This is part four in a blog series I started last week on technology and culture. I’d love to hear your perspective and observations—what do you see happening in our culture as a result of new technology? Let me continue my thoughts here.
Sometimes, technology can solve problems better than ever before. For example, when faculty and staff at Conlee Elementary School in Las Cruces, New Mexico started having students do five minutes of “Just Dance,” (an active video game for Nintendo’s Wii), at the start of each new day, they noticed a trend: tardiness went down. Kids began getting to school on time. What’s more, they got some exercise every day playing the game. Students love it. They’re now engaged. Not bad.
According to reporter, Nanci Hellmich, “the dance activity is broadcast into classrooms that have TV monitors. The school was inspired to try this idea by researchers at New Mexico State University who are investigating the use of active video games as part of an obesity prevention project.” Now, researchers are looking into the use of games in P.E. classes and to see whether doing an active video game before spelling or math tests improves performance. In other regions, similar projects are taking place. “Dance, Dance Revolution” is improving health and fitness in overweight kids during school time. In West Virginia, “DDR” is available in high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. Most everyone seems to like it. Kids who used to stand along the walls at the high school dance are now involved; and, they are getting fit at the same time. I love it.
Take the “Smartphone” for example. It is a handheld device that’s simple to use and engages kids in their own learning process, at their own speed. What’s more, teachers can track the progress of each student electronically. Anya Kamenetz continues, “For children born in the past decade, the transformative potential of these new devices is just beginning to be felt. New studies and pilot projects show smartphones can actually make kids smarter.”
It seems to me we have three options when it comes to technology:
- Isolation – We pull back and avoid it altogether believing it’s evil.
- Saturation – We take no stand and allow ourselves to be engulfed in it.
- Interpretation – We use the technology for redemptive purposes.
What do you think? Do you see bad or good in technology?