Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is the President a Luddite? I think not...

Last weekend, President Obama commented on technology in his Commencement Speech at Hampton University.

I have a lot of problems with the statement he made and they are as follows:

1. An iPod/iPad CAN be used as a tool of empowerment. True, you can listen to your favorite songs or watch your favorite show, but the iPod has educational value. Podcasting can be done as a project or as a part of a project and a book can be uploaded to an iPod. While I think certain features were left out of the iPad, it is an incredible tool that has the potential of giving the netbook a run for its money. The iPad also has educational value. As an educator, I am a proponent of infusing technology within as the students will not only have a relevant mean of comprehending information, but they will learn how to use this technology, which will make them more marketable when they enter the professional world. Educators further benefit from learning this technology as they can easier relate to their students. In the past, we’ve heard about video games ‘rotting the brains of children,’ yet studies have shown certain video games can improve problems solving and multitasking skills. Therefore, various forms of technology the President mentioned CAN emancipate and educate.
2. I recall President Obama stating on the campaign trail that he not only owns an iPod, but what music is on it. Did somebody put it on for him? And if so, how did his campaign have the temerity to attack McCain for not using email (yet leaving out the reason)?
3. Obama uses a BlackBerry and publically fought with the Secret Service to keep it. Is the BlackBerry a distraction?
4. “Information becomes a distraction,” as stated in his speech…maybe he means the information that conflicts with his agenda.

Because of our economy, our capitalist system and the First Amendment, technology can continually improve, information can travel at the snap of a finger and analysis is not only limited to those in the traditional media. Even though I am more of a PC person, I greatly admire Steve Jobs as he is an incredible leader and a business genius who continually ups the ante in the tech wars, benefitting all Americans. Just another reason why the United States is the greatest country!


  1. I have been asking my students to podcast this year: in preparation for modeling a Harold Bloom essay on 3 of Shakespeare's sonnets, my students chose a songwriter and 3 of his or her songs and followed Bloom's form in a podcast. Then, they wrote the sonnet essay. It helped them recognizethe power of voice and how to recreate their natural speaking voice on paper.

  2. That's so cool! It's really awesome to see how far technology has come since the days we were in school. I have also used podcasting, it's been very effective and I'll continue to do so.