Learning in the Digital Age – Spring 2017

Technological advancements promote a desire to increase the technology utilization in education and the need to increase institution technology. The former is generally associated with the idea that students are digital natives. The latter may still be misunderstood as to how best to include technology appropriately within an education institution. Thus, the goal of this blog is the conversation around theory, literature, and practice. Each week there will be blog posts by each researcher critically analyzing all facets of technology in education. Further, there will be thought provoking conversations taking place on the blog AND via Twitter.

Looking forward to a great semester and learning more about technology from you all.


4 thoughts on “Learning in the Digital Age – Spring 2017”

  1. Interesting article. I work with animals and I see the same effects of posture on emotional state. When we have animals coming into our shelter they are often fearful and demonstrate a hunched body, head turned away and towards the ground, tails tucked, lips tight, etc. Part of the positive reinforcement training that we do is to actually manipulate their bodies and encourage them to correct their stance. For example I will run my hand under a dogs tail and lift into the air or gently press on their belly to get them to “stand up straight”. This technique can actually improve their mood: reduce fear and increase confidence.

    I have seen first hand how much body posture can impact mood and general outlook. I certainly see it in myself as well. Unfortunately my job also requires frequent use of social media so I spend a lot of time at a desk where I tend to slouch or on my phone also slouching. I definitely feel a decline in my mood as the day progresses that I can help alleviate by taking some time throughout the day to stand up, move around, and stretch.

    I think that the posture that is being discussed in the article can certainly be caused by over use of a cell phone or other technology but I think you probably also see it in students taking notes in class. I rarely see students sitting up straight in their chairs. I imagine after a long day at school hunched over many students probably feel a bit deflated and likely have difficulty concentrating and retaining information.


  2. Interesting article and thoughts! As an academic and behavior interventionist, I also see kids in the classroom or hallways with similar postures as described in the article and in the comment. These students are not actively on their phones or using technology, but are responding to their environment and the stimuli present.

    In order to improve their attitudes towards difficult content areas or situations, I do not “run my hand under a dogs tail and lift into the air or gently press on their belly to get them to ‘stand up straight’.” I do, however, engage them in pro-social activities and academia where they are successful. The slouching demeanor is more pronounced for these students when they are using technology, but when they are using it within the interventionists areas, they tend to exhibit a slightly less hunched stature. When they know an answer on a “Nearpod” or “Kahoot!” they really puff up so I am able to predict how they will score based upon their demeanor and posture.

    This was quite thought provoking!


  3. Fascinating! I often think of my posture and how over the years I have grown hunched over, reading emails from work on my phone or simply feeling defeated. When I think back to my dancing days, no phrase was repeated more than “SHOULDERS BACK, CHIN UP” and I think of how those two simple directives made me feel so confident. Often times instructors would tell us to think of a string attached to the top of our heads, lifting us up towards the ceiling. This not only improved posture, but also back alignment, hip and shoulder alignment, morale and individual confidence. I’ve been noticing my piano students growing more and more slouched in their postures as well over the years, for various reasons. In some cases they are jazz or composition oriented, in which they are staring at their hands and chords for hours. I had a professor in college much like this, always hunched over the keyboard deep in thought. However, any classical pianist will tell you that posture is step one in playing the instrument. This helps align the shoulders, arms, hands and feet for appropriate distance from the piano and exudes confidence in performance. I can only attribute younger classical piano performer’s posture to the increased use of their smartphones, which I have to harp on consistently. Some piano classes / students aren’t as bad with posture, but I have certainly noticed that my worst cases of hunched backs have been the past couple years as smartphone technology has increased rapidly.


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