Economy and Society considerations

An island-wide power outage messed up my schedule today, so I’m a little behind—yet still in survival mode….

Essential Question:  What is the implication of our changing economy and society on technology planning?

It logically makes sense that education needs to be a living entity that changes based on the needs of the students.  However, that’s not always the easiest ideal to achieve, especially when you throw committees and budgets into the mix.  However, we still try to do our best.  Ken Robinson best laid the driving forces behind what defines a “need.”

“The two great driving forces are technological innovation and population growth.  Together they are transforming how we live and work; they are putting a vast strain on the Earth’s natural resources and changing the nature of politics and culture.  New technologies are revolutionizing the nature of work everywhere” (Robinson, 2011, p. 5).

There’s always a problem to solve, and technology is that tool to help solve it.  This means that education needs to stay on top of what’s useful for that time.  In technology planning, that means we need to leave room for the unknown and be willing to revisit the plans often and update.

“Digital technologies are blurring the boundaries between home and work, business and pleasure.  The tendency to communicate across time zones means that just as you’re going to bed someone has just arrived at their office and is logging on.  Emails pile up. The compusion to answer the cellphone implies that the incoming call is more important thatn the face-to-face conversation you were having. I don’t know many people who are working less hard than they were ten years ago.  Most are working faster with more to do and to shorter deadlines” (Robinson, 2011, p. 44).  This statement struck me real close to home.  It’s true.  I’m still working just as hard, if not harder, than I was 10 years ago… but I’m turning out more.  I find myself asking, “Why?”  Was I conditioned this way?  Am I really doing what is best?  I think that there’s a certain perspective that needs to be evaluated in our technology plans as well.  The 21st century learner doesn’t think the same way as a majority of teachers understand.

Take social media, for example.  Some teachers are just recently getting familiar with how to use it.  Students have been using it since they started typing/texting.  Personally, I briefly had a MySpace page.  I regularly maintained a personal blog until I discovered FaceBook.  I’m still not a big fan of Twitter, but that’s the trend now.  If I don’t adapt, I will be at a loss.  Katie Lepi’s article relates the different perspectives students have towards social media vs. teachers. (warning: this article made me feel very old).

With our current economy being in the shaky state it’s in, that means that while education needs to be up on what’s new and more efficient, it doesn’t mean that the schools can afford cutting edge technology.  That is a consideration that must be taking in.

For my closing, I’ll let Rhett and Link sing me out.  Rhett and Link are YouTubers (a job which didn’t exist 10 years ago) who make their living by creating songs, commercials, song parodies, talk shows, podcasts, and satire.  They’re one of the good ones, but you just never know what’s going to strike a chord with our global community.  I’ve posted this video in other classes before, but I think it’s appropriate for the perspective that needs to be taken into consideration in creating a technology plan.  There’s always something new to learn tech wise.  You have to keep up, if you want to be “King.”


Lepi, K. (2013). Teacher vs student: how each actually uses social media.  Accessed at

McLaughlin, R. & Neal, L. (2008).  Internet overdose song. Accessed at YouTube at

Robinson, K. (2011). Out of our minds: learning to be creative. West Sussex, UK: Capstone. [Accessed on Kindle].



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10 responses to “Economy and Society considerations

  1. In the book, “More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave” by Ruth Cowen. The microwave, dishwasher and other modern appliances are debunked as life improving devices. If your definition of life improving is to free up more time for leisure then these appliances might not be for you. As humans, we might be preprogrammed to spend a certain amount of time for toiling away. I figure I spend 80% of my time doing what I have to do and 20% of my time doing what I want to do. If I were to only use the pencil and paper to complete my work, this would probably not change because our standards of quality and efficiency change with the advent of new resources. The one thing that does change is our standards.
    The microwave came into the kitchens and almost overnight, families were enjoying meals in 30 minutes! That left a lot of time for house wives to mop the floor, check homework and do whatever they deemed necessary. Now they can feel guilty about not spending that extra time ironing dad’s shirt and pants.
    Teachers are issued laptops and/or iPads that easily fit in a carry on so they can take them home. This offers our society to change our standards of productivity. It’s something that could also effect our creativity. As students and teachers use mobile devices at home, they end up trading in opportunities that might produce creative moments. I’m not saying making an iMovie is not creative. However, it takes away from playing with his He-Man action figures or her She-Girl action figures which builds a different yet just as important form of creativity.


    Cowan, R. (1983). More work for mother: The ironies of household tchnology from the open hearth to the microwave. Basic Books.

    • My word! Isn’t THAT the truth! I think my kids get much more out of playing with their action figures than using their computers. However, I’m hoping that one day they’ll be brave enough to make movies with their action figures and share their amazing adventures!

  2. Tiffany! That song is hilarious! I feel so inept! I get so frustrated with keeping up with all the passwords! I should get a guy too! Funny!

  3. Thomas Mellen

    “In technology planning, that means we need to leave room for the unknown and be willing to revisit the plans often and update.”
    I very much agree with your above statement. I think it is also very important to be willing to leave room for the unknown student suggestion. Take the risk of being willing to learn from our students about what is current.

    • So true, Thomas! Teachers often teach how they were taught. And most of us had the “Sage on the stage.” It’s tempting to follow the same tradition, but it would certainly limit the learning that can take place.

    • Andrea

      That was the exact line that stuck out to me too. With technology changing so fast, how can we possibly think a document written today can be applicable in a year or three. Room for expansion would be the only way to keep the plan current.

  4. I read all that you posted, yet managed to get stuck on your first comment. Is that what it is going to come down to? How do we keep a justifiable network and cities that is supposed to be reliable without moving to a hub that has better services. Is connectivity shaping society? I think it would be foolish to think it isn’t. What does this mean for our future? Connected people living in cities while outliers continue to live in “the netherworld”?

    • Wow… that’s profound! You’re right!

    • Andrea

      by the way… that song will forever be stuck in my head!! LOL I also enjoyed reading the article you posted. I wonder if we will always be chasing the latest technology of our students. Because really they don’t want to be into the same things as us, we are ‘old’. I once heard it said, parents and kids shouldn’t like the same music, because songs get written about the things we care about and adults and kids should care about different things. I wonder if the same to technology as well.

      • I will forever remember my first introduction to Justin Bieber. Some of my jr high students had heart-covered pictures of him in their desks. I thought he looked like a girl with Jackie O hair… they got really mad at me.
        I think the same stigma may pass with tech. Although my students were super excited when I purchased my first iPod and it was the most advanced one at the time– because it had a camera.

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