The funny thing is that I just fell into the trap: If the title of the podcast is interesting enough I will listen to it. The look and allure of the app or title makes me want to touch the screen and go, right? Yep! The truth is that I have integrated technology into my daily routine at work so much that it BOTHERS me when I don't listen to it. The school I work at has wifi throughout the building that, for the most part, works very well. I hate when it goes down or has maintenance issues! (OK, truth be told: I save on Gigabytes of information because I'm using the free wifi. I don't have to use my data plan much that way!!). It used to be that a radio would be playing in the background at work. That isn't the case now. The earbuds are in and I become a cleaning fool.
Anyway, Sound Cloud (download the app in iTunes Store) delivers a variety of programs on technology and I thought this one was interesting: "How Technology Pushes Our Buttons" by Innovation Hub. It is an interesting interview with BJ Fogg. He has made a career in the role technology makes in changing human behavior. I don't want to recap something that, you the reader, can listen to for yourself, but he makes some really interesting points in regards to technology and the way it is developed to cause us to change our behavior(s).
For instance, there is a lot of money and time that goes into that like button on Facebook. Or what about the user experience at Amazon? There are people at these companies who are looking for trends (I would argue micro trends using Mark Penn's idea) and how people might better interact with a website, app, products, and so on. I remember when Apple announced the release of Mavericks this fall. I thought that, number one, this five year old Macbook Pro will never run a new OS and I don't have $30 to waste on it! When they said it was optimized for older machines and that I could download it for free -- I was sold!! And I love Mavericks, by the way Apple. FREE was the motivation I needed to click on it in the App Store.
But this whole science of why or how we use technology and the effects it has on our behavior just fascinates me.
Think of your cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device. You never want to leave home without it. Nobody calls me but I will turn the car around and run inside to fetch my phone if I forgot it. I feel naked without it! Why??? I never felt that way when all I owned was a land line. If I missed a call I had an answering machine to catch whatever phone call I was missing. But technology has changed my behavior. I need my smartphone to read my email, budget, listen to podcasts , check out Twitter and Facebook, and so on. Man, I am connected. If I didn't have it something really important could be missed!!
OK, I have talked a lot about my personal use of technology, but how can this be used to change human behavior in the classroom? As I listened to the podcast, I thought of some things that teachers do to implement technology into their lessons that have changed the way we teach. It has also changed the way students learn (and I hope that is a positive experience). My first example I thought of was the use of the Microsoft Office product. Powerpoint alone has placed the chalkboard in the same category as the dodo bird. No matter how nice the overhead transparency looked, a Powerpoint presentation looks so much sharper. So you see with just product it has changed teaching. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when you look at how far and innovative that suite of products is.
Another example that came to mind was the use of Classdojo. Classdojo is a classroom management tool that allows you to take attendance, establish class rules and reward/demerit accordingly depending on the quality of participation a student gives. For my seventh graders it was a great kinetic activity when they first walk in the door. They would simply approach the smart board and tap their selves in. Each student has a icon next to their name which they tap. During class discussion, I would award points for participation. If there was group work or some other activity, I could reward them for being on task or take away points if they were not on task. This little technological tool really engaged the students. The cool thing is that you could use your smartphone and use the app as you were walking around the room. It would sync in real time. The only downside was that it would take my attention away from my students. I wasn't as quick as other teachers who I observed in employing this software. Oh, did I mention that it was FREE??
Well, today's lesson is that technology has changed our behavior and will continue to influence our lives. Check out that podcast and happy listening!