Death and the Modem

As I sit here, surrounded by my desktop, three laptops, a smart phone and a new modem/wifi box, I wonder if it’s possible to become overly dependent on technology.  The scene has been necessitated by the death of the old modem, which had lasted a good six years, and the problems of getting its fancy-pants replacement to connect to my various devices: certainly the demands I make now of my IT are much greater than they were even just a few years ago.

The same has also happened in the classroom.  Powerpoint presentations are ubiquitous, as are laptops for students and assorted e-learning tools.  But the question of necessity was really brought home to me by today’s class on communication.

We started off with my twitter game, which again demonstrated the pitfalls of online media to the group.  But we then followed up with a very simple game that involved no more than some Lego and a sheet of instructions.  The game is a common one, where the group have to recreate a lego construction, but with only one person looking at the original and unable to speak, another person being the only one to touch the bricks and a third being unable to do anything except ask questions of the first.

My impression from the class was they appreciated the dimensions of communication and of teamwork as much (if not, indeed, more) from this little game as they did from the more ‘enabled’ twitter game.  Naturally, they are looking at somewhat different things, but sometimes we might want to think about simple ways to do things, not just the complicated ones.