Technology Enhance Learning! Or does it?

Andre Francois

There are two sides to this coin!

Does technology enhance or not enhance learning, is a complicated and convoluted question.  We live in a fast paced and ever growing day and age of technology. Personally, I don’t think this will slow down anytime soon, or even ever. As adult educators, it is our responsibility to teach and that includes technology. Technology is growing at a rapid pace in the health sciences and medical world as well. As a nursing educator with the SCBScN program, I feel it is critical to continue to grow students and integrate technology into our curriculum in every shape and form to enhance nursing education.

In this week’s EC&I 830 class our debate topic was; Technology in the classroom enhances learning. I would say I would have to agreed, that technology enhances learning. Kristen, Jana, and Katie did a great job at defending their side of the debate. However, I can also identify with some of the points Wendy, Kyla, and Amy C. discussed on the disagree side of things as well. I have highlighted a couple points that stood out to me that were argued as well as what was within the readings for this week.

Cons of Technology Pros of Technology 
  1. Technology is distracting
  2. Impacts social skills

IIII COMMUNICATION: TECHNOLOGY, DISTRACTION & STUDENT PERFORMANCE

  1. Helps engage students
  2. Provides opportunities to all kinds of learners (can include everyone)

6 PROS & CONS OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM IN 2018

I think one point that stood out for me from the debate was when they said technology enhances learning by moving from teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning. I would have to agree with this. Most recently I personally took a classroom and lab based class (Pharmacology) and turned it into a blended learning style. Historically, we were hearing students say that they needed more hands on practice as well as more time to learn this content. Getting more classroom and lab time was not going to be an option. Therefore, I felt a blended learning approach would be best.

The existing course comprised of a print course manual that was disjointed from the online course. I set out to transform the course for the May 2018 offering into a coordinated lab experience whereby students would have clear expectations on how to prepare for lab, and what to do during lab and post lab to enhance their learning. I wanted the course to be engaging, fun and user-friendly while using technology to my advantage. The course manual and previous lab elements were converted to “e-Books” on Moodle. This meant students would have a streamlined navigation system to easily find what they needed. I sequenced the content into learning chunks and adapted previous exercises from print based to online interactives. I used H5P interactive, an innovative technology which creates HTML5 

exercises that are mobile-friendly and provide immediate feedback to the learner.  Every lab contains a variety of interactives, including question quiz set, interactive video, and hotspot activities.

After doing all that, how can I not agree that technology enhances learning!

 

In addition to supporting why I think technology enhances learning, Saskatchewan Polytechnic issued a article discussing “Bring surgery to life through virtual reality With the help of advanced technology, student will now be able to get a close up look into an operating room, without having to leave the classroom! AMAZING!

With every great thing there come downsides. I do support technology in the classroom but I think there needs to be perimeters. Every student (no matter the age) need rules that they have to follow. Moreover, it is critical that there is implementation of a digital citizenship across the life span. Yes, even at the university level and within the workplace. This is something that needs to start before kids begin school. Students need to understand how to use technology appropriately.  It is a must that we teach our students to be come positive digital citizens!

I liked the SAMR visual because it is a model that supports, teachers, and helps to understand the integration of technology. This idea was made known by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. It shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and
learning with technology. It is a framework through which teachers can assess and evaluate the technology used in the classroom. As teachers move along the continuum, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning. Below I have included a short YouTube video done by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.

 

During the discussion, I really liked a point that Amy Snider made when she stated that “pencils and sharpeners were once new technology”. Can you imagine!?! Do kids even know what that is anymore? This really put things into perspective for me.

Overall, I think that I am on the “agree” side of this debate, and would say technology enhances learning in the classroom. After this weeks debate, class discussions and the readings, I would have to say there is a lot to think about and consider in our classrooms and how we are using technology to enhance teaching and learning! Looking forward to the next debate!

Does technology in the classroom enhance learning?

As I reflect on my journey from student to educator, I can think of many times that technology has both positively and negatively affected the learning experience. Throughout my own education, personal technology has played a distracting role, mostly due to social media and messaging between friends.Facebook

Even before smartphones, I remember downloading the SelfControl app on my computer so that I could block Facebook for a set amount of time and force myself to stay on task.  I also used the app during class time so I would use my computer strictly to take notes.  While I do not think that social media had a negative effect on my grades, I did have to make a conscious effort to use technology appropriately.

But if I reflect on my experience using technology as tool in my own learning and now as an educator, I believe the access to information, collaboration with peers and ease of completing course work has been invaluable. Therefore:

I completely agree with the statement, “technology in the classroom enhances learning”.

Team Disagree had a compelling argument, especially with the idea that Silicon Valley giants send their children to schools with a technology free environment.

no tech

As Beverly Amico explained in this suggested article, “teachers encourage students to learn curriculum subjects by expressing themselves through artistic activities, such as painting and drawing, rather than consuming information downloaded onto a tablet”. While I believe these artistic activities are extremely important in early years learning, I do think it is possible to incorporate technology as a tool to complement rather than replace these learning experiences.  The Waldorf ideal stressed in the article focuses on the idea to “remove the distraction of electronic media and encourage stronger engagement between teach and pupil during lesson”, but I think that it is possible to use technology in a way that increases student engagement.

As suggested by Team Agree, teachers play the most important role by “organizing the learning environment to provide students with active, hands-on learning and authentic tasks and audience for their work”.

The student should be the main focus in planning for learning, and to use technology effectively, educators need to find a way to use it to enhance the learning process.  I found this image in the suggested article to very clearly express the benefits of using technology in the classroom:

tech enhances learning

Very simply stated in the article to solidify the agree side:

“technology provides greater depth and richness not otherwise available”.

Flipping back to Team Disagree, there is the argument that technology leads to:

  1. Limited learning
  2. Diversion of resources
  3. Student distraction
  4. High cost to implement.

Although I do agree that the cost of technology can sometimes limit accessibility, the first three points are weak statements in my opinion. If technology is simply used as a substitution or replacement, there can be an element of student distraction that leads to limited learning. But if technology is implemented with the guidance of the SAMR or TPACK models, negative effects can be avoided.samr vs tpack infographic

This brings me to my final point to side with Team Agree in the argument that technology in the classroom enhances learning.

“Students are digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology; it’s woven into their lives”

The suggested article explains that although technology could be a negative aspect in the classroom, teachers have the ability to use it to improve engagement. For example, teachers could see a different kind of class participation. Perhaps quieter students will feel more empowered to participate in class discussions. This can be related to our own EC&I 830 Zoom sessions – some students thrive on verbally speaking in class discussions and other students (like myself) feel more comfortable contributing via the chat.

quiet people

As a small aside, I remember stressing and worrying about classes that required and depended on vocal participation in whole group discussions. My introvert-self preferred and felt more comfortable with small group discussions and written reflections. Now in my own teaching, I can reach different student learners through various teaching strategies, including technology (like Flipgrid, Google Suite, Twitter, Kahoot, and more).

To effectively integrate technology in the classroom, it is important to teach digital citizenship before introducing the tools, and returning to these teachings throughout the year. Furthermore, if we think of

technology as the partner

we are able to find and integrate the “sweet spot” as noted in the TPACK model, when all three knowledge areas work together.

tpack model sweet spot

Using the guidelines outlined in both the TPACK and SAMR models allows educators to find the best way to make content more accessible to students using the best pedagogical strategies. The main goal – find a way to meet student needs in the most engaging way that will lead to increased motivation.

In closing, educational technology is here to stay and will continue to evolve and rapidly change as it already has in our careers as learners and educators. Both before and after the debate, I agreed with the statement that, “technology in the classroom enhances learning”. After the arguments presented by both sides, through suggested readings and my own research, I believe that technology has the ability to transform student learning when implemented as a tool and partner. As we continue to find ways to redefine student learning, we can use technology to enhance and complement the classroom experience.

ed tech wordle

 

Until next time,

@Catherine_Ready

Technology in education: what a mess!

For millennia, humans have turned to the use of technology to enhance daily tasks in order to make them more tolerable and efficient. Our use of technology has dramatically changed our lives in diverse ways, ranging from the invention of the wheel to modern methods of communications.  Human life expectancy has risen significantly over the last few hundred years and our quality of life as a species has never been better.  One can attribute this progress to advances in science and technology, however, I would argue education is the foundation on which these enhancements to our daily lives rest.  Whenever we see a problem or a challenge, many of us share the instinct to turn to technology as a path towards a solution.

As educators, it is only natural to apply the same problem-solving logic in our daily tasks by thinking a technological solution will enhance our pedagogy thus enhance student learning.  This way of thinking has been fruitful in other contexts such as industry, medicine and commerce, why wouldn’t it be fruitful in the context of education?  This has led to countless initiative related to the integration of technology in schools at many different levels.  Here are a few examples:

Capture d_écran 2018-05-17 à 22.08.08

https://globalnews.ca/news/4206830/new-agreement-to-provide-sask-students-and-teachers-access-to-smart-learning-software/

Capture d_écran 2018-05-17 à 22.08.32https://globalnews.ca/news/4102789/new-coding-and-robotics-opportunities-coming-to-saskatchewan-classrooms/

Although these initiatives are sincere in their goals, one needs to question how these initiatives will impact students and whether or not they will actually enhance learning.  What do we mean by “enhancing” learning?  Increasing student scores in standardizes tests?  Allowing students to have more favorable approaches to learning as opposed to traditional pedagogy?  Increasing access to education to a wider variety of students? Increasing ways for students to intake and output information?  Graduation rates?  Student productivity?

With my limited reading on the subject, the biggest challenge I see is measuring the influence of technology on learning.  The sheer number of variables that influence student performance make it extremely difficult to pinpoint quantitatively how technology can enhance learning.  Research by Hattie demonstrates that the implementation of technology has a maximum effect size 0.57.

Capture d_écran 2018-05-17 à 21.59.59

source: http://www.evidencebasedteaching.org.au/hatties-2017-updated-list/

In comparison to technology, the teacher and the teachers’ attributes have an effect size of 1.62.  While exploring this research, one can clearly see that it is teachers and the methods they apply that have the greatest influence on student achievement; substantially more than technology.  That being said, we cannot deny that technology DOES have an effect on student learning and it, without a doubt, has a place in the classroom.

After completing the suggested readings following the debate on Monday night it quickly became apparent to me, regardless of the perspective one takes on how technology enhances learning, the most important factor that must be considered when integrating technology in the classroom in the teacher.  The teacher is central in determining all the parameters related to who, when and how technology is to be used.  The research included in the reading point towards results that show how properly managed technological initiatives in schools seem to produce excellent results while poorly implemented initiatives can be detrimental to student achievement.

Capture d’écran 2018-05-17 à 22.03.46.png

source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927537116300136

Finally, we must also consider how technology can open new possibilities where they would otherwise not be possible.  Such as:

  • Distance education for remote and small rural locations
  • Specialized technologies for students with disabilities
  • Continuous availability of new and diverse resources via the web
  • Online collaboration tools
  • Worldwide communication possibilities

The goal of these technologies is not to enhance learning. However, these technologies work towards allowing better learning conditions in situations where traditional methods are not optimal.  To me, providing these opportunities counts as enhanced learning.  Having been raised in rural Saskatchewan and having benefited from these types of technologies, I can without a doubt confirm that in my own situation, technology DID enhance leaning.

Technology to Enhance Learning

An argument our group made in defending WHY technology does enhance learning was that it helps move from teacher-centred learning to student-centred. This Tedx Talk, by Joe Ruhl, discusses the essential 21st century skills we must be instilling in our classroom and students: choice, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity! Ruhl is definitely an experienced teacher (37 years!), thus has had the time and knowledge to build activities that are 100% there to enhance the students learning. He shows how technology isn’t necessarily always computer based, although can include it as well.   A key take-away, which I agree with wholeheartedly is to give students the option of how to present their learning.  For a student that might consist of pencil & paper or a computer program…both options are in fact technologies.  At our Monday night debate one thing I believe we all agreed on was that it all depended on the teacher.  We cannot forget how important relationships are with students, because without them there can rarely be meaningful learning, and solid relationships allows the chance for growth both academically and personally.  We MUST teach our students with the help of their families to instil positive digital citizens!

Technology Enhances Learning

I think technology closes the achievement gap, especially for those learners who may need accommodations due to various disabilities. I agree with others’ opinions that technology is a tool, to be beneficial only if wielded appropriately. Teachers have the responsibility to ensure students have access to any tools that may enhance successful learning.  I have personally seen a student nurse using a, “talk-to-text” phone app in a clinical setting, due to severe dyslexia.  Without this technological tool, she most likely would not have succeeded through nursing education.

Assistive Technology LD

Other technological tools that students use in the Practical Nursing Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic include a ‘high fidelity simulation lab’. This is the use of a computerized mannequin as a patient in a simulated hospital environment, that provides students a practice run through real nursing scenarios. A 2012 article from the ‘Open Nursing Journal‘, states that simulation leads to improved interpersonal communication skills, and to improve students’s critical thinking and self-confidence.

I think that cell pZombie Apocalypse techhone use has gotten a particularly bad rap because of ‘texting while driving’ accidents, or improper use of phones socially or professionally.  If one associates technology only with cell phone use, it is no wonder that they might be opposed to using technology in general, in the classroom.  In the classroom, students may be distracted by using cellphones; however without a cellphone those same students most likely would distract themselves in other ways. As mentioned in our last class, students need to learn etiquette of technology use such as not answering their phone in class, or turning ringer to silent.

Other forms of technology in the classroom may include the use of Powerpoint, YouTube videos, or in class surveys such as surveymonkey or wordcloud to promote learning.  In the Practical Nursing Program, we incorporate technology in adult education in many different ways including online courses, online lab preparation exams, phone apps like, ‘nurse central’, and smart boards, to name a few.

Nurse Central

In elementary and high schools, teachers should try to incorporate more use of cell phones in positive, educational ways, which would take away the thrill of having to hide it.  I remember I had one teacher in high school that offered pillows for students who would rather sleep in his class.  That way, he said, they weren’t disturbing others.  This would be a similar approach in the classroom, if students were not forced to hide using their cellphone.

Meme Texting in class

On a news website, ‘The Telegraph’, a 2016 study proposes that kids are so addicted to using cell phones that taking them away actually will cause, ‘smartphone separation anxiety’ so high as to affect learning and even grades! It goes further to state that ‘technology breaks’ should be offered in the classroom to lower anxiety and actually help to regulate cellphone use. Completely banning cellphones in the classroom is not the answer.

In the Practical Nursing Program, we are moving all course exams to be completed using personal electronic devices instead of written on paper.  Students cannot use smartphones to ‘write’ exams, but instead can use personal electronic devices like tablets.  They download an application called, ‘ExamSoft’, which locks down any other computer use during exam time. The rationale is that it this is more realistic as the Practical Nursing national licensure exam is written electronically.

The younger generation is completely immersed in technology, so I feel it is our responsibility as teachers to show students the right way, or etiquette of technology use.  We have to find out what is most relevant and beneficial to students by getting back to basics and actually asking them, such as through surveys. More research has to be done to discover how technology may be best incorporated and beneficial in the classroom.

Mobile App Wish list college

I think that to stay relevant and therefore engage students in learning, teachers must use technology to maximize and enhance learning.

Unlimited-Human-Potential
Technology has unlimited potential benefits! 

Does Tech Enhance Learning in the Classroom?

To say that technology enhances or does not enhance learning is a complicated question.  We live in the day and age of technology, and as educators, it is our responsibility to teach for the future and that future includes technology.  I think a big part of having technology in the classroom enhances learning.  This year alone, I have found myself relying more and more on it to help my students learn effectively.  For example, with my

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Calculus class, I was relying heavily on Khan Academy to help supplement my students’ learning.  It was my first time teaching it, so there was a lot of “learning together” going on.   I was also using graphing calculators and apps to help my students visualize first, and then internalize what certain graphs look like so when it came time for the big exam in May, they wouldn’t even need to look at a calculator to know the behaviors of certain functions.One of the biggest factors to integrating technology in the classroom that we debated on Monday was cost.  It costs a lot of money to integrate a new set of laptops, or a new program, or a new app.  I’m lucky at Prairie South that we do not have the 1:1 rule that many of the Regina teachers were discussing on Monday.  However, the tech accessibility at Central is limited.  We have three working computer labs, and at this point, they are all

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being used as classrooms for majority of the day so booking into one is nearly impossible!  We also have two sets of chrome books, which are awesome….but slow.  The Wi-Fi is not the most reliable in the school which can render the chrome books almost useless in the hour of time we get to use them.  As a result, I definitely do not use tech in my classroom as frequently as I’d like.

However, I am pro-tech in the classroom as there are so many benefits to using it!  Vawn Himmelsbach at TopHat.com stated these 6 pros to using tech in the classroom:

  • Using technology in the classroom allows you to experiment more in pedagogy and get instant feedback.
  • Technology in the classroom helps ensure full participation.
  • There are countless resources for enhancing education and making learning more fun and effective.
  • Technology can automate a lot of your tedious tasks.
  • With technology in the classroom, your students have instant access to fresh information that can supplement their learning experience.
  • We live in a digital world, and technology is a life skill.
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Via Pinterest

The last one is the most important one to me.  Knowing that my students live in a world of technology, teaching digital citizenship is the crucial to their success in the bigger world.  With so much access to technology, I love teaching my students how to research properly, how to think critically about what they are reading online, and how to search for things effectively.  I encourage them to use sites like Khan Academy (I actually linked it to my Google Classroom this semester, and used their AP Calculus prep course to help my students study for the exam), SparkNotes and No Fear Shakespeare (for when my students miss a reading or just need more help understanding the language) to help enhance their understanding of course content.

My favourite is being able to teach the teenagers in my classroom those important life lessons when it comes to cellphone usage.  We discussed a lot on Monday about appropriate use of cellphones and how to structure it.  I allow cellphones in my classroom, and I often have students working on projects, connecting to my Google Classroom, or reading on their phones.  However, I am not naïve that they are “only” doing school work.  We discussed the idea of multi-tasking and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for students.

multitasking-e1471754333845

The fact that I teach high school influences my opinion and I believe that they need to learn how to multi-task effectively because as teachers and adults, we are expected to multi-task daily.  Of course, I reprimand students for being on their cellphones while I am delivering a lesson, but when it comes time to their individual work time, I allow them to figure out a balance that works for them.  As long as they are on task most of the time, cellphones are allowed — otherwise, they lose the privilege.  They need to learn for themselves when is the appropriate and inappropriate times for their usage.  Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stated, “it seems inevitable that some sort of hand-held wireless device will eventually become part of education systems across the country” in the Maclean’s article: Don’t give students more tools of mass distraction, so why not embrace this change?  If we fight it, what are we really doing?  We are hindering our students’ abilities to be able to use their mini-computers in effective ways, rather than as just a social connection tool.  Would you not rather teach students about all the tools and information that is out there and give them access, as well as teach them how to effectively use it to create something big?

Thinking_Face_Emoji_largeStudents learn from teachers more effectively and will remember a story, or an experience much more than something they read once on a device.  So why wouldn’t you want to us this knowledge and power to teach students the “how-to”, the “why”, and teach them to ask questions about the tech world and what they see, and the social do’s and don’ts of society, instead of leaving them to discover it on their own?

Technology in the Classroom: The Great Debate

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.

Cell Phone HOtel

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 that I will save for another day).

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!

Does Technology Enhance or Harm?

I have used technology since I was in elementary school and I have owned a cell phone since I was 16. So on one hand I feel like I understand why students use their phone so much. But I have been teaching for seven years, and I really do understand the pain technology can cause in the classroom.

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For the majority of my teaching career I would fight students about their use of technology. I would constantly tell them to get on task, off their phones, off Facebook. Almost every semester I debated taking cell phones away all together. In the article Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away. They explain that “research shows that laptops and tablets have a tendency to be distracting — it’s so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture.”


Photo Credit: Christoph Scholz Flickr via Compfight cc

I know this is true because I see my students do it everyday, mostly with Snapchat, but it still happening. Furthermore, I know it is true because I am guilty of this! The article states that students learn more when they write information out. We have been hearing this for years. I often make my students write out important definitions because I think the retain the information more. They do not like writing, but we spend so much time on the computer that it changes our lessons up a bit, and I think they benefit.

The article Research: College Students More Distracted Than Ever  claims” in 2013 30 percent of students self-reported that they used a digital device more than 10 times for non-learning reasons during class-time, in 2015 the count rose to 34 percent.” Students are constantly using devices for texting, social networking, or gaming. When students receive poor grades or they don’t hand in work the students in my classroom say the same things as in the study: they “don’t pay attention” and 80.5 percent listed “miss instruction.” They know what they are doing will negatively impact their learning, but do it anyway.

When I moved to Campus Regina Public, my position on technology really changed. We are core classes (ELA, Math, Social etc.) combined with electives (Auto, Welding) so we no longer had text books. We 100% had to rely on technology, and as you know there is not an abundance of technology in any high school right now. Incorporating cell phones and computers into my daily lessons was mandatory in order to get anything done.

Our first debate, Does technology in the classroom enhance learning, is a debate I have been having with myself and colleagues for years. While expressing my frustrations with technology with other staff members I was always met  with one of two sides:

  1. They totally agreed with me and often told me the method they used to reduce technology misuse in their classrooms
  2. They explained: students need to understand time and place with cell phones. They need to be taught when to use them and how to use them properly, and if they still misuse technology, then that’s not your fault and maybe they need to learn that lesson.

And I chose the second approach!

My class is partnered with Capital Auto Mall, and at work, the employers have a zero tolerance for cell phones. It is a safety issue as well as an employability issue. So I am lucky that we get to back up our thoughts about technology misuse with our corporate partners. In the shop, students are not allowed to be on their cell phones, and when they come to ELA they are taught time and place. We constantly ask them, should you be on that website or app right now? Are you being employable? How much money would you have wasted your boss? And for most students it actually works.

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When we were speaking in class yesterday, I was going to chime in about how CRP does receive backlash from students about our cell phone policies in the shop. Some students really buy into the idea, and understand the employability aspect, but some students have a hard time with it. I find that students are defensive over their technology. They think it is a right to use it when they want. When the students hear our rules, they are defiant at first, express that they have a right to have it or use it, or that their parents are calling them and they must have it out. It does take time, but eventually most do understand that we are trying to teach them proper use of their devices.

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I was surprised to find that many of the reasons why I felt like technology was detrimental to learning were the thoughts expressed in our debate. As Amy, Wendy and Kyla explained there are many disadvantages to technology in the classroom. One of the largest reasons was cost. Not every classroom has access to technology and this is frustrating to teachers and students. When we do have access to the technology, it does not work properly or the sites do not work. They explain that technology is just a tool and that in a way it is killing creativity and they do not prepare students for jobs without technology.

I think it is important to note that although I see their side about technology being a distraction in school,  I also see the value in teaching the students time and place. I think that this is the most important lesson we can teach students right now. I really believe that this is not a lesson they just learn as they grow older. They need to practice this behavior so it does not effect their futures.

I also liked that they talked about how the teachers role is important, that technology can be a distraction and that it is up to the teacher to implement the lesson in a way that engages students. I love teaching lessons that I am involved in, that the students are participating in and we have great discussions… but I think this can be done in conjunction with technology.

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In the article Technology can close achievement gaps, improve learning they explain how it needs to be “the right blend of teachers and technology.” It needs to be a team effort. Students need a teacher to explain the lesson, the importance of the lesson and model for them.  This is the teacher’s role. Then teachers should use the technology to further that lesson and demonstrate that lesson so students are prepared for real life. As the debate went on I realized that I was much more on the agree side of technology enhancing learning then the disagree side.

Katie, Jana and Kirsten explain that the most important part of using technology in the classroom was making sure teachers use technology effectively. We need to prepare students for the future. It ensures our students are up to date with information, can access information anywhere and also helps teachers get to students who need one on one attention. I agreed wholeheartedly about this. The fact that our students are training with programs that will help them later in life is very important. It is also imperative that my students get immediate feedback on their writing. I use Google Docs and make edits right on their page. I have never had more success with editing and rough drafts. The students get it back quickly enough that they haven’t forgotten in and their writing tends to improve. I really liked how they used the SAMR model. I like this because at first I was just using Google Docs as a substitute. But as I researched it, I found that I could comment, it auto saved for students and that they could access their work anywhere. Learning how to use the technology properly was essential to enhancing my students learning.

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In the article Technology can close achievement gaps, improve learning they also explain that “technology – when implemented properly -can produce significant gains in student achievement and boost engagement, particularly among students most at risk.” I think this has been proven in my class. Having the students constantly improve their writing in real time has improved their writing skills. Many of my students have never written a full essay, but with guidance and editing they get there.

I think that I have finally found that perfect balance of using technology in my classroom, and teaching students how to properly use their technology. I think our debaters hit the topic perfectly. We discussed the impact technology has had positively and negatively and now it is our choice on how we approach the situation! I do not think technology is going away anytime soon. And it is important for our students to learn how to use it properly.

Here my STANCE on whether or not technology enhances learning!

This is was our week to debate! My team and I disagreed with this statement “Technology enhances learning in the classroom”. BOTH teams did a fantastic job arguing whether technology enhancing learning in the classroom. Although I do no fully agree with the fact it does not enhance learning, I believe we made some very valid points about the negative effects that it can have. The article I found is called Negative Effects Of Technology in the Classroom by Timothy Smithee. His article spoke to me as it outlines four easy to understand points about the negative effects of technology in the classroom. First, he admits that technology is a significant cost for any school or school division who decides to put their time and effort into integrating it into schools. In addition, he admits that “to the initial purchase costs, there are costs for maintaining networks, maintaining the computers and routinely upgrading the hardware and software”(Smithee). In the school division I work for, providing technology for all students body and being able to maintain the devices is not reasonable. Next, he argues that if all time and effort is spent on utilizing technology, other subjects will suffer such as arts and phys.ed, ect. He refers to this as diversion of resources. Third, he states that “students may be more enthusiastic about studying a subject if they are preparing a PowerPoint presentation or a video clip instead of a written essay” (Smithee). In saying that, many times students are more interested in the presentation itself rather than actually researching the topic. In my opinion, the knowledge students gain from the research they do is more valuable than the actually presentation. Lastly, he points out that technology can cause student distraction. This I can 100% speak too. Many times I have caught many children off task on the computer. Kids on youtube, roblox, minecraft, youtube are just a few examples of what I have caught children on in the past when they are in fact supposed to be working on an assignment. In saying that, monitor and supervising every child on the computer is not possible. Overall, I think Smithee makes some great arguments of the negative effects technology can have!

Check out Timothy’s Article!
https://itstillworks.com/negative-effects-using-technology-todays-classroom-1549.html