The Innovator

Education, Social Justice, Innovation

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Are we addicted to technology?


This picture shows the ever-changing world of digital technology. Are we paying more attention to technology than the content?  Do we see people on their phone “snap chatting”, “instagraming” and updating their status on Twitter and Facebook, or do we see them enjoying the company they are with? I feel we need to start gearing our work in the classroom to teach students how to use technology without being addicted.

I grew up in a world without smart phones and the need to have a cell phone. I didn’t get my first cell phone until high school and my first computer until college. When I worked with fourth graders, my students brought their iPhones to school. I would receive countless “Instagram” and “Twitter” invitations from them, even though I didn’t have either account. My siblings and I took turns on our old school computer to type our homework in high school and we needed to use books for sources not websites. I just turned twenty-three and I feel that I am behind in technology. While most of my professors are using social media, I am still lost in using Twitter.

Being required to have a blog and update a blog is difficult for me. I am not addicted to technology. When I studied abroad, I didn’t bring a computer or phone. I can live without checking my email or Facebook. Since I don’t check my email constantly, I find myself falling behind. When did our society become so obsessed with digital technology? I am not going to lie, I am upset that we are becoming so dependent on technology. As much as I love the benefits of technology and the positives social media brings, I see the downfall. I feel less personal interaction and I feel as if I don’t even need to be living in Philadelphia to attend Penn if everything I do has to be submitted online. I see people on Facebook posting rants and “selflies” and I see people constantly checking Twitter. I have to be honest and ask why? Why are we doing this? Are we using our time wisely? Do people really care that much?

I would rather live in the spectacular now. I don’t want my students to feel that digital technology is the right way or only way. I feel that it is important to show them how to use it, and use it to gear their interests in topics. I used computer math games for my fourth graders to make math exciting. I, more importantly, want my students to be critical learners. I want them to question everything online and question why they are using technology. In a world that is becoming so dependent on technology, I want them to see the importance of living in the moment. We are missing so much of our life by checking our phones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, email and we are missing a key social aspect. I understand that these mediums teach us appropriate ways to interact with each other, but it is infuriating. Too many people “Facebook message” me. Why can’t you call me? I don’t want to have to check Facebook for anything. I used social media in college to spread awareness about invisible conflicts throughout the world or promote social causes.

Hopefully throughout this semester I will become more open to blogging and Twitter. For now I will look critically at social media today.



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Cyberbaiting is on the rise

cyberbaitingCyberbaiting is one of the latest trends from technology. Students bring their phones to class and use them while the teacher is teaching. Recently students have been trying to get their teachers to resort to melt downs by provoking them. The students’ behavior in the classroom is detrimental to learning. One teacher attempted to engaged his students but his students had another plan. They wanted to ignore him until the point of a breakdown. The students caught the breakdown on video. Following the leak of the video the teacher was fired. Cyberbaiting is the form of cyberbullying that many teachers experience throughout the world. It has been reported from over twenty-four different countries.

This form of bullying is causing teachers around the world to get fired for their outbursts and reactions to the students taunts. Many university students have admitted to taking pictures of their teachers in high school unknowingly while they are teaching. According to Bridgetwater State University it is estimated around 20 percent of boys and 13 percent of girls took part in this in high school.

This rarely occurs in elementary schools. That said, many students are receiving cell phones and iPod touches at an earlier age. I am afraid that this might start happening to elementary school teachers. I also believe that this reinforces the need to establish classroom rules and enhance classroom management skills.

Many websites offer the following suggestions:

– Creating classroom rules against the usage of cell phones or iPods

-Have an open conversation about the pros and cons about digital tools

-Don’t friend or follow students on social media

-Have a plan in place if this occurs


With Cyberbaiting occurring to around 1/5 teachers-I believe it is a growing problem. Should schools be educating their students and teachers more on social media risks? Where does the responsibility fall?

I feel that teachers should be getting fired based on their lack of classroom management skills not for the videos or photos that circulate. Being a teacher is knowing how to manage a classroom effectively in order to teach the content. I feel that schools need better training in technology and social media in order to prevent cyberbaiting from occurring. There is always a time where you may lose your patience.


Gordon, S (2012). What is cybernating and how to prevent it?

Smollin, M (2011). Cyberbaiting: a new teen trend that humiliates teachers.

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Social Media = Better Access to Resources

Many countries are using social media as a tool. This tool is being used to fuel social change. The most prominent example I have read is how a woman in a district in Mexico can “tweet” a complaint to the mayor and within a matter of hours she can get a response from one of his representatives. Many of these complaints are being “tweeted” about. People are tweeting about their access to electricity, water, and resources. I wonder if access to people, such a mayor, been this easy prior to social media? I believe that social media is making it easier for communities to speak up about their problems. One status or one tweet might get shared or retweeted when others feel the same about a cause.

Thinking back to early 2000, if I, as a fourth grader, had a complaint about the local government, I had to formally write a letter. These letters I wrote were never addressed. I believe that the internet is forcing leaders to address immediate problems. Our way of thinking is changing. These new terms such as “selfie” and “hashtag” are becoming part of everyday life.


Social media is spreading ideas. There is this organization called Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER), which connects women from Somalia who are living in the refugee camp in Kenya to women across the world via Facebook. Women in the refugee camps can reach out for advice internationally about school work to how to change their government. Social Media is amazing resource that allows better access to information.


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Hello! My name is Kelly Joy and I am currently a graduate student at University of Pennsylvania in the Reading, Writing and Literacy Program! Last semester I had to contribute to a blog called EducationNow!. This blog allowed me to explore the different educational issues throughout the world. International education is a major interest of mine. Over winter break I was able to study in India. I was able to visit many different schools and orphanages. The students told me that they wished they had better access to clean drinking water and to wifi. They explained that they wished they had technology in the classroom. One student explained that technology would really benefit their future. I am hoping throughout my digital literacies course I am able to gain a greater understanding about technology in the classroom. 1551664_10153726385845074_2089252144_n