The data mining of all Google accounts (and probably all things Apple) is real and scary. Turns out Big Brother isn’t just the NSA, it’s all those corporations you don’t know are connected. Little Brother is just as real and just as scary, because we choose to participate by having these devices, by downloading apps and games, by posting to blogs and social media, by tagging each other.

I keep trying to impart the idea of consent and awareness regarding the Internet and technology to my students. I’ve accepted that corporations have far more information about me than I suspect. I think many of the people who are playing PokemonGo have accepted it as well. Ever since the series of laws that created Homeland security, ever since the inception of MySpace and AOL, people have been freely giving their information to entities that use it as a commodity.

I think some of my students are sheltered and don’t realize, I think some of my students have ______________ so much away that they won’t realize for awhile what they’ve given away, but I know that many of my students have accepted it as the price of doing business in the modern world—they are aware of their tacit and explicit consent, they are aware that things will be posted about them with any consent, and they just accept it.

That was one of the most interesting points to come out during our 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 discussions. Millennials (or whatever we’re calling them) aren’t stupid. They understand the Internet, the idea of Big Brother, the idea of Little Brother intrinsically. They may not use the same labels, but they see it and some of them figure out how to use it. They will usually be a step or two ahead of me on how to use modern tech to their advantage, but I don’t mind the need to adapt.

This is why next year any printed or handwritten notes are fine for quizzes (I can deepen the questions), this is why next year each class period has its own five question Friday quiz (pictures from the morning won’t help the afternoon), this is why tech stays in bags or on the desks for quizzes (I see you going to get water or hitting the bathroom just long enough to google the answer), this is why I’ve returned to and revamped journals.

This is why high school students are awesome to teach. They are learning how to be the people they want to be. They are learning to think critically. They already have a layer of inherent knowledge that is vastly different from the knowledge weaved into my bones at that age.


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