The use of technology has so utterly permeated the day-to-day lives of many humans on our planet. Technology has helped to forge a tightly-knit global community and it has resulted in many benefits for our species. For students and educators, information is literally at our fingertips when we use a smartphone, tablet, or computer and it has transformed how learning occurs in schools and university. People connect effortlessly and interactively with each other through social media platforms, video phone calls, text messages, and live streaming applications. Technology often feels like it changes at a rate that moves faster than we are able to keep up with.
Technology use also comes with a large set of challenges and issues. Sustainability and electronics waste is a dark underbelly that is not always considered when the latest smartphone is released and consumers rush to claim the most up-to-date technology. Depression and addiction are side-effects that plague many users. How could it be possible that a person could still feel lonely when they have a thousand social media ‘friends?’ In social settings, without searching too far you can find a group of people together and observe each person hunched over their smartphone. We have become desensitized to smartphone use, and current behaviours often seem to come at odds with manners and older societal norms. It will be interesting to see how social norms evolve as younger generations, many of whom have been using smartphones from their earliest years, come to maturity. How will society keep up? To this end, it is important for students to think critically about technology. What are its positive uses, what are its detriments, and how does its use impact our lives?
Graphic novels have quickly become a favoured reading medium for students. In a classroom setting, designing a comic may be an effective way to tap into that interest. Using comics is a fun way to employ visuals to amplify the text of a short story, or hit home with a concise point. I used StoryBoardThat to create my comic, but there are many other online sites that provide the same type of application.