Grumpy Old Tech User


By: Dan Koch @danvkoch In this heartwarming video, Chan Jae, a Korean grandfather, learns how to use Instagram with the help of his son and wife in order to share drawings with his grandchildren:

I thought this was a great video to showcase the marriage of "analog" technologies, such as drawing on paper, with some of the ways we communicate today, such as social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

I shared this video earlier this morning in a meeting with a parent advisory board for our district. One of the things we discussed was a part of the video in which the grandfather was frustrated about having to learn Instagram at first, because he "didn't know why he had to." To him, there was no reason to use such a platform. However, when his grandchildren were born, he reflected on the fact that he wasn't going to live forever, and wanted a way to connect with them after he had passed on. Suddenly, drawing for his grandchildren and sharing the drawings and stories on Instagram made more sense--essentially, he was freezing himself (and his creations) in time to be enjoyed even after his passing.

I saw a lot of nods from the parents in attendance after the video.

In schools, we are often met with a lot of frustration due to what a certain piece of technology CAN'T do. Sometimes, Wi-Fi is an issue. Other times, a specific app or program won't operate in the way we want it to. Additionally, it's easy to fall into the trap of "sensory gating." Sensory gating, according to WikiPedia, is as follows:


We are surrounded by so many ubiquitous technologies every day: Tweets, screens, emails, wearable technologies. It's easy to get bombarded by all of this techno-stimuli and, as a reaction, view it all as superfluous or "just too much." In a way, I believe that last sentiment is accurate. Some of the parents spoke with today experience technology fatigue just trying to keep track of what each app does on their child's iPad--let alone some of the ones their children have downloaded onto their phones.

I don't believe there is a need for these parents to become proficient in thousands of apps. If we have an open dialogue with students and parents about what technology can do FOR us, and how it can augment our lives, I believe we can cure some of this sensory overload, and provide some much needed solace in the sea of digital waves we find ourselves in. After all, unless technology can allow us to do something truly different, convincing others as to why they should be using it will be difficult.

Check out Chan Jae's Instagram, "Drawings For My Grandchildren," here.

Dan Koch is a Technology Integration Specialist for Citrus County Schools, and 1/3 of the #EdTechAfterDark team. 
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