The Instagram controversy, however, highlights a more universal truth: very little in life — online or otherwise — really is free.

No matter how seductive the internet can be, and how entitled users of various services may feel, there is ultimately a cost to every keystroke or click, even if no money changes hands.


Excerpted from: The Instagram dust-up: Is anything really free online? – Technology & Science – CBC News (link above).

This article uses the uproar over Instagram to point out a truism – ‘free’ is not really free.


Technology – a double edge sword

Given that technology is both creative and destructive, wouldn’t it be better to have a public discourse about it that accepted this uncomfortable truth? Obviously yes. So why doesn’t it happen? One answer, suggested many years ago by the great cultural critic Neil Postman is that we live in what he called a “technopoly”, that is to say a society in which technology is effectively deified.

“Because of its lengthy, intimate and inevitable relationship with culture,” Postman wrote, “technology does not invite a close examination of its own consequences. It is the kind of friend that asks for trust and obedience, which most people are inclined to give because its gifts are truly bountiful. But, of course, there is a dark side to this friend… it creates a culture without a moral foundation. It undermines certain mental processes and social relations that make human life worth living. Technology, in sum, is both friend and enemy.”

excerpt from: Technology is a double-edged sword | Technology | The Observer by J. Naughton (link above).

Why we need to be critical users of technology.

Testing Culture?

But, I do ask teachers all the time, “why?” Why is this form of assessment important? Why is this assignment, project, book, test, chair, schedule, good for this student, or what this student needs? And I also ask, “is this worth the time you are investing in it?” How much of your day do you want to devote to law enforcement, or conflict, or teaching a particular form of etiquette? Are their better ways for you, and your students, to use your time?

An interesting & thought provoking post by Ira Socol. He asks some great questions in this excerpt. Read the entire post, how would you answer these questions?

(blog & post: SpeEdChange: a brief twitter conversation on our testing culture…) link above.

2012 in Review

This video “Zeitgeist 2012: Year in Review” shows a look at many good things that happened in 2012.  This just a few days before the world experienced the horror and tragedy in Newtown, CT. Such things should not happen in our world, we need to change the culture of violence & guns that inundates society. How, I don’t know, but we need to continue to try and to hope.