What We Can Do… (Filtering Information Amidst Technology)
By Omar S. Manalansan, Teacher I – Samal North Elementary School
Ten years since I have first touched a mouse and a computer keyboard, I can say by heart that information is as fragile as a glass. Trivial details for some are actually notable specifics for us. Little-little pass along information, especially verbally transmitted ones are very prone to dwindling contents and spinning perspectives.
In our world today, where I consider myself as a native, information technology is not just rapidly mobilizing, it is also instantaneously changing —with some clicks there and posts here; it can ruin a life or a society. So what is left for teachers like us? Where the truth is as difficult as finding a needle in the hay as what the old adage says.
Most of my students have their own social networking profiles which they treat as their ‘private place or walls’ where they write all their ideas, sentiments and experiences. This ‘private place’ of theirs can actually reach a lot of young people like them, it has this certain power to extend their minds to other who are willing to read their thoughts and accept it as real information.
But what is frightening about this is the lack of filtering capacity of the young people nowadays. The whispering to millions in the speed of light in the essay of RaamDev in the Broken Telephone is the very depiction of our students’ daily activity in the net. These days’ students are so much into the social networking sites like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. On Facebook alone, around two billion users are actively using social network to comment on a friend’s wall, comment on friends’ pictures, watch videos, share video/photo/message, send private messages to friends, send IM or text messages using the site and send group messages. Also, 48% of the Facebook users are people whose age range from 18-34 years old not to mention the teens and minors who violate Facebook’s terms and conditions from which it is stated that a user must be 18 years of age before signing up for an account.
What’s alarming about these data is that a large number of social media users are actually minors. In fact, 81,000,000 of the Facebook accounts are actually fake, and that’s on Facebook alone. Imagine the volume of information these young minds are being exposed to, information which can compromise their perception of truth and may influence them on mimicking the people they see on social media.
The real challenge for teachers like us is to understand how our students think and spread their minds using these technologies, teaching them how to filter the right from wrong information is another major work to do. But we are not alone in doing these tasks; maybe this is our role as teachers, to realize that no matter how massive the world of technology is, in terms of information and facts, it is never free from being demonized. It is never free from falsifying and so we must not stop from guarding it from fraudulent claims of the false science.
All these experiences led me to the conclusion that information is indeed very important, like what RaamDev shared about his grandfather, false information can hurt most when it involves our family.
Maybe this is where we should start; we have to teach our students how to use the technology properly, we have to make them realize how important sharing good information and factual data is, not for good grades, not for freedom of speech, not just for academic exercise, not even for financial rewards but for the lives of the ones we love most — our family.
- Broken Telephone – RaamDev
- Facebook Statistics – Statistic Brain