CBS is starting a 3 day series on Teens and Technology. This is an important topic and one that deserves a close look. I have some opinions on the matter having worked as both a high school technology teacher and a university educational technologist. Unfortunately it looks like my opinions run counter to the slant that CBS is planning to run for this series.
The series is going to be broken down in three parts:
- An overview of teen habits and the high-tech gear they are using. This will focus mostly on MySpace, FaceBook, and cell phones.
- The negative impacts of technology on teens. This will focus on online predators and how technology is hurting development.
- A personal interest aspect focusing on specific teens and how they are using technology
I think it is really unfortunate that this series is focusing on technology as a negative thing. Luckily, CBS is going to also focus on how adults can protect teens from technology. (sarcasm)
My experience working with teens and technology is that it can be an incredibly positive tool to help teens learn. I agree that technology is disruptive to the educational system, but I think that is a good thing. Many people (myself included) think that “education” for teens is mostly about keeping them contained until they can enter the workforce. I wish that CBS would focus instead on the positive effects of technology and teens and what adults can do to stay relevant in a world that is changing with increasing velocity. That would be a story that is much closer to reality.