Author Archives: Dami Ogundipe

Online education is detrimental to the social and academic development of children

People are reading books sitting on a laptop. Online education concept. Illustration.

This was such an interesting debate for me because I have enjoyed the benefits of online learning and I do respect the fact that it is such a blessing that cannot be denied. Cartoon cute doodles School banner design. Colorful illustrationHowever, if I am to focus on the keywords of this topic, I will agree that it is truly detrimental to the social and academic development of children.

Facts about online learning include convenience, flexibility, and accessibility which are the major advantages for me. Toddler girl with laptop and toys in bedBeing able to hold classes no matter the location and at convenience makes online learning juicy. This does not rule out the fact that it takes much more discipline, determination, and motivation to complete assigned tasks in online learning. It does not have the same feel as being in the classroom physically and collaborating with students. Oftentimes, it is easy to fall for the comfort online learning affords and not work at the same pace if learning in person.

There has been a lot of debate on how much screen time has a negative effect on students’ attention span and a host of health related issues. It does not give room for students to adequately develop some essential skills such as collaboration, communication skills, social cues, and many more which they could easily develop by being in the midst of other students in person. It gives room for students to feel isolated I am also of the opinion that this can contribute to students lagging behind in their studies which might be due to their learning environment. Asian man sleeping while working form home on sofa

Online learning elongates the amount of time they get to spend on a screen which is not good for them. It’s no gainsaying that it does widen the socio-economic gap in the society as some people are able to afford all the things needed to learn successfully online while some cannot.

Despite all the factors limiting online learning, I think that a good blend of it with in-person will be good. Students sure need to learn self-discipline, intrinsic motivation, and other essential skills that online learning affords them. Asian girl student online learning in class study.Online video call with teacher.Child girl eating rice congee breakfast with laptop at home.New normal.Covid-19 coronavirus.Social distancing.stay home

Educators and schools have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint

Most people have some idea that they’re leaving traces of themselves whenever they go online, but very few realize how much. Even fewer people know how much all these digital footprints can tell others about their lives. — Oisin McGann

The digital world has eaten so much into our present-day daily lives. As a result, it is essential to be knowledgeable about the consequences of our presence in that world. As usual, the “capeless heroes” are being called upon to take on this responsibility. While I struggle with ascribing this responsibility to teachers, I agree that teachers have a role to play in bringing some awareness of this topic to their students. The article and video posted by the agree side really shed light on things that need to be known about the digital footprint. Even if that is all the teacher can share, students will at least have a basic knowledge of what digital footprint is about and that being ignorant of it has dire consequences.

Having an understanding of how their online presence can make or mar their future is essential knowledge that can be shared in the classroom even if it is not dealt with extensively. I do agree with the disagree side that considering how much of a sensitive issue it is, it needs to be addressed on a broader platform and really dealt with. In the same way, teachers tend to touch on social justice issues, they should be able to have basic knowledge of this topic and discuss it with their students.

Your digital footprints speak volumes than your CV — Bernard Kelvin Clive

Everyone that matters should emphasize the importance of digital footprint to the younger generation. Parents, schools, teachers, the government, media companies, and policymakers all have a role to play in ensuring that students learn safe online habits. Teaching students about digital footprint can be as basic as what’s shared in the summary below as discussed in the video attached.

Know what your footprint says about you

Manage your privacy settings

Manage your cookies

Think before you share

It is essential that teachers have this discussion in their classrooms instead of waiting for other stakeholders to take responsibility. In the quest to ensure that students have a rounded life, knowledge of digital footprint is a topic that cannot be brushed aside.

Dami’s View

Cell phones Should be Banned in the Classroom

A small school boy with smartphone sitting at the desk in classroom, playing.

If you have been following my writing, you have probably concluded that I am archaic. Even though I beg to disagree, I am here to further affirm your view.

Cell phones have no place in the classroom! Young hispanic woman isolated on pink background unhappy looking in camera with sarcastic expression. She said it…Yup!

At first, I thought I would take a neutral stand on this debate topic but the more I think about it the more I am convinced that it has more negative effects in the classroom than the pros mentioned. Hence, I will share my point of view.

As a preschool teacher, a known rule in all the preschool settings I worked at is no phones in the classroom. Understandably so, being in a classroom filled with young children, it can be costly to get distracted even for a minute. There are a couple of times that I pick up my phone to do something but I end up doing something else maybe as a result of a notification I got or I am suddenly reminded of something else. My employers did make available a tablet or laptop to be used if needed. Those are not as distracting and there are no personal things there to be distracted with.Diverse education shoot

The classroom can be that time students get away from their cellphones, there is no legit reason whatsoever why students should have their cellphones with them while class is going on. I don’t see ways in which it promotes participation or collaboration that other devices with little to no distraction can afford. Cellphones pose a distraction for the teacher, the student and other students in the classroom. It also stiffens the ability to think without relying on technology. Why bother to think about anything when google has almost any answer they are looking for. It sure poses a threat to paying attention to understand things being taught in the classroom. No doubt, students can go home and rely on technology all they want but at least in the classroom space, they should be given the opportunity to do some self-thought, and think critically. Having a couple of laptops or tablets in the classroom gives room to less dependency on technological tools for learning. It also helps students to learn about collaboration, turn-taking, delayed gratification, being open to other people’s opinion and reaching a consensus. Two Elementary School Pupils Wearing Uniform Using Digital Tablet At Desk

One of the concerns raised on the opposing side is that the world is now unsafe, especially with the prevalent gun issues, and students need to be reachable. The counter-argument which was mentioned in the chat cited an example of an incidence where the police were called in for an emergency but could not function adequately because there were a lot of phones jamming the cellphone tower.  It is rather unfortunate that we feel the need for our students/children to have a cellphone in case of an emergency but I acknowledge this concern. It was also mentioned that the size of a cellphone being small is an advantage as it will not take much space, easily using phone cameras to utilize videos and photo projects and so on.Unsatisfied african woman showing thumb down disapproval gesture I do agree that these are valid points but not enough to ignore the more prevailing downsides to bringing cell phones to the classroom.

In the name of wanting to prepare students to fit into a digital world, we should not take away the essential part of being in the classroom from them. Kids always find their way around these gadgets; they are that intuitive.

I still feel that the distraction bit of this device in the classroom flaws the advantages. Group of friends using their phones.An already declining physical connection will only get worse as students will often have their heads buried in their phones rather than connect with people in the immediate environment. As a teacher, I am not convinced that cell phones should be encouraged in the classroom. 

Dami’s View

Social Media is Ruining Childhood

It was an interesting debate and a real eye-opener I must say. Thanks to Mike, Jenifer, and Shivali, you all made valid points which I must confess that I agree with. Based on your argument, I began to wonder, what is this childhood that I had that I think is superior to what children are having these days. Thinking man with thinking bubble on blackboard

Having been on the agree side of this argument, I was so convinced I was on the right side of the argument. Not like I have switched sides but I will agree that “ruining” is an extreme word for this topic. However, social media poses dangers and it is definitely affecting childhood negatively. As I strongly affirmed, there is a reason why age 13 is the least legal age to be on social media platforms despite that the inventors are business-oriented and are out to make a profit from their inventions. 

Here are some ways in which social media is negatively affecting childhood

  • Everyone is content with being in their own world.
  • Interactions have been replaced with something digital.
  • Body language, facial expressions, and emotions – give us a sense of identity and community and how we view others in the world
  • Online identities hold more weight than in-person identities
  • Little to no boundaries on the exposure to violence and PG-rated content.
  • Mental health breakdown.
  • Family togetherness: Always looking forward to seeing relatives. The physical yarning for physical togetherness is how we learned conventional practices that are now non-existent.
  • Child upbringing has always been based on the standard of parents, social media is now doing the parenting. Parental discipline, family bonding, communal setting, and social media have taken a whole lot of shifts because social media is now raising children.
  • Ability to be intrinsic motivated.
  • Easy access to derailing information and activities.
  • Social media can influence children to commit crimes because they are unaware of the limitations of boundaries or jurisdictional issues.
  • Research indicates that screen time is detrimentally linked to many health issues in children and youths
  • Poor social behavior (being socially awkward)
  • Short attention span on things that matters
  • Overdose to an addiction
  • Superficial relationships
  • Unfiltered internet for kids is a wild west
  • Kids are watching porn as sex education, and getting relationship tips via social media 
  • We have traded a false sense of safety and security for putting kids in riskier situations
  • Removing kid’s abilities to deal with their own thoughts
  • Declined creative drive/ originality
  • Reduced chances of having an authentic life

I believe that different people in different parts of the world in different cultures had different childhood experiences and that might inform what people value in their childhood experience. I liked the freedom I had to play, make friends, explore, and be creative on my own without the influence of people telling me ‘my way of doing it, is not cool’, I did not have the pressure of online validation nor had the burden of what I am supposed to look like. I still strongly believe that every child should have the pleasure of experiencing what I call ‘real childhood’, which might mean a different thing to you.

As an adult, I am wary of what I see on social media platforms and to be candid it scares me that kids are getting exposed to that life. It is stimulating and overwhelming.

I acknowledge that the world is changing and that social media has come to stay. I also agree that the inception of social media is not what brought about the existence of the above-listed cons but it sure heightened these problems. No doubt, we cannot get rid of social media, hence, I recommend that it is used under the strict guidance of parents, set boundaries, and supervision.

Dami’s View Sad emoji isolated on white background, depressed emoticon 3d rendering

Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice.

Kudos to Kari, Jessica, and Jenny on the agree side and Dalton, and Brooke on the disagree side of the debate made it so difficult for me to pick a side as both parties argued their points so beautifully. The black man raised his hands in protest. Social justice and peaceful protesting racial injustice. Black and white hands together against the background of a blurred crowd of people.

When I saw this topic, I had a stance to be on the agree side with the thought that teachers are respectable members of society, our voices need to be heard, and our voices can make a change. Then as usual I looked at myself, although I hold strong opinions about specific positions, I worry about putting them out there. How do I debate controversial issues where people can come at me for having such a stand? How do I convince people with varying standpoints, whose biases are based on their upbringing, exposure, and experience as mine is based on those too?Unsure smart and creative attractive african american female in trendy striped yellow overalls smirking holding hand on chin in thoughtful pose gazing at upper left corner, thinking making choice

Then I decided that, NO, it is not the teacher’s responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice!Sarcastic facial expression

I especially dislike the word “responsibility” in this topic because of the extra weight it puts on teachers. Teachers can choose to advocate for social reforms or not, it has nothing to do with being in the profession. It is good enough that teachers teach their students as should, and model a good moral standpoint but now adding publicly fighting for social justice should be at their discretion. Will the school back teachers up no matter the stand point they take or it has to be align with the position of the school? If it has to be based on the school’s standpoint, then it is not genuine and if it is not genuine, it cannot be effective. Public demonstration on the street against social problems and human rights. Group of multiethnic people making public protest raising a voice online Photo of yelling displeased dark skin african guy antiracism group leader say no violence behavior to black people lawlessness raise arms palms empty space isolated grey color background standing aloof in real life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article “ Genuine Social Media Activism: A guide for Going Beyond the Hashtag”. Genuine social media activism is supported by concrete actions, donations, and measurable commitments to change. Some hashtags are done to gain traction, for appearance, and not necessarily to share what one believes in. What is the point of that? Sharing a standpoint in a quest for change requires much more than just posting for online validation. diversity many diverse women's hands symbolize unity and empowerment

Making the use of technology and social media to promote social justice the responsibilities of teachers may also have a grievous effect. For example in the case of Frank in the article “Teachers, Politics and Social Media: A Volatile Mix”. Frank got fired for tweeting certain opinions to the then president of the United States.

Although there was a bit of back and forth for his reinstatement, I will rather not be in such a position at all. We may argue that he was on the other side of the argument, but so will some of the views we hold. What if I don’t agree that “Black Lives Matter” (Of course black lives matter). If I am on the other side of what is being fought for? Will I still be required to use my voice using technology and social media platforms?Never  - colorful Neon Sign on brickwall

It is the responsibility of a teacher to teach, nurture her students, care for and love them genuinely, and be a good role model to them because students tend to do what they say more than what they are told to do. Teachers should not be saddled with the responsibility of using technology and/or social media to promote social justice.

Dami’s View

Schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology (e.g., cursive writing, multiplication tables, spelling).

Concept of m&a

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s debate. Both sides of the debate argued their points so beautifully. Thanks to Sushmeet and Leah on the agree side and Alyssa, Kelly and Durston on the disagree side of the debate.

I remember growing up, my mum spent a lot of time teaching me how to be conservative, make food with what is available, and all that. I used to be so mad about that, I told her that she should not raise me that way because I will be rich and will not have to live a conservative life. Yearsssss later, I am still not rich….. 

My upbringing has helped me to survive the past few years. 

You get the gist. Young pretty young woman unhappy looking in camera with sarcastic expression.

I am an advocate for introducing the use of technology in the classroom but there are definitely limits to everything. Hence, I disagree that schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology. Young sad dissatisfied displeased woman of Asian ethnicity 20s wear checkered shirt showing thumb down dislike gesture isolated on plain pastel light blue color background. People lifestyle concept.

This overreliance on technology is not sustainable. There are basic skills to be learned to have a life dependent of technology. We have had instances where technology failure has had grave consequences. We don’t want to set kids up to solely rely on technology. Innovations today were born out of the foundations laid to afford the innovators’ critical thinking and creativity. Data Analysis for Business and Finance Concept. Graphic interface showing future computer technology of profit analytic, online marketing research and information report for digital business strategy.

  • Cursive writing to me is a skill, there is a creativity to it. I learned it as a teacher and I started feeling like a creative person. I started making greeting cards, writing complimentary notes to people and all. Stainless Steel Pen Laying on Written Page To better prepare our students for the future, they should be exposed to doing things manually and mentally as well as technologically. Not only does research show that cursive writing is linked to increased performance in hand and eye coordination, fine motor skills, retrieving memory and other positive effect on other brain functions. If at all people don’t find cursive writing as fancy as important as I or someother person’s view it, standard handwriting should still be taught.
  • As regards multiplication table, imagine having to do simple maths and you are whipping out a calculator. Not even to talk about the fact that most examination bodies have a no calculator rule. Forbidden sign with scientific calculator, 3D renderingAs referenced in one of the articles for this debate about “Why do Canadian Students Still Struggle in Maths”, top performing nations encourage mental computation with understanding of concept before introducing the use of calculator. This is similar to my experience too, I only had a minimal exposure to calculator in high school. We were encouraged to do most of our calculations off hand and use a calculator when it is absolutely necessary. There is a way the ability to do mental maths help with thinking critically which is an essential skill. For me, calculators were introduced minimally in high school. I had to do any calculation off hand. I am no guru in maths but at least I am able to do simple maths in my head to a certain extent. There is no thoughts put into typing numbers on calculators and getting a quick answer. A man with a big calculator which shows error
  • Spelling is the most important of these three to me. I have sometimes corrected the corrections made by Grammarly.Studio shot of pleased young beautiful African American female shows ok sign, dressed in striped casual jacket, being in good mood, poses against lavender background. People and approval concept It is like going to a place where you don’t understand the language of communication, as a result, you take whatever translation is given to you without question. If you have experience with google translate, you can relate to this. Moreso, what happens when one is writing a test that does not allow spelling checks. The truth is that whether one is taught spelling or not, we tend to rely more on auto-correct tools integrated in our devices. As a result, I have found myself in instances where I struggle to remember simple spellings like, ‘the’, ‘can’, ‘also’, and the likes. How ridiculous! My brain seems Young woman in a thoughtful pose with question marksto be adjusting or getting used to a technological tool to do this basic thing. As humans or maybe just me, I don’t pay attention to things that I know ‘technology’ will do for me. If I type a word, I don’t bother myself to necessarily write it correctly since it will be automatically corrected. 99% of the time, to date, I still make the same mistake spelling words like ‘arguement’, grievous, and because Grammarly has me back. I am almost certain that I have been penalized for the wrong spelling in tests such as GRE, IELTS, CBEST, and other exams I have written in recent times. Correcting Spelling Mistake In Script

In a quest to be ‘woke’ and think that technology is the present and the future, there are certain things that should not be removed from the school curriculum. I strongly believe that these are essential ways to encourage critical thinking, fine motor skills, eye and hand coordination, to keep students brain sharp and boost the ability to comprehend.

Dami’s View

Technology has led to a more equitable society

Team collaboration concept and connecting unity or teamwork idea as a business metaphor for joining a partnership as diverse people connected together as a work symbol for employee cooperation

When I was thinking this topic, I thought deeply about both sides of the argument. Tracy, Nicole, and Stephen on the agree side and Christina, Amaya, and Matthew on the disagree side argued so beautifully. I decided to focus on the adverb “more” in this topic. There is no gainsaying, we can argue both sides and make convincing points but the word “more” in this topic makes all the difference. Has technology led to an equitable society? Absolutely no. Has technology led to a MORE equitable society? It is a resounding yes for me.

Unrecognizable man shows like gesture through torn yellow wall, keeps thumb up, says you are best, demonstrates approval sign, recommends something. Copy space aside for your advertising content

Without going far, looking inward I know the opportunities that access to technology has afforded me. It has presented a level playing ground of some sort. It has made information and opportunities more accessible. I watched the ted talk posted by the agree side (link below) and listened to Kymberly talk so beautifully about John and her son, Charles. Their challenges could have put a halt to their expression in life but with the aid of technology, they are able to surpass their limitations.

From a personal perspective;

  • Technology has created avenues to bridge equality divide. I presently live in a foreign land with no family members around and a mother who wants to fulfill her dreams and have a rounded life. With technology, I am able to be with my family and still further my education without distance creating a barrier.
  • Technology has connected the world. I have the privilege to feel close to my parents and siblings 6,613 miles away.
  • Exploring the internet for answers on virtually everything to have clarity, and a better understanding of things even with multiple opinions. These has made learning from an unfamiliar culture, different learning style, easier for me. Decision to make - hard or easy

These personal experiences are not to undermine other people’s experiences but are we saying we are better off without technology? Technology has led to more job opportunities, enhanced productivity, knowledge, and information sharing. It has helped to level the playing field for more people. Of course, there is the argument about certain people having access than others but that does not change the fact that there has always been inequality and likely to always be.

There are opportunities to learn things that were once unreachable online. I am in awe of the knowledge one can get from one’s comfort zone just via the internet, the freedom to learn practically anywhere without the confines of classroom walls. Woman using laptop with open arm in nature background

Good examples are coursera, alison, LinkedIn learning, Khan Academy and the likes. More people are able to do personalised learning tailored to their specific need as a result of technology.

Technology has given room for inclusion. For example, people with varying abilities are able to do much more than nature afforded them. Mothers are also able to have a career life without as much limitations and be available at the home front due to this innovation. Young beautiful mother freelancer with two children working on a laptop. Freelance, work at home

Technology has brought about a shift. Navigating the Covid 19 pandemic would have been much more challenging than we are experiencing without technological innovations. Many more people would have lost their job, children wouldn’t have been able to continue studying making it harder for their guidians to work and provide.Father with kids working from home during quarantine. Stay at home, work from home concept during coronavirus pandemic

Also worthy of note is that, technology has opened avenues for more people to make informed decisions. For instance, there are more people into stock trading now, a known avenue for wealth creation. Optimization in international affairs has been made easier also. Automation, Business and industrial process workflow optimisation, software development concept on virtual screen.

Technology has brought leverage, led to a fairer society, a more informed and connected society.

Dami’s View

Technology in the Classroom Enhances Learning


Looking back at my high school days, there wasn’t much technology in Nigeria talkless of the classroom. The struggle was real. As a student, I took everything my teacher said hook line and sinker. There were no other opinions.

Such a burden on the teacher, whew! Man dreaming over books

These are my opinions drawn from the debate……

It has bridged the gap in accessibility to learning resources

There was a time when students only had access to just their teacher’s point of view and explanation. Now, students are able to get clarification online giving room for better understanding. Just maybe I would have been good in mathematics if I had access to khan academy and such resources rather than just the textbook and my teacher’s explanation. Moreso, online resources can be used to find updated information about literarily everything. Like my husband says, google is your friend (though annoying, I have found that to be true). Bored young African American woman resting on stack of books in classroom

Access to multiple resources

This can bring boring subjects to life by incorporating videos, virtual lessons, games, and so on. This makes learning easier for all kinds of learners. For instance, I am a visual learner, being able to watch videos helps give me a mental picture which translates to understanding. Sitting gray kitten in a round glasses, books and butterflies isolated on white background

Using technology in the classroom is like using a stone to kill two birds

You will agree with me that technology is the future. Students now have the opportunity of learning school work and how to maneuver gadgets concurrently. I had to go to a computer school after high school to learn about ‘control C’ and the like. With the exposure students are getting now, they get to know the nitty-gritty of using technology gadgets better than people like me that did not have access to technology in my classroom. Kill Two Bird With One Stone

Technology as a tool in the classroom carries every type of learner along.

Auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and every kind of learner is carried along when technological gadgets are employed in the classroom. Compared to the traditional method which often does not carry everyone along. Happy diverse school children students group building robotic vehicle robot cars using tablet computer education software apps. Kids learning programming sit at table at STEM coding engineering class.

Technology in the classroom can make learning fun and easy to remember.

smoke and shock

Incorporating technology devices in teaching can make time spent in the classroom more productive.

Still referencing my school days, I can say that I spent more time copying notes than I did learning. Yet sometimes notebooks get stolen and one is left hanging or one has to rewrite. The integration of technology has changed this narrative. Both the teacher and students can now spend time on the crux of the lesson.

It improves students’ engagement.

Although it is questionable what students are engaged with using a technology tool. Is it the colorful video that is getting their attention, the voice, or the technicality of the technological gadgets? However, students often pay rapt attention to lessons that incorporate the use of technology devices in the classroom.

Students can tailor their learning to suit them. 

Allows for differentiated learning resources.

Narrows limitation to knowledge

The goal of every teacher is for their students to flourish! Hence, we ought to set them up for the outside world. We know that technology is very much the present, and definitely, the future!

Dami’s View

The Blessings of Technology in my Daily Life!

Straight outta Nigeria

Four years ago, I embarked on this daring journey leaving behind my aged parents, siblings, friends, and life as I knew it. I came to California where my husband and I only know each other. This new normal has made me appreciate technology more than I would have ever envisaged. I am often on video calls with my people back home, it sometimes feels like they are next door! It does not make up for the physical touch, or human connection but for the life, I want for myself, for the life the people that love me that I left behind wish for me, this is sufficient (till further notice). 

I cannot deny the daily blessings of technology in my daily life. Have you ever imagined how food was preserved prior to refrigerators being introduced? We are familiar with the mode of transportation back then, thanks to movies! The gaps technology has helped to bridge, the limitations it has taken care of. At the moment, I am blessed to be taking my master’s classes in the comfort of my room. Even if that isn’t the best, as a mother, I am super glad I have this option. Learning on zoom and other platforms has been pivotal to my staying sane these past years.

When I was pregnant with my son three years ago, with no family member present, google was literarily my best friend!

I felt a kick that felt like the baby wants to come out of my belly button, is that normal?

Why do I feel like chewing ice?

And three years later, I still can’t quantify how much technology has been a blessing to me.

Giving so many accolades to technology has not blinded me from its dangers. However, the blessings to me supersede the cons. I have been conscious to use it in moderation and have a balance. Just like every other thing in life, excess of everything is bad. In summary, my daily life starts with my phone and ends with my phone, I watch movies and like to read feeds on social media platforms. I am working on using information communications technology more productively (like this blog) and in other ways too.