EdTech Changing Conversations

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.

  1. Teachers need more training to know how to use the technology better
  2. The cost is significant
  3. Technology is almost impossible to monitor

So with these we went into our debate. The other team consisting or Erin, Jeremy and Kyle  did awesome as well. Take a peek at their opening argument.

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?

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6 Responses to EdTech Changing Conversations

  1. Great post! Your closing questions are huge, especially in this day and age. I would hope that students aren’t losing these social skills, but one thing is for certain, the cell phone age has definitely had an impact on language and communication. Whether it is positive or negative, is more of a question of who you are asking. I think older generations (baby boomers and to a small extent generation X), have experienced a lot more difficulty adjusting to these social changes than perhaps a member of generation Y. I think as educators, we need to embrace technology, but also highlight the importance of having face to face interactions. Belonging to Gen Y, I have my foot on both ends of the spectrum. I grew up with early tech. The internet wasn’t a thing until I was in middle school. I chatted on msn, joined hi5 and myspace. I signed up for facebook when you were required to prove that you were a university student! I mean, I’ve seen and experienced the changes first-hand, so to me, I value tech to a much higher degree than someone who may have not grown up being immersed in it to this extent.

    I really like all the videos you included too, they definitely brought up some interesting ways of looking at these issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mskbrodner says:

      I like you also grew up immersed in technology and value it very much. But also really value my ability to build relationships with people face to face. I feel they are more meaningful than anything I have every experienced through technology. I hope the generations to come can still appreciate the importance of face to face communication.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely agree! Nothing can replace a face to face conversation/interaction. Although tech has and most likely will continue having these effects on our newer generations, it’s important for us to make their interactions at school as meaningful and expressive as possible. School might be the only (or more) structured environment for our kids, that’s why it would be important to set strict rules and boundaries for tech use in school, and reinforce real life interactions.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lccoops says:

    Your group did a great job with such a hard topic to “disagree” with. You were well prepared and really were convincing with the real struggles within our own community with technology. Thank you for your additional comments on the topic in your post. It is good to think of the the strengths and weaknesses of technology so that we can improve upon the weaknesses. There has to be a balance to our teaching with technology. I value face to face connections, but I know technology has really helped me to stay connected with family that lives far away. We are able to stay in touch daily through texting and FaceTime.
    Great job this week!


  3. Jonnie says:

    Thanks for inntoducirg a little rationality into this debate.


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