I am currently in the process of starting a new job which in itself is stressful however to compound matters I am also moving house and also country of residence. The process has so far involved just over a month living in hotels, which to most may sound like fun however you can only eat the hotel food a limited number of times before boredom sets in plus the inability to put together a light snack at random hours of the day or night is also a limitation. There is also the issue of the overall cost of living in hotels given both the cost per night and then the additional cost for food and drink. A significant amount of time has also been spent trying to find a more permanent place to live therefore requiring visits to countless estate agents and rental agents plus visits to various properties. Thankfully this phase has now passed and I have found a house and now moved in.
The current phase of the transition can be likened to living like a student. Basically the various items of furniture, etc have been ordered however as yet have not arrived and as such I am currently sleeping on the floor until the bed arrives. The only furniture currently within the house is a TV, a TV stand on which the TV sits and also a coffee table which currently doubles as the extent of our dining furniture.
So all in all things have been very busy and stressful as of late however I haven’t as yet mentioned the major cause of stress. I am without internet!!!! I am currently awaiting the installation of broadband which is due to occur in almost two weeks from now so until then I have no access to internet at home. To make matters worse mobile signal strength around my new property is very poor so I don’t even have the use of mobile internet via my phone. It is only sat here being without internet that I find myself realising how integral internet access has became to my life (Note: Writing this I am sat without internet however clearly I must have had internet to upload this blog…..the wonders of Costa Coffee!!). It provides me flexibility in accessing work materials to allow me to work beyond the normal hours of work and on weekends. I find myself writing this even although there are work related issues I want to be addressing however I am unable to without internet access. Internet provides me with a communication channel both professionally and also personally, allowing me to speak to my parents ahead of finally visiting them in person after many years away. It provides me access to services such as water and electricity services, online banking and many more services which are all important in everyday living but possibly even more important when setting up a new home. Basically the internet is no longer a luxury for me but in fact is now a necessity.
All of this leaves me wondering about the argument often stated with regards limiting student use and reliance on technology. Basically these calls all come too late as we are already reliant. Just think what would happen in your local supermarket if the computer systems went down and stopped working. I very much doubt it would be business as usual.
Now just to be clear I believe that the critical issue in current education is teaching students the skills which will set them up for life such as the 4 C’s of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and collaboration. It is also important to teach them about community, globalisation, character and resilience among other skills or characteristics. The key issue for me is that we should be engaging and using technology to help develop these skills, plus we should be encouraging students to identify new ways that technology can help them in meeting their needs and wants plus in developing these skills.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net