Technology and Education

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PBS Frontline – “Digital Nation” February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kris @ 2:25 pm

This is a must see.  I had no idea about the amount of time people spend online in virtual worlds and gaming.  I personally have never been interested in that kind of thing.  I would rather build relationships with people in an office workspace where if you have a question you can get up, stretch your legs, and go talk to someone real face to face.  As much as technology and the internet benefit us, there is a line that I draw.  Studies have been done on children in orphanages that babies who have little to no human contact can die, have a weak immune system, and stunted physical, mental, and emotional growth even though their physical needs are met.  I believe the same would be true for adults, almost worse because what we did have for human to human contact has been removed.

Another feature that this documentary focused on was the use of headsets to create a virtual world so real that people could not tell the difference between real life and animated.  The video showed a woman who was eating in the virtual world and afterward actually felt full.  Her brain believed that she had eaten.  Some people may say that this can be used to help people lose weight.  I think this would do more harm then good.  It does not deal with the issues behind the weight problem such as making healthy food choices and watching how many serving you eating.  If our brain thinks that we are eating then what reason would our brains have for not functioning in the same way if we made unhealthy food choices in the virtual world.  For example, if we were consistently eating junk food in a virtual world to deal with our junk food cravings it is possible that our brain would still think that we are putting sugar and fat into our body and we would still develop the same health problems like diabetes in real life.

I am concerned with the direction that technology is going, the fact that it seems to over run our lives and that we are completely 100% dependent on it.  I think we need to take a step back and evaluate what we use technology for.

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