Monday, 23 November 2015

The New Digital World: Dream or Nightmare?

No one can deny the fact that we are currently living in the age of technology. Every aspect of our lives is becoming increasingly dependent on all sorts of digital devices. We use it for work, education, communicating with our friends, health purposes, you name it. There is little doubt that technology has benefitted us in many ways, making our lives easier. We can now communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world at any time by email or telephone or by instant messaging and video conferencing. We can pay our utility bills at the touch of a button. Our cellphones have evolved into tiny pocket computers. The advent of internet has given us access to information about anything at any time.
A panel discussion at the School of Tomorrow (SOT) Festival 2015 will shed light on the pros and cons of living in a digital world. The SOT Festival is Pakistan’s largest international education and cultural festival to be held at Beach Luxury Hotel Karachi on November 28-29, 2015.
The panel will discuss how children of today are more technologically-savvy. Computers and the internet have made it easier for them to access academic material at any given moment of the day. Not only is it easy and simple to use, it is also inexpensive and can supplement the children’s learning experience. Moreover, children can learn other important life skills using technology in class. They learn to create presentations, proper online etiquette, and writing emails. All these are important life skills that children need to learn these day. There are countless resources for enhancing education and making learning more fun and effective. From applications to online lectures to e-textbooks, there are many tools that can help students.
However, we cannot overlook the negative aspects of living in this digital age.
The disadvantage to all this access to information available on the internet is that much of it is not accurate. Many students do not know how to evaluate a website’s reliability and therefore, their research may be flawed.
While many children use their digital devices to download books, most are likely using their electronics to text friends, play games or watch videos. Some argue that this technology overload is actually disconnecting our children from people, nature and play.
Many parents set limits on their children’s use of the internet and use security and privacy features to protect them. However, children can still find their way into an online chat room with strangers or click on an appealing advertisement that links to inappropriate content.
Children don’t always understand that their online activities are permanent. Rather their poor judgment can lead to serious consequences. Parents and teachers need to discuss the dangers of bullying and illegal downloading in the cyber world.
Technology has exposed us to predators. Organisations collect private data from our smart phones or computers through cookies and they use that data to suggest adverts related to our interests.
All these arguments will be discussed in detail at the panel discussion at the two-day SOT Festival titled School of Tomorrow: The End of Education?* (*as we know it). It will also look at the growing influence of art, culture, media, technology and geopolitics on the future of education.
This event is open to public and will feature interactive panel discussions, workshops, interviews, celebrity conversations, cultural performances, FULL STEAM (an interactive science and art exhibition), theatre production, short film screening, robotics workshops, storytelling, concert and more.

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