Week 3 Reflection 2

Well, maybe this is being posted after my Week 4 reflection. I suppose that just means it will have to be that much more insightful. So where do I now sit in my custom-built, Sean-sized, meat suit, one nerve ending at one tip of the universal consciousness? I have learned more on this course in this month than I likely would have in a year or better on my own. Deadlines, of course, help. As well as ‘evaluators’ (Oh please assess me, I know ever-so-much!) and peers. The sharing, as I keep telling my G6 class, is what it’s all about. This is all true but like with most things (most people?) I avoid the bits I don’t like (Twitter, stupid twitter). Or the bits that don’t seem immediately useful or maybe appear overly time-consuming (RSS feeds), or, I’m just honestly not that turned on by. In a community setting (like COETAIL) the thing, and all its aspects, take on a life of their own.

Much of what I have learned in my reasonably pro-active, busy PD life of the past ten years has been reinforced. Actually, no, I would say amplified. Many of the collaborative and ‘transdisciplinary’ (not a real word) skills that I have come to see as beneficial are outlined as necessary for mere survival in the COMING DIGITAL AGE (which is already here, like with Neanderthal and present-day human ancestors occupying the planet together for a time*). Intellectually it all makes sense to me. Throw an object into space and it follows a predictable arc. Theories, new paradigms, arguments of what is to come are like this, what Plato called, “likely stories.” However, while the future remains a mystery, this is no reason to throw the paddles into the wake especially when the discussions being had are full of hope, challenge and imagination.

I have never shied from technology. It’s fun! I have been resistant to certain aspects of its rapid growth as an industry in a The Story of Stuff sense, however. Technology’s rapid progress demands the obedience to consumerism planned for by ‘the money’ (a reifying, insatiable force with no master). I taught for many years before having a child of my own (actually this was a collaborative project requiring shared technology mutually exclusive to both members). I mused humorously (my perspective) on whether I would ever allow a child of my own to have unfettered access to digital technology. As a bit of a nature lover I have visions of my children producing birch bark canoes for our regular family outings foraging in the wilds of my Native Manitoba. Surely technology and the innernet would confound such dreams. Oh yes, the humorous bit, almost forgot. I mused as to whether or not it could be considered abusive parenting to not supply offspring with the latest DS, Game Boy (remember those?), or fill-in-the-blank new thing. Now that I write this and look at it other thoughts arise. I should write a book about a world in which technology has it’s own Bill of Rights and every digital citizen a Charter legislating minimum access and usury rights. It isn’t so far-fetched. Corporations were created to be vessels capable of ownership, thus protecting the rich. It is not much of a leap to consider intellectually created services or networks to be granted quasi-rights in the same manner. Hmmm, maybe despite my two jobs, toddler and COETAIL studies I could write this in the lieu?

* Recent research indicates that 25% of those with ancestors who left Africa after the first great exodus have Neanderthal genes.

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About Sean Thompson

Sean has accepted a position as the Director of Technology at The Early Learning Centre, City School, in Bangkok. He is excited to be working with Giovanni Piazza and the rest of the staff to raise awareness of digital-age teaching and learning practice in this Reggio Emilia inspired environment. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader and a Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
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4 Responses to Week 3 Reflection 2

  1. jamieraskin says:

    What gets me, is the debate you’re going through about how, where, why and to what degree to immerse your child in tech vs birch bark is pretty well the same one I go through personally on a regular basis. It’s also the same one I go through when considering directions in which to guide my classes, and even, increasingly, how I might spend holidays (which seems particularly insufferable). How can we be expected to teach or parent with clarity on these things when we (meaning I) am so personally torn?

  2. Adam says:

    Love the spirit you have going here Sean! “Where’s it all headed?” is the question that I want to know the answer to. You said humorously, “It’s good to know I’m not just a crank or, more logically, not the only one;)”. What’s the difference between being a crank and a crank with a purpose?

  3. Sean says:

    Do you believe cranks don’t believe they have a purpose?

    My own purpose in this little gem was the human need for balance. Technology is wonderful and enriches our lives. I have a strong personal conviction, however, that nature calls to us and we ignore a balanced life at our own peril.

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