In this week’s class debate I agreed that technology enhances learning although I can identify with those who disagree. Below I have highlighted three points that stood out to me that were argued by each side, with research to support their claims:
|Pros of Technology||
Cons of Technology
|1. Helps engage students
2. Provides opportunities to all kinds of learners (can include everyone)
3. Allows for collaboration
1. Used inappropriately and therefore is distracting
2. Eliminates face to face interaction (lacking social skills)
3. Equitable opportunities are limited due to access
In my ideal perfect world, technology would be incorporated into every classroom to help engage learners, there would be an unlimited supply of devices readily available to students and all devices would be used properly. However, as technology continuously evolves, I believe society struggles to keep up and also to adjust to this new digital era we live in. We seem to have drawn a strong attachment to the techniques and teaching practices from the past. I really liked a point that my classmate Amy Snider made in last night’s discussion when she stated that “pencils and sharpeners were once new technology”. As educators in this digital era I think we must embrace the opportunities that technology present us with (pros), and problem solve in hopes of eliminating the less than ideal barriers that the use of technology pose (cons).
Reflecting on my role as a Learning Resource Teacher in a high school, I am a huge advocate for technology in the classroom as I see first-hand how it impacts and has changed the lives of many of my students with learning needs. Many of my students are provided with assistive technology devices from the school board and programs such as Google Read & Write, Audible, Kurzweil and Proloquo2go help students in a variety of ways (communication, writing, reading, etc). If we were to eliminate these tools from the classroom then we could start a whole new debate regarding equitable opportunities 🙂
I really like what my school has done in response to teacher’s concerns of inappropriate use of cell phones in the classroom. The photo posted below is a picture of the school cell phone policy and cell phone hotel that each classroom has. Teachers are able to use this to their discretion and some use it more than others and in varying ways. Rather than simply taking students phones away to eliminate distraction, my goal is to teach the students that there is a time and place that cell phone use is appropriate (as Katie mentioned last night in the debate). The school also integrated a course called Digital Citizenship into the grade 9 Practical and Applied Arts class. I feel this is beneficial but this is also something that we could be more proactive with in the early elementary school years.
Overall, I am for the implementation and use of technology in the classroom to help engage learners today. I think that moving from teacher-centred instruction to student-centred learning needs to have more emphasis placed on it. By questioning, guiding and facilitating students in the learning process, students will draw on strengths and interests and will develop deeper understandings of content and material. I also believe that if we can create student centred learning opportunities, more time is freed up for teachers to connect with students and to build and strengthen relationships (which is also a leading topic in the world of education).
I have lots to learn when it comes to implementing technology into my classroom in a more efficient and effective manner but I am open to all ideas! As an educator, I believe it is my job to stay current with the upcoming trends and technological advancements. Let’s be honest, technology is not going anywhere.