Monday, November 15, 2010

The consequences of our love affair with gadgets

This is a bit off-topic, but I came across this article in "Wired" magazine and thought I'd go ahead and share it with our bloggers. It wouldn't be a bad idea for teachers to share with students. As Americans, we have always had a love of material things, but the new love affair with iPhones and other electronic gadgets has incurred some very bad human rights problems for the people who spend most of their day making these gizmos in order to feed our desires. (Full disclosure - I have an iPhone and an AT&T plan.)

After viewing the video bashing Steve Jobs (of whom I have always been a huge fan, so it's hard for me to watch this), then click here to view a slideshow of the horrible places these workers have to live in order to make our iPhones. (You think our school buildings are bad...) And then click here to read the full article about the company FoxConn, Taiwanese maker of electronics for the rest of the world.

I hope teachers use these kinds of news reports (and their Promethian boards?) to truly educate our children as to the interconnectedness of all of us in this world. Your actions and desires here in the states—gadget addictions, designer clothing addictions, jewelry and diamond addictions and drug addictions—can have a profound, often negative effect on the quality of life of others, thousands of miles away.

Tangentially, we have terrible crimes committed here every day by people whose desire is to simply steal that gadget, gizmo, purse, shoes, iPod, cellphone, scooter, car, or drugs from their fellow human being.

How do we teach young people to think more globally, more responsibly and with greater empathy for others and greater concern for mankind? How do we even get them to stop fighting in their own neighborhoods and pulling guns on each other or stomping each other to death? Can empathy be taught? I understand it's a parenting/societal issue, however, unless we bond together and purposefully teach mutual respect and personal responsibility, any one of us could be the next victim of a senseless crime by a troubled youth out to take away some small material possession or just to vent anger.

Check out the latest headlines. Something has to change. So many of our young people are out of control.

In response to Bobby Tillman's death, hundreds meet to stop the violence

DeKalb schools officer shoots student near Redan High School

18-year-old shot to death after party


Anonymous said...

Love the Jobs video!

Forgive me. I know this may be off the subject, but we all need some levity every once in a while. Please look at this video (particularly those of you who are technical people or are supported by technical people). It is the funniest video I've ever seen on technology. This one is subtitled too. It's called Medieval Helpdesk:

Anonymous said...

Cute Anon--reminds me...
Anyway cere, great thoughts. The whole idea of teaching that way and that topic is heresy, Now--if the folks at the testing services can include a few questions related to the subject, we might start seeing it in the curriculum....or is that in Amerika, Comrade.

Anonymous said...

this article...


not the links below it though..thats incredibly sad

Cerebration said...

What a wonderful example of teaching good character!

Sandy Springs school wins national competition

Greenfield Hebrew Academy has won a national competition sponsored by Microsoft Bing but won’t spend the entire $100,000 grand prize.

The school recently won a competition called Our School Needs by posting a video online of students rapping about their leaky roof.

But the new roof won’t eat up all of the prize money, which is prompting students to share. Money leftover after the project is being donated to buy musical instruments for the James Singleton Charter School in New Orleans. That school, the first to open after Hurricane Katrina, was a finalist in the contest for its bid to outfit a marching band.

Kim Gokce said...

If they kids at the Academy are like ours at CK, it was their leadership that probably brought this idea to the table. Kudos to them and their community for showing such grace and humanity!