Technology in the Classroom: Beneficial or Not?

What do you think the perfect classroom would look like? If you were asked this question 10 or 15 years ago, you might have said comfy chairs, big desks, a chalkboard and maybe even one computer. When we think about the perfect classroom now, we think of a technology filled room from Smart Boards to laptops and everything in between. Technology to students today is just like a dictionary or an atlas to students a decade or two ago; all are simply used as tools for learning in class. These technological tools can be very beneficial to students for learning and for making school more interesting. Technology can also benefit teachers, by making their jobs easier and by allowing them to focus more on every student’s needs. But these technologies can have a negative impact on students learning. So here is my question, is technology in the classroom actually beneficial? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

images-education+tech

The Pros of Classroom Technology

Benefits for the Students

Technology is creating many opportunities for students, from learning more to having fun in class. With technology, students are able to learn so much more than if they were learning from a single textbook. Technology allows students to learn from many sources all over the world. An endless supply of information is at the tips of students’ fingers (typing anything in a search engine will allow students to learn about that subject). Also, students are able to learn in their own way at their own pace on specialized internet devices. This allows students to learn in the way that benefits them the most. Technology is making the students of today more intelligent than ever!

af1f0a85

Moreover, teachers are able to take advantage of educational apps which trick younger students into learning even when they are playing or creating. Online learning games make students more comfortable with answering questions because even if they lose the game (get the wrong answer), they have the chance to try again, learning from their mistakes. Also, a lot of students learn better when doing activities rather than watching the activities be performed. Apps give hands-on students the opportunity to perform labs, tests and activities. Another benefit of apps is that most students are able to remember theory after performing an experiment or activity. An example is interactive online labs which get students more involved in the class and allow them to understand the material taught in the lectures much faster. After I do a chemistry lab, I easily remember the associated content which helps me when studying for a test.

ipad-transforming

Furthermore, I believe that technology is keeping learning fun and interesting for the students. The use of technological devices makes students excited about being in class. Students no longer see teachers as boring lecturers. As a result, students pay attention to their teachers and also respect them more. Let’s be honest, as students, we all know that if the teacher is boring, we are going to zone out or find something more interesting to do. I am guilty of putting my head down on the desk and sleeping in class during boring lectures. In high school, instead of listening to my teacher lecture, I would do my homework assignment for that night so that I could benefit from being in class. Kids and teenagers have short attention spans and if the teacher and the material are not interesting, we lose all motivation to focus in class.

2011-10-06-Dog-Distractions

Minorities and Students with Low Income Families

It is important that all students have access to technology in the learning process. The everything is becoming more technologically advanced and young kids need to learn how to function in this digital world. I believe that technology in classrooms is important because many students cannot afford to have technology at home.The world is very high-tech, from jobs to higher education, so students need to learn the ins and outs of technology while they are young in order to prepare them for the future.

new-tech-makes-classroom_1

It is important that students learn through technology not only for their futures but also because it is more interesting. Technology in schools has shown to increase student interest and decrease dropout rates. Learning through technology is especially important for minorities, who have a higher dropping out rate, because it sparks more interest, keeping them in school.

Students with Disability

When I talk about technology, I do not just mean computers; I also mean automatic doors or elevators for students with physical disabilities. If we want kids to learn, they need to be in class, and if getting to class is harder than the class itself, what is the point of going. I understand first-hand the difficulties of getting around school because I had knee surgery and was on crutches for 3 weeks. Luckily my school had an elevator so that I did not have to go up and down stairs all day. Furthermore, technology helps teachers reach all students no matter their disability. For students with disabilities, technology is very beneficial for note taking (whether the student uses voice recognition software or the teacher emails the student the notes), for blind students (textbook reading software) or for students with impaired hearing. When I was in elementary school, a boy in my class wore hearing aids and my school had a special microphone that would amplify the sound of the teacher’s voice in his hearing aids. Technology can also help kids with mental disabilities like Autism learn. Technology is breaking the barrier of learning impairments.

Benefits for the Teachers

technology-in-the-classroom

I believe technology is very important in learning because it benefits not only the students but also the teachers. Teachers no longer have to carry around lots of books and notes because they are able to have everything on a laptop or iPad. Also, technology benefits teachers as they can easily plan and make lessons, access the curriculum and monitor students’ progress. Teachers can customize lessons for each student’s individual needs and learning type using apps like ActiveGrade, making them better at their jobs. Moreover, laptops and the internet allow teachers to make learning more interesting and interactive with videos, pictures and online activities.

The Proof

The School for Digital Kids

A-School-For-Digital-Kids

A school open in 2009 called Quest to Learn which is based on game is like learning. The students have one big challenge or “mission” that they cannot solve at the start of the term. The students go through a 10 week program of smaller challenges, learning how to do things that build up to solving that “mission”. The quests get harder and harder as students accomplish the challenges because they are continuously developing their knowledge and skill. Students cannot move on from a quest without completing the level. Moreover, kids get to design games. Game design can help kids think deeper and more abstractly, and can increase their creativity.

The Smart Table

Smart Table 442i

Smart Table 442i

The Smart Table 442i is a new technology which allows collaborative multimedia learning for 8 students. It is a touch screen table that students are able to sit at and participate in one of the many pre-made activity packs. Or teachers can create their own lesson plan using the Smart Table Toolkit. This is proof that technology is making learning more fun, interactive and collaborative as well as making teachers jobs easier.

More Classroom Technologies 

Go!Animate lets students create stories and animation videos.

Go!Animate lets students create stories and animation videos.

The article discusses 10 different tools that can help teachers make their teaching methods more efficient. Also, these technologies help students learn by making everything from class interaction to assignments easier. This article gives examples of how technology is improving education inside and outside of the classroom. I would recommend taking a look at this article because there are a lot of really cool technologies shown. It makes me wish I was still in elementary school because of all the technology students today have the opportunity to use. When I was in elementary school, I had very little access to technology (not that I am that old, but my school did not have the money to buy computers). Because of my lack of time spent on a computer, I am terrible at all things technology. I cannot even type properly (yes I am typing this blog with my 2 index fingers only)!

  

The Cons of Classroom Technology

Cost

Unfortunately, many schools do not have the funds to purchase technology and others are just unwilling to buy them. These new technologies can be very pricy. Teachers would have to be trained to operate these technologies which takes time and cost schools more money. Also, with new technologies coming out on a regular basis, it can be very expensive for schools to remain current. And schools are spending so much money on technology, that they do not have enough money for necessities like desks, paper and pencils.

Inexperience with Technology

What students find online might not be appropriate or correct information if they do not know how to properly use the internet. For example, a group of grade 5 student wanted to know if they could put a picture of a so-called “Sasquatch penis bone” that they found online in the science fair. Teachers will need to spend time with students to teach them how to use the internet properly. If they do not do this, the internet will not be beneficial to kids.

cartoon

Furthermore, some teachers do not know how use technology to benefit students. They tend to avoid technology in general because they are aware that some things you find on the internet can be disruptive. If teachers were taught in teachers college or in training courses how to us technology properly, it would be more beneficial to students. Unfortunately, teachers have not learned how to use technology in teachers college and school boards are not paying for technology training programs. Also, untrained teachers can easily become confused when trying to use the technology, which negatively affects the students by either wasting their time or by confusing the students too.

The Distraction Factor

AJEKXM

The major downside to technology in the classroom would be the distraction factor. With the wide variety of websites on the internet, kids are able to google anything to avoid paying attention in class. These distractions can inhibit students from learning and can seriously affect their academic performance. If I have my laptop open or my phone out during class, I have no clue what my prof is talking about. And I am a University student (at this point, my education actually matters)! Imagine how distracted elementary and high school student would get, knowing that their education has not started to become important yet.

distractionsToo much Focus on the Gadgets, Not on the Learning

Yes schools are getting praise for how innovative they are for having technology in their classrooms, but are the students really benefiting from it all? In some schools, students’ tests scores have been increasing, but in others there have been no improvements. Teachers are letting technology take over the entire curriculum. Teachers are putting too much emphasis on digital skills and are not spending enough time on the basics like math, reading and writing. This all comes down to knowing how and when to use technology.

The Verdict

There are more pros to technology in classrooms than cons. But the cons would need to be fixed in order for technology is classrooms to truly be beneficial. Governments need to give more funding to school so that they can purchase the necessary technologies. Teachers also need to be trained in using technology. Unfortunately, the distraction factor will always exists, so all teachers can do is make their lessons as interesting as possible. Lastly, teachers need to learn how and when to use technology.

How and When to Use Technology

?????????????????

I think almost everyone, including myself, can agree that technology in classrooms is beneficial to a certain extent. One of the big reasons for this is that low-income families do not have the means to purchase tech gadgets for the home, so it is important that schools allow students the access to technology. The real question is how much technology is beneficial? The idea of students bringing their own laptops or tablets to class may make other students uncomfortable because they cannot afford new technologies for themselves. I can relate to this because in high school, I did not have a laptop, tablet or smartphone. So when kids brought them to class to do work, it made me feel inferior to them because I could not afford anything high-tech. In my opinion, students should not bring their personal gadgets to class. I think that schools should provide the appropriate technologies to students and nothing more. There are exceptions like for students with disabilities who should bring the technologies they need to facilitate their learning.

Moreover, it is important for both the teachers and students to know how to use technology as an educational asset and not just see an iPad or laptop as interesting and expensive gimmicks. If used properly, technology has been proven to engage students as well as improve intellectual skills like reading and problem solving. And to use these devices properly, teachers will need to be trained. Professors and graduate students from Harvard believe that future teachers need to understand technology and learn how to apply it to education. Harvard actually holds seminars on how to use technology in the classroom in many different ways for current faculty and staff as well as graduate students.Technology Infused Classroom

Furthermore, technologies allow choice and diversity in teaching which promotes positive development in students. But this positive development does not come from simply using technology; it comes from using it well. Just because a teacher has technology in the classroom does not mean that students will learn to use the technology properly for their benefit. Teachers need to plan what technology is used to ensure everything is educational.

Tips for Using Technology Properly in the Classroom

  • Technology should be used for more creative activities, no just as a digital worksheet.
  • Technology should be used for a purpose, not just to keep students busy.
  • Technology should be used for new things you cannot do on paper or on the chalkboard.
  • Technology should be used to access information you cannot get from a book (videos, pictures, information from all over the world – Teachers, you have no excuse to not have the appropriate resources!)
  • Technology should be used for doing things in more efficient ways (online books reading apps instead of CD’s or cassettes)
  • Technology should be used for sharing and learning (students are able to get support from family and friends)
  • Technology should be used to connect with other classes and resources (through Skype, Twitter and blogs for example)
  • Technology should be used to create choice (all students are different – options create customized learning for each student so they can learn in the most effective way possible)

Technology infused classroom www_wvschools_com

In Conclusion

Technology in the classroom has many benefits for students as they learn in interesting, interactive and personalized ways. Technology also has consequences because of teachers not knowing how to use it properly. Moreover, technology causes lots of distractions for students, affecting their learning. Unfortunately teachers cannot do much to stop kids from getting distracted, but they can be taught how to use technology properly. With a little work by teachers, technology in classrooms can be an excellent resource. Now it is up to schools to start introducing these tech gadgets to the class if they want to ensure that their students learn properly to benefit their futures.

Advertisements

Ruining Your Future is Just a Click Away

Why did I not get that job? I was the top recruit for the team, how could the coach just drop me like that? If you have ever asked yourself that, you might want to take a look at your social media profiles. Have you posted any inappropriate comments or pictures? If so, that might just be the reason why your bright future has just been dimmed. It might come as a shock to people that employers and schools look at websites like Facebook and Twitter to collect more information about applicants. Although the information may be irrelevant or misinterpreted, employers and coaches will do anything to see and continuously monitor these profiles. This invasion of privacy is a result of inadequate privacy settings and over sharing. The only way you can insure your future is protected is to clean up your profile and make sure you think before you post.

search_detective_online_crop380w

Companies and Schools Crossing the Line of What is Right and Wrong

Many employers used to ask for passwords of social media sites on an application or during an interview. This is definitely crossing the line because asking for a password is an invasion of privacy. Some States, like Utah, are proposing a bill that would permit the fining of and employer or school if they demand for your password. It is even against Facebook’s Policy to share your account password. So good news, you have the right to refuse!

cartoon_april_30_2012

Moreover, some employers will ask the individual to open their Facebook page during an interview. This enables the employer to get around asking for the site’s password while still being able to get all the information on the profile from pictures to messages. As for University sports teams, athletes are sometimes required to “friend” their coach for constant monitoring of the players. I believe this also crosses the line.

I do not completely disagree with schools and employers wanting to look at our Twitter and Facebook profiles. There is a benefit to social media checks for companies and schools, as they can find out important information about the person they are considering hiring or giving a scholarship to. Employers want to make sure that the person they hire will not embarrass the company or cause any problems whether it is stealing or putting other employees in dangerous or uncomfortable situations. Schools want their students (especially student athletes) to be respectable people because they represent the school.

internet-privacy

Where I think companies and schools go too far, is when they look at your friends to determine what kind of person you are, and usually they get the wrong idea. Lots of your Facebook “friends” are not even people you hang out with; they might even be acquaintances you met once. For this reason, looking at your “friends” to get information about you is very inaccurate.

Unrelated and Misleading Information

Facebook was created to be a website for social interaction between university students. Its user group has greatly expanded, but Facebook still serves the same purpose. Facebook profiles are meant for causal and informal interactions with friends. It is not meant to be used as a professional resume. Most of the information has nothing to do with employable skills, and almost everything to do with personal beliefs and lifestyles. This could cause discrimination by an employer or admissions officer which is unethical.

It's strange that social sites like Facebook are more looked at than professional sites like Linkedin.

It’s strange that social sites like Facebook are more looked at than professional sites like LinkedIn.

Also, as humans we all make mistakes and bad choices. We all go out with friends for drinks, we all do crazy things when we are under the influence of alcohol and we all post pictures of our nights on Facebook. I am most definitely guilty of having pictures on my Timeline that employers would not approve of and I think most people are. Another point to make is that most people use Facebook to create a façade such as the “party animal” even though they are smart, hardworking and responsible because they want to fit in and seem more exciting.  Of course schools and employers only see the irresponsible, alcohol drinking, immature individual and not the person that would be great for the school’s reputation or for the job. When looking for jobs, potential employees have to go through police background checks and blood tests as well as provide a resume which contains education and professional history. What more will Facebook provide? I really do not think that an employer needs to know who you are dating or what is your bar of choice. If an employer saw my Facebook profile they would see that I am a typical University student that likes to go out and have fun with my friend. What they would not see is that I am a very successful and smart student athlete with a considerable amount of employment history and positive references.

In the end, I believe companies and schools need to keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. They need to have better judgement about what is unacceptable and what is just a small lack of judgement. They need to remember that the way people appear on social media sites might not be the way they are in a professional setting.

Facebook Is Partially at Fault for this Invasion of Privacy

imagesCATXVO9F

Although employers and schools cannot legally ask for a social media account password, there are other ways they can get private information about the applicant. Simply searching for the individual’s name on Google will bring up Facebook, Twitter and other pages. If the person has very private profiles, he or she simply needs to be “befriended” and all the information on the profiles will be available to the employer or admissions officer. It easier when the profile has minimal privacy settings and most information can be seen by anyone. Unfortunately Facebook defaults to a public setting, so many people may not know that pictures or post they are tagged in could be seen by anyone. Facebook should default to a private setting and allow people to change certain aspects to public if they want, since there are a greater number of people wanting a private profile.

Many people are unaware of just how open Facebook profiles are even when they thought they had adopted all the privacy settings possible. We do not realize how easily personal can be found on Facebook. I highly recommend reading this article, as it gives tips on how to protect your privacy on Facebook depending on how private you want to be.

But Who Is Really to Blame?

Yes, companies and schools might cross the line between important information and private irrelevant information, and privacy settings are less than satisfactory, but the true culprits are those that post the private information. So yes, the reason why you lost a job or schooling opportunity is YOU! You were the one that posted the inappropriate comment or picture. You were the one who allowed your friends to tag you in a revealing picture. And you were the one who did not ensure your privacy settings protected you. We all have total control over our personal profiles on social media sites. So why do we post things that we do not want people to see? Because we all know that if it is posted on the Internet, it will be seen. We need to be more careful with what we release on social media sites which means we have to put thought into what we are doing. Ask yourself what does this photo show, what does this comment say about me, what will people think when they see what I have posted, and who will see the post? We need to predict the consequences of our actions (in this case, this would be clicking the “post” icon or the enter key on the keyboard). It sounds dramatic and cliché to say that a push of a button could change your life, but it is unfortunately true.

Furthermore, out in public, people would never say the things they can type and post on their social media sites. It is like people lose all common sense and manners when it comes to Facebook or Twitter. I do not understand why people think that saying something for people to hear and posting that same comment on Facebook for people to read are completely different. They are exactly the same; no matter what, others are going to know what you think whether they hear the comment or read it. I think this privacy issue truly comes down to the individual need to be cautious and selective of what he or she puts on social media sites.

Better Safe than Sorry – How to Protect Your Future

If you don't think your mom should see it, don't post it at all; chances are your potential boss or coach might see it.

If you don’t think your mom should see it, don’t post it at all; chances are your potential boss or coach might see it.

School and Sports

Most athletes have the goal of playing in the NCAA at a University in the US. It is highly competitive to make the team not to mention get a sports scholarship. Coaches monitor the social media profiles of their potential recruits and a soon as they see a red flag, the coach will no longer show interest in the athlete. Because student athletes tend to represent the school, and are watched and judged by the public, the coaches need to ensure that no athlete will shine a negative spotlight on the team.

I can relate to this because I play soccer at a very competitive level, and I always had the possibility of getting a scholarship to a University in the US. So I did not get a Facebook profile until the beginning of University because I did not want to risk having a wall post or picture that would ruin my chances of playing soccer in the US.

My solution is a possibility for athletes but if you do wish to participate in social media, there are some points to keep in mind to insure you stay on the recruit list. Here are some social media mistakes that can cost you a sport scholarship:

  1. Inappropriate pictures – please no nudity. Try to think about what your grandmother would say if she saw the picture.
  2. Profanities (anything from an angry F-bomb after losing the game to quoting song lyrics)
  3. Violating NCAA or Specific Team Rules (ex: drinking, drugs, discriminatory comments)
  4. Forgetting to Update Privacy Settings
  5. Be careful who you “friend” and “follow” as well as what you “like”.

Work

If you do not want to get fired from your job, follow these tips (if you do want to get fired may I suggest quitting, it is much easier). On social media sites, do not complain about customers, coworkers or your boss, release company secrets, post pictures of you doing inappropriate acts at your workplace and do not post any discriminating posts.

New and Helpful Technologies

Socioclean-Startup-Featured-on-StartUpLift

Are you still worried that those tips were not enough to clean up your profiles and ensure that they are work and school appropriate? No need to worry anymore! Tools have been created to scan through Facebook or Twitter accounts and find inappropriate words or comments that you would not want an employer or admissions officer to see. If you would like to give these tools a try because my blog has scared you and you are now worrying about your future, here are two possibilities: SimpleWash and Socioclean.

Social Media Can Ruin Bright Futures: The Proof

Yuri-Wright-Tweet_1

A very successful and highly recruited high school football player from New Jersey was set to play at the University of Michigan on scholarship. He was rated the number 1 high school football player on “USA Today’s Super 25”. Due to some racist and sexually inappropriate tweets (some shown above and below), he got expelled from high school and his football scholarship was revoked.

Yuri-Wright-Tweet_3

Yuri-Wright-Tweet_2

Here are some true stories of people losing their jobs because of what they posted on their social media profiles:

  1. A woman called in sick with a migraine claiming she could work at a computer as she needed the dark. The company found out that she was on Facebook that day and got fired.
  2. A New England Patriots cheerleader got fired for a picture on Facebook of her leaning over a passed out friend with both phallic and racist symbols drawn on his face.
  3. A juror dismissed from the court case because he was caught holding a poll on his Facebook asking his friends to help him decide what side of the case to choose.
  4. Employees of Virgin Air were fired for criticizing the company’s safety regulations and passengers on Facebook.

b4

To Conclude

Hopefully, by now you are no longer surprised when I say “Ruining your future is just a click away”. When we post carelessly and inappropriately online, we all are risking the chance of losing job opportunities, getting fired from our job or losing an expensive scholarship to our “dream schools”. We will never stop companies and schools from looking at social media networks because they benefit from the information they find. So we need to learn to protect ourselves from negative posts and pictures. I would not go as far as to say never get Facebook or Twitter, but instead learn to think before you click post.

Slow Down! We are Taking Pictures Like Crazy

In the past decade, photography has become a lot more technologically advanced. Although there are benefits making the whole picture process easier, there is a major negative. We are taking way too many pictures to the point where it is ridiculous. People have become obsessed with taking pictures of themselves, of others, and of anything possible. This has also decreased the impact of true photography as an art. And finally, the number of pictures we are taking has negative effects on people. How can we fix this major issue? There have been suggestions but will society actually participate in the movements to reduce picture-taking or are they too brain washed by photography?

You think this is funny… but it is absolutely true!

You think this is funny… but it is absolutely true!

How Technology has made us Picture Crazy

Digital cameras have made taking excessive amounts of pictures easy and acceptable. Phones are so advanced that they have the camera technology close to lower end digital cameras. Before digital cameras, photographers would not take a picture unless they sure it would turn out. Film was expensive and limited the number of pictures that could be taken. With digital cameras, there are no regrets in taking a picture; the photo can easily be deleted. And with the ability to view your picture right after taking, the decision of whether or not the picture is “good” can be decided seconds after taking it. And if the picture was not up to standards, no worries, you can take the picture over again, until it is perfect thanks to the large memory storage.

imagesCAFZW0Z1

Also, there is no cost to take a picture, other than the base costs of the camera and memory card as well as minor cost of charging the battery. The price of picture-taking is much lower than it used to be, therefore the number of pictures we take is a lot higher.

Moreover, cameras are so high-tech that taking pictures requires little to no effort from the photographer because the picture-taking process has been automated. Unfortunately photography has become so popular, easy and affordable that its artistic importance and sophistication are diminished.

Another technological advancement that has increased the number of photos we take relates to storage. Before, people had to worry about where to store pictures and negatives. Nowadays, on top of having a memory card in the camera for immediate storage of pictures, computers have large enough hard drives to store all other pictures.

Taking Excessive Pictures of your Kids

How Taking Pictures of your Kids Really Affects Them

Times definitely have changed. My parents have some pictures of my brother and me in albums from when we were younger. Now parents take hundreds of pictures of their children a month. Even young children are now obsessed with getting their pictures taken. They are too busy posing for pictures and acting for videos, when they should be acting like children and playing naturally.

The real problem is that children are looking at themselves too often in pictures because of the accessibility of digital cameras, camera phones, and computers. As psychologist Alain Morin says, children are getting way more “self-focusing stimuli“. This is good, but only in small doses. Too much can lead to many problems of low self-esteem like depression and at the other extreme, narcissistic behaviors. Moreover, looking at yourself in pictures helps you become more self-aware, something that normally occurs in those awkward teenage years. Nowadays, toddlers are becoming more self-aware and are growing up way too fast. This is most definitely important for development and self-esteem but at the age of 3, this seems slightly odd. Part of what makes childhood so exciting is being unaware and not having a care in the world. In preschool, children are supposed to be naïve enough to talk to another kid they have never met and come out of the conversation being best friends.

motherlode-doll-picture-articleInline

How to Know You are Taking Way too Many Pictures
of Your Kids

  1. Your kids look angry in the pictures
  2. They only play outside when it is dark out
  3. Your kids are always naked to avoid pictures
  4. They pose for pictures when you don’t have the camera
  5. They hide their faces all the time
  6. They laugh at your popularity on Instagram
  7. They blatantly tell you to stop

I can relate to this list because my dad takes pictures of my brother and I all the time to the point where we have perfected the “duck and cover” or the “run and hide”.

imagesCA8SCIR5

Picture Taking Obsession

Some people can become obsessed with taking pictures, often it is a mother or father taking pictures of their children. They cannot leave the house without some sort of camera. They want their kids to know everything about their childhood so they would not have any questions. In an article I read, the mother was worried she would die and would not be there for her children to tell them about their childhood, so she took pictures. Her idea was that the pictures would be able to explain what she could not, so she to pictures of her children every day. What she ended up realizing that although there were lots of pictures of her kids, there were none of her and the kids. She stopped taking so many pictures because she wanted her children to remember her, not as the mother always taking the pictures, but the mom who was there with her kids to listen and play.

imagesCAP7S1E4

Forgetting the Memories – We are way too Worried

There is a Facebook groups called “Taking too many pictures because you never want to forget the memory”. It was something I used to be concerned about. And clearly many other people are too given that the Facebook page has 23, 584 likes. I have travelled a lot with my sports teams; this past summer I went to Trinidad with my field hockey team. At first, I needed to take pictures of everything and anything. Looking back over these pictures, I realized I took 20 pictures of a sulfur lake (it is one of the wonders of the world, but really it is just sulfur water with tar under it – nothing exciting really happens). Halfway through the trip, I realized I was too busy taking pictures to truly enjoy the sites I was seeing. If we want to preserve the moment, why are we taking pictures of it? When we take pictures, most likely, we are distracted with the camera from the zoom to the proper settings. And because of this, we end up actually missing the moment. Pictures are great to have, but some things are just so amazing that you could never forget them. And if I continued to occupy myself with taking pictures, I do not believe I would have experienced everything I did. When I look back on special moments, I want to remember what happened that day. The last thing I ever want to think is “Oh ya, I took pictures of that all day”.

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer” – Pee-wee Herman

On the other hand, pictures are great for remembering milestones. As
we get older and make new memories, the old ones tend to be forgotten. But when you look at a picture, those faded memories can come rushing back. Looking at old photos bring a sense of happiness as you recall the special moment. Everyone knows the old saying, “take a picture, it will last longer”, which was meant as sarcasm, but is definitely true. Taking pictures to remember moments falls into the grey area; a balance between experiencing the moment and taking pictures of the moment is needed.

memories

Ways to Fix the Addiction

Picture Taking Limit on our Gadgets?

In an article I read, the topic of limiting the number of photos taken a day is discussed by photojournalist Nick Danziger. Picture taking has become so trivial. You can take 20 pictures without thinking about it and find which one looks the best. And technology has made picture-taking so easy with built-in cameras in all our gadgets. But if the number of photos taken in a day was limited to a few, people would actually put more effort into photography like needed to be done 30 years ago. Not to mention that these excess pictures just get stored, forgotten and are never seen again. Limiting the number of pictures taken, would result in only important moments being captured with quality, and thus less pictures would be wasted and forgotten.

The Slow Photography Movement

In a single day, millions of photos will be uploaded to Facebook. Before cameras became digital, precious film was saved for special occasion and life’s milestones. Today, we are taking pictures that have no importance; there is no creativity and no emotional connection to what we photograph. A new movement called slow photography encourages us to think about the picture before we actually take it. The movement believes that if you take the time to analyse the details, the moment will forever be in your memory, instead of being lost in a picture file on the computer. The idea is to experience what is going on rather than taking a picture and forgetting about it.

The End

Excessive picture-taking has become a real problem in today’s society because of all the new digital technology. People take pictures of anything and everything because they can. This problem needs to be fixed as there are negative consequence for those who are obsessed. Although Nick Danziger’s idea of only taking on picture a day is a little over-exaggerated and unrealistic, he has the right idea. If the number of pictures you could take was limited, maybe people would put more effort into photography, and would become more decisive. As for taking pictures to remember a memory, I believe balance is needed. Yes, you should take pictures in order to remember the moment when your memory starts to forget things but you also need to take in and enjoy the moment. This is why limiting the number of pictures taken would be beneficial. You are able to remember and experience the milestone at the same time. This way you do not get distracted by the camera but you are still able to store the memory. Photography is not a bad thing, but taking too many pictures is just crazy.