Is Technology Changing Our Brains?
This is such an interesting question that I think about a lot. As a middle school teacher at a
1:1 school, I see students engaging in learning using technology in a way that, I feel, allows them to become more easily independent in their learning. Because they are digital natives, they tend to problem solve or come up with a creative way of presenting and sharing information that takes them beyond the parameters of the assignments they are tackling. They also engage in collaborative learning much more than they would without their devices. When our students go home, edmodo blows up with students posting questions and answers about the homework they are all sent home with. When I was in middle school, if I went home and didn’t understand my homework, I was on my own if my parents couldn’t help me. Watching these digital natives, it seems to me that that they have a more “open” world view. They feel entitled to the digital world and all its possible resources because it is at their finger tips and this inspires them to give in to their innate curiosities. Connectivism at work. I believe as we “externalize” ourselves through social media, social media is reflecting back to us aspects of our individual and collective selves in a new way. Sometimes this new reflection is inspiring and sometimes it is ugly. The permanence of our digital footprints is forcing us to face consequences we use to be able to avoid. I think technology is definitely changing our behaviors, but is technology changing our brains? I can’t help but think so, however, I don’t think we will really know how for quite a while.