As I crested the final small hill approaching Monmouth, with the cloud defused sunrise in front of me, I saw a large expansive field of green, fresh from the night's rain. Something in me moved. It was beautiful. The feeling is one that each of us has from time to time in different settings for different reasons.
If I have a fear about computers, it's losing that feeling. For me it's a matter of experiencing less often in lieu of a computer screen. For another generation, I fear it may be never experiencing it at all. One evening PBS ran a feature on the national parks of America, calling it America's best idea, and one day earlier they ran the Digital Nation feature about how America and its society is changing through computers. What a dichotomy!
What do I fear about computers? I fear losing the special inspiration and rejuvenation that comes from appreciating nature and its beauty. I fear ever experiencing a hug from the friend behind the computer screen. I have a plan to reclaim my time with nature and beauty, and gather hugs. Do you?
Last evening, on our television, PBS played the video called Digital Nation. It traveled through a multitude of ways that computers and other electronic devices affect the lives of people around the world. Many of the themes were not new: children think, and therefore learn, differently than their parents, and education needs to adjust, perhaps in a major way, as to how teaching and learning are approached.
The section about South Korea, one of the more "wired" nations in the world, and how they first teach children respect for computers and the Internet. "Computers are helpful, we must respect them and other users," is a paraphrase of the ditty they sang. The song ended with "netiquette, netiquette!." And a commentator said that it's too late to do this in America.
The surprises came to me outside the education sphere and particularly in the world of the military and recruiting. I'm still digesting the video games and the mindset for these activities. It wasn't far from Second Life and its use in business as well as the interactive gaming activities.
All of this encompasses education, how education is affected by these activities and attitudes and how education can affect positive effective learning in the future. What a full plate! Again I'm overwhelmed. Are you ready for this?