently than what I have learned using Duolingo or other sites. Sometimes I was sure of what I wanted to say but would double check it using the translator and it would be very different from what I thought it should be. I know that the languages don’t always translate word for word, so maybe the way I was interpreting it was a little different.

I enjoyed using the website and decided to download the app because I can log in and chat more conveniently when I have my phone with me. The service is free and I would recommend it to anyone trying to learn a language.

Livemocha is another site that allows you to use others in order to help you learn. This site works a little different than WeSpeke. Rather than connecting and having conversations with others, you complete lessons and others will give you feedback based on your work. You can listen and see the work of others as well and give feedback to them so they can learn.  There is a points system involved that allows you to earn points by completing lessons and giving feedback on lessons that others have completed. You have to use points to ‘purchase’ lessons to complete so it ensures that you can’t just take and only use the service to complete lessons and get feedback. You must also give back and review lessons completed by others.  I didn’t find the service to be super useful and didn’t get feedback from anyone on any lessons I did. I’m not sure how others find my lessons to review. From what I can tell a list of lessons appears on the screen and you just select one that you want to review. So it could take a while before someone picks your lesson to review. For anyone wanting to give the site a try, you have limited time as it is closing down as of April 22, 2016 with no reason stated for ending.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 8.01.04 PM

There were a few other websites that I looked at but didn’t use or investigate for a variety of reasons. Some of the websites looked to be a little ‘sketchy’ or unprofessional so I wasn’t sure about the people I would find on the site or safety of the site as well. These were mostly pen pal sites that I had searched. Other sites like italki are paid tutoring sites. I signed up because it was recommended by someone who commented on my blog, but I didn’t realize it was a paid service so I didn’t investigate it.

One site that I came across that I think would be really awesome to join is Conversation Exchange.  This site connects you with someone to practice a language. Once you have practiced and learned the language you are able to fly to the country of the person you have been meeting with online and have them host you for a stay. In exchange you will do the same for them. It sounds like a neat way to learn a language and travel as well, but I would be a little scared to take the leap and join. I am sure you could make some great connections, but I always worry about connecting with strangers online. But like their FAQ page states, you are only strangers for a short time and then you become friends. I would like to look into it more and read some reviews to see how it has worked for others.

If you were learning a language would you try to use a site like Conversation Exchange?

Blogging and Numbers. Does it add up?

Blogging. How can we use it in the classroom? How can we get students involved? Is it something that  should be graded? If so, how? How can blogs be integrated into a class that doesn’t involve a lot of writing? And finally how do my students find time to complete their blog posts? These were all questions I had when reading the articles for class this week.

Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

I want to focus on the article that I took the most away from this week. Michael Drennan’s article Blogging in the Classroom: why your students should write online provides some great arguments for having students blog. I couldn’t agree more with the rewards outweighing the risks of having students blog. I especially like that plagiarism becomes pretty obsolete. It makes sense right? Why would a student risk plagiarizing when their work is public and can be seen by anyone on the web? The chances of being caught and being labeled as someone who steals the work of someone else. I also think it’s a great way to show student development and a way for students to learn from comments that their peers and others provide them. It’s a great way for them to share their work with someone other than their teacher. It also provides an opportunity for parents to follow along with their blog.

I came across 14 steps to meaningful student blogging and one of the ideas I struggle with is not grading the blogs. I understand why you wouldn’t assign a grade, but my worry is that my students wouldn’t blog if it wasn’t for marks. I guess I have a lot of questions with the whole assessment part of it. How often should students be blogging? If I don’t give them some type of grade/assessment, how do I motivate them to blog? Teaching high school and only seeing students for an hour a day creates another problem of finding the time for it to be done properly.

This leads me to my next problem. Integrating blogging into classes like Accounting and Math. I found a few ideas from different sites. I really like the idea of showcasing student work. Students can use an iPad and capture a screenshot or even take pictures of their notebook to be uploaded to their site. I would ask students to take it a step further and create a video to explain how they solved the problem. Here are five more ways that blogs can be used in a math class. I want to try have students write their own problems to post on their blog for others to try and solve. It might really make students think outside the box and it will also demonstrate their level of understanding.

Photo Credit: bjmccray via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: bjmccray via Compfight cc

If anyone has any suggestions for ways to integrate blogs into a class that doesn’t usually involve a lot of writing, I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love to know if you grade your blog entries or how you assess them.


I feel like I have to comment on my personal blogging experience and some of the connections I made with the other articles this week. Just like Dallas, I was never really too keen on sharing my thoughts in a public space online. I used to feel like no one really cared what I had to say. But the more I blog and share on Twitter, the more connections I make with people who comment, retweet or follow me. It seems the more you share and the more you try to connect with others, the greater your voice becomes. It’s pretty neat to be able to connect with people who you’ve never even met before and know that you will both benefit from the connection by learning from each other.

I can relate to a lot of what Clive Thompson had to say in Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter. As Clive states, “when you feel like you are writing to an audience of 0 and suddenly you have an audience of 10 it’s quite something.” I know exactly how that feels. When I first started using Twitter I didn’t feel like anyone was “listening” or like anyone cared. Now that I have over 110 followers I think a lot more about what I am Tweeting and the audience I am reaching out to. I know 110 followers is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things, but I have been adding at least 3 followers per week since class started and I feel like I am gaining some ground giving me a larger audience.

Screen Shot of my Twitter page

Screen Shot of my Twitter page

When we think about who our audience is it changes the way we write. If I am writing an email to a friend it will sound a lot different than an email I write to a colleague or administrator. If I am writing a blog intended for my students it will sound different than one written for my peers. For myself writing is hard. I feel the pressure every time I set out to write a post. Sometimes when I try to just write and forget about who I am writing to it helps more. Most of the time I ask myself why am I writing this? Who am I writing to? Most of the time I am assuming my audience is my classmates and hopefully some other teachers that my blog reached. Understanding our audience and having a purpose for writing will change the way we write. We need to help our students with this process in order to give them the freedom to write and blog successfully.

 

 

 

My Love Hate Relationship with Twitter

After reading Elizabeth’s blog post this past week I realized that I shared a lot of the same feelings about Twitter as she once did. I’m sure there are a lot of us that have similar feelings. You know the feelings…being unsure what to post? How do I sum it all up into 140 characters? Who do I follow? How do I get followers? And the biggest one for me…How do I sift through all of the information coming at me through Twitter? Before I tell you about how I came to love Twitter, I must tell you about a time when I hated twitter. There I said it. And it feels good to come clean.

Photo Credit: zeevveez via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: zeevveez via Compfight cc

 

I was first introduced to Twitter way back in 2008 when I took ECMP355 with Alec as an undergrad. I did a quick search and found out that Twitter was started in the spring of 2006. So when I took ECMP355 in spring 2008 I’d say Twitter was still relatively new. I don’t remember using it a whole lot during that class. I know we were introduced to it, we discussed how to use it (tweeting, retweeting, hash tagging) and I am sure if I look way back and find that old twitter account I’m sure I would have had some action on that account. When I was first introduced to it, I couldn’t grasp the concept. I knew it was to connect with people, but I guess I didn’t understand how you could really connect with only 140 characters. At the end of that semester I guess I still didn’t see it as very purposeful because I didn’t keep up with my account. There…I said it (again).

Photo Credit: thethreesisters via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: thethreesisters via Compfight cc

Flash forward to fall 2015 and I find myself in Alec’s ECI832 class with Twitter being an expected part of my participation. My first thought, “Ugh…this again.?!” I must admit I was dreading having to get started again with Twitter. Why? Because I still had the same feelings I left ECMP355 with. My feelings never changed because I never knew how to actually use Twitter. I don’t think I could get past my thoughts of what is the point?? At the end of last semester I felt a little bit better about using Twitter as I learned a lot from different tweets people shared and I was able to make some connections as well. That being said, I was still no expert. I’m still not an expert, but in the few short weeks since this class has begun I have a new love for Twitter. That’s right. I can now say I love twitter! Here’s why…

  1. I have recently participated in some twitter chats (4 in the past week) and found that it is an extremely easy way to connect with others and gain followers. It also gives Twitter a purpose. I like that you can share ideas, ask questions, find resources and talk with others interested in the same topics. If you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat yet, I highly recommend it. I’d like to go into detail about my experience with them, but all I will tell you is to make use of Tweetdeck Hootsuite or another Twitter tool to follow the chat and for the most part don’t try to keep up with the whole conversation. It will continue to flow and you can jump in and out where ever you feel necessary. It can be very overwhelming to keep up. Here are some more ideas how to participate in a twitter chat.  To find Twitter chats that you may be interested in you can do a Google search. This is a great list of educational twitter chats. 
14592653118_e737a8400b

Photo Credit: Elijah via Compfight cc

 

Photo Credit: Stuart Chalmers via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Stuart Chalmers via Compfight cc

2. In follow up to my last point, do not try keep up with every post that is on your Twitter feed. You will feel extremely overwhelmed. My advice is to pick a few followers to focus on, or a few hashtags to check out. You will probably be able to find a lot of information that is useful by doing those two things. That allows you to pull information to you rather than having a constant stream of information pushed at you. I finally realized that it’s impossible to keep up with every Tweet that I missed while I wasn’t on my phone. I rarely scroll through my home feed on Twitter and instead I search hashtags that I think will provide me with something interesting and purposeful. Check out this list of educational hashtags to find something you may be interested in.

3. I have been able to participate in meaningful conversations and make connections with people who I have since added to my network. Since the start of this semester I have almost doubled my followers since the end of last semester going from 60 some followers to 101 as of right now. I am hoping to continue making connections, finding people to follow and gaining more followers as I continue to use Twitter.

By making small changes I was able to see the real purpose behind Twitter and have started to actually enjoy using it as opposed to dreading it. I suppose that’s how we find anything in life enjoyable. If there is a purpose and we can find enjoyment in something we usually like doing it. I look forward to my continued growth throughout the semester and beyond. I have a lot of learning and connecting left to do but I am happy to say that I am on my way. My hate relationship with Twitter has turned into a love relationship.

Photo Credit: RecycledStarDust via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: RecycledStarDust via Compfight cc

Life beyond our devices.

Something that has constantly been on my mind during these first few weeks of class has been the discussions around our use of technology. We have questioned whether or not technology is connecting us or disconnecting us. Does it control us or do we control it? Can we really be in the moment if we are trying to capture the moment on our phone? So many great questions to really make you think. Every time I think about one of these questions I choose one side over the other until I give it a little more thought and find an argument in favour of the other side. I find myself going back and forth without every coming to a decision on which side I actually stand.

I have read some blogs that my classmates have done in which they raise a lot of good questions and provide thoughtful reflections on how technology affects our daily lives. Some of them feel the same way as me in terms of their stance on technology. It seems that we can all see both sides of the argument and can agree with both sides as well. One question that has been discussed in other blogs is whether or not we can be in the moment while we are trying to capture it with our device. Justine had an interesting experience on her honeymoon with selfie sticks and commented on an article that suggested we don’t remember the same amount of details from a situation if we take a picture of it as we would if we just took in the moment without our phone. This reminds me of the idea that if you write something down you will remember it more than if you simply listen to what is being said. I do think that if you put your phone down and really try to be in the moment that you can focus more on capturing it with all five senses. Being able to not only see what’s happening, but also hear the sounds and smell the scents will help you remember a moment more vividly. Ever came across a smell that triggered a memory? I have this experience often with soaps or lotions. If I used a specific scent of body wash on vacation, whenever I use that scent again at home it always takes me back to my vacation. That being said I can always look back at my pictures that I took to be taken back too so am I getting the same results from experiencing the moment or capturing it? Which is better?

14904483423_1f9d505fdePhoto Credit: Nigel Burley via Compfight cc

Genna found some interesting articles in her post that argue we cannot fully be in the moment if we are constantly on our phones. This article encourages us to “Put down the phone.  Be present and be in the moment. Enjoy the conversation of those that are physically with you, without glancing at a screen.” I believe that there is value to this statement but I also agree with Genna who says that taking pictures brings others into the moment as well. It is nice to be able to connect and share with others who may not be able to share in these experiences because they don’t live near us. That is one of the biggest reasons I share pictures and videos of my kids on Facebook. It helps keep my family members who don’t live near up to date with how my family is doing.

Sherry Turkle has her own views on technology and does research to see how technology has affected our ability to connect. In this Ted Talk Sherry argues that technology is making us feel more alone and the connections that we have online are not the same as the ones we have in real life. According to Turkle our devices are changing who we are and how we do things. One view that Turkle has is that technology has changed conversations. This is an idea that she speaks about in her Ted Talk as well as her article: Stop Googling. Let’s talk. Turkle discusses how conversations have become less intimate and engaging because of technology. When conversations get boring we reach for our phone as long as there are other people who are listening to the conversation. I can agree with this to a certain extent because I have been guilty myself of doing this and have also seen others do it. That being said I cannot guarantee that when people reach for their phones it is out of boredom due to lack of conversation…I can only assume. Kirsten has some great thoughts on how conversations have changed and poses a great question about how technology affects introverts and extroverts in terms of communication. As a slight introvert myself I can agree that technology helps me communicate with others whom I may not feel as comfortable with communicating with in real life. I am sure there are other who feel the same way. Especially students who may be intimidated to come to us face to face with a problem or concern. That being said I do think that face to face is an important communication skill to have.

With all of these questions being raised, I decided to see what I could find on this topic of connectivity and technology. I cam across this video…yes it is quite long…and I found that only some parts were very interesting, but it is relevant. 

In an effort to keep this post from getting too long I will highlight some questions and points that I thought were really interesting from the video.

  • Technology can enhance our lives by taking us to places we may have never gone before. For example, we may take a hike on a path we may not have gone on before because we feel secure enough having our phones with us.
  • On the other hand, technology can take away from life as we “get lost” in emails or social media. We may plan on going for a run only to be lost in our phone and next thing we know we have run out of time to go for a run.
  • Is technology ubiquitous because it’s new? Are we at a peak? The panelists feel that we may be at a peak and are currently trying to adapt. It has been hard to adapt when we have had to do it so quickly.
  • Is technology really a problem? They argue that technology becomes a bigger problem when we have digital immigrants and digital natives in the same room. If a group of 12-13 year olds are together and on their phones, no one thinks it is a problem. Introduce a digital immigrant in that setting and suddenly the phones become a problem.
  • Has technology become an obligation as opposed to a luxury? It’s expected that we know how to use social media. If you don’t have a social media account you are almost a social outcast. I thought this was an interesting comment because I know people who aren’t on Facebook and I will talk to them about something from Facebook that they missed out on because they weren’t on Facebook. I have heard people complain that they didn’t know about something because they missed it.
  • Technology has limited face to face interactions and has changed the way we communicate. Communicating through technology is missing one major aspect of communication which is body language. It is very difficult for emotions to be shown and language can be taken out of context with unintended outcomes.
  • We don’t necessarily need to put our phones away, we need to stop being so passive and being more active with our phones.

There were a lot of other points discussed regarding technology in schools/work places and how can we control what students/employees do online? How do we manage our online profiles to makes sure that they are professional and that we aren’t stepping out of line. This video was also shared on the page and I thought it was really interesting. It is similar to the Look Up video. 

I have really been struggling with where I stand on the technology continuum. In my personal life I have really been trying to put my phone down more so that I can actually watch my kids grown up and experience real life with real people. I think that the most important thing is that we are trying to address the problems that we sometimes see with technology. We know that it helps us connect, but we can also see how it makes us feel disconnected. I agree with the panelists who say that we are still trying to adapt. Technology has evolved so quickly and we have been trying to keep up. In trying to keep up with technology I feel like we have left behind other important things like conversation, family and friends. But have we really left them behind or has technology simply changed the way we interact and connect with one another? I am still unsure of how I feel but I am happy that we are all thinking critically about technology and how it affects our daily lives.