Friday, November 30, 2007

My Computer is my Fingerprint

It takes patience to have a transcontinential marriage. Computers help. . . and hinder.

I was excited when my husband wanted to reclaim the 17" Inspiron he had given me as a "gift" the previous year. It's not that he's computer phobic - our Alaskan home was decorated by ebay, travelocity plans our vacations, and he's introduced me and both our families to cheap communication through Skype.

The truth is, he's always buying me "gifts" and I was glad he was asking for something for himself.

I didn't think this exchange through fully. Sure, I backed everything up to an external drive. I had endless downloads, cookies to remember passwords, bookmarks, files, pictures, and other personal artifacts. I just didn't make the time to ensure that everything had copied over.

I'm feeling as though I need a crime scene investigator to help me find that missing part of my life. My laptop was an extension of myself. Of course I miss my husband more, but there's a definite sigh when I realize that a file didn't make it to the external hard drive.

So what is it that we do to hormonally volitile students when we make rules such as "no ipods or mp3's in school" or restrict lab access during their free time?
If a laptop is a defining characteristic of one who can remember the birth of the home computer, the green screens and huge floppy disks, how significant are the gadgets preteens and teenagers use?

Hi. My name is Alicia. I am my laptop.

How can we deny students defining their identity access to the tools of their age. I understand the need for order and discipline, but let's think it through first. Let the math POW center around % of time students spend w/headphones on. Have the morning freewrite focus on the latest and greatest thing heard on an mp3 player. Lead the advisory group in discussion about what happens when the bass kicks in and the drum break rolls around.
Technological evolution is happening. Our students are walking upright, if not flying. We need to let them soar not chain them to our own understanding.

Enjoy the "evolution" of "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.

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