Technology and its impact on Youth

By Matthew Pryzdial

(Insert Episode Intro here).

This is A Place for Passion, I’m Matthew Pryzdial.

(Insert Sunny Day Music Here)  (Insert Doorbell Sound Effect here). 

(Finish Sunny Day and Doorbell Music Here).

Matt: Arawn, hey buddy how you are man?  How is school going, it’s been so long, I swear I haven’t seen you since the last Star Wars movie came out.

Arawn: I know right, it’s been too long, I agree.  School is good; we dissected a pig the other day at Durham.  How’s school with you (Varga).

Matt: School is stressful as usual, I have a bunch of assignments to get done, but other than that, it is regular. 

Arawn: What is the hardest assignment you have left (Varga). 

Matt: Probably my podcast that I have to do for this professional writing class.  The assignment is worth 30% so I kind of can’t mess it up. 

Arawn: Yeah, that’s a lot, the biggest thing I had was also 30%, but it was a practical exam for sauces.  What are you discussing for your assignment (Varga).

Matt: It would be better if we went out for a walk to talk about it, I mean, it is a beautiful day in December, almost 15 degrees.  Hmm, so where do I start?  I guess with the topic.  Well Arawn for the project I am talking about technology and how it can have a positive or negative impact on high students.  As you know, my mom raised me to always believe that information found in books, not the Internet, would always be better for my learning.

Arawn: Yeah, I believe she encouraged me to always read books in school as well (Varga). 

Matt: That sounds about right, my mom was so smart, she read a lot of books when she was younger.  Anyways, the main focus I have with the topic is to show that technology is beneficial, if used correctly.  Unfortunately, I find that high school students don’t understand how to use technology effectively like you and I do.  We use it to read books and read about what’s happening in the news.  Instead of doing this, I find high school students use the Internet as a way to relax and go on Facebook and other social media cites.  This poses a big problem because high school students use the Internet that causes a distraction from their learning.  

Arawn: Yeah dude, I agree with you, but how do you make these predictions?  You must have some research to support your point, right (Varga).

Matt: Of course I do man.  Do you remember our Grade 9 music teacher Mr. Onyschuk?

Arawn: Of course I do, Onyschuk was hilarious, but he did call me a bad influence (Varga). 

Matt: Well that’s what happens when you lower all the music stands dude.  Anyways, I talked to Mr. Onyschuk and asked if he would be okay if I surveyed his Grade 10 class about the project.  After conducting the survey, I found students agreed with each other that they use the Internet in a similar way.  For example, I surveyed 20 students asking how they use the Internet in their daily lives.  10 students answered with educational purposes like YouTube and research on topics mentioned in class, and the other half responded with distracting non-educational answers like YouTube videos, social media and video games.  What I found interesting is that 8 out of the 10 students that responded with education also answered with distracting functions such as YouTube, social media and video games.  From gathering this information I was able to conclude that students do understand how to use the Internet in a beneficial way, but they sometimes get distracted because of entertaining ways to use the Internet (Pryzdial … Surveying).

Arawn: Yeah, I agree with you Matt.  But you should have asked Mr. Onyschuk what he feels about this.  Why didn’t you take the time at Pine Ridge to talk to Mr. Onyschuk about the same issues (Varga).  

Matt:  Arawn, as a matter a fact, I did talk to Mr. Onyschuk.  He agreed that students use the Internet different from students five years ago.  Talking about five years back, he found that those students had much more focus on their school work.  Therefore, there is a lack of focus with today’s students because of the Internet and how it can distract them.  As well one example to support this is he finds that students put their phones on music stands and this can act as a huge distraction from their studies.  When the text notification light goes off, it also acts as a distraction because it changes the focus from the class to what their friends are talking about (Onyschuk). 

Arawn: Wow, I remember both of us doing that in music class, but I never thought it would have spread (Varga).  

Matt: Yeah Arawn, things we did in high school are still occurring even though we are not there anymore.  It’s completely crazy.  But I did find that Mr. Onyschuk tries to use technology so students can learn course material.  For example, he said he uses YouTube demonstration videos to show what students can achieve with their instruments.  As well, there are apps that Mr. Onyschuk recommends so students can learn intervals, rhythmic dictation and how to play in tune.  The down fall for using technology is that the Internet can sometimes be slow or even crash and then the whole lesson could be ruined.  So regardless, there are pros and cons for students to use the Internet in beneficial ways, but it is difficult to show that in class because of circumstances like delay or complete malfunction (Onyschuk).    

Arawn: True dude, but why should I care about Onyschuk’s opinion and what his students said?  How does it impact my life Matt (Varga).

Matt: Very good question Arawn, I find that it impacts you and me because this is the generation that is going to take care of us in the future.  For example, when our parents get older we are most likely going to take care of them by changing their diapers, cooking and doing whatever they need.  I would hope so at least.  When we get older and go off to retiring homes it is probably going to be that generation, the younger people, that will be looking after us.  You see Arawn, it is a chain that never stops growing because of society and how we are accustomed to live.  Eventually we will need people to take care of us when we are older, and I feel that it will most likely be the younger generation that will do so.  As of now, I think we should try to prepare this generation so they can make our future lives better.

Arawn: I understand where you’re coming from and I think you’re right Matt.  Technology allows them to have access so they can learn how to improve our lives.  What I am still curious about is how the Internet has improved through the years.  There are beneficial resources, but there are also useless resources of information.  Should a student be expected to know the difference between a good resource and a bad resource (Varga)?   

Matt: Well Arawn, to answer your question I would hope that you can recall Spider-Man. 

Arawn: Of course dude, with great power comes great responsibility (Varga). 

Matt: Exactly Arawn, students have the power to find whatever resource they can lay their mouse upon, but what is difficult to identify is a good resource from a bad resource.  This same issue came up when talking to Mr. Onyschuk; students have so much accessibility that they sometimes don’t know what resource is credible.  So whose responsibility should it be to determine which resource is reliable and what is not reliable?  I feel that it should be the older generation, or teachers, to educate their students on what resources they should and should not use when conducting research.  This will allow the younger generation to have access to reliable resources that they can trust (Onyschuk).    

Arawn: I completely agree with you Matt.  But I still do not understand what you mean by; this will allow the younger generation to have access to reliable resources that they can trust.  Can you maybe explain that or give an example to be clearer (Varga).

Matt: Of course Arawn, I got your back brother.  If teachers show a reliable resource in class and explain its contents then students might understand the difference between a good resource and a bad resource.  I would say there are no bad resources, but there are simply neutral resources that can have an impact on the audience.  It is the way that people use such resources to be beneficial or not.  For example, watching a YouTube video may be distracting to a student when they should be studying course material.  Or watching a YouTube video about Mozart could be beneficial for a music student’s education.  With my assignment in particular, I was asked to find an organization that was beneficial to discuss. I found Free Geek Toronto where they focus on “bridging the digital divide [which means to] (help people who would otherwise be unable to accept technology).”  Therefore Arawn, there are many resources that students should be expected to use in beneficial ways, but it should be the older generations job to show them what they should use (Pryzdial … Interview).  

Arawn: Thanks Matt.  I find it more clear, but I am still not sure what Free Geek Toronto has to do with your project.  What do they do exactly?  And how were they started anyways (Varga)? 

Matt: Of course Arawn, “Free Geek Toronto was started by Torontonians [that wanted to] bridge the digital divide and save electronic waste from the landfill.”  I was able to speak with their General Manager and he said that Free Geek Toronto operates “as a non-profit social enterprise with the goals of building a sustainable business that helps save electronic waste from landfill by ethically recycling or refurbishing it [the it referring to a form of technology].”  What they have to do with my project is to show that people are constantly moving on and using different forms of technology.  People, I feel, sometimes break their phone and then simply buy a new replacement.  So what happens to the old one, most people would probably throw it out and send it to the dump.  What Free Geek Toronto does is encourages people to donate their broken technology so they may fix it and redistribute it (Pryzdial … Interview). 

Arawn: That sounds pretty cool and I like the idea, but how do they allow the community to contribute?  Then what do they do once a donation is made (Varga).         

Matt:  Well Arawn, dealing with your first question, I find Free Geek Toronto has many ways for people to give back to the community.  Some of them include, volunteering for them, making money donations to their cause and one that is especially interesting.  Free Geek Toronto has a movement where you can donate specific broken technology so they can fix it then sell it back on the market for redistribution.  Some of the technology that you are able to donate are computers, DVD Players, mobile phones, and tablets.  This way, electronic waste is not dealt with as much because they take technology, recycle it and redistribute it (Pryzdial … Interview).

Arawn: That sounds like a really cool idea, but if I am trying to purchase a piece of their recycled technology, then how do I know I am not over charged (Varga). 

Matt:  As a matter a fact, I had the same question when I was interviewing their general manager.  He said “the price is based upon several factors including labour, parts that needed to be replaced, and age of the machine.  [Their] goal is to have affordable, low-cost computers available so everyone is able to take advantage of the opportunities having a personal computer allows” (Pryzdial … Interview).

Arawn: Thanks Matt, I understand now.  But I have one more question about Free Geek Toronto.  How do they impact the community as a whole?  I understand that they recycle and redistribute, but I am still not clear on how that has an impact on my everyday life (Varga).  

Matt: I got you dude.  Free Geek Toronto has an impact on your life, and mine as well, because they help the environment.  Free Geek allows people to donate and make contributions to their cause.  As well they encourage volunteers to help them in their line of work, but by allowing people to contribute to their cause they help the environment by keeping technology out of landfills.  I don’t know for you dude, but for me I feel a sense of relaxation knowing that this cause is trying to take care of the environment.  That is what makes Free Geek Toronto important at the end of the day.  They allow people to help save the environment while providing a service to communities in Toronto (Pryzdial … Interview).

Arawn: Thanks Matt, I understand (Varga).

Matt: That’s the whole point Arawn.  Students should learn how to use reliable resources to benefit their education and that way they will be able to unlock information they might not have stumbled upon before.  What should guide the younger generation are teachers and parents that can show them what a good resource is and the key components that go into making that.  Thanks for listening Arawn, I am just super stressed about school and knew I had to talk about it to relieve some stress dude.  Do you maybe want to go back to your place and grab a bite? 

Arawn: We should call to order a pizza, that would be tasty.  I’ll pay this time around, sound good (Varga).

Matt: Yes, it does dude, free food and less stress, this day just keeps getting better and better!  Perhaps we can watch Empire Strikes Back while we eat our pizza.   

Arawn: That sounds good, on most occasions Star Wars would distract me from my homework, but I guess this is an exception (Varga).

Matt: You better believe it dude.  Thank you for listening to A Place for Passion on (Insert Podcast Outro Here). I’m Matthew Pryzdial.

 Works Cited

Onyschuk, Mike. Personal Interview. 2 December 2016.

Pryzdial, Matthew. “Interview From York StudentMatthew             Pryzdial.” Received by Free Geek Toronto, 5 December 2016. 

Pryzdial, Matthew. “Surveying Students for Podcast Episode.” Survey. 2 December 2016.

Varga , Arawn. Personal Interview. 2 December 2016.

Recommended Resources

Baldwin, John R., Huju Liu, and Weimin Wang. Firm Dynamics: Firm Entry and Exit in the Canadian Provinces, 2000 to 2009. Ottawa: The Canadian Economy in Transitional Series, 2013. Statistic Canada. Web. 03/11/2016. 

Bole, Michael. “Tract 9 is Hosting a Free Geek Toronto pop up for Hackfest.” Free Geek Toronto, 19/08/2016. Web. 03/11/2016.

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). “Canada Online.” Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), 2013. Web. 03/11/2016.

Free Geek Toronto. Facebook, 02/11/2016. Web. 03/11/2016.

Goldsmith, Jack, and Tim Wu. Who Controls the Internet: Illusions of a Borderless World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.

Government of Ontario. Dept. of the Ministry of Education. Science and Technology- Ontario Ministry of Education. Ontario: Queens Printer for Ontario, 2007. Print.

Greenstein, Shane. How the Internet Became Commercial: Innovation, Privatization, and the Birth of a New Network. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2015. Print. 

Hiebert, Elfrieda H. and Michael l. Kamil. Teaching and Learning Vocabulary: Bringing Research to Practice. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2005. Print.

Katz-Kimchi, Merav.  Review on Finn Brunton’s “Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet.” Scholars Portal Journals 36.1 (2015): 69-70. Project Muse. Web. 03/11/2016.

Peters, Kurt. “Online grocery sales rise 40% in 2003 over ’02, study estimates.” Internet Retailer, 05/03/2016. Web. 03/11/2016.   

Poon, Maurice Kwong-Lai, et al. “Psychosocial Experiences of East and Southeast Asian Men Who Use Gay Internet Chatrooms in Toronto: An Implication for HIV/AIDS Prevention 1.” Scholars Portal Journals 10.2 (2005): 145-167. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Web. 03/11/2016. 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my best friend Arawn Varga for providing a fantastic contribution on this assignment.  It is what made me confident about this piece and definitely helped move the story along I found.  Thanks buddy, I don’t know how I could repay you.  As well, I would like to thank Free Geek Toronto for providing me with a fantastic interview and truly insightful   information that helped me move the discussion along.  As well, I would like to thank Mr. Onyschuk and his class for great answers all around the board that helped me with this assignment. 

A few more, I would like to thank Professor Bell for a great semester filled with excitement and different formats of how to present information.  I had no idea what a podcast was, and now I find myself hooked and can’t stop investigating.  Thank you for unlocking a new chapter of my university education.  As well, I would especially like to thank my mom for helping me do well on this assignment.  I know you were with me every step of the way!  And finally, thanks Keith for putting up with me in tutorials.  Class was enjoyable even though I wasn’t the greatest participator in discussion.  I had a good time to say the least, and I leave you with this, watch Titanic!  Thanks guys, and good luck with further educational goals.

As well I would like to thank free sound effects and sound bible for allowing me to borrow some of their sounds effects and music to benefit the podcast as a whole.  It would not have been as realistic, so thank you very much for those key contributions to help benefit the project.