After Neil Postman (1985) warned that “whether particular technologies teach students their ABCs and how to count is of minor importance compared what they teach students about learning and schooling, technology has experienced a significant change and continues to progress with an astounding pace. Technology is not constrained to the entertainment anymore, it has accelerated our life by reducing the time we spent on those mundane tasks. What Postman concerned that television would stop the social interaction or students could ask nothing of a television screen has been replaced and facilitated by cutting-edge electronic gadgets and their derivatives -apps.
there is no doubt that the purpose of the audiovisual devices was originally to entertain audiences, but the contents presented by these devices could be harnessed by educators. Responding to the question posted by Alec, “How do personalized devices and tools like YouTube” I suppose that one way of the personalized YOUTUBE is to ask students to subscribe teachers’ well-chosen subscriptions or playlists targeted on class delivery which could narrow down the range in which students could reduce their workload in searching background knowledge and they will give priority to meaningful contents instead of being distracted by others irrelevant.
According to my own teaching and learning experience, almost all apps relevant to schooling education will fascinate students, particularly to those digital natives, and have the potential to grab and maintain their attention in ways that interacting with teachers, reading a book and brainstorming with peers, such activities can be enhanced. Nowadays, the forms of audio and visual are mainly deemed as the means of effective teaching, which is to say, those selected and reorganized knowledge contents via audiovisual gadgets are conveyed to students and this process helps promote a mentally stimulating and enjoyable classroom.
Whereas Postman claimed that television screen makes impossible the interaction with teachers and peers, things change as time goes by, everything learned from social networking apps or online videos has formed a large part of digital natives’ daily lifestyles, furthermore, those things around social networking add them more topics in a real world. As Hanming wrote in her blog post that we cannot be lazy teachers anymore, we should always keep an eye to what is new. I want to extend this idea to my understanding that besides raising awareness of keeping updating teachers themselves, teachers can use students’ reliances to encourage collaborative learning. By combining technology-assisted learning with traditional methods of learning, this hybrid approach can inspire students as well as enlighten teachers when confronting the pressing problem of how to change their own roles in a digital classroom.