Often when we discuss the issues surrounding technology and connected students what we are really talking about is how they interact with each other verbally or face to face.
This conversation comes up regularly when we be begin talking about the increased access our students have to of technology. Often a teacher will say to me that they feel that students are disconnecting from the world and each other because of their engagement (maybe a better world would be obsession) with technology.
On the surface I can see what they are saying. It seems that students always have their heads in a phone, tablet or computer of some sort. We see them all at the park or the shops together, not necessarily talking but still communicating through Facebook or Twitter.
“It’s funny when teachers connect through social media we call that ‘Building our PLN’ but when the students connect via the same means we call it socially dysfunctional”
So are the students disconnected?
This is a big debate with many sides, but let me illustrate just one side of the conversation by referencing the funny ‘First World Problems’ video (see below).
This video is a great example of how people are much more socially connected than we might realise. You can see this more through the number of views than you can through the content.
At the time of writing this blog, the First World Problems video has been up on YouTube for just under four months but has already been seen by 6.4 million people.
The only reason this video has so many views is that people are sharing it amongst their connections (like what I am doing now).
I am beginning to appreciate the significance of the fact that the world that our students live in is much larger than the 30 or so students in their class, the handful of teachers that are doing their best to impart knowledge and wisdom or the several hundred in their school.
Our students world in many ways is a world where there are no walls or boundaries. They can communicate with whomever, whenever, and wherever they like.
Which leaves me wondering…who is it that is really disconnecting from the world…those who embrace technology or resist it?
What do you think?