Category Archives: EC&I830 2016spring

Reflection on topic 8: Plugging life by unplugging


I do agree that “despite being more connected than ever, more people feel more alone than ever“. But I don’t agree the vedio that to blame to the social media.

Increasing dependence upon our digital devices can negatively affect our relationships, interpersonal communication skills, and our mental health. It’s an increasingly problematic issue in mordern life. Our life is always plugged in. The hazards are obvious to know. For example, I am always distracted by my phone from studing or working. I kept on looking at my phone once a while. Actually there is nothing new on my facebook or twitter, but I just engaged myself checking them once a while. I’m not busy contacting someone, I just can’t concentrate on the things I need to do. Of course, it’s a waste of time of life and I have had a serious problem on my neck. However, should I blame the fast developement of social media or electronic devices? Absolutely not, I should blame to myself about the fail to resist attempts. 

In a more developed and diverse circumstance, there are more attempts for us, and technology is one of them. Resisting this attempts, is not equal to being totally upplugged. Just like Mobile Apps That Help Relieve Stress And Anxiety, we can make use of these apps and get back on track and create balance in your life without the hassle of unplugging. I agree that notion in Tim O’Reilly’s speaking. He thinks that people are becoming “more capable”. We need to find out how can we use the capabilities of our devices to build human experiences without unplugging. We don’t need to unplug, because devices are a better process in human development and making our human experience better.

Unplugging is just a method to make us realize how to live a better life while plugged in. Technology is not a bad thing to be blamed to. Now the digital age turned into the age of technological anxiety, so the next goal should be turning the use of electronics bake to a normal way. Use whenever they should be used  and however well they can be used with the pointlessness of unplugging.

Summary of ECI830

As the course ECI830 goes on, I find that all the topics of the course are closely related to our life, however, I just let them go and forget to give them a deep and clearer thinking. So in this course, when we learn those issues using a debate format, it forces me to analyze exactly the good and bad effects. The conclusion leads to a balance and how to reach the balance so that we can turn the bad impacts into good results.


The first part of the course contents focus on the school change in a technology context. It includes:

Whether technology in the classroom enhances learning or not?

Should schools teach anything that can be Googled or not?


Openness and sharing in schools is fair or unfair to our kids?

In my opinion, it’s never a bad thing to teach a little bit more in school. No matter if it is written or not in the curriculum syllabus that the demand of teaching students of how to properly use technology, and regardless that is it morally imperative or not for teachers that undertake the responsibility to help students turn positive digital citizens and technology masters, we should try our best to teach in school.



The second part is about the living conditions and living ideologies in a digital age. For example:

Is technology making our kids unhealthy or not?

Is social media ruining childhood today?


Have we become too dependent on technology and should we need to unplug?

In my opinion, nobody can escape from the digital impact that society prevails. What we can do is to face the difficulty and conquer it. Technology is like a double-edged sword. It can kill our life, whereas it can also add fun to our life.



The next issues are focus on today’s social issues like:

Technology improves social equity or the other way around?


Has public education sold its soul to corporate interests just like Faustian made a deal with evil.

In my opinion, the existing inequity can reproduce bigger inequity. The technology is still a small power to defeat all the inequity. We should hold a positive opinion but we should also deal with problems at hand. Education field as a huge piece of the pie, will definitely attracts business giants who wanting to gain profits by technology invasion. The public needs to keep a clear mind to education and draw on advantages and avoid disadvantages.


After the class debates, I tend to know more clearly that technology has both advantages and disadvantages in most aspects. It won’t be 100% good or bad. But if we want to make the best of it rather than us turning to slaves of it, we need to find method to reach a balance. Especially as an educator or parent, it’s our responsibility to protect our kids from the harm of technology and help them learn to use it wisely.

I write the Lyrics to express my feeling about this course:

Debate debate here we go
Let us refresh our brain
Seems you’re correct but I’m not wrong
Let us discuss then

Those issues are heating ones
Existing in ED-Tech
Make them clear and figure them out
Benefits who we are

Contemporary in Education
There are more that we need to learn
Being a teacher is so proud that
we can’t stop and stay

Every coin has two sides
So does is with Ed Tech
If we want to make the best
We need to right the wrong

Oh Technology, in open education
It makes us happy,
and it can leave us suffering

Existing questions,
although they give us a headache
Find a way
We can then reach a banlance

Self-learning on topic 8

We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need is to unplug. Agree or disagree?

I kind of becoming the kind of person who can’t go without my phone, which makes me feel like I am naked. I  can’t fall asleep without playing with my mobile phone, looking again my facebook, weichat, weibo, twitter again and again. Is that because I need to contact with my friends so urgently? No, it is just because I need a kind of inner security and I am afraid of loneliness. Watching the video I Forgot My Phone is just like looking at a mirror.

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone? is a classical speech exploring the hidden loneliness behind close connection online.  We are so busy engaged online however, we don’t make any eye contact and real communication, no shaking hands or drink a toast, and we just looking through a small screen.

Empty, sadness, being a person by sitting there. Cell phone has the poverty making you hate while love. Especially for the new generation who are totally immersed in the digital age, the explosion of social media may disable their ability of developing realistic friendships and relationships.

This video is a beautiful poem telling us the missing possibilities and beauties in really life if we shut ourselves out by looking down constantly to our phone. Eyes is for the real beauties not only for what written online. Life is for life experience instead for just imagination. Virtually means empty.

Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality offers another way of thinking. This article thinks that the on-line and off-line “digital dualism” which”digital dualists believe that the digital world is ‘virtual’ and the physical world ‘real’ ” is a fallacy. The author argue “our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once” and it’s relationship is not one subtracts from the other. Instead, they are combined and connected and virtual activities actually increase off-line interaction.

In The Disconnectionists, author use a lot of psychological theories and post-structure theories to analyse that “‘unplugging’ from the Internet isn’t about restoring the self so much as it about stifling the desire for autonomy that technology can inspire”. The online activities actually enhance the process that we build our personal authenticity and help to reflect the true self. In this meaning, disconnection, and unplugging, do no good to human being.

The latter seems a deeper thinking logic. It’s a little bit against common sense but it seems more apply to a developed digital age. After all, we cannot go back to the original way of life pretending there was no social media. Accompany with the development of the trend is the development of modern human being.


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Reflection on topic 7: Make a worthful budget

Is the application of technology in school is an invasion? Is it a deal with the devil? When rethinking of this question after the debate and the guest speaker, I think there’s not that bad to introduce multi financial resources to education.

Education turns to an industry is a tendency. It’s not only because higher demands are imposed on education today, but also industrialization are called for almost every field.  Although education is a welfare affair for public, it still needs variety financial supports.

With the help of coronations, what education has received is not only money, but also innovations just like technology does to the whole society. Change is nothing wrong, and the only thing never changing is changing itself. Like Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito says, “Our goal is to embrace the bigness of the challenge that government and society face in terms of transforming education in a holistic way”.

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Of course, critics believe that this barrage of marketing in schools is atbest a distraction and at worst encourages students to make unhealthy lifestylechoices, and contentious, with manyissues, such as how to hold for-profit firms accountable, still to be resolved. Education turns to a product and the battlefield to make a profits. The article Pearson ‘Education’ — Who Are These People? is metaphoric question, indicating that education is controlled by some power. Companies such as Pearson’s political ties that is strengthening their stranglehold on the education system.

In my opinion, businessman is always run after profits of course. It’s time for education to adapt to the rules while keep the original mission. Those private schools are benefit from high tuition to provide high quality education show that with abundant financial and technological support, education will be a beneficiary. Actually just like our guest speaker said, education is always a kind of business, mostly by the scores, competitions or students behaviors. We should turn a open opinion to it. There is no need to feel like facing an monster. Yes, we do make a bargain, but not with the evil.

Self-learning on topic 7

Topic 7 is: Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests in what amounts to a Faustian bargain. Agree or disagree?

Free apps or Internet products such as GAFE, Edmodo, or Freshgrade has greatly changed the way of connections between teacher and students, school and parents or the way curriculum goes. Besides that, myriad tech giants are investing in related programs for students and schools or contribute to corporate social philanthropy  to support education. So far I can understand easily. We are able to see lots of recommended apps for learning in twitter. Using those hi-tech products is no more anything new.


However, there are other ways for capital affecting education like Bill Gates and Pearson do. They may launch the small schools movement or implement Common Core standards and turn the standardized tests of education system to a private profit. Worst, the corporations like Chromebook, may track and sell students data for more profits, admitted or not.

I’d like to ask should education be industrialized? Absolutely shouldn’t. Education should stay as a basic public welfare, and it shouldn’t turn into a economic market where big financial and technology giants make high profits. However, in practical, education as such a big cake, it can undoubtedly attract profits runner. Just as a proverb goes, “it’s a nature of businessmen to pursuit profits”. If public support turns weaker, then it will be easy to lose this battleground.



Reflection on topic 6: Childhood is up to you.

In a digital age, children seems to get mature faster. In an information explosion context, children are easy to learn things online, which, in turn, lead them out of innocence. Besides, social media affects child mental health through increased stress, sleep deprivation, cyberbullying, and children are placed in a brutal society early.


In my opinion, it’s no use to be sad for the children’s childhood gets short or not better than what we had. Our kids just become more and more clever in such an easy access to information age. Large amount of information improve people to leave innocent is out of doubt. That’s why we find the childhood is not the same as ours. But it doesn’t equal to bad. Childhood is a thing can be decided by children and parents. With smarter children, the childhood should become more colorful.


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As a parent, you can help nurture the positive aspects simply by accepting how important social media is for kids and helping them find ways for it to add real value to their lives. ” Just like learning through playing, Social Media can also be a entertainment tool that can be used to gain knowledge. Childhood doesn’t equal to stop learning. So social media is a tool that calls for proper guidance. Just as the proverb goes: no pain no gains. If we don’t spend time with our children, we have no right to blame anything that steal our children’s childhood.

Different cultures, different childhoods. We cannot define what kind of childhood should be or what is the best kind of childhood. Childhood is not what you define, instead, it’s a kind of thing that you can create. A nature process is the essence of childhood, no matter what is included in it, tolls, peer friendships, social media and so on. They are just a indivisible part when looking back.

The life rhythm is faster and faster, a good childhood is not judged by length but  should be left without regret. A parents participation is paramount in children’s childhood, especially in a smarter environment today.

Reflection on topic 5: A process to equity

It’s so good to see that the online curriculum has made such a big breakthrough and combine easy access and personalized study together! It’s not only a example of technology increasing social inequity but also a easy communication for students around the world. Technology has the potential of power to do something to increase social equity, I think that’s undoubtedly. Things turns better in a digital age than ever before in health care, education and so on. But it’s not always easy to change. Because in some circumstances, the existing inequities will reproduce inequities along with the fast development. It’s still a long way before remove all the side effects of technology development.


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There is a long exist “digital divide”. The available accesses for students in different areas are not equal. The different technique of students will also lead to achievement gap. In this extent, technology increases inequity rather than equity. Thus, open Educational Resources Expand Educational Inequalities.

Actually I still believe technology has the potential and should increase social equality in an ideal context. It’s just need a long process to get the prerequisite that can make sure technology improving equality which include the available access to technology and the ability to use the technology of educators and students.

Technology is a good thing but will do more good than harm when you got the capacity to  make the best of it. Otherwise, it will do more harm than good.


Self-learning on topic 6

When our childhood is full of peers, toys, hide and see and face to face chasing, our children’s childhood is watching a phone or pad alone. So can we say that social media is ruining childhood of young generation?

An easy access to world information will lead to a quick growth. Children accept information now not only by teachers and parents but out of nowhere. And when parents realized, they are amazing that the children are already not that  innocent. It seems that we live in a fast modern world, and so is the growth.

Actually, a long nature childhood is good for a person in a long ran. Like Whatever Happened to Childhood wrote, there are worries growing on this issue. We are afraid that the fast-pace childhood will leads to potential bad effects in the future life. A natural process of being mature is important to an individual just like that to a fruit.

The fast elapse of childhood is to be blamed to “toxic combination of marketing, media and peer pressure“. Social media are designed to amuse adults who have the ability to distinguish what to do or not to do online. And this ability due to an emotional maturity gained in their long childhood. Now younger generation has been exposed to a digital circumstance before they can fully develop this ability and what’s worse, social media takes part in their growth and makes even bigger impacts beyond imagination. There seems to be a physical and mental contradiction that social media does to children.

Of course, we all believe our own childhood was the best one. There might be a kind of romantic emotion towards those good old days. And “Technology and the world around us is evolving so quickly that even children a few years apart may experience two very different forms of childhood“. So it’s truly that we complain children are not have the same childhood as we do. But I like in the same article that except “the real world” and “the creative imaginary world”, what our children have is a totally new “virtual/mobile screen world”. It should be a very good thing because the world is making progress. The problem lies in that we are also addicted to this world and we don’t spare time to keep accompany of our children to do some activities in the traditional two worlds. I like the attitude in the article Debunking the Myth that Children Don’t Have Real Childhood’s: “it should be encouraged that children have a mixture of childhoods that involve enjoying the outdoors and time with friends, improving their social skills and learning about and enjoying technology”. Of course, it says “the responsibility for the child falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents”. That is to say, the more powerful the technology is, the more powerful the human being should be.

Actually there is no way to define what a childhood should be and what a good childhood should be. What you can only do is to make your child’s childhood not a bad one.  It’s up to you. Wasting time complaining is not better than doing something to change.

Self-learning on topic 5

I have never thought about this issue about whether technology creates social equity or inequity. I think it’s a complex question because the existing social inequity will lead to bigger inequity, including the unequal access to technology. Technology can improve social equity to some extant I guess, but because of the inequity on learning and managing technology, things can never be equal.

Technology creates platforms for the disabled, the poor, and other the undeserved students in traditional education style by “overcoming a wide range of limitations that hinder classroom participation––from speech and hearing impairments to blindness and severe physical disabilities”. Our education can reach a wider range of participants in learning.  Technology change the education ways, and “books and curricula are truly ‘born digital’ rather than born for paper delivery. That means they can now be ‘born accessible’.” This “born equality” means educational technology reduces inequality in human rights caused by technical deficiency. In addition to the equal platforms accessing to learning, the change of pedagogy is good for closing the achievement gap. Technology has magic power in creating social equality.

Then why there is potential worry about technology will expand inequity?

There is still a divide between available Internet access for those in urban centers versus rural and remote households. Besides the digital divide, the different levels of affluent kids and poor kids use tech can also result in different outcomes. The metaphor in Educational technology isn’t leveling the playing field is simple but apropos:  “They showed that children who get off to a strong early start with reading acquire more vocabulary words and more background knowledge, which in turn makes reading easier and more enjoyable, leading them to read still more: a virtuous cycle of achievement. Children who struggle early on with reading fail to acquire vocabulary and knowledge, find reading even more difficult as a result, and consequently do it less: a dispiriting downward spiral.” It’s easy to understand that existing inequity produces bigger inequity and we cannot pretend it doesn’t exist. “Access to adequate equipment and reliable high-speed connections” is one thing. But “improving the way that technology is employed in learning” is another issue here in this topic. We keep on learning on what we have learnt. Practices is always more brutal compared with the ideal.

Sounds like it’s much frustrated. But it’s better than none. I’d like to hear the debate next class to see is there a better way out?

Reflection on topic 4: Customizing digital footprint and identity.


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When we look back on the footprints behind us, or when we take out our Identity Card, have we realized that there are digital ones that invisible while truly exist in our life, and they are going to be closely stay with us in the future. We had kept making them since the rise of the digital age and our kids were started to make them even long before they were born. “Your online life, permanent as a tattoo” (Juan Enriquez)is absolutely right!

Our debate is, Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids. Agree or not.

This topic matters to things. One is the sharing manners, and the other one is the awareness of an early building digital identity.

Seen from the first glance, I don’t agree that some parents turning to be crazy fans of posting pictures of their children to social media. As a child, especially when grown up, one would be embarrassed  looking through. And growth is far faster than parents could imagine, which will lead to a gap when children feel like they are treated as a kids without respects when their parents posting their photos online. However, when thinking about in a classroom context instead of a private context like home, sharing and openness in classroom is  necessary.

Sharing makes a difference to their learning in school. We can see from the next video students are passionate about sharing their works to online public. They need audience to give them feedback. So being transparent and authentic learning i’s a very good transformation of today’s education.

Besides, building a positive digital identity is paramount to cultivate their virtual identity. If they are not taught about how to share,  they can’t turn to a wholesome adult. And if the school does not undertake this responsibility, who will?

I learned in Kathy Cassidy’s video who makes a good model for me to know what happened and can be happened in a modern classroom. Creating pathways and enhancing learning is worth the efforts. Helping school children leave their learning footprints online is meaningful both to their job hunting and whole life. Students can also make big progress in such process and turn to be a responsible online citizen.

However, we need to face the impacts that oversharing or improper sharing bring to everyone. It’s not always safe online and what received online is not always kindness.


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Does sharing photos of your children on Facebook put them at risk? It’s the first question when we think about the online safety.  The experience shared on the article, I believe, is a common situation in everyone life and I really like the deep reflection of the author about the children who is not like consenting adults. During the sharing process, the children’s identity information might be disclosed. And another concern is around consent. I personally prefer to keep privacy in this circumstances like using a pet name and check my privacy settings, and what’s more, when posting photos, I prefer to choose the normal one instead the funny ones and close-up ones. Or even, not to share.

And in school, we need to obey guidelines when we want to share students’ work. Besides,  it’s not very hard for teacher to find some time and discuss with students about digital footprints and virtual identities. Remind them to separate academic accounts and private ones, and remind them keep on privacy even in their private ones.

We do want to enjoy social media communication activities as it is part of modern life already. So some tips we can obey to keep our privacy and reduce the hidden dangers. Manage our online reputations by limiting the amount of personal information, changing privacy settings, deleting unwanted comments and remove names from photos and so on. We need to be a active manager about what we behave online if we want to enjoy the digital age. And most important, as parents, we need to help our children guard their privacy before they are able to provide informed consent and turn capable online citizens.

As for questions as “Is sharing a moral imperative?” “Who owns a teacher’s work?””Is it the school’s responsibility to build students’ digital identities?” I’d like to say, every teacher can develop their own teaching styles and skills. They have freedom to choose whether to use social media or not for their curriculum. But, there won’t be bad effects if teachers are willing to speak one more sentence or word to remind students on what if they want to share online. One is better than none. As teachers, to protect our students from potential hazards is always the working goal.