The Milken Roar

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  • S

    StudentFeb 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Great Idea to shut off our phones and place them on our desk… I did that in Rabbi Shawn’s class… 😉

  • A

    Aaron DFeb 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    First off, great article Ami, very well thought out and well written. While I do agree with your point that the current implementation of technology at Milken does often do more harm than good, I think that your proposed solution would drive Milken in the wrong direction. I am a firm believer that technology is the future. In the early 1990’s, as the internet was just forming, many companies contemplated the option to provide their goods/services by means of the web, however, they were concerned about a lack security and the possibility of fraud. What is their decision was to reject technology? What would our world be like today? I do not claim to have the solution to Milken’s technology problem, however taking a step backwards and pushing technology away would not only be a detriment to Milken’s future student, but would cast a shadow over Milken in comparison with other schools as well.

  • M

    Mr. P. LindsayFeb 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Ami, I doubt if I could have written a better article myself.

  • D

    Daniel KortFeb 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Very well-written article! My one comment is that laptop monitoring should only occur in at-level classes. Ambitious students who enroll in honors and AP classes are likely aware of the repercussions of dozing off into tetris land.

  • T

    TigerFeb 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Bring Council to Milken-the antidote to tech!
    Love the article Ami!

  • Z

    ZbrownFeb 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I appreciate this well articulated article Mr. Fields-Meyer. I certainly know first hand how very distracting a computer can be, be it Facebook or another website. I think however that banning certain websites, like Facebook, would only bring about strife to the majority of the community. It is difficult to ban one website, because generally when one is banned there is a sort of chain reaction, or the domino effect. If Facebook were banned, then next would be twitter, and AIM, Youtube and more.

    As many teachers of our senior class have said, it is up to us to choose whether or not to be respectful or not, and we are only harming ourselves. As a member of the Milken community, students should be given the opportunity to choose to engage in class, or to lose out on the class.
    This is just my opinion.

  • H

    Hannah S.Feb 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I really agree with this. I think that Milken should take one day and ban all forms of technology and see how students would survive as a social experiment. It would only take one day and all students and teachers would be involved. Then we could see if grades would improve, if class discussions would have more depth, and above all, we could interact face to face, when we are in the same location rather than texting or facebook chatting across the building. Our student body would not have survived high school less than 5 years ago due to the tolerance of technology.

  • B

    Brandon W.Feb 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    This is really an interesting, and well written with which I mostly agree. While I do agree that technology has been a major distraction that can hinder learning and participation, I firmly believe it is the responsibility of the student as to whether or not he/she becomes distracted. I myself have been keeping my phone in my backpack during classes so I don’t know when I have a new text message or Facebook notification. Students also have the option to use programs like Self Control in which you can allot yourself a certain amount of time each day during which you can be on Facebook or any other site you choose to set; but after that, it blocks you. I do not use this program because I am trying working on my self control without the use of external sources, but it is still nevertheless an option for others to utilize as they wish. But like I said before, this really is a great article with several points that I have noticed myself. Great job!

  • Z

    Zoe L.Feb 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm


    Beautifully said and eloquently written. This has been a recurring issue in many of my classes, especially in recent years, after laptops were mandated for freshman. I, more often then I’d like, find my mind and my eyes being lured in and glued to an LED Macbook Pro screen in class. However, to avoid this phenomenon, that you so keenly point out in your article, I use, dare I say it, pen and paper in some of classes merely as a precautionary and preventative measure. Even some of my teachers insist that “today” for example, “will be a handwritten note day”, not only for the sake of clarity, but for the sake of have students actually pay attention and focus on the material, not on the latest NBA stats.

    Of course, like in discussing any controversial topic, there is obviously another side to the story. Technology has both saved us precious resources and enabled more dynamic learning in the classroom. For instance, as a student enrolled in AP Art History, I am able to save a significant amount of paper by typing notes and, if a topic is brought up in class that I do not know, I can simply use the internet and look it up. However, I will cede to the fact that I become distracted, even in the most attention demanding of AP’s, and the magnetic powers of and fashion blogs are too strong for my feeble and preoccupied, teenage brain– I cave in, and enjoy a peek at the fashions in Paris or Milan.

    I wish that this complicated issue had a simple answer– but it does not. Like you mention in your article, banning sites like facebook might, in fact, prove productive and “should be a community-wide exercise in self-control.” However, once we begin discussing the issue of facebook and banning certain websites, we open up Pandora’s box. Who’s to say that banning a website is not like banning a book or like any other form of censorship? I digress. Ultimately, there is no satisfactory answer to the issue at hand, but, for the time being, we as students must muster our strength and willpower to use our computers for the betterment of Milken and for the progression of our knowledge.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Zoe L. ’12

  • E

    Elizabeth H.Feb 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I completely agree. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–how much we rely on technology and how it keeps us from the connections that we used to work so hard to create. Great article!

    • R

      RabbiMMFeb 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you to Ami for his though provoking article on this issue and for sharing his suggestions. You have started a valuable conversation and I hope you broaden the discussion at Milken.

      It appears from the comments that many students share Ami’s perspective on the issue.

      I want to challenge Ami and the group to consider that this issue is not exclusive to schools but is rather one that confronts all users of technology today, regardless of the context, and regardless of age. While schools offer a specific venue where engagement is valued and where we might develop a social contract to curb our use of technology, adults deal with these same issues in the workplace, in family life, and in their interpersonal relationships. Rather than say “our education is in retreat”, I wonder how you might foster a deep conversation of how people in the digital age develop a thoughtful and reflective sense of their ability to engage other people without initially offering strict guidelines for behavior. Among the 21st century skills all people need in the developed world is the ability to balance the great benefits of technology with our humanity. Those and other skills will be life skills that an education at Milken might have a hand in fostering.

      Check out Jaron Lanier on this issue: