You’re a teacher and it’s a Monday morning. You are just walking into your classroom and your students start to roll in one by one. There’s a weird buzz in the air. The kids have a new, vibrating, energy to them, on a Monday morning, what the heck. “It must be a full moon,” you think to yourself. Then they start to line up at the door for the morning assembly, as they stand in line you see them doing a strange motion with their arms and hips. “Now this is a new one,” you silently whisper. You ask your line leader what this new move is and where they learnt it. She replies with, “it’s flossing! I learned it from my sister who saw it on SNL on Youtube!” Apparently this move is common knowledge and you must be out of the loop. You go home after school and search this ‘flossing backpack kid’ and low and behold, there he is, with over 4 million views (this is just on this particular video).
Now if you type the word ‘flossing’ into a Google search, this is what comes up:
The very first thing that comes up is the Flossing dance!! This shocked me! Not until you scroll further down do you see results actually relating to teeth flossing. Youtube is full of How To Floss videos, it’s insane. All because one kid, wearing a backpack, stole Katy Perry’s spotlight and flossed his way to become a viral hit.
“The web is not just about information, it’s actually about linking people and it’s about linking people in ways that we’ve never have been linked before.” – Michael Wesch from An anthropological introduction to YouTube. This quote really made everything in that Youtube video make sense to me. The internet allows people from all over the world to connect with each other, every minute of every day. People are connected and linked to one another through Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, podcasts, news websites (CTV, CBC, Global, etc.) and so much more. Just look at the way that the Crank That Soulja Boy dance spread that’s mentioned in Wesch’s video. People from all over were recreating this dance and uploading their videos to the internet. A few years later, this trend happened again with the Harlem Shake and The Mannequin Challenge. My Facebook feed was FULL of Harlem Shake’s and Mannequin Challenges! I’m sure there’s a video of me participating in a Harlem Shake somewhere, whether it’s posted online or not. It was the in-thing! When you search these dances there’s even entire schools and classes participating and posting their videos online, connecting their school to the world wide web.
I think that technology and its uses are constantly changing. I also believe that in the classroom, technology can be an incredible useful tool to have in our ever growing toolbox of resources. I have seen on Twitter that some teachers use Skype to connect with other classrooms around the world. I know that when I am a teacher, I will be wanting to do the Global Read Aloud and there are so many great ways to use the internet and apps to connect to other classrooms. When I was in Internship, a teacher used Flipgrid and Skype to connect with another classroom during the Global Read Aloud. I think that by using tech in schools we can help to meet the different learning needs and styles of our students. There are apps for typing, text-to-speech, speech-to-text and everything in-between. I love the idea of using videos online to learn new skills and to teach new skills. Student’s can also benefit from making and creating videos to explain new concepts/skills because then they become the teachers and can show what they know through a new medium besides good ol’ pen and paper.
A problem I see with tech is the cost. There are so many schools, both rural and urban, that simply cannot afford to have tech in every classroom. There is also always the problem of slow and poor Wi-Fi connection. Then there is the issue of becoming too reliant on technology just to have the tech not work or the power go out (welcome to rural Southeast Saskatchewan).