Technology: The Cause of (and Solution to) All of Life's Problems Part Two

While the technological inconvenience of the PARCC test is annoying, and corporate globalization of education is scary, neither of these things is tragic . . . a local event put things into very grim perspective; the beloved school superintendent of a nearby town was struck and killed by a 17 year old high school student . . . he was out for an early morning jog with his dog (also killed) and she was trying to catch a bus for a school trip; the superintendent lives in the town (Robinsville) and his children attend the same school system; the town closed the schools and brought in grief counselors, and the event had a sobering effect on high school students in my district as well . . . there are rumors that the girl may have been texting while she was driving, but these rumors aren't confirmed, and I haven't found a complete account of the accident, but it still opened a great deal of discussion about distracted driving . . . we give our teenagers cars and cell-phones and expect them to be able to responsibly use them, when the technology might be too much for anyone-- teen or adult-- to handle; Leon Neyfakh explains some of the research on this dilemma in an excellent article, and I think the only solution to this nightmare is a technological one: cars that drive themselves, cellphones that sense when you're driving and shut down, and the realization that for most of us, the romance of the open road is a thing of the past and that our cars and phones-- two of the technologies that people use the most-- need to be designed so they operate together, safely and intelligently.

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