Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cloud-y Ambivalence

I like to consider myself a healthy cynic.

On one hand I’m extremely excited about what the future holds for easy and vast information sharing. I see statements like this: “The district’s assessment system could alert administrators and educators when students are in danger of failing so that they can provide intervention quickly.” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 165) I start picturing the amazing possibilities about a student transferring schools and the new teachers at the click of a button able to pinpoint exactly what he or she needs based on prior experiences. It really is thrilling. All relevant participants can find out anything and everything they need to know in no time at all from the comfort of their homes.

But then the cynicism starts to creep in.

How many steps are we away from the system being corrupted? If everything is reduced to numbers in documents, and that’s how we’re all judged, who’s to say the day won’t come when that information will be bought and sold? Am I going to have trouble getting a job because someone was able to find out that I had a disciplinary issue in my 5th grade math class, and the potential employer doesn’t want to take any chances? I fear the greatest fear that the decidedly human elements of life are way too close to being reduced to bubbles filled out in computerized data collection forms.

I am not what a computer, paperwork, or statistical analysis says I am. I am me. I will always be me. Do I come with a lot of complicated baggage? Absolutely. I also come with many qualities no computer will ever be able to measure.

I think it is imperative that we as the future of education recognize that technology exists to make what we’re doing easier and better. But there are so many ways it could make things worse as well, and we need to keep in mind at every waking moment that whereas technology must serve us, we must never become slaves to it. Technology is not good; it is neutral. It’s up to us to make sure it is used only for making the world a better place.

No comments:

Post a Comment