Is technology making us stupid? No.

Is technology making us stupid? No.

This week, we were asked to be more critical of NGL. Applicably, I could critically see both sides of the argument in Lodge’s (2012) article, “Is technology making us stupid?” I am a millennial, so I am technically classified as a “digital native,” (Prensky, 2001). However, I felt like I grew up in the transition phase, where technology was slowly been integrated into our daily lives. To be frank, I was quite oblivious to the digital revolution and I credit that to my upbringing (being raised in the country). However, like Madelein mentioned in her post, I can say that nowadays I would be slightly lost without my iPhone, social media and the ability to Google pretty much everything. As a student, the ability to search for information on the web is transformative…but does that make us lazy? Incompetent? Stupid?

No.

Students have always subconsciously used Jarche’s (2014) framework of seeking, sensing and sharing knowledge. When I apply SAMR to this argument, it is evident that Google is a substitute for library books. We are still seeking the same knowledge, just in a different way. The rise of virtual classrooms might have made us more anti-social, but it definitely has not impacted student intelligence.

In fact, education in the information age has fostered independent and critical learners. This is reasoned by the fact that students have more control over their learning, as supported by Siemens (2008).

As an educator, I teach academics about issues that are connected with internet use including: copyright infringement, plagiarism, incorrect information, critical thinking, and open education. Although information on copyright law is easily accessible on the web, my students need to use critical thinking skills to interpret legislation for their own context.

Are my students stupid because technology allows easy access to a digital copy of the copyright act?

Definitely not.

In fact, when you add copyright and digital technologies together you get incredibly complex and messy conundrums (as Samanthi mentioned through her blog on copyright frustrations), simply because the Copyright Act 1968 does not fit into today’s digital world.

As stated by Lodge (2012), the “future of technology-enabled learning and education is in a synthesis of the science of learning and the art of teaching,” which will help us “figure out how we can educate the future generations of students to become wise and knowledgeable in a world where information is cheap and easy.”

Is technology making us stupid?

No.

It’s just making us different.

References:

Prenksy, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 6.

Jarche, H. (2014). What is your PKM routine? Retrieved 13 August, 2017, from http://jarche.com/2014/03/what-is-your-pkm-routine/

Lodge, J. (2012). Education in the information age: is technology making us stupid? Retrieved 25 August, from, https://theconversation.com/education-in-the-information-age-is-technology-making-us-stupid-10844

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Retrieved 24 August, from. http://elearnspace.org/Articles/systemic_impact.htm

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Is technology making us stupid? No.

  1. I agree Nikki, when I hear the argument that technology is making us stupid I am reminded of the criticisms of the printing press in the 15th century, Hieronimo Squarciafico worried that the easy availability of books would lead to intellectual laziness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronimo_Squarciafico). Perhaps people could not recite a book cover-to-cover but the availability and range of information people could access was massive. In my opinion, we are off-loading memory to technology and making it available to us when we need it. I do not need to know the copyright law for South Australia, I need to know where to find it and how to apply it to my context.
    I was interested to see you refer to yourself as a digital native; do you think that is still applicable way to classify users of technology in this way? In my experience, age is not a great factor, enthusiasm and interest in technology seem better indicators for uptake of new technology. I’d be interested to hear your experience.

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  2. Hi Mitch,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that differentiating between digital natives and immigrants lays in technological enthusiasm, rather than age. In fact, I think there is a deeper psychology surrounding the natives vs immigrants debate that extends beyond technology, in favour of the way we interact and perceive the world.

    This is acknowledged by DeGraff (2014) who states that “digital immigrants are goal oriented as opposed to the value orientation of the digital natives.” I often see these differences in my professional experience, especially in the copyright field. The “digital immigrants” approve of the traditional “respectful” relationship with copyright in education, whereas the “digital natives” tend to rock the boat a bit more, especially in regards to open education and the free sharing of information. As a result, digital immigrants will avoid some technologies in fear of breaking the copyright law, whilst digital natives, will use technology as a means of rebelling against the law.

    Either way, the paradox is that “digital immigrants, for the most part, invented the complex technologies and systems that digital natives use fluently,” (DeGraff, 2014). Therefore, I do not think it is applicable to classify users of technology in this way because at some point, we all are natives and we all become immigrants.

    It’ll always be a circle.

    Would love to hear views on this!

    Cheers, Nikki

    Reference:
    DeGraff, J. (2014). Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants. Retrieved 25 July 2017 from, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-degraff/digital-natives-vs-digita_b_5499606.html

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  3. I think that is a valid point, in the vein of fluctuating literacy there is a framework called Digital Residents and Digital Visitors which I have found to be a useful way to understand people’s use of technology. It is based on motivations and context as lens to understand how visible a person’s use of technology is. A visitor for example sees technology more as a toolbox to perform a function, whilst a resident is more social – perhaps more closely aligned to the type of student we want in a networked learning environment?

    Here is a useful explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOG3iThmRI

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  4. This is great! I like the residents/visitors as an alternative to the immigrants/natives – I think it’s a greater reflection of reality. As a librarian, digital literacy is a huge passion of mine – so I’ll have to do some more research into digital residents and visitors. Thanks for sharing Mitch!

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