WRT 105 @ 5 | Unit 3 Long Essay Page

Georgepierre Lebron

WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing

November 13, 2014

Word Count: 880

 

The Unit 3 Long(er) Essay

When I ask people “What’s wrong with having a conversation?” People say, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with having a conversation. It takes place in real time and you can’t control what you’re going to say.”So that’s the bottom line. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body — not too little, not too much, just right. [Emphasis added]

Sherry Turkle, “Connected, but alone?”  TED Talk February, 2012

 

Due:      Thursday, December 4th @ the start of class; post to your blog site on its own page (!! See details at end of this page).

How:     ~ 7 -8 page (~1600 – 1650 word) essay, double spaced, with 1.5 inch margins all around. Staple the essay, and provide the standard assignment information (your name, course name, date, and word count): place this information (single-spaced) in the upper left corner of your title page (see above).

Give your essay a meaningful title (especially if you have yet to do so) that conveys some aspect of what the paper argues.

We will likely use a manila folder process for the hard copy details. With your polished hard copy, include the info sheets and stapled pages from your two (2)library research exercises.

What:   A final ~ 7 -8 page essay (~1600 word) essay that develops and argues an original thesis about some aspect of our digital everyday lives.

Your essay should argue and develop an original thesis that touches on how some aspect of digital technology affects and impacts our everyday lives. That impact may include any way that digital technology structures, mediates, conducts, establishes, and infects the activities that comprise everyday life for us in the 21st century.

This digital impact may pertain to issues of automation of everyday activities; or to the degree to which social media shape our relationships;  or to the idea that we’ve all become web-idiots, content to let the internet do our (heavy) thinking; or to the insidious fear that using digital technology affects the ways we think and process information; or to the idea that our youth become too digitally literate too early, often at the expense of the learning that comes with analog play and analog toys; or to the idea that we live in an era of distraction, constantly seeking some form of digital entertainment;  or to the idea that we have multiple selves, spread across different platforms and devices, making for a curious type of dissociative identity disorder;  or to idea that our notion of “community” must always already involve some sort of digital screen; or to the idea that we have, literally, lost the ability to be alone and solitary and bored … unless we are able to check our various e-status(es) and feeds and timelines  by way of a Smartphone—the possibilities are endless, but the gist is that your thesis will present an argument about one small slice of all that digital cross-connection with the everyday.

Sources

Your essay must cite at least two (2), but no more than five (5), outside sources, one (1) of which must be a scholarly source that you find through library research. We will be using MLA format for in-text citations and an MLA format “Works Cited & Consulted” list .

The  “Works Cited &  Consulted” list will include the sources you cite within the essay, the remaining library sources from your research exercises, and any of the general sources that we read for this unit and which bear upon your particular thesis topic.

Things to Consider as You Compose

  • Thesis and Paragraph Level Issues – is the thesis argument / thesis cluster strong and specific; does it convey a sense of consequence and significance to/for the reader; do subsequent paragraphs convey / further the essay’s larger argument? Does the cluster pass our “So what?” test?
  • Clarity and Context Concerns – does the essay maintain clarity of argument and reasoning throughout the draft; does each paragraph establish a context for the reader that explains the paragraph topic and its connection /relevance to the larger thesis argument?
  • Source Integration, Accuracy, and Use – does the essay use quotations to support its argumentative claims, rather than quote exclusively as a way to repeat / retell a source’s thoughts and ideas; are the quotations explicitly, and logically connected to the paragraph thesis claim; does the quote remain faithful to its use in the original source; does the ¶ provide an adequate context to both explain the quote and its connection to the thesis argument?
  • Counterargument ¶– does the essay include a ¶ within which the essay addresses potential audience objections to my main thesis claim; does this ¶ unpack some of those objections in a fair manner, note their strengths, but ultimately explain how the thesis argument answers those objections?
  • Conclusion – does the conclusion build upon the claims the essay makes; does conclusion point outward to the implications those claims evoke; does the conclusion ¶ point to the “next steps,” other irelated ideas or actions to be taken when moving forward?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

We are using each of three (3) ways for submission:

A)

Post your Long Essay and Your Reflection Assignment in both of two (2) ways:

  1. As a single post (reply), with your essay appearing first.
  2. On your blog site, but as a new page titled “Unit 3 Essay & Reflection.”

B)

3. Bring your manil folder to our finl class meeting. The folder should contain your polished Long Essay, your Unit 3 Reflection Assignment, your Source Info Sheets from our two (2) Library Exercises, and all feedback sheets from our in-class drat sessions.

File Downloads for This Assignment.

WRT105_LonGEssay_details_Fall2014_defin

MLA_Unit3_WorksCitedandConsulted_defin

wrt105_unit3_reflection_fall2014_defin

 

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  10. Hannah Myers

    Hannah Myers
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 4, 2014
    Word Count: 1665

    Preschool Children: The Impact of Digital Media

    “Whether children are watching, listening, or using these media (digital media) in educational or entertainment contexts, these media are exerting a mostly unknown influence on emerging literacy skills” (Hisrich and Blanchard 250). Katy Hisrich and Jay Blanchard are talking about digital media used by three-to-five-year-old children. In a time period where digital media is constantly used by adults one can only assume that young children would use digital media often as well. Preschool children are submersed in digital media everyday whether it may be at home or in the classroom. Digital media and digital literacy hold a potential effect on literacy skills for young children, age three to six. Therefore, educators, parents, and other family members play a role in the impact that digital media has on children. The digital media that is used by preschool children at home and in the classroom positively impacts their cognitive, social, and literacy development.
    In today’s world, three-, four-, and five-year-old children are surrounded by opportunities to develop cognitive and linguistic skills. These opportunities create an impact on a child’s development. Although these opportunities are diverse in their function and purpose, each opportunity acknowledges linguistic, cognitive, and socio-emotional resources that preschool children have available. According to Katy Hisrich and Jay Blanchard, “The quality and quantity of these linguistic opportunities, whether in the home, the preschool or kindergarten classroom, the neighborhood, or the community, play a critical role in language development”(240). These opportunities that offer a potential benefit to preschool children come courtesy of digital media (Hisrich and Blanchard 240).
    Digital media is used daily in the home and the significant use can impact preschool children’s learning. A preschool child’s exposure to digital media is quite large in modern homes. Hisrich and Blanchard report that “70% of all children four to six years of age had used a computer (11% under two). These children spent an average of a bit more than one hour per day in computer use (two hours for all screen media). Fifty-six percent had used a computer by themselves (27% of zero- to three-year-olds), 64% could use a mouse to point and click, and 40% could load a CD-ROM by themselves” (241). These astonishing statistics clearly depict that access to digital media at home for preschool children is quite substantial. Thus meaning the influence digital media has on preschool children is substantial as well.
    This constant exposure to digital media comes at a critical age in young children’s development. For three to four year olds this is a time of discovery and exploration for them. This age is when children are developing a natural sense of wonder and joy about their world. This is also a time in a child’s development where he or she is developing considerably cognitively, linguistically, and socio-emotionally (Hisrich and Blanchard 241). As a result of all of this development the child’s literacy skills are flourishing as well.
    Therefore, because of all of this development in the child, the digital media that surrounds the child presents potential learning opportunity. Many of these opportunities are presented because of the child’s surroundings. Adolescents and others are using digital media constantly to communicate and entertain themselves. Therefore preschool children learn from their surrounding people and the digital media they use daily. These people surrounding children at the critical age of three to four years old act as role models of digital media to the children. Therefore, the digital media that surrounds the children and how the people use it is of great impact on the children’s learning. The media that the children use themselves is of great influence as well. According to Alberto-Andres, “the media that children use and create are integral to their growing sense of themselves, of the world, and how they should interact with it” (109-129). What digital media that children, ages three to five years old, are immersed in may have a considerable impact for children’s development and their emerging literacy skills.
    The impact of digital media may have a positive benefit on children though. Although digital media effects and young children is still a small field of study, television effects and young children is a large study. Even though these two studies are not exactly the same they are still similar and therefore comparable. Television research that has been conducted over the past four years with young children is important as it can be referenced to similar on-screen media such as computers. There is research that states that educational television programs geared towards young children, ages three to five years old, tends to be positive. This means that young children who watch educational programs appear to have better school entry skills. These advanced skills include social skills along with literacy skills. What makes these skills so positive is that they appear to produce long-term benefits. (Anderson, Huston, Schmitt, Linebarger, & Wright, 2001). “There is strong evidence that children older than two learn from educational media, and there is moderate evidence that exposure to educational television during the preschool years is positively liked with various measures of academic achievement even ten years later” according to Kikorian and colleagues (53). This is just one example of how media such as educational television programs impacts young children, ages three to five years old, positively. Television and young children also can have a positive effect on adolescent achievement, especially for at-risk children. Kikorian and colleagues also say that the finding may be true for interactive media just as it is for television (49).
    Similar to the large amount of digital media use in homes there is a large use in classrooms among schools. According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, “Today almost every public and private school classroom in the United States and other developed nations has digital media, including computers with Internet access” (2003). Application of computers in classroom started in the early 1980s but applications aimed towards literacy did not emerge until the early 1900s. Although there has been interest regarding digital media and early childhood education there are few products specifically designed for emerging literacy skills.
    Digital medias such as interactive DVDs and computer software can both be used as aids in literacy skills development. Within the DVD genre interactivity is crucial. Research has found that it helps enhance learning and literacy with young children (Hisrich and Blanchard 245). DVDs such as Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics Games and Baby Einstein: First Words-Around Town incorporate important literacy skill like pictures, letters, sounds, words/vocab, reading, and listening skills into their content. Similar to DVDs, computer software is often interactive if its purpose is to improve preschool children’s literacy skills. Computers can deliver high-quality, interactive, digital media content from many different software products and sometimes computers are specifically set up for preschool children (Hisrich and Blanchard 245). Some of these programs may include Winnie the Pooh: Preschool, Curious George: Preschool Phonics, and Reader Rabbit: Preschool. These programs help children develop skills in many different subjects such as literacy.
    Other digital medias such as Internet/Web sites may also positively benefit three to five year old children. The use of the Internet and Web sites is growing today in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. With this growth Web sites can now deliver high quality and interactive digital media content from numerous sites for these children to use (Hisrich and Blanchard 247). Web sites such as FunBrain and Primary Games, directly target preschool ages children. According to the Table 3, FunBrain develops many different literacy skills that include pictures, letters, sounds, words/vocabulary, reading, and listening skills (Hisrich and Blanchard 248). Primary Games targets all of the same literacy skills within its content (Hisrich and Blanchard 248). One of the best Web sites that promote literacy development to preschool children is the International Children’s Digital Library, http://www.childrenslibrary.org. This website contains hundreds of books in 53 different languages. The goal of this website is to excite children about reading and to also expose young children to different cultures so they can respect them (Hisrich and Blanchard 247). Therefore one can infer that websites such as the International Children’s Library positively benefit a young child, age three-to five, in regards to his or her literacy and social development.
    Electronic learning aids are used in classrooms to help develop young children’s skills as well. Electronic learning aids include hardware/software learning systems, smart toys, activity laptops, and stand-alone devices like a keyboard. A more specific example of an ELA is the activity laptop by Vtech. The activity laptop by VTech allows a young child to play games that have educational content. Other ELAs like Hooked on Phonics Getting Ready to Read Activity System and LeapFrog’s Leapster Learning Game System focus on a child’s literacy development (Hisrich and Blanchard 248). ELAs such as these use educational games and drawing based off of a storybook to aid the development of young children. Most often these ELAs are specifically designed for preschool children with larger buttons, keyboards, etc. ELAs in the classroom, at home, or on the go are a digital media that purposefully targets the development of preschool children’s emerging literacy development.
    To conclude, preschool children are at a critical age in their development thus the digital media that surrounds them is of impact to their development. In today’s world, digital media surrounds not only adults daily, but young children, ages three-to-five-years old, daily as well. Digital media such as computers surround preschool children at home as well at school. Digital media can often hold a positive benefit on children though. Children are at such a critical age in regards to their emerging cognitive and literacy skills. Therefore digital media at home and at school is of great impact. The digital media that family members and educators use around them impacts young children’s development because they learn from watching. Digital media like computers in the classroom and at home, DVDs, computer software, Internet and Web sites, and electronic learning aids all can positively affect three-to-five-year-old children’s cognitive experiences and emerging literacy skills.

    Work Cited

    Alberto-Andres, M. (2004). The Internet and adolescents: The present and future of the information society. In J. Goldstein, D. Buckingham, & G. Brougere (Eds.), Toys, games and media (pp. 109–129). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Anderson, D., Huston, A., Schmitt, K., Linebarger, D., & Wright, J. (2001). Early childhood television viewing and adolescent behavior: The recontact study. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 66(1), 1–180, Serial No. 264.

    Hisrich, Katy and Blanchard, Jay. (2009) Digital Media and Emergent Literacy, Computers in the Schools: Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research, 26:4, 240-255

    Kirkorian, H., Wartella, E., & Anderson, D. (2008). Media and young children’s learning. Future of Children, 18, 63–86.

    Reflection:

    I believe that using SUMMON was extremely useful. Although it is a bit difficult to first find articles that you are interested in or that support your argument it is an extremely beneficial resource. It broadened my knowledge to different resources such as online journals that are available to me. For example, I did not really have a previous knowledge to online journals and scholarly journals. These resources are so helpful because SUMMON makes it pretty clear if they are reputable sources or not. This makes it much easier for me when doing research to know whether or not I can trust the source.
    I thought it was a bit challenging to find resources that supported my original argument. Therefore I did a bit of researching around and when I found an article of interest I did more research on that specific topic. Therefore I sort of molded my original argument to my present one because of the research I was finding. This helped me narrow down my argument and provided me with some specific reasons supporting my argument. For example, I found the article, Digital Media and Emergent Literacy. This article was found after reading another article of a similar topic. Digital Media and Emergent Literacy was comparative to the other article but it narrowed down the topic and had more interesting examples. Thus, this article was my starting point for my topic.
    Although I was not particularly interested in the topic when it was first assigned to us as I progressed through the process I became more and more interested. I often try to avoid the whole argument of how technologies, often phones, are affecting us as humans. I find my argument a little different though as I focus on such a young age group and the positive impact on them. Like myself, I think people often think of digital media only affecting adults and not other age groups. In my paper, I explore how different types of digital media are of impact to preschool children, which I think is a little different and interesting because it is not a common topic.

    Word Count: 354

    Reply
  11. Stephen Sanabria

    Stephen Sanabria

    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing

    December 4, 2014

    Word Count: 1362

    Teenage Communcations

    Digital literacies are inescapable in today’s world. With the increasing use of technology by people of all ages, information is being relayed faster than ever before. In a matter of seconds, people can share messages, photos, and other media with recipients anywhere on Earth. The current popularity of social networks on smartphones is one of the main reasons for this boom in digital communication. Aside from the traditional social networks, Facebook and Twitter that began as websites, smartphone apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are becoming more and more prevalent in the lives of humans because of their wireless and instantaneous connection capabilities. With a simple download and creation of a username, users can begin to easily share moments with their followers all at once, which is significantly faster than sharing information before these digital innovations. Although the heightened use of technology in today’s world is spreading quickly, is it also altering children and teens’ speaking, thinking, and communication habits?

    To the average adult, technology is perceived as something rather new and occasionally difficult to understand. Since the progression of technology has grown so quickly in the last ten or so years, it is difficult for the older generations to keep up with every new electronic trend. As for children and teenagers, they grew up, and still are growing up, in this advancement of technology.

    It seems like children are becoming involved with technology earlier in their lives right now than ever before. From personal experience, I’ve observed that it isn’t uncommon to be in a mall or department store and see a mom shopping for clothes while her child is in a stroller switching between apps and playing games with an iPad. In addition, the child usually knows what he or she is doing and isn’t just tapping things on the screen for fun. Also, from babysitting, I’ve observed that children as young as three to five years old can entertain themselves for hours while playing and maneuvering all around the world of Minecraft. Minecraft is a sand-box style video game in which the user collects various resources spread across a randomly generated world and attempts to survive for as long as possible by crafting weapons, food, armor, and shelter. Although children nowadays are very tech savvy, many people fear for their development of social skills. With the escalation in number of children using technology, peer-to-peer interactions seem to have started dropping. Kids are beginning to prefer to amuse themselves with video games and apps rather than going out to play which is essential for their development of character, personality, and social skills.

    Although it appears that technology is detrimental to a child’s growth; that is not always the case. Through many tests, results have been found linking computer use as a form of education with an increase in a child’s cognitive skills. For example, in Douglas Clements scholarly article, Young Children and Technology, he opens with the claim, “We no longer need to ask whether the use of technology is ‘developmentally appropriate.’ It is,” (Clements 1). Clements conducted an experiment in 1999 where he had pre-schoolers use educational software on a computer while working together. Through this procedure, he observed three main results about children: those with physical and emotional disabilities can improve their self-esteem by using computers, they spend nine times as much time talking to peers while on the computer than working on a puzzle, and when they use developmental software paired with supplemental activities, increases in intelligence, verbal skills, problem solving, conceptual skills, and manual dexterity, were detected (Clements 2, 3). Despite the fact that this experiment doesn’t completely debunk the idea of technology being detrimental to a child’s growth in sociability and communication, it shines a new light on the positives of integrating technology to education.

    Similar to technology and education, the addition of technology to fitness is growing in both popularity and success. Already there are gadgets that can track your burned calories over the course of a day, the number of miles you just ran, or can help you work out more efficiently. GPS watches in general are a hot new product that both runners and people who want to begin getting in shape are investing in. Specifically, the NIKE+ Sportwatch and the NIKE+ FuelBand are the top selling models, the most versatile, and the most complete. Because of its GPS capabilities, the NIKE+ Sportwatch can track your route, keep a record of your current pace, and push you towards a personal best or a set goal. Admitting both of these products are wristbands, they aren’t all just a piece of hardware. Both bands come with specific apps that sync to both the users’ band and smartphone. Through this pairing, users can track their progress on the software, add friends, and compare stats. This adds an entire new dimension to the traditional fitness world. Introducing a community aspect to becoming or staying fit provides the users with a greater incentive and motivation to continue towards their goal. Also offered in the software is the ability to collect virtual NIKE FuelPoints. FuelPoints are NIKE’s equivalent to Xbox Gamerscore, so points are rewarded whenever a goal or accomplishment is reached. The aspect of a points system helps bring in people who enjoy gaming into the fitness world where they can merge physical activity with a sort of game. Now, digital fitness is not new by any means – P90x and home fitness videos have been around for decades. But, the concept of bringing people together in one centralized app and also changing the way they think about and view fitness is revolutionary and still in its early stages.

    Following the success of NIKE’s fitness software, other independent fitness companies are attempting to dive into this still young and developing industry. The fact that 78% of teens have cell phones and 95% of them use the internet has these companies targeting young adults more than anyone else (Shyrock). In an attempt to combat childhood obesity, fitness companies want to move into the smartphone app market -something teens are familiar with. For instance, Fooducate is an app that grades food items based on how healthy they are just by scanning their UPC barcode. This app allows teens to find healthier substitutes to their favorite foods while also having a chance to win prizes through interactive contests (Shyrock). Recently, Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC, introduced the HealthCorps7 Momentum Challenge App to its student body. According to Kathleen Wilson Shyrock, in her article An App a Day, she expresses that the app, “encourages young people to make sustainable, healthy lifestyle choices by accepting challenges designed to improve their physical, nutritional, and mental health,” (Shyrock). The app is used by the entire faculty and student body throughout the school year but can also be used outside of the classroom. The Momentum Challenge App includes a progress tracker, friend list, points, badges, and a “high-five” ability used to push for student interactions (Shyrock). Overall, the app, “offers the opportunity for friendly competition and camaraderie as youth discover and take ownership of their personal health and wellness,” (Shyrock).

    Technology is advancing every day and becoming more of a part in everyone’s life. Currently, technology and communication go hand in hand. For teenagers, texting, email, and video chats, all are instant and more convenient than the traditional phone call or letter. As it is now, digital means of communication and interaction are doing well. Of course, there are and always will be technological devices that take away from true human to human interactions but branching out and embracing digital forms of communication is a step towards the future and becoming more efficient.

    Works Cited & Consulted:

    Clements, Douglas, and J. Sarama. Young children and technology. US Department of Education. Educational Resources Information Center, 1998.

    Hancock, Jeffrey T., Jennifer Thom-Santelli, and Thompson Ritchie.Deception and Design: The Impact of Communication Technology on Lying Behavior. ACM Digital Library. ACM, New York, 2004. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. .

    Luckerson, Victor. “Disruptive Technology Is Changing How Kids Learn.” TIME. TIME, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. .

    Shyrock, Kathleen Wilson. “An App A Day.” NAICS (2014): 8-10. SUMMONS. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.​

    Reflection:

    Throughout this unit, I learned how to do research using the library database, SUMMONS. At first, when thinking of a thesis statement, I would receive an overwhelming number of results, but after experimenting with the filters, I was able to narrow down my options. Using the library database helped me focus my thesis on teenage communication habits from an original, broad thesis. After finding a few sources while using SUMMONS, I discovered Google’s Scholar Database. I found that using the Google database was easier and more helpful than the library database. It sorts through scholarly journals quickly and I can usually find what I’m looking for within the first five results. Writing this paper was enjoyable because of being able to read about topics I was interested in and using them.

    Reply
  12. Joseph Bongiorno

    Today’s society is becoming ever more reliant and dependent on digital literacies and technology. Every which way you look, there are people texting, tweeting, “instagramming”, posting on Facebook, etc. It has become apparent that much of society today is become somewhat dependent on both technology and digital literacies. Coincidentally, today you see less and less people interacting face-to-face, without the interference of a phone, tablet, computer, etc. Thus is it compelling to question if these digital literacies and new forms of technology were not present throughout the past couple of decades, would our society be able to develop in the way that it has at such a rapid rate. Furthermore, has technology now placed a hindrance on the ways we think and process information? Although many have begun to question whether digital literacies, technology and social media today are truly having a positive effect, it is crucial to convey an understanding of the incredible impact all three have had on our daily lives. Digital literacies, technology, and social media have enhanced the way we think and process information, constantly evolving and providing new solutions.

    It is well apparent that today technology is very much engrained in our everyday lives. While many support technological change and the positive impact it has had, some scholars are beginning to question the impact technology, more specifically social media, is truly having today and some of the negative effects. Scholars such as Akanksha Srivastava and Ram Kalep Tiwari would undoubtedly agree with this rising belief that technology, primarily social media, is beginning to produce negative effects. In their study for the Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing titled “Role of Social Media on Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents”, the two scholars depict the negative impact of excessive use of social media sites on adolescent’s psychological well-being. Through their study conducted they came to conclusion that social media a somewhat negative impact on adolescents, who are regularly visiting any social media website. These two scholars provide a specific example in regards to some of the criticism certain aspects of technology have recently received.
    Many possibilities are put into question when thinking about how society would differ if these digital literacies would not exist. While there are many drawbacks of ever evolving technology, it is safe to say that the positives completely outweigh the social negatives drastically. This idea can be further depicted through Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy claim on digital literacy when they state:
    Under the digital literacy umbrella are numerous interrelated skills that range from basic awareness and training to foster informed citizens and to build consumer and user confidence, to highly sophisticated and more complex creative and critical literacies and outcomes. Given the constantly evolving nature of technology, acquisition of digital literacy skills represents a process of life long learning. (CCDML)
    If technology never evolved we would still be stuck in the dark ages. If technology never evolved neither would man, and we would still be hunting and gathering like savage animals. By pausing technology we limit the possibilities of ever landing on the moon, creating the Internet, and searching for a cure for cancer.
    July 20, 1969 is one of the most well known dates in United States history. On this day, the first landing on the moon took place. Apollo 11 was launched on July 16 with the following crew: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Their mission was simple — to step foot on the moon and explore it’s unknown vast depths. The crew successfully returned home with several photographs and samples of the moon. As a result, the observations the crew recorded led to groundbreaking information that would have never been found if the voyage had not taken place. In regards to the impact of the Apollo 11 flight, Armstrong himself states that it was “a beginning of a new age” (Dunbar). This can be directly attributed to the advancements made technologically, but also displays the efficiency of the technology used (proving its credibility). In the article, “NASA’s Apollo Technology has Changed History”, Sharon Gaudin – author for the website Computer World – somewhat depicts the ‘new age’ Armstrong is referring to. She asserts, “Many other advancements – think micro-electromechanical systems, supercomputers and microcomputers, software and microprocessors – were also created using technology developed by NASA over the past half century” (Gaudin). The technology that the Apollo 11 team used to embark on its exploration led to development and advancement of technologies used today. It goes safe to say that this perilous journey to the moon would not have been able to take place without the development of this new technology. When scholars begin to refer to the negative effects of digital literacies, technology, and social media, it is critical to observe the historical background of technology and how these forms of technologies influences feelings of innovation for higher quality technologies.

    As alluded to before, the technology that resulted from the Apollo 11 journey has helped usher in other explorations; moreover, it has assisted in the creation and innovation of other technologies, for the betterment of mankind. This assertion direct relates to the Gaudin’s stance on Apollo’s technological impact, especially when she states, “The string of Apollo mission alone […] had a critical, and often overlooked impact on technology at a key time in the computer industry” (Gaudin). One of the overlooked impacts of the technology utilized during the Apollo missions was the astronomically positive effect it had on the medical field. Medrad, an affiliate company to the pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer, was one of the first to capitalize on the development. Medrad used NASA’s Apollo technology to develop the AID implantable automatic pulse generator, which “monitors the heart continuously, recognizes the onset of a heart attack and delivers a corrective electrical shock. The pulse generator is, in effect, a miniaturized version of the defibrillator used by emergency squads and hospitals to restore rhythmic heartbeat after fibrillation” (NASA Facts). Because of Apollo’s technology, mankind has now been able to live an advantageous life. It is interesting that by just looking at the processing power and technological strength through iPhone generations, it is clear to see how fast we are moving on a technological scale. In fact technology today is so advanced that the processor in one’s iPhone contains more processing power than the space shuttle that landed man on the moon in 1969 and some of the technology NASA used (Kaku).

    Although there has been a rise in fear that using digital technology negatively affects the ways we think and process information, there have been a multitude of significant developments from technology. It is so difficult to quantify and depict the extensive role technology has had on everyday life. The significant developments made can be attributed to the advancement in technological equipment and software. This has highly contributed to the prodigious evolution within the medical field. Technology has made it possible for more advanced research of cancer. At first, research made it possible for photon therapy. This type of radiation therapy allows “a high-energy photon beam” to “affect the cells along their paths as they go through the body to get to cancer, pass through the cancer, and then exit the body.” Photon therapy is the most common form of radiation therapy for cancer patients. Although photon therapy is extremely helpful, it does have its drawbacks. Photon therapy doesn’t target a specific cell or area. Additionally, it targets the surroundings near the cancerous target, not the actual cancerous cell. Because of radiation affecting the non-cancerous cells that surround the inflicted area, there is possibility that long-term effects could come into play, such as fibrosis, memory loss, infertility, and possibly but rarely, a second cancer.
    Photon therapy was Advancements in technology have many it possible for doctors to offer a second type or variation of radiation therapy. This is called proton therapy. In this type of radiation therapy proton beams directly target the specific cancerous cells, while affecting only a minute amount of normal cells that encompass it. This type of therapy helps alleviate some of the anguish of the cancerous cells. Contrary to photon therapy, through proton therapy proton beams are thought to be able to deliver more radiation to the cancerous area while doing less damage to nearby normal tissues (ACS). Because of developments in technology, researchers are now able to better radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is just one of the numerous amount of medical innovations that has ensued from the evolution of technology. Examples such as radiation therapy and proton therapy are very important to address and spotlight, especially when adversaries of technology strongly believe that recently technology has imposed some negative effects on society.
    The last advancement in the medical field that is essential in portraying the positive effects of technological change is the Sapien transcather aortic valve. As a result of these significant developments, medical technology innovations have blossomed, such as the Sapien transcatheter aortic valve. This is “a life-saving alternative to open-heart surgery for patients who need a new valve but can’t endure the rigors of the operation” (MacRae). This groundbreaking device provides proper accommodations to patients who cannot afford the hefty costs incurred for surgery. Since surgery is not directly involved with the use of this device the patients have shorter hospitalizations, which brings down the cost of their medical bill. There have also been advancements in gene therapy. While this type of therapy is still experimental, it’s been very effective in treating patients with leukemia and other blood cancers. There has also been development in alternatives for people with issues with their retinas. This year, Second Sight, a company based in California, has received the FDA approval on their new product, a bionic eye. The patient wears glasses that capture images that are then converted into electrical pulses, which are then sent to their retinal implant and are then transmitted to the brain. This medical device helps people who are blind perceive objects and color. Without any of these developments in technology, society would not have been able to experience the drastic improvements the medical field has encountered. A notion that is somewhat overlooked is that as a result of the unbelievable evolution the medical field has undergone, the overall quality of everyday life has definitely improved.

    With technology quickly and forever evolving, the face-to-face contact between individuals has decreased drastically, while means of communication and multimedia interactions have swiftly increased. Year by year the number of personal interactions has and will progressively decrease. There are many social drawbacks with technology, but the aggregate of positive life-changing technologies that are evolving with time overpower the negative social effects, which can easily be aided or altered.

    One area that many scholars seem to undermine is how technology and social media has revolutionized communications as a whole. This is most notable throughout Generation Y, but many older demographics are taking full advantage as well. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter display the impact that technology has made on individuals communicating not only locally, but also globally. These social media sites provide a great form of communication. As each year passes, society has continued to become more technologically diverse; moreover, social media has propelled as a component of technology that seen a plethora of benefits. Without technology our society would be lost. Take a second and imagine a world without technology… (1897 words) 
    Works Cited
    CCDML. “Digital Literacy Fundamentals.” Cananda’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. Media Smarts, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
    Dunbar, Brian. “July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind.” NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
    Gaudin, Sharon. “NASA’s Apollo Technology Has Changed History.” Computerworld.com. Computer World, 20 July 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
    Kaku, Michio. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100. New York: Doubleday, 2011. Print.
    MacRae, Michael. “Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations.” Asme.org. N.p., Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
    NASA Facts. “Benefits from Apollo: Giant Leaps in Technology.” NASA Facts. 2004.07 (2004): National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Web.
    Srivastava, Akanksha, & Tiwari, Ram Kalep. “Role of Social Media on Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents.” Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing. 4.4 (March 2013): 919-922. ProQuest. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

    Reflection
    Throughout the process of not only this unit, but also the semester as a whole, I realized just how much more demanding the level of academic writing is at the collegiate level rather than at the high school level. Not to say that this was an overly difficult course, but it challenged me to write more meaningful pieces rather than just putting together prototypical 5 paragraph, 2 page essays. This unit was especially challenging for a writer like me; one who struggles with putting together large pieces of texts and doing extended amounts of research. I was worried that my argument within this essay would become too repetitive because 1650 words is a lot of content to discuss. But the more research I did, and the more I learned that I could group different arguments together because they correlated to one another allowed me to write a piece that I am pretty proud of on a personal level. I was able to overcome my weaknesses as a writer, and I feel like I developed apiece of writing that is thorough and expresses my argument as vividly as I could.
    I chose to focus on how digital literacies have positively impacted our global society because the positive benefits certainly do outweigh the negative side effects. Sure, digital literacies, in particular social media, have put a hindrance on people’s ability to interact on a personal level, but the amount of positive benefits and new explorations that have been ushered in with the introduction of technology and all of its endless possibilities have made our society, both domestically and globally, what it is today.
    Researching different aspects of life such as space travel, cancer, and various parts of the medical field, I learned just how much technology and digital literacies are responsible for. Digital literacies have impacted so many phases of modern day society, that to blame it for our own lack of interpersonal confidence would just be an unfair assessment. We should hail digital literacies and technology for all that they have brought to our ever-evolving society. (345 WORDS)

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  13. Anthe Stylianou

    Anthe Stylianou
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 1st, 2014
    Word Count: 1770

    When a child is born, their mind is considered like that of a “sponge.” They absorb information at a constant rate and pick up on the visuals and movements around them. This is why we often see parents looking like fools as they try to teach their children words by sounding out syllables in questionable voices and by generating comical noises while pointing to animals in the zoo parks. Children rely on different visuals to enhance their learning experiences. With the many innovations of today, there are numerous amounts of digital appliances that require children to be interactive with pictures and sounds on a screen. To not defy future generations of their capable intelligence, digital literacies must be incorporated, along with traditional teachings, to offer a better education for students. While the teachings of a parent are unique to a child, tools, like different applications on computers, can act as a beneficial supplement to teach a child when a parent is unable to. If communities understand the advantages and disadvantages of both digital and traditional literacies, it will become apparent as to why implementing digital literacies into curriculums should be incorporated into educational practices.
    It has always been a priority of school policy’s to be able to prepare their students for the future; to be able to give students the best shot they have at employment later in life. These life lessons start from the moment a child is born. Therefore, the school systems should be tailored to fit their ever-evolving environments. Digital literacies are a part of the future and are “here to stay,” so it is in the students’ favor to implement them as best as possible into curriculums (O’Brien and Cassandra). In most work offices today, it is nearly impossible to come across one that does not have a computer, presentation board or conference rooms filled with other technologies. Technology is so common in the work place now that more and more people work from home through various digital literacies. Workers in some companies “upgrade skills constantly and many will work from home as part of an extended team linked through expanded technology” (News). If children were not surrounded by opportunities to become familiar with these types of literacies before they are apart of the workforce, then school systems would have failed in trying to prepare students for the future.
    Regardless of the work environment, it has been proven that the implementation of digital literacies in a child’s development can further develop their analytical and comprehension skills. Digital literacies have the unique ability to be able to assimilate three of our five senses at one time. The visual, sound and touch capabilities of digital literacies complement the basic skills taught by a teacher and allow students to apply their knowledge. For example, applications like “Mastering Biology” and “Mastering Chemistry” allow teachers to alter problems and add information videos that apply the knowledge in class. Technologies like the iPad allow children to zoom in with the touch of their fingers and construct images on a digital screen which causes them to further interact with the knowledge they must comprehend. The iPad was put to the test and was able to improve the literacy of an autistic child.
    “Clinicians working at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development’s autistic services were initially skeptical about touting the iPads, but a few years ago they decided to test and see the results first hand. One child who was considered ready for technology was able to proceed with labels and identification faster than what the clinicians anticipated and within a matter of six to nine months had a good receptive vocabulary” (Panjwani).
    Not only do these types of programs further teach students, but they all efficiency with time. For example, if a professor has multiple topics he must get to in one day of class to be on track with a given syllabus, he can allow simpler topics to be taught through videos online that coincide with homework, allowing him to focus more in depth on other topics rather than skimming past them.
    Perhaps one of the most important uses of digital literacies, are their ability to give students ways to express themselves and show society their unique talents. Many young people have daily or weekly blogs that they express themselves through and act as a sanctuary for their thoughts and ideas that they might not be able to express in traditional classroom settings. However, social media’s can be abused and harmful to students if they are not taught how to actively participate and express themselves online. Integrating digital literacies into curricula can help prevent inappropriate and dangerous uses of the Internet. New technologies are the core of today’s literacies and failure to appropriately expose students to these literacies puts them at a disadvantage.
    While digital literacies are apart of our evolving future and workforce, there are basic grammar and analytical skills that must be taught before using and understanding how to function with new technologies. It cannot be expected of students to be able to format blogs posts or post analytical papers if the basics are not taught in a traditional school setting. “Recent research suggests that there are important differences between reading conventionally and reading online. Online reading requires comprehension strategies related to prior knowledge, text structures, inferencing and cognitive strategies, such as skimming, that are different from those used while reading [a] hardcopy” (Gormley and McDermott). This research proves that it is necessary to have a concrete understanding of digital literacies through traditional practices before taking advantage of online data. Some parts of a curriculum cannot be sufficiently taught solely through digital literacies.
    A main concern in school systems is the lack of knowledge that the staff has about many of the new digital literacies. Because the staff in many school systems did not grow up on curriculums that implemented digital literacies, they feel unprepared to teach students with these types of devices (O’Brien and Cassandra). Although, it is understandable that this creates an obstacle for digital literacies in curriculums, staff and policy makers should use this hurtle as an opportunity to further educate them. If the staff does not evolve with the world we cannot expect them to prepare future generations.
    Parents strive to provide their children with the best they can offer, but often money and living situations can get in the way. While digital literacies are so beneficial, they can also be very expensive. Because tax dollars pay for majority of the budget that policy makers have to work with, there might not be enough room to provide the type of expenses that different technologies of digital literacies require. However, while this is an issue for policy makers, it is important to budget expenses so that there is a digital exposure for the students.
    Taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of digital literacies, these technologies are here to stay and therefore, it must be presumed “how best to weave together old, new and future literacies so that young people leave school literate in the ways of school and in the ways of the world” (O’Brien and Cassandra). This application of this idea puts children at the advantage that school systems should provide students with. Without a basis of grammatical and writing comprehension then students cannot be expected to apply their knowledge to worldly issues that impact our country.
    It is the basic of understanding literacy that calls the attention of traditional literacies as well. Without traditional literacies and hands on attention from teachers and books, children will not grasp the basic grammar skills and writing techniques that are needed to apply to standardized tests and digital literacies that they will eventually become exposed to. Also, teachers are more familiar with these traditional teachings and are more experienced in this area to aid students. It has been proven that “students who are unable to read and comprehend the basics are unlikely to meet increasing demands for appropriate inquiry and critical analysis” (Wendt). These basics start with the fundamental teaching patterns that have been effective in educating many leaders of this country. Some traditions are worth holding on to. Also, while digital literacies complement traditional teachings, they do not teach the discipline that traditional literacies can. For example, the endless times students have to write various types of genres in early English classes promotes the memorization and understanding of the formats and grammar associated with each genre.
    Another identified issue in the literacy of students is their fluency, the context of language and how students are misusing it. Wendt makes the case that as “so-called ‘literate’ students progress into high school and beyond, they are often left behind as they are not able to dissect and comprehend the difficult concepts found in upper-level texts.” Wendt goes on to discuss that other techniques have been made to promote fluency in elementary classrooms but that the most effective techniques are those of the traditional ones. Children were proven to be more successful if they worked with peers and tutors and discussed the format and parts to the sentence structure (Wendt). “Peer pairing consists of students being assigned reading partners or reading tutors and engaging in multiple reading activities. This technique has been shown to be effective at improving fluency and literacy for both general education students and students with mild reading disabilities” (Wendt). Essentially, dissecting reading materials and taking the time with tangible books was the most competent way of learning the basics for young students.
    Even though it is important to keep into consideration the values and teaching styles that children benefit from traditional literacies, it is also important to recognize that digital literacies are apart of every day life in the societies of today. Without digital literacies, the performance of the common work place, the efficiency of time management and the accuracy of work produced daily would be at a detriment. Digital literacies have provided the world with so many benefits, like medical research and connections with all places of the world, that if digital literacies are not entwined with traditional literacies then, future generations would not be adequate enough to evolve for the better.
    With the basic understandings of traditional and digital literacies future generations can help rejuvenate the planet, heal America’s relations in other countries, and cure illnesses that were thought untreatable. Digital literacies link the world and if future generations have the knowledge to understand and dissect it for all its worth, that will decide whether or not curriculums have done their student’s justice.

    Works Cited and Consulted*

    Gormley, Kathleen A and Peter McDermott. “Integrating the Digital Literacies
    into Literacy Diagnosis.” New England Reading Association Journal 49 (2014): 75-82.

    News, Nanaimo Daily. Technology changing workplace. Newspaper. Toronto:
    Infomart, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 2000.

    O’Brien, David and Scharber Cassandra. “Digital Literacies Go to
    School:Potholes and Possibilities.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 52 (2008): 66-68.

    Panjwani, Radhika. iPads Help Children Connect. Newspaper. Toronto: Torstar
    Syndication Services, a Division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, 2012.

    Wendt, Jillian L. “Combating the Crisis in Adolescent Literacy: Exploring
    Literacy in the Secondary Classroom.” American Secondary Education 41 (2013): 38-48.

    Reflection Assignment for Digital Literacies Essay

    Coming up with a topic that I felt I could elaborate on for my essay was the hardest part for me. However, researching through “Summons” on the library sight and reading through what scholarly journals reflected on about digital literacies helped me find my topic. I combined my interest in children with my viewpoint on digital literacies to devise an essay that focused specifically on how digital literacies impact students. Several scholarly journals from “Summons” helped me outline my argument so that my essay highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of digital literacies.
    The format that I chose for my essay was to address the benefits and downsides of digital literacies in society and school systems and apply that knowledge to how traditional literacies are used in school systems. This approach set up the essay to a conclusion that stated both are necessary with the ultimate goal that students would be able to have a strong understanding of the basic literacy requirements and apply them to real world uses of digital literacies online.
    Although my topic related students and how they need to be taught with both traditional and digital literacies, the students I refer to are mostly concentrated in the secondary school systems. Because learning habits are taught so early on in education, the implementation of digital literacies should be weaved into curricula at this stage in students’ development. Even though my topic had to do with children in secondary schools my target audience was mostly parents and policy makers in communities. This is the target audience that would be directly impacted from an essay like the one I have constructed and perhaps the audience that would also be the most interested.
    A risk that I took in my essay was addressing ideas and topics posed in news sources. Although I had three scholarly journal articles in my essay, I felt that the news articles I used also increased the impact of my essay. Overall, I am proud of the research and analysis that I provided on the impact of digital literacies in society.

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  14. Alison O'Leary

    Alison O’Leary
    WRT: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 3, 2014
    Word Count: 1,638
    Addicted to Social Media
    We see the advance of technology as a great thing. We’re seeing so many positives to these advances and everyday technologies are advancing. We see new types of phone and computer models almost weekly. Cars have advanced. It’s impossible to watch TV and not see a commercial for at least a new phone, a new car, or new device companies have created. Not only that but also lab technology has become so advanced and so important we are finding more cures to different diseases. Although there are so many positives, we also can see the darker side to the advances in technology, specifically digital technologies. With every increase in digital technology, we see in an increase in social media. Social media websites are the websites that are supposed to be used communication between large groups of people. Although social media websites were created with good intentions, they seem to have created more problems then good. Social media leads to dependence, cyber bullying, and poor communication skills.
    You would think that with a title like “social” media it would mean that people are becoming more social. But if you look at things closer, you’ll see that it does the opposite. People, especially the younger generations, look to social media as a way of avoiding to talk to other people face-to face. Being able to talk to people face-to-face is a skill that is very important in our daily lives. It’s important when trying to get jobs, make friends, etc. By having multiple social media sites, you are able to talk to multiple people through a computer, a phone, a tablet, and many other things. You can talk to people that you know, and also new people that you may not know yet. This can make it easier to talk to people for those people who find it hard to talk to others in person. If they use this as a way out of talking in person, they will never practice and learn how to actually talk to people, because they have a way out. Soon this will happen to a lot more people. We’ll become an antisocial society. Obviously this isn’t a good thing.
    For teens who don’t lack the ability to talk face-to-face to people, there are still some issues. Many teens, if given the choice to talk face-to-face or over a device such as social media, texting, e-mail, about a conflict, a lot of teens would do it over the device. Conflicts should always be talked to and worked out face-to-face. Miscommunication happens when conflicts are discussed via Internet, cell phone, etc. You can’t see the emotion of the other person over a device like you can in person, so it’s hard to tell over the device how the other person is truly feeling. Also, it’s easier to say things over devices that you wouldn’t normally say to a person face-to-face, which can cause problems. You may say things you regret. You could lose a friend this way, create problems with family, or many other things. We need to learn skills that will help us to work through conflicts in person so this way we can avoid miscommunication. It’s hard to be taught this however while there are many ways to avoid the in person conversation.
    Not only does social media create problems with communication, but it also is thought to be by The Daily Times to be a mental health issue (“Is Social Media Dependence A Mental Health Issue?”). They say that in moderation social media is a great thing. It’s a way for teens, and adults, to connect with friends and family, especially if they aren’t living near by like if a teen is in college or you’re overseas. But there is a growing need to always be on social media. People are obsessed with status updates, looking at other people on media sites, taking selfies, etc. 80% of people in a survey done by Sheraton Hotels and Resorts say that they access a social media site at least once a day (“Our Dependence on Social Media”). We may not know it but the obsession with social media has a lot of negative consequences. In a survey done by the Daily Times they found that teenagers that were going on social media websites more than average were more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Although it might not seem like these two things are related, if you look deeper into it you’ll see that they can be. If you are on social media websites, you have a wider range of people to talk to. Also, you have more opportunities to see pictures of people that you may or may not know and let what others do in their daily lives influence what you do in yours. If a younger kid sees pictures of people smoking and drinking alcohol, he may think that this is something a lot of “cool” kids do, and that pressures this kid into doing it himself. Social media can be a bad influence on the younger generation.
    Social Media dependence can also create inner problems as well. A lot of the times people check social media all the time it indicates insecurities. That also is the case with the growing sensation of posting selfies to social media websites, such as Instagram. People that obsessively post to social media websites and also post selfies most of the time are looking for attention from people in cyberspace. They want the attention to feel better about themselves. If they don’t get the attention that they are looking for they can feel worse about themselves then they may already feel. This can create self-esteem issues, which is never good for a person to have. Self-esteem issues can cause a person to have depression, eating disorders, drug problems, etc. This is just another way social can have negative effects on people.
    A very personal issue with social media to me is the idea of bullying over these websites. In high schools, like the one I went to, every month we would have bullying seminars throughout the school. We would do this because bullying has become a huge part of society. These seminars were thought to help students learn how to handle situations where bullying is occurring and also to try to stop bullying. One of the main types of bullying we would focus on was cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is when you send cruel texts messages or post hurtful things about someone over social media. Since saying these things happen over a device, such as a cell phone or a computer, it makes it easier in a sense to say things that you wouldn’t normally be able to say face-to-face to someone. This makes the things said even more hurtful and cruel. A lot of people have been cyber bullied or cyber bullied someone else, whether they know it or not. I know that a lot of people I know have. It’s part of our culture now a day, which isn’t a good thing. Ted Feinburg et al. found that “A 2006 study found that 45% of preteens and 30% of teens are cyber bullied while at school,” (Feinburg 26-31).
    Cyber bullying can lead to many harmful things towards the victims, just like the dependence on social media for some people. Just like face-to-face bullying, cyber bullying usually occurs when one person wants to feel in power and wants to make someone feel little compared to him or her. For the victim and can create a lot of self-esteem issues and usually leaves the person feelings helpless. A lot of cases also involve more than one person gaining up on the victim. This makes the victim feel like everyone is out to get them. In serious cases, cyber bullying can lead to suicide or attempted suicide. A story, reported by USA today includes suicide due to cyber bullying. 15 girls were bullying a 13-year-old girl named Rebecca who lived in Florida online from her school. Rebecca jumped off a cement factory tower on September 9th of last year. Even when Rebecca changed schools the bullying continued. She had been planning suicide for a while we know because authorities found Google searches of things such as “How many over-the-counter drugs do you have to take to die?” (Stanglin 1). Things like this shouldn’t happen. The way some people feel better to say mean things over many different social media websites shows how the increase in social media websites, and digital technologies, might not be as positive as we originally think.
    Digital technologies just seem to be a part of the daily life in this generation. If you tried to go a day without using a device that has digital technologies, it would actually be a struggle to make it through the day. People spend more time on their phones and laptops then talk they do talking to their friends. People check social media websites like it is their jobs. It seems to be a great concept. Being able to keep in touch with people that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to keep in contact with. Being able to see what a great time you’re friends have in college, or while they were on vacation with their pictures that they post. But what some people don’t take into consideration is all the dangers that come along with social media websites. We don’t see the lonely girl in her room who’s considering killing herself because she was cyber bullied. We don’t see the boy who doesn’t know how to talk to people face-to-face and make friends and may never learn. We don’t understand the risks of our dependence on social media websites.

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    1. Alison O'Leary

      Alison O’Leary
      WRT 105
      Reflection

      Considering the fact that digital technologies are part of our everyday lives you would think that it would be easy to develop a thesis and write a paper about it. It was actually a lot harder than you would think. My thesis is very controversial to most people, especially the campus life. My thesis centered on the idea that social media websites are very negative. A lot of people could counter my argument by saying the positives of social media, especially because most students on campus use social media, and use it regularly. A lot of adults however might agree with me, because they don’t use social media as heavily as the younger generation. My thesis seems to be the perfect topic when trying to appeal to a wide audience.
      The content of my thesis was pretty personal to me, considering I use a couple different social media websites, which made it easier to write about. But at first I had chosen a different thesis. My original thesis was not as personal, because of that I found it very difficult to write about. I kept becoming very repetitive. I didn’t have as much information to talk about with my original thesis as well. Once I decided to change my thesis I rewrote my entire paper and I think it made it a lot stronger.
      Doing the research during this topic was another thing I struggled with throughout this unit. At first I found it very hard to find good and reliable sources. The articles and information I was finding didn’t really help me talk about my thesis. I found it very hard to find sources. Eventually, mostly after I changed my thesis topic, I was able to find sources that I thought were very reliable. I had to narrow my searches just so that way I could find articles that really pertained to my topic. I definitely think that this research paper helped me learn to judge articles as reliable and that will help me with future assignments.

      Works Cited & Consulted
      Feinburg, Ted, and Nicole Robey. “CYBERBULLYING.” 1 Mar. 2009. Prakken Publications, Inc.
      “Is Social Media Dependence a Mental Health Issue?” Daily Times 9 May 2014. HT Media Ltd.
      “Our dependence on social media.” Meetings & Conventions Feb. 2011: 17. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 1 Dec. 2014
      Stanglin, Doug, and William Welch. “Two Girls Arrested on Bullying Charges after Suicide.” USA Today. Gannett, 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. .
      Turk, Gary. “Look Up.” Video. Youtube.com. Youtube, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 16 Jul. 2014

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  15. Joseph Bongiorno

    Today’s society is becoming ever more reliant and dependent on digital literacies and technology. Every which way you look, there are people texting, tweeting, “instagramming”, posting on Facebook, etc. It has become apparent that much of society today is become somewhat dependent on both technology and digital literacies. Coincidentally, today you see less and less people interacting face-to-face, without the interference of a phone, tablet, computer, etc. Thus is it compelling to question if these digital literacies and new forms of technology were not present throughout the past couple of decades, would our society be able to develop in the way that it has at such a rapid rate. Furthermore, has technology now placed a hindrance on the ways we think and process information? Although many have begun to question whether digital literacies, technology and social media today are truly having a positive effect, it is crucial to convey an understanding of the incredible impact all three have had on our daily lives. Digital literacies, technology, and social media have enhanced the way we think and process information, constantly evolving and providing new solutions.
    It is well apparent that today technology is very much engrained in our everyday lives. While many support technological change and the positive impact it has had, some scholars are beginning to question the impact technology, more specifically social media, is truly having today and some of the negative effects. Scholars such as Akanksha Srivastava and Ram Kalep Tiwari would undoubtedly agree with this rising belief that technology, primarily social media, is beginning to produce negative effects. In their study for the Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing titled “Role of Social Media on Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents”, the two scholars depict the negative impact of excessive use of social media sites on adolescent’s psychological well-being. Through their study conducted they came to conclusion that social media a somewhat negative impact on adolescents, who are regularly visiting any social media website. These two scholars provide a specific example in regards to some of the criticism certain aspects of technology have recently received.
    Many possibilities are put into question when thinking about how society would differ if these digital literacies would not exist. While there are many drawbacks of ever evolving technology, it is safe to say that the positives completely outweigh the social negatives drastically. This idea can be further depicted through Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy claim on digital literacy when they state:
    Under the digital literacy umbrella are numerous interrelated skills that range from basic awareness and training to foster informed citizens and to build consumer and user confidence, to highly sophisticated and more complex creative and critical literacies and outcomes. Given the constantly evolving nature of technology, acquisition of digital literacy skills represents a process of life long learning. (CCDML)
    If technology never evolved we would still be stuck in the dark ages. If technology never evolved neither would man, and we would still be hunting and gathering like savage animals. By pausing technology we limit the possibilities of ever landing on the moon, creating the Internet, and searching for a cure for cancer.
    July 20, 1969 is one of the most well known dates in United States history. On this day, the first landing on the moon took place. Apollo 11 was launched on July 16 with the following crew: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Their mission was simple — to step foot on the moon and explore it’s unknown vast depths. The crew successfully returned home with several photographs and samples of the moon. As a result, the observations the crew recorded led to groundbreaking information that would have never been found if the voyage had not taken place. In regards to the impact of the Apollo 11 flight, Armstrong himself states that it was “a beginning of a new age” (Dunbar). This can be directly attributed to the advancements made technologically, but also displays the efficiency of the technology used (proving its credibility). In the article, “NASA’s Apollo Technology has Changed History”, Sharon Gaudin – author for the website Computer World – somewhat depicts the ‘new age’ Armstrong is referring to. She asserts, “Many other advancements – think micro-electromechanical systems, supercomputers and microcomputers, software and microprocessors – were also created using technology developed by NASA over the past half century” (Gaudin). The technology that the Apollo 11 team used to embark on its exploration led to development and advancement of technologies used today. It goes safe to say that this perilous journey to the moon would not have been able to take place without the development of this new technology. When scholars begin to refer to the negative effects of digital literacies, technology, and social media, it is critical to observe the historical background of technology and how these forms of technologies influences feelings of innovation for higher quality technologies.
    As alluded to before, the technology that resulted from the Apollo 11 journey has helped usher in other explorations; moreover, it has assisted in the creation and innovation of other technologies, for the betterment of mankind. This assertion direct relates to Gaudin’s stance on Apollo’s technological impact, especially when she states, “The string of Apollo mission alone […] had a critical, and often overlooked impact on technology at a key time in the computer industry” (Gaudin). One of the overlooked impacts of the technology utilized during the Apollo missions was the astronomically positive effect it had on the medical field. Medrad, an affiliate company to the pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer, was one of the first to capitalize on the development. Medrad used NASA’s Apollo technology to develop the AID implantable automatic pulse generator, which “monitors the heart continuously, recognizes the onset of a heart attack and delivers a corrective electrical shock. The pulse generator is, in effect, a miniaturized version of the defibrillator used by emergency squads and hospitals to restore rhythmic heartbeat after fibrillation” (NASA Facts). Because of Apollo’s technology, mankind has now been able to live an advantageous life. It is interesting that by just looking at the processing power and technological strength through iPhone generations, it is clear to see how fast we are moving on a technological scale. In fact technology today is so advanced that the processor in one’s iPhone contains more processing power than the space shuttle that landed man on the moon in 1969 and some of the technology NASA used (Kaku).
    Although there has been a rise in fear that using digital technology negatively affects the ways we think and process information, there have been a multitude of significant developments from technology. These significant developments made can be attributed to the advancement in technological equipment. This has highly contributed to the prodigious evolution within the medical field. Technology has made it possible for the advance research of cancer. At first, research made it possible for photon therapy. This type of radiation therapy allows “a high-energy photon beam” to “affect the cells along their paths as they go through the body to get to cancer, pass through the cancer, and then exit the body.” Photon therapy is the most common form of radiation therapy for cancer patients. Although photon therapy is extremely helpful, it also has its drawbacks. Photon therapy doesn’t target a specific cell or area; it also targets the surroundings near the cancerous target. Because of radiation affecting the non-cancerous cells, long-term effects could come into play, such as fibrosis, memory loss, infertility, and possibly but rarely, a second cancer.
    Advancements in technology have many it possible for doctors to offer a second type of radiation therapy, proton therapy. In this type of radiation therapy proton beams target the specific cancerous cells and affect very few normal cells. “Proton beams are thought to be able to deliver more radiation to the cancer while doing less damage to nearby normal tissues.” Because of developments in technology, researchers are now able to better radiation therapy.
    The last advancement in the medical field that is essential in portraying the positive effects of technological change is the Sapien transcather aortic valve. As a result of these significant developments, medical technology innovations have blossomed, such as the Sapien transcatheter aortic valve. This is “a life-saving alternative to open-heart surgery for patients who need a new valve but can’t endure the rigors of the operation” (MacRae). This groundbreaking device provides proper accommodations to patients who cannot afford the hefty costs incurred for surgery. Since surgery is not directly involved with the use of this device the patients have shorter hospitalizations, which brings down the cost of their medical bill. There have also been advancements in gene therapy. While this type of therapy is still experimental, it’s been very effective in treating patients with leukemia and other blood cancers. There has also been development in alternatives for people with issues with their retinas. This year, Second Sight, a company based in California, has received the FDA approval on their new product, a bionic eye. The patient wears glasses that capture images that are then converted into electrical pulses, which are then sent to their retinal implant and are then transmitted to the brain. This medical device helps people who are blind perceive objects and color. Without any of these developments in technology, society would not have been able to experience the drastic improvements the medical field has encountered.
    With technology quickly and forever evolving, the face-to-face contact between individuals has decreased drastically, while means of communication and multimedia interactions have swiftly increased. Year by year the number of personal interactions has and will progressively decrease. There are many social drawbacks with technology, but the aggregate of positive life-changing technologies that are evolving with time overpower the negative social effects, which can easily be aided or altered.
    One area that many scholars seem to undermine is how technology and social media has revolutionized communications as a whole. This is most notable throughout Generation Y, but many older demographics are taking full advantage as well. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter display the impact that technology has made on individuals communicating not only locally, but also globally. These social media sites provide a great form of communication. As each year passes, society has continued to become more technologically diverse; moreover, social media has propelled as a component of technology that seen a plethora of benefits. (1728 words)

    Works Cited
    CCDML. “Digital Literacy Fundamentals.” Cananda’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. Media Smarts, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
    Dunbar, Brian. “July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind.” NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
    Gaudin, Sharon. “NASA’s Apollo Technology Has Changed History.” Computerworld.com. Computer World, 20 July 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
    Kaku, Michio. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100. New York: Doubleday, 2011. Print.
    MacRae, Michael. “Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations.” Asme.org. N.p., Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
    NASA Facts. “Benefits from Apollo: Giant Leaps in Technology.” NASA Facts. 2004.07 (2004): National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Web.
    Srivastava, Akanksha, & Tiwari, Ram Kalep. “Role of Social Media on Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents.” Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing. 4.4 (March 2013): 919-922. ProQuest. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

    Reflection
    Throughout the process of not only this unit, but also the semester as a whole, I realized just how much more demanding the level of academic writing is at the collegiate level rather than at the high school level. Not to say that this was an overly difficult course, but it challenged me to write more meaningful pieces rather than just putting together prototypical 5 paragraph, 2 page essays. This unit was especially challenging for a writer like me; one who struggles with putting together large pieces of texts and doing extended amounts of research. I was worried that my argument within this essay would become too repetitive because 1650 words is a lot of content to discuss. But the more research I did, and the more I learned that I could group different arguments together because they correlated to one another allowed me to write a piece that I am pretty proud of on a personal level. I was able to overcome my weaknesses as a writer, and I feel like I developed apiece of writing that is thorough and expresses my argument as vividly as I could.
    I chose to focus on how digital literacies have positively impacted our global society because the positive benefits certainly do outweigh the negative side effects. Sure, digital literacies, in particular social media, have put a hindrance on people’s ability to interact on a personal level, but the amount of positive benefits and new explorations that have been ushered in with the introduction of technology and all of its endless possibilities have made our society, both domestically and globally, what it is today.
    Researching different aspects of life such as space travel, cancer, and various parts of the medical field, I learned just how much technology and digital literacies are responsible for. Digital literacies have impacted so many phases of modern day society, that to blame it for our own lack of interpersonal confidence would just be an unfair assessment. We should hail digital literacies and technology for all that they have brought to our ever-evolving society. (345 Words)

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  16. Brian Jacobs

    Positive Uses of Technology for Students
    Since the introduction of technology, we have depended and relied on it as a utility for our daily lives. We can now use technology in ways that couldn’t have been dreamed of in the past. Today, technology has become a pivotal part of a student’s life. It is extremely useful for a student’s education and social life. With the constant evolution of technology, students are able to use its different forms to enhance their lives.
    Millennials have been around since the introduction of technology, and continue to be apart of a time in which technologies are flourishing. Ever since elementary school students have had an iPod, computer, or cell phone. Some had to start with a Nextel flip phone that couldn’t do much more than text, call, and play a demo of Tetris. Now, students of all ages, have an iPhone, MacBook Air, Xbox 360, and many other forms of technology. They are enhancers to students’ busy everyday life. Computers and cell phones are a necessity for a student because it enables him or her to have access to anything fit for the assignment at hand. Research that used to require one to go to the library, find, and check out a book is now as easy as laying in your bed, opening up your computer, and pressing a few buttons to get where you need to go.
    Because technology is relatively new, psychologists and other social experts are just beginning to understand the effects of technology on the development of teens. Through the use of social media teens can develop depression, sleep deprivation, social anxiety, and Internet addiction(Farber 1225). There is also a growing concern regarding the effects of sexting, solicitation, and harassment. In 2010, Patchin and Hinduja discovered that students who experienced or inflicted cyber bulling had a significantly lower self-esteem than those who had not taken part in the cruel act (Farber 1226). The Pew Center’s research shows that 9% of teens between 12 and 17 have been victims to cyber bulling via text messaging and another 8% have fallen victim through social media (Farber 1226).
    Technology helps people communicate with friends and other peers. It allows for friends to create a plan for their exciting weekend. Group chats, facilitate many people talking together at once. While chatrooms have been around for a while, group chats now have the ability to share your location, send pictures and other media, and turn off notifications if you need. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine allow one to connect with others in various different mediums. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found out that 80 % of teenage internet users between the age of 12-17 use some form of social media (Farber 1225). Snapchat allows its users to send a picture to his or her friends for a short period of less then 10 seconds. This enables the user to quickly say hello to their friends and let them know that they are thinking of them. While vastly different from a normal conversation, a snap, is a new way to communicate with friends without having to take part in a traditional conversation.
    The University of Minnesota Duluth interviewed and polled their students on technology and social media. According to the “Profile of the College Student Experience” survey conducted by the UMD Office of Student Life, more than 96 percent of UMD students own a laptop/notebook computer, 94 percent of the students have a Facebook account, and 57 percent of the students own a smartphone (HT Media Ltd). Of the approximately 720 students who responded to the questions, 71 percent use Internet multiple times per day for social networking (HT Media Ltd). About 94 percent of the students log on to Facebook at least 1-2 times per day while 76 percent of the respondents have a Skype account. About 30- 40 percent of students have a profile on Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, and blogs (Blogster, Blogger, Word press) while Flickr, MySpace and Tagged were the less visited networks with only 1-15 percent students using them (HT Media Ltd). These statistics convey the fact that the majority of students use social media as a tool in their lives. It is a way to connect with your fellow peers and also with those who go to other Universities. The survey revealed that 46 percent students send 1 -25 text messages on a typical day (HT Media Ltd). Sixty-seven percent said that less than one quarter of their text messages are related to academic matters/topics (i.e., texting peers, faculty, administrators about coursework and group work) (HT Media Ltd). Texting is a great tool for students because it allows for quick communication. It also allows students to talk to each other at all times of the day no matter where they are. Now like never before, students also have access to music and videos on websites like YouTube. They allow for students to enjoy their favorite artists and to have a laugh over a viral video. Students can easily share these videos with the rest of their friends with the click of a button. Student’s social lives are greatly enhanced with the use of social media and technology.
    Technology can be used as a helpful tool to a student’s education. Laptops in the classroom allow for the student to have access to anything that can help them with the course. In addition, students can use their laptops to send each other relevant information during the class time. When out of class, students can use their laptops to write papers and conduct research. Although costly, the Smart Board is a great tool to have in the classroom. It combines the functionality of a whiteboard, computer, and a projector into a single system (Giles 36). You can use the pens to edit right on top and erase if you need to. It allows for interaction that keeps the students interested throughout the class (Giles 36). Students of this generation are always looking for stimulation and the Smart Board helps facilitate that. Another great tool for the classroom is Poll Everywhere. Teachers can create a poll online and have student’s text in their answers. This is helpful because it allows for the teacher to see where his or her students are anonymously (Byrne). The teacher can then use this feedback to gear the lesson plan towards the student’s weaknesses. Students are more interested in the class when they can spend it using technology to their advantage rather than a standard pen and paper.
    At the St. Andrews School, all students grades K through 12 are given iPads and Macbooks (Holmes). Students use their iPads to complete assignments rather than pen and paper. The iPad allows the user to better interact with the assignment with the ability to increase the size of charts and other data(Holmes). In addition, students also use the web to check their answers or get more insight on the particular topic. Teachers use a web-based editing environment for groups that allows for users to create and edit web content (Holmes). This allows the teacher and other students to post notes and other important information for everyone to see. Daniel Chisner, and eighth-grade student said, “At home, I can go to the wiki and pull up class for anything that I’ve missed”(Holmes). This feature is huge for students who need to look back at the information for class or for those who were absent for the day. Mediums like this make a student missing class a lot easier. Instead of missing out on the information and having to waste the teachers time the next day, the student has access to everything right at his or her fingertips. These iPads add a level of depth to learning that would not be achievable without technology. Students can now have access to free digital iBooks, create podcasts, use videoconferences to connect with other classrooms around the globe, and access textbooks (Holmes). Teachers at St. Andrews have noted that the iPad makes student learning more creative and engaged and helps to improve students’ critical thinking and their collaborative and communication skills (Holmes). Although the education industry was not broken, technology adds another layer to help advance learning.
    Technology is now considered to be one of the most sought of utilities. Students all around the world use it as a way to complement their lives. It has allowed for the classroom to become more engaging. Students and teachers enjoy the many benefits that technology brings to the classroom. In addition, out of class students are using social media and other forms of technology as a way to connect with each other on a different level. As technology continues to expand, the potential positive uses are endless.

    Reflection:

    When we were first asked to generate an issue based question about technology my head went in a million different directions. There are so many different aspects of technology and for me it was hard to pose a question based on just one part. I settled with, As technology continues to evolve, how can we assure that future generations don’t let technology fully take over their lives? As the I began to conduct research I realized that my question was to general. With the help my of group members, I was able to change my issue into the benefits of technology of students. It was almost a 180 for me but I believed that I would be able to find the best information with this as my topic. Summons was a great help in the research portion. It is such a large database that has great filters to find exactly what you need. Summons helped my find more in depth information to help support my thesis. Reading academic writing was a bit daunting at first until I realized that the best information comes from it. I was able to better grasp concepts from academic writing than I would from a regular website. For me, it was challenging to find the best information for my topic. While I had a wealth of sources, I wanted to make sure I put information that helped support my point and not ramble off on another subject. Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment and class. I feel more prepared for college writing than I ever have. Now when I write, I think about different techniques to better improve my writing.

    Word Count: 1863

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  17. Bobby Szigeti

    Bobby Szigeti
    Lebron
    Writing 105
    4/12/2014
    Are we too Dependent on Technology?
    The twenty-first century has seen almost unimaginable bounds in the field of technology and promises only more incredible advancements. With the rise of the internet and the smartphone our lives have changed in ways that are incomprehensible to our ancestors. As we move to a society that is more and more reliant on technology, many are losing their independence and are beginning to need the aid of technology for most everyday tasks. This is technological over dependence is especially prevalent in children and adolescents who are being raised in the information age. The effects of this overdependence on technology can be seen through a wide range of issues from underdeveloped social skills stemming from large amounts of time spent on social media, the loss of basic grammatical, spelling, arithmetic, and other skills of the sort due to tools such as spell check and calculators, and finally the ability to think critically and independently is being threatened from the constant and unending exposure to bias and opinionated sources.
    Social media since its inception has evolved quite a bit, from Myspace to Facebook to sites like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Social media is almost a completely different beast today than it was. Along with its evolution its use by children and adolescents have greatly grown. Large scale surveys have indicated that about 88% of 15 to 17 year olds use social media (Allen 18). While that number does fall slightly as age decrease, social media use remains prevalent (18). With such heavy use of social media by adolescents a slew of physiological and behavioral problems can arise. Problems with social media use tend to arise more frequently during adolescently due to the fact that it is during this time that the brain is developing many of the areas associated with self-image, decision making, and higher level social skills (18). With the rise of social media usage many standard social interactions are being replaced through social media, while new interactions are also being created exclusively through online mediums. These interactions are becoming increasingly important especially to those in the age group of 13-14 years of age (18). This is because this group in particular are more susceptible to peer pressure and what their peers think of them (18). It is due to this that children’s sense of belonging can be greatly impacted (25). Being left out or excluded can have detrimental impacts on the children and those over online interactions have shown to be just as harmful as those that happen offline (26). In general online interactions have tended to have even worse effects on other due to the lack of personalism and accountability of online interactions (21). This causes many to believe that what is said over the internet cannot come back to them. Also since there is an absence of face to face interaction on the internet, people especially children tend to say things they wouldn’t in an offline situation. What is said also tends to be far more harsh and damaging than it otherwise would have been (23). All of this can greatly impact a child’s sense of belonging which can in turn effect self-esteem, motivation and their overall happiness (21).
    Another harmful effect social media can have on children and adolescents in particular is that heavy use can cause it to take over much of their interactions on a daily basis (Allen 25). As this becomes more prevalent many adolescents become extremely concerned with their image in social media and at times care more about their identity online than they do about their offline selves (25). Many begin to put more emphasis on Facebook friends, likes, and followers than on actual real world relationships (25). This can have a multitude of negative effects. The first of which is a poor development of social and communication skills (25). Where kids used to get together and interact in person, it has now transitioned to communication through online chats. This is of particular concern for those in their teenage years (21). It is at this time that many develop important face to face communication skills as well as many friendships and what it takes to maintain healthy relationships with others. A common issue that occurs is that many adolescents develop very shallow relationships with others through social media (25). While it may appear that they are surrounded by friends in reality they are not. This exposes many to grave disappointment when those have been deemed as friends are revealed as nothing more than acquaintances. This can have heavy impacts on self-esteem and an overall positive self-image (25). Also with larger and larger portions of communication happening online it is becoming more and more common to find teenagers with forms of social anxiety or behavioral patterns associated with it. This is from simple lack of personal interactions either one on one or in social settings. These things have almost become foreign to some and can make many affected very uncomfortable and nervous (23). The wide use of the internet and especially allows some to simply avoid their problem as opposed to facing it. While not all cases can be overcome by simply having more exposure to social situations many cases deriving from overuse of social media at younger ages can be helped (23). Also allowing those affected to simply sit behind a computer and avoid their problem is allowing those to be extremely underprepared for the real world. Many situations in the real world require strong interpersonal skills and those skills are crucial for one’s success. Among these skills are presenting, conversing and collaborating with others in a work setting.
    With the rise of technology also came with the rise of many tools that helps expedite many everyday tasks while also making them significantly easier. One of the first of these time saving tools was the calculator which became small enough to carry around in the 70s. The calculator is still widely used today and is able to do a plethora of simple and complex calculations. Another and also extremely popular tool is spell check which was introduced through Microsoft Word. This tool is now widely adopted across multiple platforms and systems from internet browsers to mobile phone operating systems. While tools like these have enabled people to do task with greater speed, they also can prove to detrimental to society as whole and children and adolescents in particular. Take spell check for example, it has lulled many into a state of complacency when it comes to the realm of grammar and spelling (McCune 10). Before spell check existed being able to spell was extremely important (10). There was nothing that could fix your mistakes if a word was misspelled or help out with the spelling of a word (10). It also breeds carelessness when typing and editing essays and such on computers (10). Many have come to over rely on spell check and expect it to catch ever mistake. Even as this essay itself is being written, accuracy in typing is relatively unimportant as all it takes is for the keystrokes to land in the general vicinity for a coherent paper to be made. While this is not always a bad thing, it becomes detrimental when it allows children to avoid learning proper spelling and grammar and become incredibly dependent on technology to catch their mistakes (10).
    Calculators are another example of a tool that while helpful can allow people to become over-dependent one it. The computations of large and complex equations can be an extraordinarily time consuming task in which the calculator can do in a less than a second. It is for applications like this where calculators are very useful, especially when integrated into programs like Excel, where raw data can be input and then nearly instantly processed. Heavy use of calculators and similar applications can become very problematic when people begin to rely on them for even the most basic of calculations (McCune 10). This is becoming more and more common, especially with students who find it easier to punch numbers into a calculator than to do a little bit of metal math (10). This can prove to be very problematic since over-reliance on calculators can result in loss of confidence in arithmetic skills or even a total loss of those skills (10).
    With the rise of the Web 2.0 movement, blogs, wikis, and other online user –generated content is becoming more and more popular (Keen). While this is seen as a great thing too many that represents the democratization media. With these things many can be heard for the first time. It allows big media, Hollywood, big time studios, and international publishing houses to be circumvented allowing to common man to be heard of opposed to the media elite. While this may seem as a great and glorious thing, Web 2.0 has a dark side. While many of this user-generated content can empower many, if left unchecked it could threaten to be its own demise. In a world where nearly everyone would write, produce, and publish on their own the voices of the masses would threaten to simply drown themselves out (Keen). User-generated content that promises that everyone could be heard would be reduced down to the static of endless voices and opinions delivered through the internet, and it is in this static where the danger lies. Since all of user-generated content is created by normal people there is almost no advertising or promoting of this content. This leaves the content to be discovered and followed by the readers/listeners themselves. This becomes a problem since most of the time people will subscribe to blogs and other sources of media that reflect themselves. However online user generated content is not the only evil in the world. Today many of traditional vectors of news are becoming increasingly ideologically polarized (Keen). Outlets like The New York Times, MSNBC, and Fox News all lean heavily towards one side or the other on the political spectrum. At the same time each one has their own group of loyal followers who rely on them to know what is happening in the world around them. While each one does report events accurately everything is relayed through the stations ideological lens. When someone grows up seeing the world through that stations lens they tend be molded by it and are more entrenched in their ideology (Keen). When everything that someone reads or listens nicely line up with that person’s already existing beliefs and tastes they stop being exposed to new ideas and lines of thought. Being constantly exposed to only one set of views can in the long run damage one’s ability to think critically and prevent the development of critical thinking skills in children (Mulnix). This is because critical thinking “is both active and open to alternative points of view” and when only one point of view is only ever truly explored many tend to have a hard time accepting or even considering alternate schools of thought (Mulnix).
    For all of the detriments the expanded roles and use technology has in our everyday lives, there are also many good aspects that it brings to the table. One large use that the use of technology in the form of social media is that it can bring many people together and form a sense of community (Allen 25). Social media use has become extremely prevalent in those who are digital natives (adolescents who were raised during the technology age). Using Facebook and other such site these adolescents can find others with common interest (25). They even can use these platforms to use organize and plan events in the real world, provide nearly immediate support to people from their peers for a wide range of issues including suicide prevention, and the establishment and maintaining of relationships (21). While these are real benefits that social Medias can bring in the end their contributions do not outweigh the harm they do. While a sense of community can be built through social networking these relationships are shallow (25). While it is nice to be able to talk to somebody like minded a friendship built over the internet will never compare to one built out in the real world. When one’s network of online friends becomes large there is a real chance that it can give a false sense of friendships, but when those friends really need to be counted on there will be no one there (25).
    Another benefit technology can bring is that it can take tasks that were one menial and time consuming rather quickly. With the menial, but necessary tasks quickly dispatched time now opens up for other aspects of the work to explored and further refined. One great example is the calculator. Today equations that would takes hours or even days to do by hand can be computed ten times over in a matter of seconds with computers. This now opens up day and hours to either refine a broken equation or move on to the next problem. While this is great for those whole dwell at the utmost echelons of mathematics it poses a great problem for the average person and students in particular. As discussed previously many and especially students are becoming increasingly over-reliant on these tools (McCune 10). Allowing them to forgo learning the basics and simply relying if the machine to do it for them. This can be equated to building a house without a foundation, while it might stand for a time eventually the earth beneath it will move and the entire structure will come crashing down. So while for those a select group of people these tools are invaluable, but to the general populous these tools pose to undermine the learning of many basic, yet extremely important skills (10).
    In a world were technology is improving at an exponential rate we are finding more and more uses it. However there is a fine line between be assisted by an innovation and become completely dependent on it. We unfortunately have crossed that line. Our entire society is completely supported by it and individually we as a people depend on it for nearly everything. It threatens to make a world full of hermits through extensive use of social media. A world full of people who can barely spell and can only do five time five with the use of a calculator. Finally, a world full of those who cannot think for themselves, do not know how to interrupt anything for themselves and instead will derive all of their opinions and ideas from a few.

    Works Cited and Consulted
    Allen, Kelly A., Tracii Ryan, DeLeon L. Gray, Dennis M. Mclerney, and Lea Waters. “Social Media Use and Social Connectedness in Adolescents: The Positives and the Potential Pitfalls.” The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 31.01 (n.d.): 18- 31. Cambridge Journals. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. http://nq5hl7cp9d.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88- 2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF- 8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journ al&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Social+Media+Use+and+Social+Connectedness+in+Adol escents%3A+The+Positives+and+the+Potential+Pitfalls&rft.jtitle=The+Australian+Educ ational+and+Developmental+Psychologist&rft.au=Allen%2C+Kelly+A&rft.au=Ryan%2 C+Tracii&rft.au=Gray%2C+DeLeon+L&rft.au=McInerney%2C+Dennis+M&rft.date=20 14-07-01&rft.issn=0816-5122&rft.eissn=1839- 2504&rft.volume=31&rft.issue=1&rft.spage=18&rft.epage=31&rft_id=info:doi/10.1017 %2Fedp.2014.2&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=10_1017_edp_2014_2¶ mdict=en-US
    Keen, Andrew. “Why We Must Resist the Temptation of Web 2.0.” The Next Digital Decade: Essays onthe Future of the Internet. Ed. Berin Szoka and Aaron Marcus. Washington D.C.: techfreedom.org, 2011. 51-56. Web. 15 Aug. 2014. http://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/papers/The-Next-Digital-Decade-Essays-on- the-Future-of-the-Internet.pdf.
    McCune, Jenny C. “Technology Dependence.” Management review 88.1 (1999): 10-2. ProQuest. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. http://search.proquest.com/docview/206688912?pq-origsite=summon
    Mulnix, Jennifer W. “Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking.” Wiley Online Library. N.p., 12 June 2012. Web. 4 Oct. 2010. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libezproxy2.syr.edu/doi/10.1111/j.14695812.2010.00673. x/full
    Wentworth, Diane K., and June H. Middleton. Computers & Education 78 (2014): 306-11. ScienceDirect. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. http://nq5hl7cp9d.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88- 2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF- 8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journ al&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Technology+use+and+academic+performance&rft.jtitle= COMPUTERS+%26+EDUCATION&rft.au=Wentworth%2C+DK&rft.au=Middleton%2 C+JH&rft.date=2014-09-01&rft.pub=PERGAMON- ELSEVIER+SCIENCE+LTD&rft.issn=0360-1315&rft.eissn=1873- 782X&rft.volume=78&rft.spage=306&rft.epage=311&rft_id=info:doi/10.1016%2Fj.com pedu.2014.06.012&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=000341675100027¶md ict=en-US

    Reflection
    The main question my essays asks and seeks to answer is Technology really this great thing we all think it to be and are we become too reliant on it in our everyday lives? While seeking to answer this I used to summon to search the databases. While initially it was challenging to really find what I wanted once I got the hang of it I found it was really a quite powerful tool. The articles and sources I found using summon were immensely useful. I found that articles that reported findings to be far more useful than those that provided the authors commentary on an issue. I believe this was the case because reports on studies tended to be more unbiased, but they also went further in depth. They reported everything they found, even the things that wasn’t necessarily relevant to what the study sought to accomplish. This did not happen in many other types of articles since there is no point to include irrelevant information in article where you are trying to make a point. However I found the information that wasn’t really relevant to the original article more helpful most of the time than the rest of the info. All in all this paper really helped me realize how useful and powerful the databases.

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  18. Allix Cowan

    Allix Cowan
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    November 13, 2014
    Word Count: 1785

    Is Technology Really Helping Our Children?
    Ten years ago, if a ten year old kid was asked if they had a cell phone, the answer would most likely be no. Touchscreen phones did not exist and after school, kids would play outside. Ever since the revolution of digital literacies, parents have given their children iPads and other various devices at young ages as a way to keep them occupied. These digital literacies cause kids to sit inside on a nice day because of the different toys available for the occupation of children. Technology also stops children from going to the park and meeting new people or even playing with other friends in their classes. The revolution of digital literacies is starting to become a problem for children throughout the country and has a negative effect on children throughout the nation. Due to an overwhelming reliance on digital literacies, children may become lazier, not participating in athletic activities, and becoming less social because of their reliance on technology.
    Most children of today have iPads in their homes and iPhones that either belonging to themselves or to their parents. These devices cause children to lack motivation. The digital literacies give children information right in front of them. They are not required to go to the library to look up information. Children have the ability to get information right in front of them in forms of the various search engines that are available today. In an article written by Nicolas Carr, he argues how Google has become a problem in society by saying “For me, as for others the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such a rich source of information are many, and they’ve been widely described as duly applauded” (Carr). This defaces value of having to spend time searching for information from books and different types of sources. Technology allows children to have any type of information presented to them at any given moment.
    Another reason children will become more lazy is because of the way that technology provides children with any type information just at the touch of a button. Later in Carr’s article, he continues, “The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s become our map and our clock our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV” (Carr). The Internet which is one of the many digital literacies that exists in today’s society is taking away learning opportunities by having the capabilities stated in Carr’s article. By having these capabilities, the Internet stops the need to have to learn how to read a clock or even do simple math. Children will not have to look for the answer to problems or even physically write.
    Because of technology, lack of initiative will affect children for the rest of their lives. Digital literacies will not only affect a child’s ability to find work when it comes time to do so. It will also affect a child’s ability to be successful in the schooling level. When a child is in school, they have to be able to search for answers to questions. This applies to critical reading and even quantitative situations. New technology limits students’ potential to preform well in school. In the same article Carr says “Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may as well be reading more today than we did in the 1970’s or 1980’s… But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking- perhaps even a new sense of self” (Carr). The types of digital literacies that are becoming the norm in society are changing the different ideas that we have for specific devices and ways of completing a specific task. Even though the education system is changing to become based more on technology, skills such as critical reading and quantitative skills are very important to a child’s development.
    These impressive technologies do not only affect the productiveness of a child but also affect the ability for a child’s exercise. Children rely on running around outside as well as sports to receive their exercise. Digital literacies effect how and when a child goes outside to get exercise. Robert McCannon wrote an article that spoke about the affects of technology; he stated, “Media messages often target specific groups. They can be positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy” (McCannon, 11). Children participate in team sports as well as just going outside to play with friends. Technology supplies a new wave of occupation for children with the various apps in iPhones and iPads as well as the different gaming systems that exist in today’ society. These various games provide an alternative activity to occupy children rather than running around outside and playing with friends.
    A very important part of child development is getting exercise. In the United States, childhood obesity is becoming an issue amongst all children. At another point in McCannon’s article he argues, “Most media is controlled by commercial interests. In the United States, we see on television, what games we play, what we hear in the newspapers and magazines and, increasingly, which Internet sites we visit” (McCannon, 11). A large influence on decisions we make is based off of digital literacies. Part of the reason technology is becoming more necessary is because the media is telling us it has to be. The advertising on technology that is known to invest children just causes the children to want to play on digital literacies rather than go outside.
    Since children are so invested in digital literacies, they loose the ability to work in groups. Most of them are focused on playing on their various devices. Team athletics are very important to a child’s development because teams sports allow children to work together in teams as well as how to help people become better. Without the ability to work with a team, later in life children may not be able to work well with others in school or even later in life. Later in McCannon’s article he states, “ Media constructs fantasy worlds… Television, movies, games, websites, and songs can inspire consumers to engage in risky behaviors and lifestyles” (McCannon, 13). The influence of various technologies causes children to make decisions based off of what their characters do. Children do not understand that there is a difference between the worlds made in their video games and the real world. Digital literacies teach children that working alone to accomplish something is how tasks should be done. This does not allow children to understand what it is like to work within a team and the different problems that can arise when doing so.
    Digital literacies also cause children to be ineffective when in a social setting. Technology causes children to be less social with one another. When children are at home, they are more prone to sit on their various digital literacies and not talk to family or even friends. Digital literacies such as video games, cell phones, televisions, and even iPads cause children to have a lack of social interaction with one another. According to Robert McCannon who writes about the influence of gaming on a child’s life argues, “What makes the changing nature of the media so interesting is that the body of evidence which suggests that interaction with violent media produces an aggression has grown steadily stronger during the last decade” (McCannon). Video games have cause violence, which affects their ability to get along with friends because the ideas that video games supply. Children result to being more violent with friends and family due to the different simulations video games provide.
    With family, children are more prone to use their digital literacies. Children use their various digital literacies to occupy themselves so they are never bored. When you look at a family out for dinner, you are most likely to see each one of them doing something on their phone. The digital literacies are taking away from the ability for a child to have a conversation with their family. In an article written by Karen Wohlwen, she focuses on how the developing digital literacies affect children growing up. In her article when talking about the use of digital literacies in the home she states “… young children… are missing opportunities to explore contemporary literacy resources that offer rich potential for making meaning with visual and embodied literacies” (Wohlwen). From the developing use of digital literacies many of the children lack the idea of knowing what it is like to spend time with the family. Spending time with family helps children develop knowledge of what is right and what is wrong as well as things they might not know about themselves.
    Another place children may lose social interactions is when they are spending time with friends. Spending time with friends help children develop different types of social skills like interactions with others. Today when children have friends over they resort to playing video games instead of playing with each other. In an article written by Mary Hillman and James Marshall, they elaborate on the effects that gaming may have on children. They state, “ Young children learn from everything in the digital environment, not just from the learning content. The character depictions teach positive or negative attitudes and language” (Hillman and Marshall). The child’s decisions are made based off of the social interactions that they have. They learn from the social mistakes that they make. Digital literacies do not teach children the mistakes that they make in a social setting. Without this, children will develop problems communicating with others nicely, which can affect them throughout their lives.
    Digital literacies have become an important part of our lives as we know it and they are not going away. Yet, people can control they ways that we use them within our households. Hopefully parents worldwide will be taught that digital literacies are beneficial to a child’s development in small amounts but, when these literacies are in use for a long time, they can affect a child in a negative matter. Digital literacies can result in social problems, laziness, and obesity for children worldwide because of the amazing developments that have been made with certain digital literacies. Hence, digital literacies have a negative effect on a child’s life and can negatively effect a child’s development.

    Work Cited and Consulted
    Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic Monthly Jul
    2008:56, 58, 60, 62-63. ProQuest. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

    Hillman, Margy, and James Marshall. “Evaluation of Digital Media for Emergent
    Literacy.” Computers in the Schools 26.4 (2009): 256-70. Proquest. Web.
    3 December 2014.

    McCannon, Robert. “Adolescents and Media Literacy.” Adolescent Medicine
    Clinics 16.2 (2005): 463, 80, xi. Proquest. Web. 3 Dec. 2014.

    Wohlwend Karen E. “A is for Avatar: Young Children in Literacy 2.0 Worlds and
    Literacy 1.0 Schools.” Language Arts 88.2 (2010): 144-52. Proquest.
    Web. 3 Dec. 2014.


    Reflection
    For the unit three assignment, there were many different researching exercises that were used through the summon search engine. Through the whole process, I struggled to find a research topic that was interesting to me and suited the topic. I felt that the whole idea of digital literacies was an interesting topic since we subconsciously use the various devices within our everyday lives. I felt using summon was a great experience. I already used it for a different class but I was able to explore the search engine more by doing the research on digital literacies. The ability to refine the search to how you wanted and so you can get specific articles by using the keyword option within summon was very helpful in the research process. I feel that my essay topic mostly has to do with the development of the future children that will eventually come into university. My essay focuses on how the children of today will negatively be affected and how it will affect them and their experience within the university. My essay focuses on the use of digital literacies negatively affecting the child’s life. Some of the problem posing questions that my essay asks is the use of technology really good for the children today on a social level, exercise level, as well as on a level of laziness. The aspects of my topic that made participating in different discourse communities harder would be the idea of having to see the other side of the argument. This idea came across a lot when I was writing and even when I was researching which made it hard to do so. Reading different types of academic writing did make this easier on me though. The different types of writings gave me different ideas to elaborate on within my essay. The different type of writing made writing my essay easier to write and was extremely helpful in giving me different ideas to elaborate on. (327)

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  19. Maddy

    96% of working Americans use new communications technologies as part of their daily life and 2% use the Internet as an integral part of their jobs. (Thom File) As of August 2011, 89% of 18-19 year-olds use a social network site. (Aaron Smith) The growth of new technology has taken control of our societies everyday life. The countless hours, minutes, and seconds that people spend on the web, speaks a lot about humanity today. Our society today depends on technology. Technology has developed rapidly throughout time, which has shaped our societies behavior and interactions. The web is a new medium that, like brown states, “honors multiple forms of intelligence-abstract, textual, visual, musical, social, and kinesthetic.” The rapid increase of technology has evolved literacies to more than simply reading and writing. There are many techniques and skills that are used to properly navigate these new digital literacies and if used improperly, can cause many repercussions.
    “Computers and the Internet are as basic as pencils and paper.” (Andrea Wright) The explosion of information and accessibility has fostered the idea of information literacy as required skills for everyone. This new type of literacy, “digital literacy” is a more functional literacy compared to traditional literacies. “Digital literacy is a way of thinking but it can also be understood as complementary to the concept of media education and even synonymous with media literacy” (Tapio Varis 15) Media literacies aims to develop a more active and more knowledgeable use of the media by using one’s critical and creative ability. It takes many skills and techniques to navigate the media literacy world, which are summarized in four areas of ability by Tapio Varis “access, analysis, evaluation and creative production.” (18) Also, it contains many other skills and forms of literacy including the ones as followed: “reading and writing literacy, audiovisual literacy, and digital or information literacy.” (Tapio Varis18)
    The use of digital literacies is a very complicated process that takes a lot of skill and knowledge to use. In most schools around the world, teachers are required to teach their students how to use the newest technologies as part of their curriculum. The point of adding this into to the curriculum is to enable the students to feel more comfortable using the Web and to demonstrate its value since it’s a skill that allows one to work successfully in the digital environment. It’s hypocritical though that the teachers are teaching the students how to use them. This is so because most students are far more comfortable with using technology then most of their teachers since they have grown up using them while their teachers haven’t and are still learning how to use them.
    There are many problems and specific techniques that you have to acquire when using the Web. It’s not as easy as a click of a button like most people think; there are many specific methods when using it correctly. Computers don’t exactly do what they are told to do. There are many search engines that you use when exploring the Web. When using the search engines you have to be very specific of what you want to find. They cannot infer context or meaning; it can only look for the words you have entered. The search engine cannot distinguish for example, (Wright, Andrea) “between a bow made of a ribbon, a bow for shooting arrows, or the bow of a ship.” Techniques like putting your keyword in quotes, makes it easier for the search engine to find exactly what you’re looking for. Lack of context also can cause problems for searchers who are not strong spellers. Some engines include spell checkers that will offer suggestions such as “Did you mean…” General search engines like Google or Yahoo, generates millions of results when searching a single keyword. The Advanced Search feature helps you limit what your trying to find by using specific techniques like using a date range or location of keywords as well as limiting domains such as .com or .org in your search. If you aren’t specific when using the search engines, you can come across thousands of results, making it harder for you to find what your looking for. The results usually include the title of the page, where the keywords appeared in the text, and the URL. Websites like Kartoo.com and Ask.com are specific search engines that search your keyword through several different search engines, compiling the results together.
    Nowadays, it is possible for anyone to post information on the Internet because search engines make it easy for people to access almost everyone publishing on the Web. In Andrea Wrights article, she categorizes the way in which students should evaluate the Web to make sure it’s valid to use in four steps: 1.) The Source: Who provided the information? In the past, students would gather their information from books in the library but, today, they can by the Internet. But, everything you read online isn’t true. In today’s society, anyone can be a producer of information on the Web and are capable of writing false and inaccurate information. 2: Date: How old is the information on the Web site? A big portion of the websites on the web, aren’t updated on a regular basis causing the information can be invalid. High quality Web sites will provide a date when the information was published or revised. “Student’s should be taught to look for this information near the title of an entry or at the bottom of the page and students should be skeptical of information posted on a Web site without a date.” (Wright, Andrea) 3: Bias: why did this person post this information? Some people publishing on the web about a particular position on controversial topics may provide information that is inaccurate to try to back up their argument as best as they can. This particular problem with students is very concerning because some student’s have a very difficult time separating “fact from fiction” causing them to believe in everything they read on the Internet. 4. Audience: Who is this information for? Everything that is written on the Web is written with a specific audience in mind. The author’s tone and word use is based on which type of audience they want to attract. There are also a number of government Websites that include separate sites for students by grade levels as well as search engines that can limit their results to age-appropriate sites.
    Many people tend to take advantage of the Internet by plagiarizing other people’s work. It is very easy for someone to cut and paste information from a Web site into there own documents. Some people don’t realize that they are plagiarizing because it is very easy for people to do it without realizing. People who get caught plagiarizing face many repercussions, for example, lawsuits, and job loses, revoke degrees, or explosion from school. The reason why people cannot take other peoples work is because the creator of the work has full rights to that work, unless they agree to relinquish those rights somehow. It’s not only documents that can be plagiarized but music too. The music group that created a song can do anything with their music but others have to obtain a license. A license system allows the creator of the work to stipulate how others can and cannot legally use their work. It is very important for teachers to make aware of these issues to their students at young ages to prevent them from falling into theses bad patterns.
    Internet abuse is also exemplified In Amber Buck’s article, Examining Digital Literacy Practices on Social Network Sites, when she examines an undergraduate student, Ronnie, use of digital literacies. Ronnie thought it was a funny prank to create a person online through multiple social network sites like Facebook and twitter, portraying his girlfriend. Throughout the entire prank, he exemplified how easy it is to commit identity theft. First, he created this person using an alternate university email address. Then, he took a picture of a girl from another website, College Humor’s Hottest Girl of 2008, and put it as her profile picture. It was extremely easy for him to build up this fake person by taking information from other girl’s profiles on social media, and placing it this fake profile. Ronnie created this person as “an attempt to create what he saw as a quintessential profile for female undergraduate students at his institution: pretty, blonde, cheerful, and a fan of popular culture content.” (Amber Buck) This type of identity theft is a very common and easy thing to do, especially with all you can find on the Web these days.

    Since technology is increasing everyday, it is evident that the younger kids of our society learn how to distinctively use them, especially when it comes to the Web. These skills are evident to their everyday lives since these they are going to be using them for the rest of their lives. The more that technology improves, the more you have to be knowledgeable of them. Learning the proper rules, skills, and techniques of the Web will prevent people from falling into many severe consequences.

    Reflection:

    While walking on campus, do you ever look around to see what other people are doing? I bet that you don’t even realize that in some sort of way they are using their phones. Whether they are using their phones to check the time or on social media, more than half of the community is using their phones daily. It has become a habit to use in our society. When asked to write about digital literacies and technology, I froze up at first. It was such a broad topic that was asked of us, and I didn’t know which direction I was going to take. The first thing that I searched in the Summons toolbar was the advancement of digital literacies. Once I browsed through a number of scholarly journals and articles, I began to form my thesis. I decided to write about the affect of digital literacies and how many people use them incorrectly and abusively. I feel that my paper covers an important aspect of digital literacies. My topic is something that most people don’t think about as much when using Digital Literacies. People think that it’s as easy as a click of a button, but in reality, if used incorrectly it can cause many repercussions. This type of research paper really helped me grow as a writer. My critical thinking skills were vastly challenged throughout this entire course, but mostly in this particular assignment since we had to create our own topic to write about. My classmate’s feedback was very helpful for me because it allowed me to see all the things that I have to work on as a writer. Overall, I am very pleased with all the work that I had done in this class. All the tools that I had learned in this class will carry on for the rest of my life.

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  20. Cassandra Perrin

    Cassandra Perrin
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 2, 2014
    Word Count: 1889

    Rebranding the Forbidden Fruit

    They are everywhere. Turn around in a classroom, look across a table at a business meeting, or glance at the hands of a child, and the same thing is seen: the glow of a bitten apple. Like in the Garden of Eden, today’s society has the choice to have complete access to unlimited knowledge. And just like Adam and Eve, people are unable to resist. People “need” the newest phone, “need” to upload photos of their lattes and kids, and “need” to be continuously texting friends and family. In the past 7 years, iPhones have slipped their way into the pockets of people of all ages and areas of the world. Certainly iPhones and other smart phones have made things more convenient for society, but they do not contribute to humanity’s improvement. These expensive tools are dramatically remapping humankind in many ways: from invading moments of solitude, competing for limited time and energy, contributing to health problems, damaging communication skills, and overall lessening the human experience, resulting in a world with less meaningful relationships and lives.

    By having such a basic, “user-friendly” design, the iPhone encourages consumption. At first glance, an Apple product looks very simple. The display screen is the same on every one, full of icons for common social media apps and games. Although smart phones are one of the most developed form of technology, they appear incredibly plain, and easy to navigate. Apple’s interface has a certain “one-size-fits-all” feel, and everyone wants to fit in. iPhones have become the most popular phone. After three days of the iPhone six release, 10 million phones had been purchased world-wide. (Rosin) Our society is becoming increasingly uniform, and increasingly addicted to consumption. Smart phones restrict their users from developing other skills and spending time with family and friends. With less time spent on other interests, society grows increasingly homogenized. The more time people spend staring into their phones, the less present they become in all other areas of their lives.

    Of all the people using iPhones and iPads, children may be in the most danger. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a policy on how much time children should spend with technology. They say that children have a “critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers.” (Rosin 1) Their 2006 study found that 90% of youth under the age of two consumed a form of electronic media. Eight years later, one could only imagine that they are being exposed to much more. The AAP also recommends that 0-2 year olds should have no access to technology, while 3-5 year olds are limited to half an hour a day. These recommendations are not followed, because 2-4 year olds average over two hours a day of screen time. (Rowan) Our vision of childhood is changing quickly, because like Hanna Rosin said in her article for The Atlantic, “Norman Rockwell never painted Boy Swiping Finger on Screen”. Nowadays, there are countless apps designed for young children, even some for babies at the age of one. This generation is truly unlike any other because they are digital natives- that is, they have never been without access to the internet. They will become a combination of humans and computers that says, “Why memorize something when you can just look it up?” They may never know the satisfaction of recalling a fact deep in memory, or being able to recite a story without glancing at a screen. Who will we be without the ability to absorb information and keep it long-term? If everything has to be Googled, how will humans continue to discover and contribute to our existence?

    Besides access to immediate answers, children face other problems in their education. Extensive use of an iPad interferes with the studies of Jerome Bruner, a psychologist who has made significant contributions to human cognitive psychology. George Walker quotes Bruner by saying that “Understanding something in one way does not preclude understanding it in other ways”. (Walker 13) This clearly contradicts with touch screen toddlers, who may be able to operate Fruit Ninja on their parents’ iPads, but have absolutely no idea the difference between a watermelon and apple. Another example would be that children are able to move things across a screen by sliding their finger, but may not understand how (or even have developed the dexterity) to pick up an object and set it across the room. In other words, although children may have greater exposure and access to learning tools with technology, their development with true hands-on learning may be sacrificed.

    “Toddlers are capable of what the psychologist Jerome Bruner called ‘enactive representation’; they classify objects in the world not by using words or symbols but by making gestures” (Rosin 2). By developing this “enactive representation” alongside developing iconic and symbolic representation (image based and language based, respectively), development occurs simultaneously instead of in progression. So while toddlers are raising their hands above their head and wiggling their fingers to be picked up, they are also playing games that are teaching them to add numbers. If the stages of learning aren’t in progression, children will not process that one way of doing things is more advanced than the other; that is, when they are older, they could likely lack the decision making skills for knowing which methods are more efficient and effective in their day to day lives. (Walker 12) The future of our world is dependent upon on our children and their abilities. Cris Rowan, a famous pediatric occupational therapist, believes that “The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable. Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology” (Rowan 1).

    Parents who are raising the “digital natives” have a dilemma. Despite the intuitive benefits of smart devices, “To date, no body of research has definitively proved that the iPad will make your preschooler smarter or teach her to speak Chinese, or alternatively that it will rust her neural circuitry…” (Rosin). There are countless articles for both sides, that touch screen devices are an important (and a somewhat need) for children’s skills and education, while others argue that they are rotting the brains of all humanity. But not enough time has passed to be sure of their impact. Parents are walking blindly into the ravine, because they don’t want their kids to fall behind. However, it is known that between the ages of 0 and 2, an infants’ brain triples in size. In this time period, “early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli” (Rowan), and therefore consonant with the lack of. Far too often, parents give “their devices over to their children to mollify, pacify, or otherwise entertain them” (Rosin). The more time with touch screens, the less personal attention given to children, the less development. However, she also references a study done by Christakis, in which they showed that “Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate”(Rosin). The children being raised today have very little patience, because they have been taught not to have any. Without patience, children will fail to develop the skills needed to communicate and function in society.

    The degree to which smart phones distract people is having a negative impact on their health. Not because sleeping next to your phone causes brain cancer (although we can’t be sure), but because it worsens existing problems. Based on a study done by Tremblay, “Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity”. (Rowan) Although many argue that educational TV and games help development of the brain, they certainly don’t help the body. The more time that children spend in their bedrooms on their phones and watching TV, the less time they spend outside getting some exercise. Besides problems with obesity, technology use can cause plenty of complications for sleep. Boston College researchers found that “75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted” (Rowan). So even if those children are playing educational games, they aren’t sleeping enough to be performing better in school. But technology isn’t just distracting for children; high school and college students, and adults are faced with the daily struggle of resisting use of their phones. The phones in many ways can be compared to a nicotine addiction, because even though one may know it isn’t good for them, or they should be doing other things, they just can’t stop.

    Today’s teenagers may not have been Googling from birth, but technology plays a large role in their lives. To revisit George Walker’s article “The Significance of Jerome Bruner”, he talks about the importance of intersubjectivity, which is “the human ability to understand the minds of others, whether through language, gesture, or other means”. (Walker 13) Many teens lack communication skills because one of their main forms of conversing is through texting. Texting encourages poor grammar, and lessens their ability to speak with friends, family, and others in their lives. When you are able to text something instead of saying it face-to-face, it takes less courage. Teenagers more often lack confidence in public speaking and in their relationships, and it could be largely due to their access to smart phones. Unless teenagers get practice interacting without their cell phones, it will be a continuing challenge to overcome not being comfortable speaking without them.

    Regardless of whether or not iPhones are making a negative or positive impact, they clearly change the way that people operate in their day to day lives. Most importantly, things are changing (and will continue to) very quickly. Smart phones and devices dehumanize interaction, and focus more on speed and convenience rather than quality communication. Cell phones will not fall out of use, but it is crucial that they stop being used so often and depriving important developmental stages of children. People need to rediscover life without phones, so they can rediscover their loved ones and themselves.

    Works Cited & Consulted

    Antonia, KJ Dell. “Parents of the Touch-Screen Generation.” NY Times. NY Times, 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
    Liu, Xun, Xinchuan Liu, and Ran Wei. “Maintaining Social Connectedness in a Fast Changing World: Examining the Effects of Mobile Phone Uses on Loneliness among Teens in Tibet.”Mobile Media & Communication 2.3 (2014): 18. Sage. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. .
    Miller, Lindsay. “Call Me, Beep Me: Cell Phone Addiction.” UWIRE 2 Apr. 2014. Uloop Inc. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. .
    Rosin, Hanna. “The Touch Screen Generation.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/04/the-touch-screen-generation/309250/.
    Rowan, Cris. “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.” Huffington Post. The Huffington Post Inc., 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. .
    Suki, Norazah Mohd. “Students’ Dependence on Smart Phones.” Campus Wide Information Systems 30.2 (2013): 10. Summon. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. .
    Walker, George. “The Significance of Jerome Bruner.” The International Schools Journal 33.2 (2014): 8. ProQuest. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. .

    Reflection:

    Developing a thesis and working rough draft of a paper based on technology and its impact on our everyday life was far more challenging than expected. It was easy to run into the problem of going back and forth between having chosen topics that were much too broad, and then having an idea so specific that there wasn’t enough information to support it. For this essay, my thesis was truly evolving: it changed multiple times throughout the assignment. One of the main struggles was to efficiently use Summon. It took practice to develop the skills to search for kind of information you were looking for. Even then, once the information was found, it may have been hard to understand. When working with scholarly articles, sometimes the writing was too elevated to understand, or the statistics done were too advanced to be able to apply to this level of academic writing. However, while facing the struggles of the paper, one of the best ways to overcome them was to apply Glade’s problem-posing technique. When the drafting lost direction or even lost movement at all, I learned it was important to step back, and ask myself very open-ended questions about what I am trying to accomplish in the paper, that paragraph, and then that sentence. The problem-posing technique is a good tool for not only academic writing, but any situation when a person feels “stuck”. For example, I focused heavily on the impact of technology on young children. This particular topic didn’t intersect with much discourse happening on campus, just because on our campus, students are more focused on the effect of technology on individuals 18-22, not toddlers. However, because this is an important topic, it provided me with another paragraph for my paper. I was able to talk about the negative impacts that the overuse of technology has already had on people, so I could make the basic point of “If we think society is bad now, one could only imagine how much worse it could get..”. Overall, this paper has taught me that writing is always changing and progressing. My thesis changed, my chosen sources continually changed, and my style of writing had to be continually adjusted to meet the “academic” fit. The skills I have practiced on this assignment have bettered me for future writing.

    Reply
  21. Catherine Correia

    Catherine Correia
    WRT 105
    December 4, 2014
    Word Count: 1614
    Technology May Be Ruining Our Children Just as Vaccines and Medicine Have
    It’s no secret that many older generations think that advances in technology are the new strand of Bubonic Plague. “Millennials” are ruining society with their selfies, snapchats. Instagrams, and any other form of social media because it causes people to become attached to their phones, tablets, and laptops. On the other side of the coin, newer generations are claiming that older generations are ruining society because they have become Luddites and refuse to accept the new and helpful technological advances offered. However, while newer generations may rely a bit too much on their phones, technology has helped immensely with their education and medicine. It has become so embedded in these fields, and so many others, that many younger generations do not know what to do when faced with a situation without technology. While this may be a cause for worry in certain situations, it is currently a positive thing since they know how to work this technology and, in turn, make it better.
    As technology progresses, so does the need for change in areas such as work, education, and medicine. About 99% of schools in the United States have Internet access and about 87% of children ages twelve to seventeen go online (von Eye, Fitzgerald, E.A., and Yong 533-534). Most schools use this resource for subject related programs, such as websites that show how a molecule looks like, allowing students to research for homework in their free time, and posting homework through websites. Research also shows that “children who used the Internet more had higher scores on standardized tests of reading achievement and higher grade point averages six months, one year, and sixteen months later than did children who used the Internet less” (von Eye, Fitzgerald, E.A., and Yong 534). Technology has also helped enormously with illiteracy rates: In 1870, the illiteracy rate was 20% of people over 14 years of age in the United States with only about .6% of the population of that age group was illiterate in 1979 (Snyder). Not only this, but the graduation rates for White and Hispanic people has doubled since 1965 and tripled for African Americans (“The Percent of College Graduates Has Soared Since 1965.”)
    More and more schools also require students to write essays on a Word Document, with a specific structure, with citations from web sources and using homework sites, such as Study Island or Pearson’s Mastering Biology/Chemistry. Colleges also often require applications to be submitted via their website or Common App. This is a problem for families with low income since they may not be able to afford a computer, let alone Internet access. However, as stated by “Information Technology (IT) Use and Children’s Academic Performance”, an overwhelming majority of schools offer Internet access, which allows these students to do work during and after school.
    Work has also flowed with technology, something that has many older people upset. Gone are the days of filing papers, sending notes to other workers, putting up memos, and making copies to give to each other. Computers not only store important information, but also allow workers to email and respond and send important documents to each other quickly. While it is less of a burden to them, the older generations still gripe about the lack of human contact that email has replaced and long to have the nostalgia of pagers and briefcases full of papers in their lives again.
    Medicine is probably the area that is most affected by technology. Heated debates continue on a daily bases because of the doors that inventions and new methods have opened. For example, scientists and doctors are continuously trying to have stem cell research legalized. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can be turned into specialized cells, such as nerve cells that could help with paralysis or red blood cells that could cure sickle cell anemia. However, stem cells are only most abundantly found in fetuses and umbilical cords and, because of this, it is illegal to research it, despite the overwhelming positive research. However, though many older generations support the continuous advances in technology for medicine, they refuse to use the resources. A widespread fear of vaccines began at the start of 2014 because a false research report came out saying that vaccine not only did not work, but caused autism as well. The institutionalized ableism in place in our society today caused this panic since many parents did not want their children or themselves to have autism and thus did not vaccinate their children or themselves, which could allow diseases to mutate and make the vaccines ineffective.
    And while older generations weep about iPhones, college students have invented helpful apps for not only other students, but people with vaginas and racial minorities as well. One student invented an app that helps find scholarships most closely related to them. Menstruation apps are popular amongst those designated female at birth and apps that record police brutality and post it quickly to a social media account are helpful for those who are trying to make a change. Those still with flip phones complain about the health factors, such as how bending the neck to see the screen causes pain and how those who average more than eight hours a day looking at a bright screen blink less than the average, but the benefits of these apps outweigh the risks, especially since it may ultimately save a life (Khan).
    The question now becomes why do older generations hate technology so much? There are more instances where technology has done great things for the world than horrible things, such as advances in medicinal research, making things easier at work, which in turn pushes the company forward, and improvement in school and literacy. Many huff about how all these technological advances are making children unsociable when in reality it may be making them more sociable. With the news and gossip right at their fingertips, they know how to hold a conversation with hot button topics and gossip. Texting and social media also allow them to connect with friends easily and let’s them know what is going on with their lives while hearing about their friends’. Programs such as Skype allow face to face contact with family or friends from different areas of the country or even different continents. Many people also have social anxiety and having a phone in their hand is a lifeline: it allows them to distract themselves from a stressful situation and even reach out to someone if they need to.
    Older generations also complain about how millenials have the highest rate of mental illness and attribute this to the daily use of technology. While millenials do have a high rate of mental illness, with about 5% of the United States’ population having depression and 1.5% having anxiety for example, this can be attributed to younger people being more open to seeking professional help and not thinking that they are “crazy” because of it. Also, with the recession in place, college tuition at an all time high, and the poor job market, it is no wonder that millenials see a bleak future ahead of them,
    Despite great advances in technology, there are still numerous problems that have occurred because of these advances. For example, bending over a phone causes strain on the neck and subsequently moderate to severe neck pain. The number of people who look at a screen, whether their phone, laptop, or tablet, for more than 10 hours a day increased by 4% and as a result of this, about 70% of adults in the United States reported digital eye strain, with those aging eighteen to thirty four years old reporting the most (Khan). However, despite these issues, the benefits of technology far outweigh the problems of it. Medicine is being researched and developed each day to combat much bigger issues, such as Ebola, AIDs, and mental illnesses, which can prevent suicide, especially amongst teenagers.
    Technology has also wrought weapons for war, which has made it easier to kill people in masses. And while there are weapons to stop those people, violence is violence. The relieving part of these weapons is that death happens quickly. When wars were still fought with swords, it may have taken minutes, or even hours, for death to come. But technology has also been able to help people launch campaigns and organizations for peace and health, such as the Peace Core and Doctors Without Borders.
    Older generations often complain of technology, particularly about how it is ruining society and younger people. They long for the day of simplicity and nostalgia. However, a majority of millenials do not wish for this simplicity: work is much more efficient with computers storing important data and documents, making it easier to find information and sort out problems, literacy and graduation rates are at an all time high with information for essays and research right at their fingertips, and medicine continues to make important advances towards health, with some diseases almost eradicated. For example, between 1999 and 2007, there was only one reported case of polio, including both non paralytic and paralytic.
    While there are problems and debates because of technology, its uses, and the problems it causes, the truth is that it is an important, ever present, and necessary part of the everyday life. Without it, humanity would not have survived for as long as it has because it has made us much more organized, stable, and healthy. Humans are able to contact, help, and receive help from others across the ocean, share cultures and practices, and support each other through difficult times in a country or area and that is an amazing part of the history of the world.

    Reply
    1. Catherine Correia

      Works Cited
      Khan, Amir. “How Technology Is Hurting Your Eyes.” EverydayHealth.com. Everyday Health, 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
      “The Percent of College Graduates Has Soared Since 1965.” Current Population Survey. N.p.: U.S. Census Bureau, n.d. N. pag. Print.
      “PHI: Incidence Rates of Poliomyelitis in US.” PHI: Incidence Rates of Poliomyelitis in US. Post Polio, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
      Snyder, Thomas. “120 Years of American Education: A Statistical Portrait.” Literacy from 1870 to 1979. National Assessment of Adult Literacy, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
      Von Eye, A., H.E. Fitzgerald, E.A. Witt, and Yong Zhao. “Information Technology (IT) Use and Children’s Academic Performance.” Internet and Web Applications and Services, 2009. ICIW ’09. Fourth International Conference on (2009): n. pag. May 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

      Reply
      1. Catherine Correia

        Reflection
        I chose to do my Unit 3 essay on the disproving the older generations’ views of technology and younger generations because it is incredibly annoying to hear someone tear down something when it has done so much good. Technology has given us medicinal advances, easier contact with people, and so much more and hearing someone bad mouth it constantly is tiring, especially since it is hard to articulate my thoughts when speaking.
        And it was fun reading different articles on the subject matter, because even though one person may bring up good arguments about why technology is bad, someone would give an even better rebuttal, which helped me write my essay. A lot of what I wrote I also knew about from personal experience and from the news that I read from my tablet or phone.
        The questions my essay posed were: is technology bad for society or are some people too caught up in their nostalgia to notice the good? It’s especially thought provoking since I wrote some common counter arguments that people pose and gave my rebuttal towards them.
        While SUMMON is simple to use, I still prefer the Google method since I know what sources are scholarly enough (such as ones that end in .gov and .edu) and which to stay away from (such as personal blogs and strong opinion websites). However, the database did help me find some good articles that I could use with minimal search words.
        The one problem I had with my essay was which areas has technology affected. I knew main ones such as education and medicine, but I had a hard time finding others. I wanted them broad enough that in the following paragraphs I could describe in detail how technology has positively affected them. I also had one trouble with one of the counterargument essays because I did not know what would make a good rebuttal. However, thinking about a different aspect of the situation helped find a solution.
        Word Count: 329

        Reply
  22. Haley Robertson

    ¬Haley Robertson
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 4, 2014
    Word count: 1500

    Technology’s Negative Effect on Generation Z

    Technologies’ revolutions and improvements have created gaps between generations and have caused differences in the way life is lived for each person. Children today are living a technology-connected lifestyle that no other generation has experienced before. Technology has vastly improved over time, especially the past 10 or so years. This progression has led to people’s constant use of and reliance on technology. Of course, advances in technology are there to help us, and they do in many cases, but the younger generation has taken the use of technology to an entirely different level than any other generation has before. Kids have grown up with technology at their fingers tips. Technology has changed the way the current generation of children and all future generations of kids are living and will live in the future in negative ways.
    Today, the younger generation has access to technology like no other generation has before. Being introduced to technology at such a young age has given them benefits that nobody never before seen, but has also taken away so much. The constant use and availability of technology has drastically changed the way children today are growing up compared to how past generations did. A faster, easier way to do almost anything is always a readily available option for this generation. Of course, technology has helped make millions of advances in this world, but for the newer generation, it has taken away so many opportunities and experiences that are important to have during the time you grow up.
    As a kid, a lot of my time was spent outside with my friends. Of course, there was television and it did take up a lot of my time, but I would say there was a good balance of watching TV and using technology, and having actual face-to-face conversations with other people. My life revolved around actually being with my friends, unlike adolescents today. Today, I don’t feel kids experience the same thing. Children today spend a lot less time outside with their friends than other generations did; they tend to spend most of their time texting or tweeting their friends rather than actually spending time with them. Yes, this does make them more familiar with technology, which definitely has its benefits, but there’s also a time where the phone needs to be put down, the computer & TV need to be shut off, and real human contact needs to be made. Basic social skills are being lost in this world of email, text and gaming. The ability to have a conversation, solve problems, and be accountable for your words and actions are suffering. Kids start their day with their alarm on their iPhone going off, they check Twitter and Instagram, play music off their computer as they get ready, texting their friends the entire time until the second they see them when they walk into the same room as them. Of course, teens and many adults do that as well, but they were not born into this routine. These kids are missing out on what this world was built on, and that’s human interaction. As they grow up, it will be interesting to see how this affects their ability to function appropriately in the world.
    The constant use of technology in the younger generation is not only causing them to lose face to face interactions, but is causing them to lack how to even have a conversation and different skills that everyone should have. For example, author Michael Osit made a handful of really good arguments. He wrote about technology causing kids to have aggressive personality traits due to exposure to violence in television. Osit discussed impulse control problems in children, due to the use of technology. When online, children tend to be more irritable and can quickly say something and start an argument they shouldn’t or that they might not say if they were speaking to the person’s face. And last but certainly not least, the problem technology brings to children’s’ social skills. Michael states “technology driven communication limits or even eliminates human interaction.” (Osit) They are constantly speaking to people through text, allowing them to think and wait as long as they desire about what they are going to say back, when this option is not available in real life, this can cause some potential social problems. Technology and social media platforms are creating a false social world for the younger generations now, and will do the same for ones in the future if this problem isn’t changed. Technology use in children should be monitored. While it can help in many instances, it can also really hurt the overall social and behavioral development of a child.
    Not only do the Internet and social networks create behavioral problems, but they can also be the cause of a much deeper problems such as anxiety, depression, and can even lead to suicide. This is where the “never say or do anything online you wouldn’t in person” quote comes into heavy play. It can be cyber bullying, or even sexual harassment through social media that can lead to bad decisions made by young people who don’t know any better or feel pressure to do something they know isn’t right. For instance, a 7th grader, Amanda Todd, was persuaded into flashing someone via webcam. The pictures never went away and the taunting from her peers was so terribly awful and she ended up committing suicide. (Buckley) The constant use and naive trust of the Internet and social networks by children and teens is so common, and clearly leads to huge problems. As psychologist Simon Ndaula said, “Preventing a teenager from accessing the social media is close to impossible because they will access it anywhere either from their friends’ gadgets or the internet cafes they visit.” (es Salaam)
    Some may think that the gap between my generation and the younger generation is not that big, and I can see how we have our similarities. This being said, the break between the younger generation and older generations seems even bigger. The older generation had absolutely nothing like what kids today have. These gaps can be seen as a progression in technology, which it definitely is, but it can also be seen as a regression in personal contact with people in the real world, which it also is. The abundance and continuous use of technology that is available to children today wasn’t available to other generations and it seems to be causing a severe problem in the way people interact with each other. Children are learning to talk to people through technology, versus face to face, and that is very challenging in terms of learning problem solving skills, compassion for others, how to read people’s reactions and adapt – simple social skills necessary for success and happiness in life.
    Technology definitely has its benefits, but there are a lot of negatives as well. Technology and social media have made sharing daily moments and milestones with friends and family both near and far very simple. It has also opened up the opportunity to connect with and learn about other cultures in very easy ways – it has been the catalyst for the global world we live in today. Almost anything we do can be done more efficiently, with less effort and in an immediate fashion, which allows for very fast progression in almost all areas of life. There’s no need to wait for a letter, or wait until telephone rates are low, like our parents had to. You can know what your friend in another country is up to today – right now – from what they ate, to what they saw to how they feel, immediately. All of this has greatly opened up the world and provided ever-growing benefits. Everything from production, to communication, to financial transactions happens at a pace our parents couldn’t imagine. While all of that is good for the world as a whole, the effects of having all of this immediacy from advances in technology for kids from birth, has what will probably be long lasting effects on their affect to communicate, understand responsibility for their words and actions, and understand the importance of taking a moment and thinking something through. This is the first generation to be truly digital native – growing up with access to all of these advances in technology, the advent of social media, everything available to them immediately and on demand, with parents who grew up with some of this technology so they have an appreciation for it. Previous generations had parents who were a bit resistant to the advances in technology. This generation of parents is more familiar with technology, and have a greater appreciation for it. This has led to less in terms of limitations on children, and actually, parental dependence on it to live their busy lives. With all of the benefits, this generation will grow up fully immersed in advanced technology, and in terms of development, there is clearly significant negative impact on their lives.

    Reply
    1. Haley Robertson

      Works Cited & Consulted
      Bonnie Erbe Scripps Howard, News Service. “Technology Enriches Lives
      but has Negative Side Effects.” Deseret News Sep 27 2009.
      ProQuest. Web. 27 Nov. 2014.

      Buckley, Madeline. “Discussing Social Media and Children.” McClatchy
      Tribune Business News Mar 10 2013. ProQuest. Web. 27 Nov.
      2014.

      es Salaam, Dar. “Your Child and Social Media.” The Citizen May 25 2014.
      ProQuest. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.

      “List of Generations Chart.” List of Generations Chart. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
      .

      Strachan, Emily. “New Social Media Presence is Negative.” University
      Wire Feb 27 2014. ProQuest. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.

      “Technology and Teens: Too Much?” Topeka Capital Journal: 1.
      Sep 25 2007. ProQuest. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

      Reply
    2. Haley Robertson

      Reflection

      While doing research for my unit 3 essay on the technological gap between generations and its general negative effect on the younger generation, I learned a lot. Not only did I learn about my topic, but also I learned a lot about how to find information easily through SUMMON.
      Reading and finding information on my topic was interesting because so many different views came up. There were articles that agreed with me and though technology had a negative effect on children, but of course there were articles written that did not agree with me. I think it’s important to read both the ones you will use in your paper, and ones that go against what you’re saying, whether you’re going to include that information or not. Having background information from both sides of an argument can help you prove your side even better.
      Clearly, my paper isn’t all statistics and facts; it has more of a factual opinion view. It was much easier for me to incorporate information and ideas from articles found on SUMMON than it was anything else. I based a lot of my paper on these articles and my opinion and general knowledge. Unlike the previous assignments, this essay needed specific quotes to really get the idea across.

      Reply
  23. Nicole Battiste

    Nicole Battiste
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    December 4, 2014
    Word Count: 1,739
    Game On or Gamer Over: The Positive and Negative Effects of Playing Video Games
    Video games have significantly evolved since the 1970s when today’s adults sat down to play Pong or Donkey Kong. The newest gaming consoles are as powerful as personal computers, and can accomplish many of the same tasks. And today’s games are increasingly realistic and technologically advanced. In an environment of universal play, the bulk of research on the impact of video games is focused on the potentially negative effects. Although the negative consequences of video games are important to consider, if video games are only studied and criticized for their harmfulness, then the imperative benefits will be neglected. It is crucial to consider the benefits as well because they may have the potential to enhance cognitive health and welfare in children and adolescents.
    The most discussed and researched effect of playing video games is violence. Multiple studies have resulted in evidence to support that exposure to violent video games is related to aggressive nature and physiological arousal. It is generally recognized that the fun, energizing, and exciting nature of video games stimulates increases in heart rate, blood pressure, etc…characterized as “physiological arousal” (Barlett et al. 381). Yet investigations prove that violent video games have a tendency to generate more arousal than nonviolent games. This physiological arousal can then be linked to growths in aggressive behavior and personality (Barlett et al. 380). One factor of this arousal in violent video games is the presence of blood. “Blood in video games acts as a strong prime to inform players that violence just occurred, which in turn should activate aggressive conditions” (Barlett et al. 383). Another factor is how the game responds to violent acts. An experiment done by Carnagey and Anderson found that “a driving game that rewarded the player for killing pedestrians produced higher levels of aggressive thought and aggressive behaviors than a version of the same game that punished players for killing pedestrians” (Barlett et al. 383). In the worst case scenario, if a gamer plays lots of games where violence is not punished or is encouraged, they could take that aggressiveness out on the real world. And because the game does not discourage violence, they could in turn believe that their behavior would be allowed.
    A possible reason why there is so much focus on video game violence is because of the association of violent video games with mass shootings. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the men responsible for the Cloumbine High School slayings, were reportedly avid players of “Doom” as was Evan Ramsey, who was responsible for a high school shooting in 1997 in Alaska (Jaccarino). More recently, those responsible for the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, the movie theater in Aurora Colorado, and Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut were all frequent violent video game players (Jaccarino). Then again, on this level at least, it must be questioned if it is a matter of violent video games causing such extreme violence or violent people happening to play violent video games.
    On the other hand, if asked, a lot of parents would probably say that their children spend too much time playing video games; that they are becoming mentally and physically lazy couch potatoes. However, video games actually encourage mental skills. Oddly enough, this is especially true of action games in which there is violence, particularly shooting (Granic et al. 68). Past training studies have shown that gamers who play shooter games “show faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities” (Granic et al. 68). These very spatial skills, which can likewise be acquired through formal education, can then be later applied outside the video game context. For example, it has been found that doctors who played video games at least three hours a week made fewer mistakes in surgery and completed their operations faster than those who did not play video games (Levine 14). These benefits are a probable result of the detailed, three-dimensional spaces in which the games take place and the split decision making and attention that the games require (Granic et al. 69).
    Furthermore, video games are a well-known way to acquire problem solving skills. Ranging from “Tetris” to “World of Warcraft” to “Super Mario Bros,” most video games, violent and nonviolent, are problem solving games at their core. In these games, little instruction is given about how to solve the problem at hand. Studies have shown that “exposure to these sorts of games with open-ended problems had influenced a generation of children and adolescents growing up as digital natives” (Granic et al. 69). In other words, this technology incites youths to solve problems by trial and error, which is a basic problem solving strategy that everyone uses at some point in their life. This can then be applied to help explain why digital technology in general continues to advance; because younger generations are more willing to try something new.
    Video games are also used to increase creativity. For instance, “Minecraft” is a video game specifically designed for players to create and build. The game has two modes: creative and survival. In creative mode players are given unlimited materials to build whatever they choose without any instructions. In this virtual world, basics laws of physics do not apply so there are not any limitations as to what players can choose to build. Because all of the materials are provided as square blocks, players sometimes have to use creative ways to build objects that are curved. Often they will have to make the object rather large for it to appear round. Such creativity and creative thinking acquired through gaming can inspire individuality as well as be utilized in real world situations in which one must think outside of the box to get overcome certain conditions. In survival mode, the ultimate goal is to survive and eventually kill “The Ender Dragon” in order to create whatever the player then wishes to build.
    On a different note, video games provide a large motivational benefit. Gamers develop an “incremental theory of intelligence” (i.e. intelligence is flexible and can be fostered through time and effort) (Granic et al. 71). Video games provide specific immediate feedback regarding specific efforts players have made in the game. As players progress through the game, its level of difficulty adjusts to the players’ capabilities with more difficult challenges, often requiring more “dexterity, quicker reaction times, and more complex solutions” (Granic et al. 71). Nevertheless the most beneficial motivational aspect of gaming is the element of persistence. Very rarely does a gamer stop playing the game altogether when they fail on their first attempt to complete a task in the game. Within the context of video games, “failure signals the need to remain engaged and bolster one’s efforts. When faced with failure, players are highly motivated to return to the task of winning” (Granic et al. 71). If this is then expanded into real world situations, this way of thinking can be used to contribute to better academic performance.
    Emotionally, gaming makes people happy. It has been argued that “some of the most intense positive emotional experiences are triggered in the context of playing video games” (Granic et al. 71). As a result of video games becoming more detailed and to an extent, more realistic, gamers can be further immersed in a fundamentally rewarding activity that “elicits a high sense of control while simultaneously evoking a loss of self-consciousness” (Granic et al. 72). This is a sensation denoted as a positive emotional experience. It has also been documented that it is very important for one to experience positive emotions on a daily basis. Moreover, “positive emotions help undo the detrimental and de-motivating results of negative emotions” (Granic et al. 72). Unfortunately, video games do not generate only positive emotions. This is where the issues of violence and aggression usually come into play. However, if done correctly, the video game world should be real and engaging enough to make it important to the player to accomplish the goal but safe enough to practice monitoring negative aggression in the means of achieving those goals (Granic et al. 72).
    An additional positive emotional aspect of video gaming is the idea of change. For example, may video games allow the players to switch characters, or avatars, depending on the position that they are in. Each avatar has a specific skill set that can be applied to a specific situation. When players switch avatars, they must quickly and fluidly adapt to different social and emotional goals (Granic et al. 72). Therefore, this type of gaming could “promote the ability to flexibly and efficiently reappraise emotional experiences, teaching players the benefits of dealing with frustration and anxiety in adaptive ways” (Granic et al. 72).
    The traditional gamer paradigm is a nerd who sits on the couch all day socially isolated playing games. Yet now video game technology has evolved in such a way that most, if not all, games are multiplayer. Whether it is through sitting on the couch together playing with multiple controllers, or playing in separate locations communicating with headsets, video gaming has become a rather social activity. In 2012, it was revealed that over 70% of gamers play their games with another player (Granic et al. 73). With this social element in place, gamers have to make quick decisions over who they should ally themselves with, whom they discard, as well as how to lead and follow the leader. These social skills acquired through gaming can then be taken and applied to the players’ relationships outside the gaming realm (Granic et al. 73). Going back to the violence issue, studies have shown that “those who play violent video games social (in groups) reduces feelings of hostility compared with playing alone. Likewise, violent video games played cooperatively seem to decrease players’ access to aggressive cognitions” (Granic et al. 73).
    As of right now, there isn’t an answer as to whether video games are ultimately beneficial or detrimental. As much as negative effects are researched and discussed, there are positive stigmas associated with video games. In spite of this, that doesn’t mean that children and adolescents should sit in front of a screen all day gaming. There is still much research to be done. Plus video games do inspire aggressiveness on some level. But before dismissing video games as just a means to entertain or waste time, the cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social advantages of video games should be considered.

    Reflection
    I felt a little more comfortable with writing this paper than I did the pervious to because this was a more traditional writing assignment. The most difficult part was coming up with the question and topic because we were given very few guidelines; only “digital technology and everyday life.” My paper ended up having nothing to do with my initial issue-based question. I didn’t really even know what I was searching for at first. Luckily, after browsing a bunch of articles, I found one about video games that I found interesting. I eventually acquired a sufficient amount of quotes, facts, and ideas that helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to argue. Unfortunately, that first article I found didn’t get used in the paper. I only used it as a jumping off point for further research. The actual writing of the essay was easier. Especially because I was exploring two opposite extremes of the effects of video games so the organization was simpler and I wasn’t repeating myself or running out of ideas to talk about.
    Using SUMMON was a new experience for me. I’ve worked with databases before but I’ve never used one that offers so many search results. I had to be more specific of what I was looking for. It was challenging at times reading the scholarly articles because sometimes the authors write so much about one minor issue. Not to mention that they use very sophisticated language. The material that I read was often comprised of statistics and experiments so I had to sift through all the information to find the results of those experiments and then make conclusions based off of them.
    As far as my topic intersecting with students on campus, I think that most would agree with my notion that both the good and bad of playing video games need to be recognized. It is the issue of do the negatives out way the positives that would cause debate. I also think that my argument would also appeal to parents with younger children because the more educated about video games they are, they can then decide what they think is best for their child regarding video games.
    Overall, I feel better about composing a longer essay and I now know way more about video games than I ever thought I would. (389 words)

    Reply
    1. Nicole Battiste

      Works Cited & Consulted
      Barlett, Christopher P., Craig A. Anderson, and Edward L. Swing. “Video Game Effects-Confirmed, Suspected, and Speculative: A Review of the Evidence.” Simulation & Gaming 40.3 (2009): 377-403. Summon. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. .
      Calleja, Gordon. “Digital Games and Escapism.” Games and Culture 5 (2010): 335-53. Summon. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. .
      Granic, Isabela, Adam Lobel, and Engles C.M.E. Rutger. “The Benefits of Playing Video Games.” American Psychologist 69.1 (2013): 66-78. Summon. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. .
      Jaccarino, Mike. “‘Training Simulation:’ Mass killers often share obsession with violent video games.” Fox News. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. .
      Levine, Jenny. “Why Gaming?” Library Technology Reports 42.5 (2006): 10-17. ProQuest Central. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. .

      Reply
  24. Alyssa Smith

    Alyssa Smith
    WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing
    November 15, 2014
    Word Count: 1,635
    The Rise of a Digital Language
    It is impossible to deny the increase and advancements of technology that have occurred over the past few decades. This dramatic change isn’t just affecting current and working generations, but is starting to make an impact at a very young age. The presence of all kinds of technology are beginning to affect communication and language as students progress through school, and as newer generations start to take over the working world, whole new systems and languages will be in place. This transition into a new kind of language is going to change our society’s structures for schools and the workplace, which will put pressure on older generations, and allow younger generations to thrive in a digital age.
    One of the major areas of interest that often is surpassed because its affects are just beginning to become obvious is that of technology and children. Current, older generations had much different childhoods than babies and young children growing up today. Mostly everyone over the age of 20 currently did not have their first phone or computer until high school, and in the case of their parents, not until they started working, or until these devices were even invented. The rate at which technology has advanced as increased exponentially over the past few decades that the younger generations can’t even grasp living in a world without internet, iPhones and laptops. Now when babies have developed even slightly, they are already moved on to playing with digital toys instead of the plastic cars and and blocks that the rest of us entertained ourselves with at that age. The newest generation has been born into a digital age. According to an article on the growing generation of digital natives, these children are “native speakers of the digital language of computers…in contrast to their parents, who are digital immigrants” (Bittman, Rutherford, Brown, Unsworth 18).
    There are many more opportunities for children to adapt to the digital world, and because they develop these skills while their brain is still developing, it becomes intuitive. While some studies suggest that learning digital literacies and media doesn’t override ‘older forms’ of learning, there is a lot of proof that overexposure to technology inhibits a child’s learning development (Bittman, Rutherford, Brown, Unsworth 19). The flatness of the learning that comes and develops when children watch television or play on a computer is much less rewarding in the long run. It negatively impacts their cognitive skills for later learning in school. There are new skills and ways of learning that come from digital learning and new technologies, and when a teenager’s technological skills are compared to that of their grandmother, it is clear to see. Traditional literacies are now barely a part of the beginning development stages of young children, and transitioning from engaging in digital literacies into learning in school is becoming more difficult.
    One major effect that comes from over engagement with screens and other technology is “disruption of concentration” (Bittman, Rutherford, Brown, Unsworth 19). Always having something else to check, such as an iPhone, or having to schedule time with the television to watch a certain show, keeps the mind on two tracks, preventing easy concentration. These examples do not just affect young children in elementary school, but also high school and college aged students. In the experiment conducted by the authors of an article called “Digital Natives?” parents and children were polled about use of technology and the internet in their homes. The results showed that a majority of children born in 2003-2004 had a computer in their bedroom, and almost half also had a television in their room. This incredible increased presence of technology, compared to that of older generations, can’t help but have an impact on children’s daily lives. In high school and college, it’s almost always required to have a computer, and many assignments are now due online. It is impossible to avoid the new power of the internet and technologies that use it in the recent changes of the schooling system.
    Not only is technology important to those consistently using it, but it is necessary for older generations to engage as well, to keep up with how society is progressing. According to John Palfrey, a Harvard business man, it is possible to become involved in the technology without it taking over your life. He also claims that it is “entirely false” for it to be impossible to relate to technology at all. Its purpose is to serve anyone at any time, and even those known as ‘digital immigrants’ should be able to find a use for it. In a world where technology is overriding any old fashioned way of doing things, it is upsetting to think that there really is only one way in which we’re moving forward: completely out with the old, and in with all the new (Harris).
    This transformation into an intensely digital age comes not only with attacks from older generations about the change in our children, but also with concern about their own work world. Tom Stewart acknowledges this conflict, stating that it is not “inevitably bad for us,” but it definitely comes with its consequences (Stewart 663). It is unavoidable that it is going to affect any job in the modern work place, but there are benefits and drawbacks to all of it. The changing language of the work place is an adjustment, and just like learning a foreign language, it takes time to become comfortable with it. Yet it is a different pattern of learning because of how consistent technology is through our day. There are no longer just computers at work, but now an incredible majority of homes have multiple for the whole family. Smartphones and laptops are almost required for any modern employee or student. This large presence of technology throughout our day makes the transition into a technological age a lot quicker for those who are born into it. For the older generation, this increased presence is overwhelming and makes learning the technological language more difficult. Either way, it is still a transition, and one that is becoming more and more unavoidable.
    Since it is easier for younger generations to adapt to this new technological language, it gives them an advantage in the workplace, and as students progress further in their schooling they are going to start dominating their future employers. When we enter a city or culture that has a language that is foreign to us, we are immediately uncomfortable, confused and pretty powerless. A similar phenomenon is going to begin to happen in almost every workplace. The younger generations are going to a have an advantage because they will know how to easily communicate and efficiently complete tasks that might take older generations longer to complete. The younger generation also tends to emerge itself more into technology, because it is what they are familiar with. So even as technology advances exponentially over the following years, they will still be able to adapt better because the transition will be easier. The older generation, however, will just continue to be buried down in more and more unknown territory, and their difficulty with that will prove further the language barrier that is developing.
    Technological language does not only affect those who work with it, but it affects the actual work being done. Before any sort of email or smartphone, all work was done with a lot extra effort just to get something delivered or organized. The workplace was very active, which forced every good employee to be active as well. Communication was at the basis of everything, and it forced more intimate relationships between coworkers and between people of different businesses. With an increase of technological communication, those relationships are changing, and so is the language that is used between coworkers and and businesses. Kornai puts forward the idea of the future death of digital language, claiming that “language is for communication,” and that the digital language’s inability to do that will lead to its downfall (Kornai). He insists that the passiveness of the internet is a trait that will lead to its inevitable ‘death,’ and unless it stays consistently active, it will not thrive throughout the modern workplace. The idea of Web 2.0 that Andrew Keen demonstrates in his essay is another example of how the internet can become too convenient. All glimpses of individualism, creativity and true art and talent in the work place would so easily disappear with the appearance of a system that allows anyone at anytime to post whatever they want on their own accord (Keen). Schools and businesses still have to maintain some sort of structure to stay relevant, efficient and professional, and technology can very easily get in the way of that.
    It is clear to see that technology and the rise of a digital language is unavoidable, and is soon going to impact the daily activities of every generation. The way in which each handles it is going to be different, is already different, and will make the transition into a digital age challenging for everyone involved. Yet there is no grace period, and no lowered expectations for those who cannot keep up with and learn the tricks of a new language. Although some responsibility lies on those students and employees actively working with all of it, there is also some that lies with the technology itself. Businesses and schools have to be aware of technology’s power to dominate everything and anything within no time at all. Everyone has to be aware that although things have to change, there is a way to make them change in a way that will be most beneficial in the long run.

    Reflection
    Because this essay had to have research supporting it, it was a much different writing experience than the last two essays. Even the beginning of the process was a lot different because we had to come up with our own question under a pretty broad umbrella. After reading the Web 2.0 article, I had an idea of where I wanted to go, but it was difficult at first to find key words to search in SUMMON. Once I found a few articles and had talked to some classmates about their essays, writing became a lot easier. I found good quotes and arguments in the sources I found and had a solid list of materials I wanted to use for my own argument after reading the scholarly articles online. It was definitely a challenge to get through some of the more advanced journal articles, but once I could analyze them down to my own argument, they were easier sources to use. I also learned that my question was a little bit too broad, and as I began to write, my thesis and overall argument became more specific. I had to adjust some things as I went along, but a few drafts in I finally grasped a single argument. Because the articles I found would have opposing ideas, sometimes within themselves, it was somewhat easy to find counter-arguments and problem-posing questions that I could attack in my essay. Coming at my argument from two sides helped me feel less repetitive and find my own, more specific, view on what I was trying to say. For the last two essays, I felt confident about my argument and thesis, but less so about how I supported it. This essay was almost the opposite. I felt as if I had good ideas, and the sources helped support that a lot, but my thesis took a while to get to a good place. It was hard for me to summarize such a large paper in which I felt I covered a lot of material.

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Smith

      Works Cited

      Bittman, Michael, et al. “Digital Natives? New and Old Media and Children’s Outcomes.” Australian Journal of Education 55.2 (2011): 161-75. ProQuest. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

      Harris, Christopher. “Digital?” School Library Journal 55.9 (2009): 30,n/a. ProQuest. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

      Kornai, András. “Digital Language Death.” PLoS One 8.10 (2013) ProQuest. 30 Nov. 2014 .

      Szoka, Berin, and Adam Marcus, eds. The Next Digital Decade: Essays on the
           Future of the Internet. Washington, D.C.: TechFreedom, 2010. Print.

      Reply

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