Author Archives: Connor Cassady

Writing a Book: The Big Date

So, this week, I began writing the section of Chapter 4 devoted to John and Angela’s big date. I began this segment detailing John’s daily ritual once he returns home from work. He changes out of his shirt and tie, and works out in his guest bedroom turned home gym. We also learn that John’s home is his sanctuary. Everything has its place, and every place has its thing. However, something is different tonight for John. He is acting very unlike himself, and is letting his anxiety about his date with Angela seep into various other activities. For example, during his workout-finishing five mile run, John begins to feel short of breath and feel his heart race, now thinking about how he can’t possibly entertain Angela, the incredibly independent and headstrong woman from work, for a night. Why is John so worried? Well, as you can probably tell, he is not one to have company very often. In the ten years he has lived in Atlanta, he has not had one guest over to his house, and he has never gone on a serious date in his life. However, this fact does not upset John. He loves being the one in control of his life. For a good majority of his early childhood, he was under the control of his abusive father, and finally gained control when he watched his execution (If I didn’t share this part of the story in an earlier post, sorry to kind of just drop a huge bomb there). John is a creature of habit, always finding ways to make his life as predictable as possible. So, by never having guests, John ensures that nothing in his home ever has to change, just the way he likes it.

As I write more of this section (this week I somehow wrote a total of 842 words, I know unheard of!), I want to expose more and more of this vulnerable side of John. What happens when a creature of habit is forced outside of his comfort zone? What mistakes in his daily rituals does he make? What little things set him off balance? Again, this is where the incredibly detailed portion of this book will come in, and I think will give the reader a good sense of the thoughts running through John’s head while he prepares for, and partakes in this date.

So, as this is the last blog post of RCL, I want to take a moment and thank you, the readers, for putting up with my ramblings about the characters living in my head. I know some weeks I didn’t necessarily make any progress, and as fun as it is to read about personal development *snore*, it is much more exciting to read about what is going on in a new novel, so I apologize for that. Thank you for providing me with a medium through which I can tell this story to the outside world, and see how it’s received before plopping it down on an editor’s desk for it to be shredded in front of my face.

As for the future of Perspectives, I think, given my incredibly slow progress this semester, I hope to be finished with it by the end of my time here at Penn State. Kenzie, you suggested the idea of keeping a separate blog to keep people updated on my progress. Sadly, I do not think I will be doing another blog about this book. Between writing the book, research in a lab, school work, and Blue Band, keeping up another blog will be really hard to do. However, keep an eye out in your local, soon to be obsolete local book store for Perspectives (Hopefully).

Thanks again.


Education and Creativity

Last semester, we watched clips of one of the most viewed TED talks of all time. Sir Ken Robinson’s, “How schools kill creativity,” is an incredibly insightful talk that exposes many problems present not only in the educational system of the world, but also problems that are present in society surrounding education.

In the beginning of his speech, Robinson makes a joke about educators not being invited to dinner parties. He states that most people would be absolutely appalled if they needed to speak to an educator about their profession, however when asked about their own education, they cannot stop talking. This is the first problem present in society when it comes to education: people do not want to discuss it. Whether it is because they dreaded sitting in the classroom, or they have a job completely separate from their degree, very few people are willing to discuss education, even as a profession, let alone the system itself. This talk was given in 2006, almost ten years ago, and the problems Sir Robinson discusses in his talk are still present today. This video has gotten an immense amount of views, and yet the problem it addresses still persists today. Why is that? It is because people have no desire to discuss education outside of their own educational history. Education is an incredibly future-oriented enterprise, always seeking ways to better prepare students for the ever-changing global community. The students sitting in the classroom, who face the problems of education every day, do not have the influence or stature to make real changes. In order for these problems to be solved, conversation must take place among those with the power to make the necessary changes. People need to look past their own time in school, and start thinking about the billions of children that will go through school in the future.

The overarching theme of Robinson’s talk is that education kills children’s capacity for creativity. His most salient example is the story he tells of Gillian Lynne, the choreographer of the Broadway hits Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. In an interview, Lynne told Robinson that, while in grade school, her teachers contacted her parents about the possibility of Lynne having a learning disability. Her parents took her to a specialist, and after discussing Lynne’s problems in school, the doctor left the room to speak to Lynne’s mother. Rather than say Lynne needed to settle down in class and prescribe her medication, the doctor turned on the radio. Immediately, Lynne got up and started dancing. The doctor advised her enrollment in a dancing school, and the rest is history. What this doctor did is what education needs to do for students. Particularly since the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, certain academic skills have been highlighted as more important than others. For example, math is more important than music, and chemistry is more important than art. The current educational system works to mold students into certain careers that are currently thought of as valuable to society. What the system does not do is foster the growth of each individual student’s interests. Robinson stated this, saying that education does not teach students as whole individuals, rather it squanders certain interests, and for those that are skilled in these “less important” subjects, makes them feel unintelligent. By putting more emphasis on certain subjects, and casually telling students that they will never get a job in art or music, schools kill the creative tendencies of many young children. Six year olds drawing fantastic lands of mystery are told to draw an animal they saw at the zoo. Children with incredible musical talent are told to put down the violin and pick up the protractor. A myriad of studies have been conducted showing the incredible connections between intelligence and creative capacity. With all of this data supporting the continuation of music and arts programs, it is hard to believe that a lot of schools across the United States are cutting funding to these programs.

The overarching opinion of those interested in the betterment of education is that schools should help children realize their own potential, and help them succeed by pursuing their own interests. If education’s focus does not shift to educating the student as a whole, it will be failing billions of our world’s youth in the future.

Here’s the link to the TED Talk:

Writing a Book: Back on the Horse

I have some incredible news this week. I put words down on the virtual page this week! How many, you ask? 695 words have left my head and been put down into the story. I am so incredibly excited that I made some physical progress on the book this week, and I apologize if the beginning of this post seems a little giddy. I finally had time to sit down (well lie down) and write, and it was an amazing feeling to see words flow out of my head again. So many ideas have been bouncing around in my head recently, and I cannot stress how good it feels to have some of them out. It drives me crazy some days. I cannot sit still, I cannot keep quiet, and I get really agitated when I have all of these ideas floating around in my head, and it is such a weight off of my shoulders to write again.

So, what did I write about? Well, when we left off, we learned of Jacoby’s troubles in the past election after his opponent, Herschel Gallagher, exposed Jacoby’s affair to the public during campaign season. However, using skillful rhetoric and slimy maneuvering, Jacoby was able to turn Gallagher’s smear campaign on its head, and win the election in one of the largest margins of victory in the history of Atlanta. Along with his skillful wordsmithing, Jacoby also brought forth an all-encompassing stimulus package nicknamed, “Joblanta.” In this package, Jacoby promised over ten thousand jobs for the people of Atlanta. I know, what an incredibly lofty promise to make. However, Jacoby has an incredibly successful track record, and the people of Atlanta, especially those who are unemployed, have a newfound love for him.

How will “Joblanta” create so many jobs? It works by pumping massive amounts of funding into bringing Atlanta to the forefront of innovation. Schools, libraries, banks, hospitals, you name it, are being renovated. This creates thousands of construction jobs, and also allows for more jobs to be created in these areas of the economy. More teachers and doctors and stock brokers, etc. can be hired in Atlanta, and soon, it becomes a city of the future. Efforts will be made to make Atlanta a “Green City,” and the economy will flourish.

This stimulus package is great for the one and only John Usher. He is known as one of the most successful architects in the history of Atlanta, and now that so many buildings are going to be redone or built brand new, he and his firm will be receiving a lot of work in the next few years. However, John must focus on his current project, renovating the public library. In this section, we begin to learn what John’s signature architectural style is. John does not like to mix styles in buildings. He keeps his straight buildings straight, and his round buildings round. However, he likes to make the architecture speak for what the building contains. So, he is breaking his rule of “monotony,” and will be combining curves and straight lines in the library. Also, he hopes to find a way to make some spaces look completely different from different angles, capturing the ability books have to teach many different lessons to different readers.

So, that is what I have written thus far. Next up is John’s preparation for his date with Angela. I cannot wait to write more, and let you know how it goes!

Writing a Book: Some Things I Have Learned

Yet again, I have some bad news: I have written zero words since my last post. Life has been really busy, and I have had to set some priorities, something that no one likes to do. In high school, I had my hands in a lot of different clubs, and now that I am here at Penn State, where work and class and activities actually take time out of the day, I have had to cut down on my involvement in extracurriculars. In a way (sadly a way that has negatively impacted my book), this is the first thing that I have learned through writing Perspectives. While it is great to have things that calm you down, or things that you enjoy doing that do not necessarily take a lot of effort, there comes a time where you need to sit down, bite the bullet, and get work done. The things I have had to give up to get work done, while incredibly gratifying in the moment (like drumming or watching Netflix), have to take a back seat to the work that I am doing towards my degree, and my career.

The second thing I have learned in this book is that I actually possess a creative side. All my life, I have never thought of myself as the “creative” type. I have always been interested in science and mathematics, and felt restricted when it came to imagination. In first grade, I remember writing journal entries in class, and one of the “prompts” was to write a story that we imagined. My response was, I kid you not, “I do not have an imagination,” and I then proceeded to write about polar bears and their habitats. Now, it is pretty obvious that I have broken out of my “analytical” shell, and am venturing out into the scary world that Spongebob talked about in his cardboard box. That’s right, I’m talking about the world of…

Now, operating on my own prompt, I am crafting a story from my own mind, and it is really exhilarating. Actually, my expansion into my creative side has helped me take a new approach to the analytical side of my life. It has expanded my capabilities, and I am really happy with how this book has helped me.

Finally, I have learned that it is okay to step out on a limb and try something new. I have lived in a cocoon of familiarity my entire life, and have very rarely taken steps outside of my comfort zone. No matter how much people say how important it is to step out of the familiar, and walk out into the unknown, I never took their advice. I did great in my cocoon, never had to worry about failure, and always knew what to anticipate. As a kid who used to think he did not have an imagination, this venture out into the literary world has been scary. I think every step I take is incorrect, and I think I’m doing everything wrong. However, paraphrasing Thomas Edison, I will not fail, I will only find 1,001 ways not to write a book.

Hopefully I have more physical and less philosophical progress next week. Only time will tell!

Critical Thinking in the Classroom

A major debate that has been taking place in the world of education over the past thirty to fifty years is the question of whether or not critical thinking is an important skill to teach students in the classroom. There, at least in my opinion, is no question. The goal of education, in a vast majority of educators’ minds, is to prepare students to solve the problems of the world that do not even exist yet. The only true way to do this is to teach students how to think and learn, not how to pass a History test, or their SAT. This is an odd concept, teachers allowing students to learn how to learn. That sentence in and of itself is a little confusing, but its meaning is what many educators think needs to be at the heart of education all over the world.

So, what does it mean to think critically? The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines it as, “that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it” (“Our Concept and Definition of Critical Thinking”). They go on to emphasize that critical thinking is an incredibly intrinsically motivated skill, and relies heavily on the thinker wanting to become a better, more thoroughly educated person (“Our Concept and Definition of Critical Thinking”). But what does this formal definition mean? It means that in order for someone to think critically, she must first accept that her thinking has been tainted and prejudiced. Without her knowing it, her thinking has been molded, and almost barricaded, by her experience. In order to begin thinking critically, she must break down these walls, and look inward, to try and rid her thoughts of these stains and prejudices. After she has done this, she can look out into the world and begin to evaluate the actions and thinking of those around her, and evaluate what is true, and what has been said without validation. Many view critical thinkers as skeptics, not willing to accept anything as true, forever hoping to prove someone wrong. This is the exact opposite of the goal of critical thinking. Because of her ability to fairly evaluate every situation, the critical thinker has an incredibly open mind, and is willing to accept truths that counter her beliefs. She is able to look at the world in its true form, and benefit greatly from this higher level thought process.

So, how do we teach students to critically think? A huge responsibility is placed on teachers for this to happen. In the 1980’s, teachers attempted to implement critical thinking as its own entity into their curriculum, and found that it needs to be interwoven into pre-existing curricula to be taught successfully. Due to the malleability of critical thinking, teachers need to be creative in weaving in critical thinking into their everyday lessons. That being said, there are multiple ways to do this. In Vera Schneider’s article, “Critical Thinking in the Elementary Classroom: Problems and Solutions,” she shares some methods of implementing critical thinking into the classroom that have worked. These include: “Do not readily find solutions for students… Always seek opportunities for brainstorming… Compare and Contrast anything and everything… Categorize… Encourage Creativity… [and] Teach students to think critically across the curriculum” (Schneider).

I would like to touch on the first of these methods with an analogy. This idea of not revealing the solution to students immediately is much like the scenario where a driver is lost and asking for directions. Would it be more effective to tell the driver that she should drive to her destination, or tell her which roads to follow to get to her destination? Now, back in the classroom setting, for students to be able to solve future problems, it is almost unimportant that they know the exact solution to that singular problem. What is more important is that they understand how to look at the problem, and know how to approach it.

Think of some of the problems that may arise in the future, or problems that already exist in today’s society. Would the issue of alternative energy still be a problem if we knew how to solve the crisis? Do we know how to participate in digital warfare? Do we know how to truly reverse the effects of Global Warming? Do we know an equation to describe all prime numbers? The answer to all of these questions is no. So, education must prepare students to answer these problems that do not yet have solutions. How can this be done? By teaching students how to think critically.

Writing a Book: Things Get Saucy

Okay, so before I get to the title of this post, I want to just give a quick update of the progress (if you could call it that) that I have made since last week. Thankfully, I had about an hour to write this past week, and actually put some words down on the page, 233 to be exact. In those words is where things get “saucy,” and will continue to marinate for a few paragraphs, pages, whatever. However, I am more excited about the directional progress I have made. I decided to continue along the vein of John and Angela’s budding relationship. While I have not even reached John and Angela leaving the office after he asked her out, I now know what direction I am going to take the remainder of this chapter in. After detailing the end of John’s day at the office, I will follow him home, and detail his preparation for his date. The thing that will be interesting about this part of the book is that it is one of the only things that John does not have a routine for. So, I think it will be interesting to show this new, non-meticulous side of him. Every other detailed account of his life has been fit into a mold of how he does things – getting ready in the morning, cooking breakfast, at the office, and as we will see later, how he kills his victims. However, because he has never gone out on a serious date before, this is a whole new realm, and I think I will explore how this inability to control his actions shakes him emotionally. Then, we will “join” Angela and John on their date, and see their love start to bloom. Now, that is all the tomatoes being simmered to a saucy goodness; what comes next is all the things that make the sauce extra saucy.

The part of Chapter Four that I actually wrote this past week talks about Mayor Stanley Jacoby, and the struggle he had in his recent reelection. Eight months before the election, news broke that Jacoby had an affair, and his opponent, Herschell Gallagher, jumped at the opportunity to slander Jacoby. Through incredibly crafty wording of speeches, and an unbelievable increase in public events, Jacoby was able to win back the hearts of Atlanta’s people, and get reelected, leaving Gallagher fuming. So, this side of the story gives me an avenue that I could stride down later in the book if I so choose, and maybe I could interweave more characters into this already complex story.

My next big goal for Perspectives, other than finishing the fourth chapter (however that ends up happening), is to concoct the next murder scene, this time, from the point of view of the killer. Two of the hardest things about doing this will be the actual creative way in which the killer does his deed (his mark, how he kills, etc.), along with choosing the right words and stooping down to the dark level necessary to write with the detail I want. It may be a little hard at first, but hey, I watch enough daytime television to know what a good murder scene looks like. Anyway, that is what I have been up to. Hope to share some more physical progress next week.


Writing a Book: The Plot

So, I am both happy to say, and sad to say, that I took Emma’s advice, and left my book alone over Spring Break. Sometimes writing this book can stress me out, and I really need(ed) a break from the stress that is college life. While my Spring Break was a lot of fun, I still managed to be incredibly busy, and my book was one of the last things on my mind. That being said, I do wish I had taken the time I actually had to write, and done just that, written. I have hit a roadblock, and I am not quite sure where I want to go from where I am right now. Hopefully this step away from my book, and away from school for a week, will allow the creative juices to get flowing. Again, that being said, with two exams this week and the next project just being assigned for this class, Perspectives will not be a priority until I have more time to work on it.

So, where did we leave off? John has just asked out Angela, and he is preparing for his big, real-life date. While I feel there is definitely a lot more I could flesh out in this chapter to make it longer, as well as make the story a little more continuous, I am not quite sure if I want to do that. I am considering one of two alternative options if I do not continue with Angela. The first would be simpler. In this option, I switch back to the perspective of Commissioner Howell in his search for the killer of Jennifer Rhodes. The second option is having another murder take place, but this time from the perspective of the serial killer.

This is where the title of this blog post comes in. SPOILER ALERT. John is the serial killer. I know you probably have gathered enough information to figure this out on your own, but let me explain what is going to happen over the course of this book. The police are chasing what they believe to be a band of serial killers (five to be exact), each with their own distinct mark, as well as the mark of the group. The mark of the group is the Roman Numeral, V, and a message cleverly placed on the body, like that on the fingers of Jennifer Rhodes (TAG YOU’RE IT). So, as the story progresses, and we learn more about John and his childhood, it becomes clear that he suffers from Multiple Personalities Disorder. In total, John has seven personalities. John Usher, five serial killers, and the Overlord personality. The Overlord is the mastermind behind all of the killings that will occur throughout this book, and he is the first voice heard in the prologue of this book. He instructs his disciples on what to do to the bodies, and make sure everything is up to the group’s standards. Much later in the book, the seemingly separate paths of John Usher and Commissioner Howell cross when the secret of Multiple Personalities is revealed. Along with this complex struggle, I would like to add a love story with Angela, this too being very complicated.

So the second option of continuation would be more difficult, because I would create a time discrepancy between events, and it may give away some of the plot that I would like to hide for more of the book.

So, I am sorry that I gave it away to you so soon, but it is what it is. Hopefully you forget all that I have said so that the surprise can hit you like I intend it to.

Deliberation Reflection

I attended Deliberating the Learning Objectives of the Modern Classroom on Sunday, March 1. Given my strong interest in education, I was very excited to attend this deliberation. Before I went, I thought of the possible topics that could be brought up at this deliberation. I thought immediately of standardized testing and the various methods that can be used to teach in a classroom. These two topics were both touched on, but the overall goal of the deliberation focused more on the “pillars” of education. These pillars were Knowledge, Independent Thought, and Social and Civil Development.

In the first pillar, Knowledge, the main method of education matched the model that so many students are used to: Students are given the tools they need to learn the material, the teacher lectures, and the students are evaluated. In this category, standardized testing was brought up a lot, and many of the problems of this approach were brought up. One such problem highlighted the problem of trying to generalize evaluation systems when students all have very unique interests and skills.

In the second pillar, Independent Thought, the idea of critical thinking was brought up a lot. The main question brought up was, “What is critical thinking?” As a group, we seemed to land on the idea that critical thinking was the ability to take the knowledge gained in the classroom and creatively apply it to the world. This approach highly valued the individual’s interests, but proved difficult to fairly evaluate all students.

In the third and final pillar, Social and Civil Development, the main topic of discussion was group work. An intriguing thing happened during this approach. The facilitators asked how many of the participants would rather do a group project than an individual assignment, and one person of all of the twenty or so participants raised their hand. This is a very startling and worrying result. In the “real world” we are all going to have to interact and work with a lot of people to try and solve complex problems. This approach was the only one that seemed to be left without much resolution, and the overarching question we were left with was, “How do we improve group work to prepare people for the ‘real world’?”

Overall, this deliberation worked really well. There were a lot of people in attendance, so there were a lot of different opinions being shared. This kept conversation interesting, and none of it seemed forced. The facilitators created an environment conducive to discussion, and allowed each person to freely share their mind. We were all sitting in a big circle, and the room felt connected. The three approaches, while seemingly simple, were three very separate methods that I had not fully thought of before. They led very nicely into one another, and each approach on its own created a lot of valuable conversation. I had an amazing time at this deliberation, and came out with a much deeper level of thought in terms of education. As a future educator, these topics are all things I am going to have to take into consideration for my own classroom. This deliberation was exceptional, and I hope more like this take place in the future.

Writing a Book: Writer’s Block Hits Hard

So, as this post’s title suggests, this week I came face to face with incredibly strong and unwavering writer’s block. Sadly, I had the time to write, but almost nothing came out of my skull and onto the page. I guess I will fill you in on the small amount I did write, because I know you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat waiting (hahaha not true at all).

So, in the mere 389 words I wrote this week, we learn a little more about the mysterious John Usher. In this portion of chapter four, one of the secrets of John’s success and prolific architecture career iis revealed. Due to his father, John learned at an early age to compartmentalize and put the past in the past. This allows John to completely immerse himself in whatever project he is working on at the time being, and because he is free of distraction from almost everything else in the world, he is able to work incredibly efficiently. John’s disturbingly habitual nature is also fleshed out a little more, which is an area that will add to that “uncomfortably detailed” aspect I want this book to have.

While I have painted John Usher as very robotic, this chapter also lets us peek into his human side through his reaction to Angela’s acceptance of his date proposal. John was incredibly shy as a child (understandable given his father), but has since started coming out of his shell. After Angela says yes to going to dinner with him, John thinks to himself that he has finally reached the final step of becoming a normal social citizen: asking out a pretty girl.

So, because I do not have that much of the actual story to share, I figure I will let you into my thoughts behind some of the “logistical” aspects of this book. So, let’s talk about the title for a second, Perspectives. As I mentioned in a past blog post, I want this book to read a lot like a movie or television show looks. With the tool of a camera, it is very easy to create different views, or perspectives, of the same event. So, in that sense, I want to create multidimensional environments to a lot of the events that take place later in this book.

Along the lines of storytelling, I want to give the perspectives of various characters. By doing this, moral and ethical lines are blurred because you learn the inner workings of each character: what drives them, what they are going through, etc. This is done very well in the Netflix series House of Cards. If you have not seen the show, first of all, crawl out from the rock you are living under and start watching it, it is incredible. Also, this show does an amazing job of blurring the lines of right and wrong, and makes a lot of issues that I previously thought were black and white appear much more gray. So, I hope to accomplish this in Perspectives, because I think this distortion of reality makes the story incredibly interesting, makes it exhilarating, and makes the reader think about their own moral code.

For after Spring Break, I hope to have completed another two chapters, so hopefully I will have a lot more to tell you when we get back.

Technology in the Classroom: A Hinderance to the Learning Process

A topic in the world of education that has been on the hot seat recently is the use of technology in the classroom. This topic hits very close to home for me, as my high school is considering partnering with Google, and providing a Chromebook for each student, and making each classroom a digital learning environment. Whether we like it or not, the world is beginning to become overrun with technology. Even the simplest things, like sinks and hand dryers in bathrooms are adapting to this growth in technology. In the classroom, technology can be used to eliminate the cost of textbooks when switching to all e-books; it can make sharing documents easier and increase collaboration among students through various engines like Google Drive and Dropbox; and can help acclimate the students of today with the technologies of tomorrow. However, despite the numerous advantages of increasing the use of technology in the classroom, I feel as though it is unnecessary, and detrimental to the learning experience.

Most of my opinion originates from my major. I am a Mathematics Major, and am seeking a PhD in Pure Mathematics. What that means, is that my job will consist of sitting in a room, and coming up with new mathematical theories from scratch. I am a theorist at heart, and I cringe whenever I need to “apply” mathematical principles to the real world. I am a huge opponent of the calculator, and I think it is making students taking math in today’s schooling system lazy, but I digress. Anyway, my interests and general opinions of the world lead me to believe that education should be about the fundamentals. I like to think of education as the construction of a very tall building. When looked at in this way, it is no question that a strong, reliable foundation is necessary to keep the building from falling over. So, how do we create these strong foundations? By doing things the good ‘ol fashioned way. That’s right, paper and pen, working out things by hand, and scribbling out notes and rough drafts until your hand cramps up. By doing these things, students gain an understanding of why things work, not just the fact that they do. They learn to appreciate the effort it takes to do a math problem, to write an essay, or to conduct research for a history paper.

So, how is technology hindering the education process? Julia Klaus’s article, “Negative Effects of Using Technology in the Classroom,” states that two of the biggest problems with technology in the classroom are that it is “overused, [and] takes away learning time.” She says that the time teachers need to take, both to acclimate themselves with the new technology in the room, as well as deal with technical difficulties that may arise, takes away valuable time that the students could be using to learn. She also states that most students retain information more successfully “… by physically and mentally interacting with what they are studying.” Teaching through a computer takes away from this, and the continued use of technology in the classroom distances the students from the material, making it harder for them to learn (Klaus). Another problem with technology in the classroom that is more prevalent on college campuses with larger lecture halls is what’s known as the “Halo Effect.” The Halo Effect details the fact that a laptop being used by someone is actually inadvertently distracting the students in the next few rows behind the user. So, by introducing laptops into the classroom, it not only presents the opportunity for the user to get distracted by social media sites or games, but also puts other students in danger of getting distracted by the bright computer screen.

So, overall, in the classroom, I feel that technology hurts the learning process. However, I will leave this post on a more positive note. I feel that technology has the potential to help students exponentially, outside of the classroom. With resources like internet databases, word processing and other various computer programs, collaboration engines like Google Drive and Dropbox, etc., students live in a world that harbors efficiency and a streamlined work process. What will make this technology even more effective, is if it is left out of the learning process itself, and is used to show understanding, rather than create it.