This past Tuesday I took part in a debate. The main debate question was “Does technology enhance our learning?” Well being in an ed tech class I want to agree, but I was challenged with the task of arguing that it does not. To begin I struggled what points are my team and I could even going to stand on? Everyone knows our world is becoming more technological everyday. As a team we decided to meet up and get things started.
I was so thrilled with my teammates Chalyn and Steve. They came in with a game plan and I thought I would take it to the next level. Instead of using some technology we decided to simply argue our points. We decided that our best bet to win this debate would be to argue that the way technology is being used in classrooms today is not enhancing student learning.
- Teachers need more training to know how to use the technology better
- The cost is significant
- Technology is almost impossible to monitor
Throughout the debate I was full of anxiety. It was very difficult to balance listening, taking notes, messaging team mates, creating a rebuttal, and changing the closing argument. With all this on everyone’s plate I feel the debate went surprisingly well. I want to thank everyone who worked hard to put it together.
Now for what I have learned. This experience has challenged me to use tech in efficient and effective ways. I feel I am guilty of using tech as a “time filler” on occasion. I feel that some of my practices are not enhancing my students’ learning as much as they could. That was one of the reasons I love the Ed Tech classes that the University of Regina offers. I feel every semester I learn a better way to prepare my students for a future while, they get to enjoy being kids.
This week I enjoyed reading many things about the pros and cons of tech. I especially loved a colleagues blog, The Never Ending EdTech Debate. He discusses the perfect movements when tech goes wrong, the importance of teacher training, how tech can be a distraction, and how we can use tech to prepare our students for the future. One of his closing points mentions that tech can be a huge enhancement to student learning but, can also be a huge distraction. I completely agree with this.
Life in north american society is always pressuring people to multitask in better ways. The technology that many of us have access to allows us to check emails, listen to music, search up something on the internet all while staying continually connected to social media. Is this a good thing? Are we slowly forgetting how to give our full attention to one thing or one person? While doing my research this week I came across a Ted Talk by Sherry Turkle. I felt it fit into our debate but, we did not have the time to go into length. So I thought I would share it now.
Do you think we are losing the ability to have meaningful conversation? Does this lead to not being able to not have meaningful conversations with ourselves? Will we be able to self reflect? Is this a good or bad thing?
Sherry has really challenged my thinking about how technology is changing our world. I have a need to ensure my students are learning both the technologies that could help them and how to connect with people on a deeper level. What do you think?