Saturday, 20 September 2014

The history of educational technology and The Social Animal

Week 2- The history of educational technology and The Social Animal

This past week we had a guest speaker. Rick gave a good overview of the history of educational technology. One our our classmates mentioned she had a hard time figuring out a way to ask a question. While our forum was functional, it certainly was not intuitive. I too had questions, but never really felt comfortable asking them. My uncle used to build computers in the 1980's. I remember in 1987 this long cable going from the home phone in his living room, down a hall and into his room. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was connecting to the internet. He showed me all the cool things he could do, like check the weather and a conversation with anyone in the world. I had a Commodore 64 when I was a kid and since then always had a computer of some kind. New technology has never scarred me and I gravitate to looking to the latest gadget or software.

Andrew in our class posted a link to a Ted Talk that Rick mentioned. "The Social Animal" by David Brooks is a look at how important non-verbal communication is to humans. I especially like the info about babies and how studies have shown that babies that have a strong bond at an early-age with their mothers are far more likely to be successful in school. Non-verbal, interaction with people is so vital to development, yet we seem to be moving away from developing more face to face opportunities not only in education, but in how we communicate with each other (social media).

One of the fundamental goals of technology should be the betterment of our society. The benefits of the advances in technology are obvious, but what about the importance of non-verbal communication that David Brooks spoke about in his Ted Talk? My family is certainly guilty of it. After a long day of work when we all get home around supper time, the kids and my wife and I frequently take out some sort of device rather than having a conversation about our days. We all recognize the issue, but we do it anyway.

In the future, how will things be different? We can assume we will continue to have have rapid development of technology. How will we interact with one another? What will education technology look like? Will access to proper education technology be more universal?    

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