July 20, 2023 - Ed Tech: Savior or Saboteur? – The Shocking Truth About Your Child's Education?
Innovations Threatening Classrooms, TikTok Teachers, Brave Librarians, AI Immortality, and More!
📰 CURATED NEWS CRUNCH:
ED TECH RISKS: As ed tech gains prominence, it's inadvertently fueling chronic absenteeism, pressuring us to rethink our online learning models and develop strategies to incentivize in-person attendance.
TEACHER TIKTOK: TikTok is becoming an educational hub for teachers to share strategies and build community, providing innovative avenues for professional development and addressing industry challenges.
LIBRARIANS UNDER FIRE: Amidst rising book-banning campaigns, librarians are bravely defending intellectual freedom, a challenging feat that's reshaping their profession and necessitating new safety and legal protections.
DIGITAL IMMORTALITY: AI-powered grief tech offers a controversial form of digital immortality, raising concerns about data security, potential abuse, and the psychological impact on the grieving process.
GROWTH IN MINUTES: Adopting simple, daily changes can trigger substantial personal growth, proving that significant transformation doesn't require a colossal effort.
TEACHERS & EMOTIONS: Special education teachers are employing discordant emotional strategies like emotional distancing to cope with student aggression, spotlighting the need for comprehensive emotional support and an empathetic work environment.
🚀 THE LEAD
⚠️ The Silent Threat to Education ⚠️
Are our classrooms becoming digital ghost towns? 📱💻 As many as one in three American students are chronically absent. That's over 15 million kids on the brink, their futures hanging by a thread. 😱
Why? The culprit seems as unlikely as it is ubiquitous: Ed Tech. Online learning platforms, once our pandemic savior, may now be our undoing. They're making class attendance optional, accelerating chronic absenteeism, and fuelling a crisis with far-reaching implications.
Think underachievement. Poor health. Increased risks of dropouts. Adult poverty. Even entanglements with the law.⛓️ And yet, despite this, the march towards digitization shows no signs of slowing.
Stay tuned. We're about to take a Deeper Dive into this alarming trend, and why it should matter to you... 🕵️♂️💡
⚙️ DEEPER DIVE
👩🏫 EdTech: The Silent Culprit Fueling School Absenteeism? 💻
Online Learning: From Savior to Saboteur?
We all heralded ed-tech as the shining knight in the dark hours of the pandemic, but has our knight turned renegade? The sharp increase in chronic absenteeism during the pandemic isn't a coincidence—it's a consequence.
Fact: As many as one in three American students have turned into chronic no-shows.
Fact: Chronic absenteeism is a life-derailing monster—it's linked with poor academic performance, heightened dropout rates, and the haunting specter of poverty and crime in adulthood.
Fact: The rise of online learning and ed-tech during the pandemic may have unwittingly fanned this absenteeism wildfire.
The Double-Edged Sword of Ed-Tech
We bathed in the warm glow of digital convenience and saw a lifeline in online platforms when classrooms morphed into ghost towns. We now understand this glow also has a shadow side.
On one hand, ed-tech has been a catalyst for progress. It has amplified access to education, harnessed the power of interactivity, and even made learning fun.
But the flip side? It's inadvertently cut the cord binding students to in-person classes.
Why Show Up When Class Comes to You?
The pandemic not only shifted the physical location of classrooms but also the mental model. It whispered into our ears: "School can be done from the comfort of your bed, in your PJs." And we listened.
Students can now learn from anywhere, anytime. The power of choice was handed over to them.
But the fallout? They started treating in-person classes as optional. Why leave the comfort of home when everything is but a click away?
"No Harm, No Foul" Grading—Fanning the Flames?
The "50% rule" in grading reforms appeared benign, a safety net for learners. But this well-intentioned move may have inadvertently tipped the balance.
In theory, it ensured no student would get less than half the credit for any assignment. It was supposed to prevent them from falling through the cracks.
The backlash? It made assignments seem optional. Missing one day, two days, ten days? No biggie. Catch up online. The lure of convenience trumped the discipline of attendance.
Where Do We Go from Here? 🤔
As the dust of the pandemic settles, we stare into the face of a potent threat: the new normal of chronic absenteeism.
As educators, we face the herculean task of rekindling the embers of in-person attendance while not throwing the baby (ed-tech) out with the bathwater.
As policymakers, we face the daunting challenge of outsmarting this absenteeism beast through a cocktail of strategies—addressing attendance barriers, monitoring data like hawks, making family outreach a priority, and exploring alternative schedules.
Ed-tech is here to stay, but so are our schools. The task ahead? To find a harmonious blend between the two that serves our ultimate goal: keeping our students engaged, educated, and present—both online and in-person.
The Clock's Ticking... ⏰
This is our wake-up call. The time to act is now. Let's not let our savior turn into our saboteur. Let's turn the tables on chronic absenteeism. We owe it to our students, our future.
🚀 Daring to Disconnect: The Counterintuitive Path to Success in the Ed-Tech Era
1. Break Free from the Online Shackles
You've heard it before: "Embrace the digital wave or drown." But here's a radical idea—swim against the current. In an era where digital convenience is king, being a contrarian could be your ace.
Action: Establish digital-free zones in your daily life. Maybe it's during dinner, or the first hour after waking up. Feel the liberation that comes with occasional disconnect.
2. Rediscover the Joy of In-Person Interactions
In a world hooked on Zoom and Teams, rekindle the magic of face-to-face conversations. Online platforms are tools, not substitutes for human interaction.
Action: Once a week, replace an online meeting with an in-person one (if possible). Notice the difference in engagement, connection, and overall productivity.
3. Reimagine the "50% Rule" in Your Life
In academics, the 50% rule might be encouraging chronic absenteeism, but in life, it could be your safety net. It's about giving yourself permission to not be perfect, to learn from your failures, and to progress.
Action: For one week, try to apply the 50% rule to a personal or professional goal. Didn't hit your target? That's okay. Acknowledge the effort, learn, and adjust for the next step.
4. Prioritize Presence over Convenience
In the age of digital convenience, dare to value your presence. Digital tools are fantastic, but don't let them crowd out your personal or professional presence.
Action: For one task each day, choose to be physically present instead of leaning on digital convenience. Feel the difference it makes to your engagement and output.
5. Rethink Your Approach to Time Management
Instead of packing your schedule with back-to-back virtual engagements, dare to pause, to create gaps, to breathe. The alternative? Burnout.
Action: Block out "Nothing Time" in your schedule. Use it to recharge, reflect, or simply stare into space. And yes, it counts as being productive.
6. Embrace a Growth Mindset
Chronic absenteeism is a problem. It's also a learning opportunity. In every challenge, there's a seed of growth.
Action: Reflect on a recent problem or setback. Instead of seeing it as a failure, identify what it taught you. That's your growth seed.
Dare to Be Different. Dare to Disconnect.
Remember, the rules have changed. Success in the AI-driven times doesn't come from riding the wave but from charting your own course. Dare to disconnect, to be present, and to embrace growth. In the counter-current, find your leading edge. 🌟
💡 KEY TAKEAWAYS
The rise of ed-tech has led to an increase in chronic absenteeism among students, a serious issue associated with a cascade of negative consequences including poor academic performance, high dropout rates, and future socioeconomic challenges.
Social platforms such as TikTok have become an unexpected hub for teacher professional development, offering novel ways for educators to share strategies and support each other amidst industry challenges.
Librarians are caught in the crossfire of book-banning campaigns, a situation which tests their commitment to intellectual freedom and requires innovative safety and legal solutions.
AI-powered "grief tech" offers a controversial form of digital immortality, provoking debates around data security, potential abuse, and the psychological impact on the grieving process.
How can you, as a reader, influence the balance between the convenience of digital technology and the necessity of in-person interactions in your own sphere of influence?
Considering the issues highlighted above, what can you personally do to maintain intellectual freedom, foster healthy online communities, and promote responsible use of digital technology?
Let's continue the dialogue. Share your reflections, ideas, and questions with our community. We're all in this together, and together, we can redefine the new normal of education, digital technology, and personal growth.
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Now, Let’s go Live a Life You Love!
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