Psychosocial Impact of Modern Technologies Term Paper

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They are in the process of transition from becoming children in the home to an equal partner in the world of equals. Some of the children get pleasure from the required intellectual stimulation, being productive and seeking success then they succeed in becoming competent. If they do not succeed, then they develop a sense that they are inferior. (Erikson's Eight Stages of Human Development) A similar type of development continues even in the next stage, and one of the main objectives is education at this stage. The present situation in the world is that there are a lot of disasters and there has to be more training given to students all over the world for this purpose. The method of teaching used should provide a lot of psycho-social impact as then only the students will be able to understand the need for controlling of disasters and try to take an active hand.

For this to be done the first requirement is the judgment of psychosocial impacts of disasters on individuals. Any individual knows that the likely range of reactions to disasters is extensive and to a certain extent the reactions will depend on the nature of the disaster, as also the person involved. To understand this, one can look into the history of reactions of people to disasters that have taken place over time and in many places. A suitable type of disaster can be chosen by the country or group that wants to develop the entire process of teaching. There are some common responses to disasters and these responses are not similar to the expectations of many individuals. Understanding these is very important as that will be the method for deciding on appropriate strategies for the education to be designed. When only a psychosocial approach is taken to disasters then they may be felt to be very traumatic events which are a threat of death or injury to a large number of people among a large number of people. (Eyre, 2004)

According to experts in trauma, the feeling comes from the events being viewed as abnormal or extra-ordinary. Any individual who goes through such an event is likely to be affected by the event. Though it is clear from our understanding of trauma that the stress due to trauma may not be seen directly on the people, yet there are expectations of other troubles like widespread panic, looting and rioting. Yet research shows clearly that such behaviors do not take place. In the majority of situations where disasters have taken place, the victims become directly concerned with the assistance of other victims and rescuing them from the effects of the event. They provide the first stage of recovery. The stereotyped feelings about disasters should be first removed from the minds of individuals as this is one of the reasons why many individuals do not participate in the activities for recovery from disasters. This can be easily understood when one goes through the behavior and other evidence from the sites of disasters.

One of the disasters took place in 1966 in South Wales and is called the Aberfan Disaster. The incident took place in a small village in the morning, from mining waste tips of a local colliery. The waste suddenly slid down and completely covered the village junior school and some houses nearby. The result was the death of a 144 people including 116 children who had just finished morning assembly and were getting into their classes. The response was naturally from the community nearby and they did not panic but engaged themselves in focused, social and productive activities. Even others who have to act when a disaster takes place should be able to understand the methods of acting against a disaster. This means understanding the behavioral aspects of disaster and that are the reactions of the persons initially and the factors that influence them in the short-term and long-term. (Eyre, 2004) What is the best way to pass this information on, or even store it for a long time, except Internet? Then it will help others get education from directly viewing the experiences of one disaster and hear the expertise of peoples connected with the recovery from disaster. It will also prepare the individuals for any disaster should it happen.

Let us now look at another organization which was organizing a course on disaster management and this was sought to be done through organizing a seminar. The first item used was a software platform called Blackboard and for which the site is www.blackboard.com.This is one of the very commonly used education tools in United States where the matter has to go a long way. Blackboard is a system which allows the instructor to design a website where the students log in to find out the documents for the course and these may be in the form of syllabus or handouts. They also get assignments, quizzes, examinations, a discussion board which is not live, email and two chat rooms. The chat rooms are live or virtual and the study groups can meet online. Professors are able to grade the assignments online, conduct surveys and give out tests. (Philips, 2004)

When the instructor provides a close ended survey or test, the computer itself can calculate the scores and even record the marks. Students are able to check their grades, download their educational materials, and even set up their own home page! There are different elements to help the teacher manage the seminar and the important helps are in terms of recording grades, finding out the participation by the students and provide links to the students for outside websites. The seminar on the subject continues for 15 weeks and permits the regular posting and evaluation of assignments. Marks are provided for both quality and participation. On the other hand, students, if they are new to online education still feel that live classes are needed for understanding concepts and permitting interaction.

At the same time, there are some problems with online education though they may be most suited for an education like this where there are many elements needed to give the students a lot of psychosocial training as a part of the course. The faculty has to spend a lot more time on teaching the students as compared to the time that they have to spend in direct teaching. When the students for emergency management come, there are many among them with different levels of experience and it is up to the faculty member to avoid cliques among the students. There is also the requirement of a lot of time required for the students to get accustomed to virtual environments and for them to feel like a community of participants. One of the methods to build a community among them is through group projects. Thus the teacher may have to take on the roles of 'encourager, harmonizer, compromiser, gatekeeper, standard setter, observer, or follower', and all at the same time. (Philips, 2004) However, when one considers the difficulty in teaching the subject and passing on the psychosocial elements also to the students, this may be thought of as a good example.

Are all modern technologies only good for psychosocial development?

In this analysis let us look at three different items which have nearly the same type of visual impact - television, video games and Internet. As a matter of fact, a large number of video games have been unloaded by individuals from the Internet or are still played live on Internet. Television is not connected by cable, but has almost the same visual impact. Looking at television first, it has the capacity to create both good and bad images. The main factor in deciding whether television will have good impact or bad impact is the developmental level of the child and what that means is how far the child will learn from television, or just treat it as entertainment. If the individual is competent then television is likely to be viewed as entertainment, but if the person has inferiority, then the person may try to learn from television and that is likely to cause problems.

Not all television programs reflect bad scenes, but the negative effects come from the exposure given to violence, sexuality and offensive language. There is still the requirement for further research in the matter before firm opinions are taken. One of the sets of suggestions is that children's viewing habits should be controlled, excess amounts of viewing should be stopped, stoppage of seeing violent behavior on television is likely to stop violent behavior by the child, excessive viewing of television is one of the main reasons for childhood obesity, excessive viewing of television will lead to loss in time for studies and thus reduce academic performance and finally, television is a method of advertising to children. (Impact of media use on children and youth) The violent behavior by children is clearly from a…[continue]

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