Instant gratification

I love the interview with Louis C.K.  Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.  It’s hilarious.  And I am totally one of those annoying people. If one of the many wondrous things my Iphone can do (that I didn’t know existed 2 months ago) fails,  I feel personally slighted by it’s failure.  How dare you crash on me!  Why are we like this?  We expect everything to come quickly and easily.  With our crazy, advancing technology we can have so much, so fast.

I’m worried, especially because I see so much of this in myself, that we are losing the value and reward of putting in time and effort to create or do something on our own. How many students have just grown accustomed to copy and pasting information for papers?  More than ever get caught, that’s for sure. How many of us use and heavily rely on technology that does all the work for us, while we have no idea how it works or appreciate the work behind the technology or the processes involved?  Maybe 99%?  These are sort of different things.  But sort of related.

I want my students to know the value of putting in a significant amount of time and effort into their work.  There is greater reward, satisfaction, and helps build skills as well as character. Many kids understand this and see the value in hard work., but many don’t either.  I feel like it’s kind of a difficult balance between using new technologies that make our lives easier, faster, funner (not a word), without devaluing or forgetting the benefits of hard work.  I suppose it’s all what you do with what you have.  This feels like I’m complaining again, but any thoughts, ideas?

And oh yes, the inspiration for this post came from an afternoon spent with my little mentee buddy last week.  We found a tree that was half frozen in ice and we decided to break it out of the ice and mud and throw it off a bridge.  It was extremely difficult and I wanted to quit several times but after almost an hour, we did it.  I was so impressed with his determination to not give up and get that satisfaction.  Here’s a picture at my twitter account (it’s bigger than it looks).

  1. I legitimately had a fifteen minute conversation with my boyfriend last night about how I couldn’t wait to get an iPhone because I’m so sick of my blackberry…for reasons I do not understand, I can’t access the internet on my blackberry, so it’s essentially just a plain old cell phone, and I was complaining that it didn’t do anything “fun”…what a hilarious thought…that because my phone can “only” text and make phone calls, I am missing out on something!

    I think it’s really interesting that you posted about something like this considering your project with Scratch. You seem to be hitting a lot of walls and frustration with learning this new technology, but you’re still pushing forward and trying hard. I think being in Alec’s class has taught me not just ways to use “shortcuts” but actually things that I want to learn more about, and therefore, work harder and spend more time on. Does that make sense? I don’t think technology has to make us lazier – maybe in some ways it can make us harder working. Like for students who are interested in learning how to code, but not so much in learning how to write a novel or poem. They can encounter all the frustrations and hard work that comes along with creation, but they are creating something that matters to them or that they are interested in.

    I don’t know if any of this has any meaning for you or if I’m completely off the mark, but in any case, I enjoyed the post 🙂

  2. bevenson said:

    I think you nailed the mark. Any responses are appreciated, and this one was definitely helpful. Thank you! It really does depend on your outlook concerning the big tech shift. And I’d like to be a glass half full kind of person like yourself. See the possibilities it has to benefit kids rather than focusing on the possible bummers.

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