Generation Always On
Generation “Always On” or, AO, according to the article and co-author Janna Anderson ,“refers to the teens-to-20s age group born since the turn of the century.” As with many things, there are both pros and cons to growing up in this time. I enjoy looking on the internet while I have a t.v. program on as do many people today. There are times though, where I like to get away from the city to visit friends in the country and just unplug. I enjoy looking at the blue sky, tall trees, and nice lakes in East Texas. I like to actually talk to people face to face instead of typing into a chat box. When I was a child, I would go outside to play with a stick or a rock and let my imagination run wild. I am not sure if the “plugged in” children of today can do this. The youth in this AO age group are great with technology resources, multitasking, and social networking. Some of the cons of this AO group include: their lack of patience, low attention span, and difficulty in critical thinking.
The article poses the thought about will happen in the future if the powers that be control access and content on the internet. This is interesting to me. It reminds me of television show “Revolution”, where the world has no electricity. Thus, there would be no internet or social media. Who would be successful in this world? I do not think it would be Generation AO crowd. It would be a simpler time where survival skills were the main priority.
Social Networking In Undergraduate Education
In my secondary teaching setting, we as teachers and coaches do not engage in Facebook or other similar sites with students. In fact, we were warned that it is not appropriate to be “friends” on Facebook with students. This could result in termination. I know the students are on Facebook and Instagram because I hear them talking about it. For the post-secondary level, I would consider it as viable option to use as another resource.
To me the social networking sites were a valuable way to find friends that I lost contact with, or as way to chat socially. After reading the article, I learned there are some who believe it can help students enhance learning via discussion forums, or other social sites. I would like to see more long term studies showing the benefit.
Here is the link to my PLN:
PLN – Personal Learning Network
I had difficulty in creating a PLN at first. I went with the curator site Scoop It. It seems like the best one for me at this time. I went with the topic of football. I chose two inspirational coaches and leaders of men and youth, Tom Landry and Tony Dungy. Both of these coaches led those around them not only on the field, but with their outstanding character. Hopefully, I can learn and from their leadership and apply it my career and life.
Internet and Learning
I earned my undergraduate degree in May 2003. At that time the use of the internet had little impact on my learning. We used it to register for classes mainly and for contacting the professors. It was occasionally used for research as a supplemental tool. For the most part, my learning at that time was from lecture in class, observations, or from a text book. Then there was a test later, always in person. Everything was hands-on.
I use the internet a lot more today in my career as a physical education teacher and coach. I am a member professional organization: TAHPERD, THSCA, and UEA. I receive monthly newsletters electronically which help me stay current in the field. I do research on a regular basis for each of my sports that I coach. I find plays, strategies, and drills many times by using the internet. It provides support for me as I formulate my practice plan.
There are negatives as well to web learning. All articles and information found online should not be accepted as the truth without careful consideration of the source. There can be distractions as well with web learning. When working online it is very easy to check your email, then your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, local newspaper, or Espn. After all that the day is wasted with nothing being accomplished.
I believe there are some great benefits with using the internet for learning and education. I am thankful to be in this online program. It allows me to further my education while still working many long hours in my career choice.
Focusing On My Strengths
I have a lot of areas of strength. However, my “sweet spot” is definitely embedded deeply in my field of study, Physical Education and Kinesiology. I am competitive and have strong desire to always improve physically, mentally, and spiritually. Now as I become older, my body does not always cooperate with me and allow me to train with the intensity and strength of my twenties and early thirties. I am unable to work out with and leg press 1600 plus pounds, bench press 420 pounds on my sixth set, or deadlift 500 pounds! I would like too, but I had an injury to my elbow doing close-grip push-ups. I had an evulsion and tore the triceps muscle. My heavy weightlifting days are done. However, I am truly blessed to have a wide ranging knowledge about sports, exercise, strategies and training methods to help others improve in these areas.
There are some things I am in the process of improving. Organization is not my strongest asset. I have to plan ahead and focus on this so it will not affect me in my career. Another area I am in the process of improving on is my familiarity with technology. I must admit this not an area I feel comfortable in. I enjoy it as I learn about the technology and use it. However, at this point I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.