Jimmy Benson Flickr via Compfight cc

This last week, I was given the chance to listen to a guest lecture from Dr. Alec Couros in my ECMP355 class. He had some interesting points about technology and how it has evolved over the years. After his lecture I downloaded the Distraction Free extension on Chrome for YouTube, because I think that it will be a great tool for my future classroom while watching videos for educational purposes. Something that stood out to me in Alec’s lecture was the idea of having a positive identity online and teaching your students to have one as well. Alec also talked about catfishing in his lecture and I already knew a bit about it before he went deeper into it, but I did not know the extent of it. I was surprised that people can basically steal your identity online and pretend to be someone else in hopes of getting something (most likely money) from you. I learned that some people are more easily targeted and that the people who catfish you can take your photos once you put them online because they are there for anyone to take. Therefore, I have learned that once you put something online, it is always online. I also learned that I need to make my photos private on all of my accounts. As a future teacher, I will also make sure that my students are aware of this because they need to know that they need to be careful with what they place on the internet and make available to the world.

On a more positive note, in the video called “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” with Michael Wesch as the Keynote speaker made some great points that technology has indeed advanced in many ways over the last couple of decades. Wesche also makes a good point that anyone with a webcam is more empowered to share and express their ideas more easily and freely over the internet. They are also able to share their voice and presence, feel a sense of community that they have never felt before and even feel more involved, connected, accepted, and accomplished by posting on YouTube. Something that I found interesting was that Wesche said that the internet is no longer about linking information, but about linking people and this is very true to this day there are many forms of social media that keep people connected and linked, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, blogs, etc. These forms of social media, along with many others, are ways for people to connect with others and build their PLN. By connecting themselves to people, they are able to connect themselves to other resources and learn more from others around the world faster than ever before. I find it interesting that people will try to connect with more people over the internet because they feel a loss of community, but at the same time by creating an online community, they may be loosing their “face to face” community.

Overall, I took away the idea that technology has affected us as human beings positively and negatively over the past many years, but my hope is that, I can use technology positively in my future classroom.