Author Archives: Dean Vendramin

The G.E.T.* Debate Round 1

On Tuesday March 18th, one of the best Great Ed Tech (G.E.T.*) debates was had. The topic ‘Technology in the Classroom Enhances Learning. On the pro side was @NSmith and @amandajebrace, and on the con side was @MattBresciani and @trevorkerr7 . Check out the ‘epicness’ (made up a new word nice) below.

The scouting for both sides led to a sharing of the pre-debate strategies for both sides. Whether it was debunking myths about the use of technology or examining the neuroscience of encoding, the combatants were coming in ready to rumble.

Let’s take a look at some of pre-bout predictions.

‘Almost a 90% edge for the pro team at the start.’

The ‘experts’ were predicting a landslide win for the pros with a heavy ed tech using crowd in the “Zoo ….m” tonight.

@amandajebrace and @NSmith came out swing first with a great narrative style (Great Use of Info from Mike Wesch) opening statement video, and making a statement of their own in matching three piece suits @MattBresciani and @trevorkerr7 (both never known to back away from a great debate) came ready to do battle with a great counter punch video. Let’s take a look a how the judges saw the opening salvos

Pros

  • making connections
  • anywhere and anytime
  • the 4 Cs + a 5th Connection

Cons

  • distraction
  • screentime
  • only the S in SAMR being used

Great videos made by both that really had the crowd into it (you could feel the tension fill the ‘Zoo …m’). After a brief timeout, the gloves came off in a no holds barred rebuttal.

Pros

  • need to teach digital citizenship
  • create a balance for students
  • needs to be used with strong pedagogy
  • need to become independent learners

Cons

  • should we be ‘Googling’ everything
  • losing relationships and conversations through the screen
  • teacher still #1 factor in class

Great points were made by both sides and then the crowd started getting into it … reining down a barrage of questions such as accessibility, total class participation, remote versus regular classes, how are second language learners impacted, how does pedagogy play a roll, and how are learning styles being addressed. The debate moderator @courosa was firm but fair adding a variety of great points and references such as How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive and Leave It In The Bag to add to the lively discussion. The final round was upon us and both sides did not disappoint.

Pros

  • improved teacher / student relationships
  • tech is just a tool
  • open doors
  • emphasize connections
  • vehicle for learning
  • will not replace good teaching
  • can be transformational
  • accessibility
  • student voice

Cons

  • tech compromises academic learning
  • compromises cognitive modes
  • not involve in finding the answer
  • not taking a learning journey
  • dominated by ‘dog fooding’ (big tech companies)
  • tech leaders not sending own kids to high tech / tech heavy schools

It was a jim-dandy of a brew-hah-ha, but when the dust settled the results were in …

The Pros Ended with a 53%

The cons put up one heckofva battle but in the end the pros hung on to the popular vote.

Thanks @NSmith, @amandajebrace, @MattBresciani and @trevorkerr7 for a great start to the ‘Battle Royal’ known at the G.E.T. Debate.

Epilogue

I really appreciated this battle. It would be tough for me to debate the cons as well, but it is an important exercise for all of us. The cons are important to recognize and acknowledge and there are many out there that have plead this case for many a year (the current situation has proved though that having teachers and students with technology skills and abilities is very important to learning). But the pros outweigh the cons for me personally and have for many years. Technology has enhanced the way I teach and the way my students learn. It’s not always pretty and that’s part of the journey too (learning is messy without or without tech … at least I think it is). I really wish there were more mandatory classes in the teacher education programs to help teachers become effective at using these tools. Even though students are ‘Digital Natives’ (a term I used to sort of agree with but now do not use this term or buy into it), they have a lot to learn about learning with technology. We need to prepare students for their future (and I’d argue present) and that involves teaching 21st Century Skills (which I am ready to drop the ’21st Century’ part). Being able to interact, create, and more with technology is part our society and isn’t part of education helping students prepare to succeed in society. Did they have these debates with the abacus or the TV/VCR Combo (good times when that cart rolled in)? I will leave you with this related article (which I think would be a great debate question in itself) https://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/401-teachers-who-use-technology-replacing-teachers-who-dont I’d love to hear your comments on this or any other points in my blog.

Thanks

Hopefully This is ‘Remotely’ Interesting

For this week’s blog entry, I did a vlog entry. I went through some of my go to tools I have used in the past and have been a great help to me in my remote learning journey. I have also had the chance to teach and learn online and although not the same, it has also helped me transition to remote learning life as well. I have loved the interactions I have had with my students (would like more though) and have also grown professional and had some amazing professional development opportunities as well. So I hope you ‘remotely’ enjoy my vlog and find the resources in my Wakelet tool box ‘remotely’ useful. (PS – I learned a lot about wordpress through is as well :-)) I’m looking forward to your responses as I’m also writing an article for the STF on Remote Learning and hope to include some of your stories / experiences.

https://wke.lt/w/s/BvtG07

Trying Something New

I’ve used weebly for my blogs in past classes and I’m used to how that works. Thought I’d try something new and explore wordpress as my blogging platform for #eci830. I’ve observed how to use this a few times now and after great inservice from @kbhilderbrant last Thursday I think I’m good to go. Always an adventure to try a new tool.