There is some benefit to having that constant connectedness. The fact that I have my AOL IM on my phone or that in one day I can have a text messaging marathon. Quickly and efficiently, I can get my thoughts out to multiple people with a click of a few buttons.
Let me introduce briefly Camille. I have known Camille for the last ten or so years, she was the one who introduced me to speed skating and who I still to this day enjoy pie with on most Wednesdays. She is also the one who on more than one occasion has taken a critical eye to many of my projects and educated me about the four generational workplace. This past week (and probably longer) she kept hearing me say, "What is the purpose of technology?"
So Friday evening as I was sitting at home, I got an IM from Camille. She wrote, 'I thought of this while sitting at work today and I want to share it with you.'
"In math, there are often many ways (avenues) to problem-solve and arrive at the same answer (end product). The more ways a student is familiar with to solve a familiar problem, the more apt and agile the student will be with a new unfamiliar problem. The same can be mirrored for technology and its purpose in education.
Technology cannot replace the 'blood, sweat, and tears' behind completing a task, but offers different avenues to accomplish an end product. Beginning with something simple, we've most likely all had to write a journal entry by hand - which could be considered an informal paper. We've probably also been presented with the task of writing a paper via a word processing application and perhaps even uploading the file to google apps for review. In either case, a paper of sorts (end product) has been written regardless of the avenue taken.
The more avenues a student is exposed to, the more successful they'll be when given an unfamiliar problem."
As I was thinking about it... There are so many varieties to come to the end result. Our students were given the task to make a movie trailer of the recent book that they read- the only requirement that at the end result was to create a movie trailer. What 'avenue' taken did not matter, there were so many choices. The additional benefit was that each of them learned from each other and each of them came back with a project that was reflective of their unique personality.