Angela Kim | Manifesto

1. Schools should not replace textbooks with e-books as the main educational resource; rather, they should use technology for reinforcement and support.
It has always been standard for schools to use textbooks to support the instructors' teachings. Schools, especially universities, have been considering (or have already implemented) using e-readers for teaching material. Arguments people are making are that they are much cheaper, lighter, and environmentally friendly. While the use of technology may be useful in universities, I believe that textbooks should remain the key resource, especially in elementary and secondary schools. It's important for kids to read books and reading a physical book to retain information is essential. Perhaps it is more reasonable in secondary schools or in colleges. The use of technology is more common since they will need to learn it to keep up with society and standards. Nevertheless, technology should be a secondary resource and come after textbooks.

Call me traditional, but there is something so different about reading a physical book - it's harder to go back to certain pages and still keep a finger on the current page, as well as highlight and make comments. I believe that a physical book is more effective in retaining information, although it varies from person to person. While it may be cheaper for students at universities to use e-readers, students in elementary school and secondary school should not be required to purchase an e-reader and learn how to use one so early on in their education. Even if they are provided by the county, they are unreliable due to glitches and other potential technical issues.


2. We ought to decrease the use of everyday technology to attain a higher quality of life.
Many people have access to smart phones and computers, which they use daily. It has become a staple in most of our lives - we must check our phones when we wake up and before we go to sleep. Social media is a huge part of our lives as well as the Internet as a whole to view the news and various sites. We are always connected and never offline, and that has become a standard in society. This causes us to stay attached to our phones and laptops in case anything happens. While it is advantageous because we have quick access to information, whether it be important or not, many of us fail to realize that technology has a tight hold on us. Instead of spending a day outdoors, we glue ourselves to the couch to play video games or to talk with our friends online. Some are guilty of neglecting their friends and family for virtual friends and entertainment.

To alleviate this issue, we must all take a step back and stop the obsession with technology. It is difficult to do so because our careers and education rely on the Internet, but we should explore other recreational activities than computer games and phone games, at the very least. We shouldn't be distracted constantly by technology, as the article "Can't Get Away From It All? The Problem Isn't Technology - It's You" in the Considered Replies suggests. We must be okay with having technology around, but not depend on it so much daily.


3. We should not place so much dependency on artificial intelligence that it ends up controlling us.
There is the question of whether or not technology controls us. We are immersed in the technium, as Kevin Kelly calls it. Technology is continually developing and it is getting smarter. Many fear that the future will bring artificial intelligence similar to those in I-Robot, where the AI ends up being in control over the humans. We should continue to develop our technology to make our lives efficient, but not use it to replace our own intelligence. We should always be in control and have the choice, rather than the technology controlling us.

Artificial intelligence may be easier for us in making logical decisions, but it is potentially dangerous as well. There is only so much that technology can do for us - one day the AI could just stop working because it is not sustainable. This is seen in E.M. Forster's The Machine Stops. Although it is a work of fiction, it is a potential result of relying on technology and artificial intelligence. It's good to have technology to support our lifestyles but boundaries should be kept and we shouldn't feel as if we can't function without its superior solutions and services.

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

4. We ought to increase Internet privacy in regard to social media.
More and more, we see …well, more and more of people through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and even all kinds of apps. When I download a new game on my phone, a small window pops up, making me allow the app to access my Facebook contacts or the like or I won't be able to use it to its full potential. When I post pictures on Facebook, the location of the photos are automatically revealed. There is so much transparency in social media sites that I'm just glad if I have even one other option to preserve a bit of privacy.

Due to the increasing lack of privacy on Facebook, many have just quit the site altogether. While this may not be a bad thing, the reason for it is - they shouldn't have to feel paranoid about what pops up on their Facebook. Our privacy should remain intact even while using social media sites. It's one thing if you display everything yourself for all to see, but it's another if the site basically displays your personal information without you knowing or without a clear message. It is almost ridiculous how much personal information is shown on the Internet. There are many discrepancies between the privacy policies and the actual privacy controls. We need to fix these issues and strengthen and maintain our privacy on the Internet. We shouldn't be scared off and feel as if we have to quit networking and social media completely - although it may be good for some people to moderate their use of social media.


5. We ought to further develop the quality of nursing centers for the elderly to accommodate the increasing mortality rate of humans.
While some may regard the population increase of the elderly as an issue, arguing that their quality of life is not improving despite their longevity, it is a fact that must be accepted. We are living longer. With this increasing population of the elderly, nursing centers are becoming essential for families. The current condition of many nursing centers are very unsatisfactory. The care that residents in some facilities are given are terrible, considering their disabilities and illnesses. There has been a history of below-standard nursing centers in the past. Due to technology, they have been improving, but we must be proactive and further advance the quality of nursing centers.

There are many aspects of nursing centers that must be improved. Residents need better spiritual care since the stage of their lives is so fragile. They also need top notch technology to maintain their health and vitality. Technology IS one of the key reasons why people live longer than before. It is also needed to keep some of them alive. Because it is available to us, we should use it, especially in nursing homes, where residents need it the most.

Class discussions regarding the mortality rate

6. We should not use technology to evaluate works of originality and creativity.
While I haven't heard of technology evaluating works of art, people have developed software to evaluate and grade essays, which are just as original and creative as art. Essays formulated by careful thought, created wholly by the writer's mind. Each original essay is unique and, while there may be a rubric attached to the essay, no software can fully evaluate it and give good quality feedback. Many students have doubts about this software/AI. They say that they would rather have a teacher's feedback even though it might take longer. A teacher's feedback is more thought-provoking and calculated, while a software's feedback may be general and not catered specifically to the student's essay. Having a human look over a piece of writing is much more different than having an artificial intelligence look over it.

I also think that instant feedback isn't always the best, especially with writing. Sometimes it's good to step back from the piece of writing and come back to it later - then you'll maybe see differently and spot any mistakes. Receiving feedback a little later may help to clearly understand the feedback and make revisions accordingly.

There are groups of educators who even oppose this method of evaluation. “Let’s face the realities of automatic essay scoring,” the group’s statement reads in part. “Computers cannot ‘read.’ They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others.”