When composing the storify essay, I started by searching for videos and articles that would be relevant to the question I was asking, “What are the ways technology has changed the way students learn and what are the consequences?” I found quite easily through the storify creation page that searching for related topics through the methods they provide is extremely easy. It honestly was not difficult in the slightest to find good and interesting sources that applied to the context of my argument. The only challenge comes when you are trying to discern an interesting, applicable source from a dull, farfetched source. I felt as though it is rewarding to look at the end result that is the storify publication, the combination of videos, articles, pictures, and text in one neat little easily viewable page is a pleasant sight to see. Knowing that a reader can easily view all of the sources that I found with no more than a single click to each one of them makes it that much easier, I think, to comprehend and for the reader to get involved in what I am trying to say with my storify. The setup of storify allows a reader to think for him or herself on a topic such as the one I investigated, hopefully with the added bonus of being able to see what I have gained from the subject and conversely allow him or her to also gain an opinion on the topic. That is, I think, what makes the storify composition satisfying in the end.

                What made composing this essay different from composing other academic essays in other English classes and across the disciplines was nearly everything about the process. Instead of having to search legitimate sources that had to be accessed through the school website’s research section, I was able to find my sources through storify itself. I didn’t have to go tirelessly searching around through various articles and books and other official documents in the vague hope that a single keyword search would find me what I needed, rather I was able to type in a few pointed key terms into storify and there they appeared to me, all the sources that I could possibly require and that related to my topic in the exact way I desired. Composing the storify entry was also different in that using the opinions of real people were possible, such as using twitter posts made by all kinds of people. I have never encountered an academic essay where such sources were allowed to be used, so being able to use the honest musings of real, everyday people was rather fun. Additionally, in other academic essays, I have had to compose the entire thing with solely words, but here, in this storify essay, I was able to use pictures and videos as sorts of breaks in between various paragraphs in order to make it an easier read and to present the evidence right then and there, whereas with a full text essay, the sources are referenced to and presented in list form at the end only. All in all, it was easy to feel as though composing this essay was much easier and more straightforward than attempting to accumulate a large combination of facts for a black and white paper.

                My argument focused on the ways in which technology affects people today and the way in which students are being affected and, by extension, the way that technology is thus affecting the way in which students learn. Is technology helpful, or is it a detriment? My purpose was to make people aware of the way that modern technology has begun to affect people in the world today, and how it can either help or hurt us depending on how it is used. Technology is not by far the only thing that has uses that can either be a blessing or be harmful depending on the way that people choose to use it, in fact, that detail is true when you get right down to thinking about almost anything. Everything, anything, in the universe can either be used for great good or great evil, depending on how the user chooses to wield it. With such an argument, I intended for my audience to be anyone and everyone who has used technology in their lives. Supposing the audience is more suited to be people who understand what it means to be ‘dependent’ on technology, but still, the topic itself can really apply to a broader range of people than that. Anyone who has used technology understands that such devices have great potential, the power lies in how such things are used by the people who have them.

                I chose to start off my storify with a picture. Although it appears simple upon first glance, I actually felt as though it held a strong significance and importance to it. To the average technology user, one glance at the image might give them thoughts that there is nothing out of the ordinary in the picture, just as it was for me. Except, upon further inspection, one begins to realize that this picture, detailing a room filled with empty tables, chairs, and a dozen computers is filled with only one thing, technology. Clearly, the scene provides some evidence of just how important technology has become to us. The image is depicting a learning space, but there are no pencils, no pens, no paper, nothing aside from another computer every few inches or so. With this image, I hoped to convey the meaning of the importance of technology to us in modern day life. Clearly, we know how to use it for the good of learning.

                My next move was to introduce two different articles that both spoke on the role that technology is capable of playing in increasing student performance. Good, solid articles are needed when it comes to establishing an argument that you want people to believe in, and I felt as though these two both served their purpose. As the first article explains, technology can change the way that students learn and the way in which they are taught. Technological devices are an important part of learning that we cannot just toss to the side simply because they have the potential to cause distractions, because just look at all the good that it can do. Students no longer have to stick strictly to textbooks; the internet contains much of the knowledge required for learning. I mean, without the internet, without technology at my disposal, how would I have created the very storify essay that I am writing this reflection on? The sources certainly would not have been so easy to locate and I may have spent hours, days, attempting to locate valid sources to use in my essay. Since I am a student with accessibility to the internet, I have what I need in order to learn about topics such as the way technology helps students learn and as such I am able to detail my input on the matter.

It was an integral part of my argument for me to include the comments of real people as they talk about how technology seems to be affecting them and the lives around them. Hurricane Sandy was a recent threat that many people were concerned about, but I know a lot of people who were more upset by the idea that their power might go out rather than being concerned about lasting damage that the storm might cause. Their concern was placed in the terrifying thought that under the circumstances of losing electricity, they would be without their computers for possibly hours. Technology dependence is a real issue that we have to face, but not one that cannot be helped.

                I mentioned the bit about how much time the average American between eight and eighteen spends using a phone, computer, television, or other electronic device for seven and a half hours per day because it is important to point out how strongly technology affects everyone. For many people, it is probably indeed true that much of that time is not spent learning and is rather being wasted as a distraction via technology. However, such is the case simply because that is how these people are choosing to spend their time. Spending time doing little to nothing on the internet is just another method of passing by free time on a given day, just as how other people use that same time to party and do other things. Being on the internet, using technology like this, is another form of recreation. Wasting endless hours browsing the internet when time is better spent on homework or other work, however, is when situations become a little trickier. Once it gets to that point, that is when using your time wisely comes into play. Study habits need to be reinforced at such times, a person needs to have the will to actually do his or her work and not procrastinate. Having the internet does not change the fact that a person is going to procrastinate from what he or she doesn’t want to do, the only issue here is that the internet makes it so easy to procrastinate. Students need to train themselves in how to use technology to learn when it is required, and not to allow themselves to get distracted when their focus is needed. The video that I posted also touches upon these ideas.

                I thought it important to mention the potential for learning that technology brings forth that we cannot get anywhere else. Inventions in the field of learning create limitless possibilities to make it easier and easier, developing methods of teaching and learning that many of us would probably have never thought possible. Adaptive technologies that adapt to the person doing the learning, learning apps meant specifically for deaf students in order to improve their learning experience. None of this would be possible without technology. These are then examples of the possible greatness that comes with using technology properly.

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