Children of the Porn

13 Oct

Children of the Porn?

Porn. noun – creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire

One day I was working on my computer in class when I discovered that one of the websites that I often use for information and research was blocked by our school’s security system. Ever since our school became wired for the internet our school’s security system was often being modified by our computer systems supervisor in an attempt to keep students from accessing certain internet sites that were deemed inappropriate by either members of the Board of education or the supervisor himself. This however was one site that I had found very useful and I was becoming extremely frustrated at my no longer being allowed access.

Within a few minutes, a student who must have been sensing my frustration, came to my aid and said, “Here Mr. P. let me help.” Now this was not a student that I would have characterized as a computer genius by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I wouldn’t even have guessed that he had an imagination, let alone one that could be stretched. And to be perfectly honest with you, although I hate to admit it, I thought he was an idiot. And in my defense, I say this only because he acted like an idiot all day, every day, in class. So you can imagine my surprise when he sat down at my computer and with the dexterity of a seasoned executive secretary worked my keyboard like Bill Gates on crack until with a point and a click he was on the internet and accessing my website. “There ya go Mr. Picone. You’re all set.” And off he went. I was amazed. Here was a student who showed no particular propensity for learning anything from reading to writing to covering his nose when he sneezed or keeping his hands to himself when girls walked by, and yet he had broken through our school’s crack security system in seconds flat.

From that day on I began to take more time noticing what my students were up to when they weren’t focusing on class work. And these were students who were considered lower level, lower track students. Students who were unlikely to do well on the basic skills test or who demonstrated little or no success with any kind of school work whatsoever. So what were these students doing with their free time? They were accessing and utilizing any and all forms of 21st century technology with the greatest of ease! They were using computers. They were surfing the internet. They were programming iPods and using cell phones and accessing complicated menus. (At least I thought of them as complicated) They were reading directions, or listening to others who were tutoring them, on how to use these devises and then remembering what they had learned and putting that knowledge to practical use. Imagine that?! They were texting each other with lightning speed in a shorthand language that resembled ancient hieroglyphics more than it did modern day English.

It was obvious that my underachieving students had skills, intelligence and problem solving abilities. They had everything that any student needs to be successful in school. So why did they behave like cretins, idiots and morons when they were in class? Apparently the world had changed and no one told school!

These students were learning all of the skills they would need in grammar school and by the time they’d reached middle school and their teenage years education was passé. It served no purpose for them to do more of the same mundane work over and over again at a slightly higher level. They had all of the skills necessary and needed to access and use the technology of the future by the time they were 10 or 11 years old…maybe even sooner. And they are being called to enter a brave new world by a Pied Piper that many adults just aren’t hearing and where they are becoming the new and improved children of the porn.

I call them this because what is it that they are doing with their skills of the future? Are they using them to create new and better technology? Do many of them even understand how the technology works? No, they are simply accessing and using the technology. And boy do they know how to access and use!  They are texting and blogging and tweeting mindless gossip and sarcasm and rumor. They are shopping on-line and perusing merchandise, accessing social networks like My Space and Facebook where they post photos and comment on photos and look at more photos. They visit porn sites and create their own porn, download music, watch videos, check sports scores, place bets. They are doing just about everything there is to do of “NO LITERARY OR ARTISTIC VALUE OTHER THAN TO STIMULATE DESIRE” and it sure beats what we have to offer in school doesn’t it: Pencils and paper, books and chalkboards, writing and penmanship? And constant testing to prove that you can use these archaic tools. Schools are still so 1950. They represent the 20th century where by 20th century I mean 1950! Schools are so 5 minutes ago that I should have ended this sentence 5 minutes ago and moved on to something new.

We as a society have created a new generation of young consumers who we begin marketing to and for, almost literally at birth. We want children to buy and want and desire and spend and go into debt or plunge their parents into debt as soon as they possibly can. And all this in the endless hope of “stimulating the economy”.

Their minds are sharp and they learn well, perhaps even better than any generation that has come before them, but they are not learning what we have to teach them in our public schools. They are learning what we have to teach them in cyberspace and on the internet and through the medium of commercials and advertisements and they can even do it all on their cell phones. Their indoctrination is portable!

Schools aren’t. Children are learning the commerce of desire, broadcast and beamed and googled and texted to them with the speed and brilliance of modern technology. Most of which is not available to them in public schools, especially the poorer ones of which there are many. My school still had film strips available for teacher use in 2010! And you’d thought they’d all melted in the projector back in the 70s!

Perhaps I’m sounding a little old and out of touch, after all I have been referencing the title to a book and movie from the 1980s…but sadly, I have friends, and I certainly know older adults as I’m sure you do too, who cannot grasp today’s technology and who don’t want to. Yet many of these same people are up in arms because so many of today’s children can’t pass a 3 hour exam about algebra, geometry,  English grammar and sentence construction, while using a #2 pencil, scratch paper and 30 year old calculators. (apparently using computers, touch screens and modern calculators would be cheating)

So let me reference another source from my past, The great philosopher, Yogi Berra, who once said,

“It’s getting late early out there!”

Parents used to complain and worry about television and its potential to affect the thoughts and ideas and attention spans of the young people who were growing up watching it. And once upon a time rock music and radio were the culprits that were corrupting America’s youth. But if those two mediums were affecting children at the speeds of sound and light then the internet is operating on today’s youthful brains at warp speed and beyond. Schools can’t compete with that. Our schools, especially at the middle and secondary levels are becoming the silent movies of our time and if we are not inclined to modernize them at the same rate with which we are modernizing our society then soon we might find that the children of the porn will have no use for them at all, nor I’m afraid will the sequel, “The Grandchildren of the Porn!”

 

About these ads

122 Responses to “Children of the Porn”

  1. broadkid January 12, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    Amen . Someone send this to my teachers.

  2. hbw January 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Interesting post. Whilst agreeing that providing every school student with an ipad should be a no-brainer (if you’ll pardon the expression), technology is not an end in itself – it’s what you do with it. Good education will always need good teachers who can show their students round the library,how to use the “books” available to them and how to relate what they find to the physical and social world.

    The good news is that technology can provide every school with a world class library. The bad news is that doling out ipads may become a cheap alternative to employing adequate numbers of properly trained teachers. – a bit like building a library and then sacking the librarian.

  3. dalecooper57 January 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I agree with ail of that, except one thing. I don’t think it’s necessarily the age you learn about stuff that gives you an edge over others, it’s whether you’re there at the beginning of it.
    I was very resistant to getting a mobile phone when they first came out but, having had one for a while, and not being able to afford a computer, I was very keen on the idea of smartphones when they came out. Now, at 45, I was hardly target demographic, but having the chance of being in on the ground floor, so to speak, meant that now, three years later, I do absolutely everything on it. Including building and writing my blog, and doing all other stuff on there – photos, animation, video editing, etc – more out of stubbornness than anything else. But then, i’ve often found, if I find I can’t do something, quite often I’ll work out a way round it, thereby teaching me something new.

    As we say, even at 45 “Every day is a school day”

    Love the blog.

  4. chymdii January 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Great piece…and this issue is not just peculiar to America. It’s the same in the rest of the world…education being treated like the same old stuff it’s been in the fifties…it kind of reminds me about the Biblie: “putting new wine in old wineskins”. The old wineskins (the teachers and the educational system as a whole) have to be renewed for children to become more interested in learning…the change starts with us, each and every one of us.

  5. Simon T. Vesper January 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I recently finished watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” It’s amazing how relevent that show is today. Whenever they show children at school, there’s a distinct lack of “archaic technology” and everyone learns calculus by age ten. Why is it taking so long for us to catch up to this concept in the real world?

  6. Beauty Along the Road January 25, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Very astute observations….
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  7. vickeryea January 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Great work! Thanks for visiting my blog and letting me be a part of your day! It may be “getting late early out there!” But “it ain’t over till it’s over!” We still have a shot to get through to our children before it’s too late. Let’s take it!

  8. rohannaeade February 2, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    This reminds me of a fantastic talk by Ken Robinson on TED ‘schools
    kill creativity’.

    • pearlynnw February 19, 2013 at 2:31 am #

      That was what was on my mind too! His talk was hilarious, and so is this post.

      I am considered to be from Gen Y, or even Z, and I agree with the need for schools to catch up with technology.

  9. themofman February 8, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    You said it!

  10. roseroberta 'Bobbi' February 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m on your side. You liked my metaphors. I have a suggestion. Go to FB to my Power of Metaphor page and put a metaphor about this there. I also welcome you to go to my contact page on my word press site and put an essay about this….maybe, just tighten this up a bit, and I will post it on my site. I do want stories from others as well as my own. I am planning on writing a book on metaphor which will be very involved with education. Good Luck with what you are doing.

  11. Ms. Kiri February 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    I love this post, and I “pressed” it on my own blog. I hope that’s okay. Thanks!

    • gpicone February 24, 2013 at 4:14 am #

      Yes it is! Thank you very much and thanks for reading :)

  12. Argus February 25, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    First—what is the purpose of education? Is it to give kids the skills and techniques to go forth into the real world and prosper to the limits of their own talents and ambitions … or is it to keep teachers in a job?

    Second (and this is NOT ‘America bashing’) Americans have a fixation (an arrogance, in fact) that everything can be reduced to mathematical formulae and reworked accordingly. Doesn’t work.
    Kids can’t be cut in half and rings counted to set them right. Doesn’t work either.

    BUT: politicians need keep themselves in a job; and that, Sir, is what it’s all about …

  13. earthriderjudyberman March 3, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    I teach at a Middle School and can atest that many students are hard-wired to the Internet thru their cell phones, Ipads, computers, etc. I don’t know if they’re more indifferent to the educational opportunities than in the past, but some clearly have little or no use for school beyond the social. It is a challenge.

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  14. Tori L. Ridgewood (@ToriLRidgewood) March 10, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    I completely agree… The other day, the administration agreed to ban an iPad Mini belonging to one individual student (just his, just for him) because he’d abused the privilege to the point that he wasn’t getting anything done. Just YouTube and texting. And yet, when he first started bringing the device to class, he was using it to take notes and define terms. Discipline with the device — knowing when it’s okay to slack (if you can listen and repeat back what was just said, you’re okay), and when to put it away — is something that they definitely need to be taught. Delayed gratification rather than instantaneously getting what they want. Unfortunately, a lot of that has to start at home, and I’m not seeing a great deal of it these days.

    Thanks for the thoughtful, spot-on post!

  15. darth8ter March 12, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    I thought it was great when my district blocked pbs.org, but kept facebook because somebody was teaching with it.

  16. gynodesss March 12, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    I am surprised you didn’t go more into how pornography is damaging to all people, especially young people, I am anti-pornography myself, as a high school radical feminist it is frustrating to interact with my peers who are so indoctrinated into treating women as commodities. As someone with non verbal learning disability the psychologist who did the assessment actually recommended I have access to a computer whenever possible, it helps me learn. Cool huh?

    • Argus March 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      I used to say “I have nothing against women myself—they’re almost like people” … until I realised how many idiots took me seriously.

      Women? Hell—I even married one! Is another. I find it’s difficult to use tongue-in-cheek as a tool in an ever dumbing world. But nobody is a commodity, much as to politicians we are simply sheep for the skinning.

      Feminist? Good luck to you … I’m a People-ist myself.

      • gynodesss March 19, 2013 at 3:35 am #

        I’d call u a chauvinist but have fun choosing labels.

      • Argus March 20, 2013 at 12:53 am #

        *sniff* … that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard …

  17. gracegod86 March 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    It is a sad situation the world has on her hands. Bless you

    • Argus March 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      The hand that rocks the cradle rules that world, right?

      If not … the guy has to sleep some time, no?

  18. Coach Muller March 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Great stuff! keep up the god work!!!

  19. Ravi Chander March 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    You need to read about the Hole in the Wall project. See this » “In the networked age, we need schools, not structured like factories, but like clouds”. via TED http://on.ted.com/cR39

  20. orlando gustilo March 25, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    It does make one think what education is and what it can be… not to mention what porn is and what it can be!

  21. Bubbly Tee March 25, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    You make so many good points here. The desire to pleasure the self with little effort is much easier than improving self by intellectual growth.

  22. pfstare March 27, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Thanks for the like. This is a really interesting post, I don’t have enough time to say what I think but I will come back and absorb some more!

  23. trendbytes March 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. As the mother of 2 teens in public school, I could not agree more…enjoyed this post very much!

  24. Charlie Nicholas March 31, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    You provide a solid argument and I agree with you sir, the school system must be upgraded.

  25. Joanna April 1, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    This is the best blog post I have read in a long time. Thank you. I will follow your blog now and hope to peruse your posts in time. Your informed care is invaluable to us all, although how to make best use of it is difficult to know at first read. Obviously I need to read more of your blog.

  26. robstewart1 April 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    After reading your wonderful post, I’m flatterered that you took the time to read and like mine – thank you (tasteandlight). I’m sure that if you had taught me as a young person you would have found me equally incomprehensible and I couldn’t wait to leave at 16. I started studying much later in life and a few years ago started to study for a degree in history with the Open University here in the UK. I also passed my exam last year that qualifies me to teach adults – I want to teach cookery – and we explored in-depth different learning styles. It has been said that education is wasted on the young – it was on me.

    • gpicone April 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Great job and best of luck to you in your teaching!

  27. lavernjdewilde April 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    The issues of commercialism in America and the captives of the system are the very issues that “Theocracies” hold against us, ” the system” just doesn’t get it!!!! I empathize with you as a teacher who joys in the few students that may apply themselves to studies and exemplary test scores. But, I believe, that though they don’t appear to be interested, they are retaining your essence and what you teach. I believe that. Though you feel you aren’t getting through, and it is exceedingly frustrating to be seemingly talking to blank walls, the student who assisted you with your website, had the interest to help you. To me that shows you are respected!!!!!! Parents are just as frustrated as you are, they too can’t encourage scholarship, over the temptations and illusions of the world!!!! Trust that you are planting seeds in each of your students, and those seeds they carry in their hearts and minds in memory of you, whether you believe it or not!!!!!!! They do have a degree of gratitude, they just aren’t demonstrating it the way an educator expects!!!!!

  28. Walter Boomsma April 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    One of the stories I tell in my soon to be released book took place in a school cafeteria while I was performing substitute lunch duty. I was carrying my trusty clipboard–that happened to be shiny black plastic. A second grader approached me and asked, “Mr. Boomsma, can I see your tablet?” I managed not to correct her grammar, but handed her the device which she turned over and around several times.

    “How do you turn it on?” she asked, I handed her my pen, pushing the button on the top. She gave me that seven year old “you’ve got to be kidding” look and handed everything back.

    At some level, we’ve been guilty during every generation of not reaching “underachieving” students who don’t follow the mass thinking or fit the social mold. But the potential sin of this generation is that we are not equipping students to use their brains when it comes to technology. Given a problem to solve, an increasingly frequent response is “Let’s Google it!”

    Working with an individual student raised some questions and I used my “real” tablet to look up some information for his writing project. I was later surprised that my young friend told his classmates that he and I “played” with my tablet. While I felt compelled to correct the image he was creating, I confess I smiled at the realization that he thought we were playing when we were, in fact, learning.

    No, schools can’t compete with technology. But we can embrace it, acknowledge it’s power, and create the right fit with some good old fashioned critical thinking. Part of that is understanding that technology “wins” because we aren’t always very good at making learning fun.

    • Argus April 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Aaah … where’d we be without good ol’ Google? I use it at every opportunity, sure beats rabbiting about in the local library then driving thirty odd k’s to town to rabbit through a bigger better one that still can’t match a quick googling. (Don’t you just love the way nouns quickly become verbs or whatever I’ve just used?)

      As an old poop I think the little monsters should be thoroughly grounded in (a) how to think, and (b) how to use cutting-edge technology to the fullest (to garner/glean/gather or otherwise find the stuff to think upon).

      Failing that turn ‘em all into politicians—they can’t do any worse and it keeps ‘em off the street.

  29. VictoriaJoDean April 7, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    Well said post on the scariness of today’s lightning speed effect on the brains of the young – hard to say what they will be in the future – thank God for the resiliency of the human spirit and soul and beyond that, God help us and them!

    • Argus April 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      I often wonder if God keeps Himself up to date technology-wise too; the idea of all the angels swapping harps for iPods and iPads holds a certain appeal …

  30. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com April 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Powerful post ,thank you for exposing the subject.Thank you for liking my post ( the L.A Time ) have a great day.jalal

  31. Laura Crean April 22, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    (applause) I wish more teachers would wake up to this fact – I am so worried for my children – they are bright girls and I try to stimulate them by providing the opportunity to play instruments, learn dance, I try to talk to them about history, religion and philosophy and offer to help with homework but frankly I feel like the world is spinning past their heads at light speed and they can’t focus on it because they are stuck in cyber space! Even my 8 year old is constantly attached to a tablet, phone or games console! My teenagers don’t want to read, they don’t want to study for exams – I’m lost!

  32. Memory Catcher April 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    So true; thanks for liking my post….Sally

  33. livelytwist April 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Insightful and interesting… I smiled as I read through, thinking about a poster I saw on Facebook- you know the one about how kids learn the alphabets today: a is for @; g is for google; i is for internet; j is for java, and so on…. :)

  34. thomaswensing May 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    I actually read it from start to finish to make you proud!
    I taught architecture in Canterbury at the University of Kent and when I was explaining the difference between Utopia and Distopia I would show Youtube videos and blast it through the PA system of the auditorium. One of the older teachers commented: “I heard all this racket, what was all the fun about?” One of the students commented “I want to do my studio projects with you when I get to third year.” Case closed.

  35. huguesleandre May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Being a student myself, I feel first hand the resistance by some of my lecturers to accept novel knowledge. In my class of about 110 students, not up to 10 use(know) Twitter, probably less than half of that number have seen/a tablet ( I really need to get these exact values).However they all go to the internet regularly for one reason mostly-Facebook. I am talking here of a freshman class of student journalists ! Students who have difficulty doing their research for assignments but know how to tweak browsers to improve download speeds! Of almost 30 lecturers,less than 1/4 have active Social media presence-all use(own) computers but clearly for documentation (or even pompous )reasons only! What sort of professionals do they expect to produce?

  36. Bonnie Anderson May 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I read this post with interest and a little fear. The title was a bit off-putting for me, but I was curious as to your point. Interesting for sure and a little scary what these children can do with a computer. I have been guilty of not wanting to learn new things because my wiring is truly from the 50s. It’s challenging putting new info into an old system!

  37. knightofjanuary May 16, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    This piece is a little bold , but depicts the reality of today’s generation. But you see, the issue with learning so much from the internet is that, we are likely to ignore ethical side of things. I hope with the new this new technologies and today’s generation, we will be able find our true selves and identity.

  38. aaronlef June 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I took a course in grad school on composition theory and spent a good deal of time exploring the possibility of annexing social sites like Facebook and adding a virtual learning environment function. Programs like Blackboard and Desire2Learn are useful, but only in school. And like you said, the technology these kids are using today is mobile. Something like a Facebook space for academics, where kids can continue interacting with their teachers (and obviously it would take a certain kind of teacher to be on board with this) after school, and at the same time focus their attention on their social world. It could potentially bring these kids’ understandings of technology back to the realm of academics and schoolwork. These days kids adhere to a “multi-channel” experience every minute of the day. They don’t focus on one thing for long. So, going to school for eight hours a day doesn’t really fit into this new age mindset either.

    There’s a lot of info out there on the topic. Might be worth checking out: VLE’s (Virtual Learning Environment) and Facebook.

    Nice post.

  39. reocochran June 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I was a teacher of middle school children when I first left college. The kids were very tech savvy and I appreciated and encouraged those skills with a simple but true statement: “I graduated from college with wonderful grades and make an average salary, my husband (at the time) barely made it to classes, was high a lot of the time, but makes over $100,000! (and this was after 1980′s!)” I know you are not supposed to say such things but I never did called to the office because of this comment! On the other hand, I was called to the office for saying “Quitcher bitching.” Which at the time was on a lot of bumper stickers and I did not think the kids would blink an eye but one “told” on me!

  40. Ronald Joseph Kule June 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Bright or not, these young students can be taken down, crumbled by one thing: a word. Specifically, a word whose definitions are mis-understood. Want proof? Ask any one of them to read a page of text. Then ask them if they remember what they just read. If they cannot, they mis-understood a WORD, after which their mind goes blank. They also cannot apply what they just read. A mis-understood word prevents ability to apply.)

    The remedy: have them go back to BEFORE the troubling section and come forward from there to find THE mis-understood word. Once well-defined (there is a way to clear a word correctly), the “lost” passage returns and they will not only be able to remember what was read, but also apply.
    So, if you wonder if you’re connecting or not, just spot-check your students thusly.

  41. Elizabeth Yalian July 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    You make many good points. The technology available to today and tomorrow’s generation is vastly different than even 20 years ago. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Students who were unlikely to do well… « Elliot's P2 - January 7, 2013

    [...] Children of the Porn [...]

  2. PRESSED: “Children of the P[*]rn” from IPLEDGEAFALLEGIANCE | Fearless Learning - February 23, 2013

    [...] blog called IPLEDGEAFALLEGIANCE.  Although the title of the article may be a bit troubling, Children of the Porn is an insightful post about the struggle to engage today’s students.  Teachers, this [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Long Awkward Pause

A Humor Mag Of Sorts...

Life as a Garden

Exploring how we can live our lives with purpose and joy.

Learning is the Reward

Celebrating the joy of lifelong learning.

The Last Half

...Spitting into the online ocean.

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.

Harriet in Bloom

A place for educators to reflect, recharge, and revive

The Red Herring

“Much unhappiness comes into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”

tworockchronicles

The official blog of Two Rock Press

Ontyre Passages

Where fantasy is reality and lives find purpose.

errinspelling

Just another WordPress.com site

My mind,its products and consequences.

Delve into my life experiences,weird thoughts and audacious dreams!

Granny Smith: Unleashed

Observations and random thoughts from a "not so teenager."

TeacherPains

About Teaching. For Teachers.

"Normal" is the New Boring

Atypical Parenting, Drastic Over-Analyzations, and Pounding Wine Like It's My Job.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,143 other followers

%d bloggers like this: