Dopamine is the same chemical that makes us feel good when we smoke, when we drink, and when we gamble. Dopamine is highly, highly, addictive. We have age restrictions on smoking, gambling, and alcohol and we have no age restrictions on social media and cell phones.
Our Future ... an Age of Distraction!
Well, as part of my blog post this week, I went ahead and asked my 73 year old colleague what he thought of Millennials. He immediately replied: "entitled, lazy, and not nearly as reliable as people who are older than them."
So there you have it. See you all next week!
Haha, just kidding. Since I am making my post very late this week (just you wait until it's your week to prepare your material for being the content catalyst the next week, you'll die!), I looked to my amazing peers for some inspiration. Dean had an amazing interview with a student, that is playing right now as I type. I think you should definitely check out that interview, it's 30 minutes long, but well worth it. Catherine was posting about her social media project, making her doggie (Instagram: @callie.the.golden.pup) Instagram famous in her exploration.
Wow. I'm actually starting to develop some serious concerns about my social media usage just from this course. It is GREAT keeping up to date with everyone, but I don't know if moving forward I'll be able to keep a healthy balance between work, my family, and my studies. Am I just being inefficient? I have no idea. Maybe I'm a millennial? BINGO!
What do Schools Need to do to stay relevant?
Millennials have been hit hard, from more debt, to worse job prospects than their parents, to getting participation trophies too often, the list goes on and on.
We also have access to addictive technologies like social media and cell phones. We live in an age of distraction. I don't know the answer to the above question. But I know what I believe:
I believe that schools should be doing everything possible to help their teachers integrate appropriate use of social media in all their classes. Participatory learning, powered by social media outside of the classroom should be a feature of all classes. This will allow teachers to model how to effectively use social media, and allow students to develop their digital identities in safe and constructive ways.
To this end, I'm sharing this resource here, which I chose to use as my basis for being a content catalyst next week (Feb 11) on digital identity. It's a conference paper written by two professors who created a course that was totally based on social media and digital identities.
The article is a case study that really highlights the possibilities around teaching and integrating social media as a catalyst for participatory learning. All throughout, it gives teachers and students opportunities to model effective use of social media, and to develop positive digital identities.
I feel that given all the bad press social media gets, I think this is one of the things that students need urgently moving forward. It's not quite banning cell phones as Simon Sinek mentioned in his YouTube video, but it might be better.
My name is Matteo Di Muro, the original Prairie Boy, and I've been teaching since I was 14. I currently teach mathematics and computer science in Brandon. I try to keep on learning things, and I'm getting onboard with sharing with others, hence this site!