Author Archives: Greg Hetterley

It’s a Hangover Reference! Summary of Learning :P

Can’t believe the class is over already! It’s been a whirlwind and I have greatly enjoyed listening to everybody’s debates and perspectives. The more we can think about and analyze these topics at a deeper level, the more we can begin to understand the ramifications of using technology in the classroom. This includes how it affects our student’s learnings, but it also includes how technology affects the world as a whole. Below is my Summary of Learning. Go easy on me.

Sorry for the informality of it, but I had a lot of fun making this. I was giggling like a child the whole time. If you don’t have the same sense of humour that is okay. A lot of what I discussed was elaborated in great detail by all of you and I wouldn’t have been able to make it (well at least the more thoughtful parts) without all of your hard work throughout this semester! Thanks!


I actually consider the following

You’ll only get the title if you see the name of my blog and if you’re a fan of the GOAT Bill Nye. The last debate was a doozy as we looked addressed how technology potential makes the world more equitable, not just the classroom. When we encompass everything it is hard to only talk about the good, we must address the bad, which has been a common theme throughout this course. Unfortunately, not everything is all sunshine and rainbows and I think being more aware of how technology is used, its pros, and even its negatives, will help us make more informed, ethical choices.

Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' is getting a new Netflix show. This is not a  drill. - The Washington Post

So when it comes to the world, there are scenarios where it can be better. I mentioned it in a comment during the debate, but the internet has created the ability for people in countries with “poorer” economies to find employment digitally and be able to bring in money from a different country. As a “nerd” one of the stories that I find sad/funny/weird is the story of Venezuelan RuneScape gold farmers. Essentially, those living in Venezuela collect a bunch of in game currency and then sell it for real world money, bringing in thousands of US dollars into their bank accounts. So on one hand that helps, but how did they get in that situation to begin with? I’m not an economist, but I feel like the disparity in technology probably had to do something with why there is so much inequity in the world. Well that and colonialism, but I feel like technology also has a relation to that as well.

When Fictional Videogame Economies Outperform Third World Socialist Ones:  The Tale of Venezuelan Gold Farmers in RuneScape | by Kevin Feng | Medium

Another topic we touched on was how maybe equal access could make things more equitable. A lot of us did agree that having equal access would help things trend in a better direction, but it might not necessarily change the equity piece, in terms of the student’s experience at least. Imagine two classes both have the same access to technology, but the teachers utilizing the technology with their classes have very different skill levels with the technology and the ability to teach different things. This Kappan article labelled Digital Equality Requires more than Access discusses this topic and how even our experiences with technology can differ, even if we all have it. The media and options presented to you are different, there might be access to certain programs a school division can’t gain access to while others can, etc. Access to technology does have a sense of equality, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to more equity.

Ok Zoomer: how seniors are learning to lead more digital ...

This is also something I didn’t consider. It is really making me look at things at a more in depth level. Just because we have it, doesn’t mean we can use it the same, and I think that is something to consider with a lot of other things that are a part of our lives and society. My summary of learning will be more of a wrap up of things, but I can’t help but start doing some of that now.

Throughout this class we have tried to expose ourselves to a variety of different ways of thinking and knowing. This challenges our own beliefs and as mentioned by myself a few times in my blogs, makes us more considerate of our decisions when it comes to technology. I hope moving forward that I take the chance to do more than make assumptions about technology and the way I’m using it. I’m genuinely curious as to how it affects the world. Obviously I’m very partial to the classroom and the way it impacts it positively, but after this debate, I’m so curious to dive more into how technology can divide us. I’m not excited that it does this.. but ah… you get it.

Cellphones SHOULD NOT be banned…maybe?

Well, at least that is what we argued for. It is hard for the other team in the debate because that side stands for none at all then, when there are so many things that it can make easier. On the other side, you bet I understand that they can be a nuisance and distraction to getting things done. We mentioned it multiple times in our debate, but I genuinely believe proper classroom management is key to making it work. Is it going to be 100% perfect and you will never have a problem? Of course not. Kids aren’t supposed to hit each other and they still do sometimes. I’m not saying it solves the problem, but it certainly helps. In my experience, many teachers let things slide as the year goes. If you’re going to start something, start it at the beginning of the year and make a point of following it. Will it be easy? Maybe not initially for sure, but things take time.

Is it Time to Ban Cell Phones in School (this is not what you think)? |

Ontario’s ban on cellphones certainly shows that the government, ministry of education, and teachers have come to a breaking point. Other provinces have taken a similar route. I’m just wondering how it is going to look. However, the government has given schools the ability to let schools choose whether or not the students can use their phones for educational purposes. So, again, like mentioned in the debate, even the higher ups see the benefit.

Schools should turn off the phones

My school division has a policy and sometimes it also depends on circumstances on school. Here is an example of a policy for Lakeview Elementary. They recognize that the students can carry them, and it goes on to list when uses are appropriate and when not. We know that students aren’t always going to follow this, even if we go over it at the beginning of the year. We need to keep to really enforce the rules and do more to make it work, in my opinion, but I’ve talked at length in the debate about management.

Lakeview School Turning 100! | Regina Public Schools

In my personal experience having phones has been a big help. My school has technology to use, but not enough to meet the demand placed upon it. Sometimes I can only get a handful of laptops. The majority of students I taught this semester had phones though. I would reserve the laptops for anyone that didn’t have access to the internet, (this is also how I phrased it to people so they didn’t feel bad about maybe not having a phone) and then those that had phones worked. To avoid them goofing off, I typically made work due very quickly, which then forced kids to work and hand things in or face getting a a zero. The first time this happened, kids were surprised I put the zero in gradebook. We have a week policy in my division which always them to hand late items in up to a week after the due date, that doesn’t mean I can’t put a zero in until I get it. The zero normally sparks panic because their parents/guardians can see them. I’m not into causing stress, but deadlines are a part of life and learning the responsibility to do things in a timely manner is important.

Overall, I think phones have so many positives, but I have definitely had the struggle that so many of you are facing. I don’t think they should be banned, but there should definitely be more strict guidelines. There are already pretty clear guidelines, but the buy in from the teacher to enforce is huge.

Did AI write this or did I?

My experience with AI isn’t limited, but I also don’t think it is what it could be. I think when utilized correctly, as Ilda and Ayodele discussed, there are so many advantages that can be had with it. However, as we are still very early days in it, there has also been a lot of abuse with it.

In 2022 I was teaching Social Studies 30. We had an ongoing dialectic essay throughout the semester. We had certain criteria that needed to be met, like hand-written jot notes, a rough draft with edits, a good copy, and a resource list. The paper discussed modern issues in Canadian society where a student would have to argue the positions of both sides of their issue (3 topics for each side), and then offer their perspective and a possible solution. A well-done one totaled about 6-7 pages on average. I thought something of this nature would avoid the AI craze. There was so much personalization and a clear process to follow that it would be blatantly obvious if a student did use AI. To my pleasure, but to also my dismay, I wasn’t wrong.

One student handed in a singular paragraph about how AI was going to take over the education system. I don’t know if he was trying to be meta or what with this topic. There were zero spelling errors, non-cited information, and it didn’t argue both sides. I failed them. I had grounds to stand on of course because it didn’t align with our rubric, but I also was uncomfortable with the fact that the student tried to cheat by using AI. How could I prove it though? I threw it through a couple different AI checkers, but I don’t have as stable ground to stand on when it came to these. These weren’t regulated in any manner. I took it to my vice-principal and we discussed it together.

We compared it to his old writing and it didn’t line up, but the only real way we could get to the bottom of it was through interrogating the student. The student was going to fail either way, and this would decide whether or not they were going to be allowed the chance to credit complete or not. The VP pulled him into his office and the student admitted to using chatgpt. The only real way, based on our current policies, to “get” the student was through an admission of guilt. The student said that everything they read showed that they couldn’t get caught and he had no idea how we knew. We had to explain the process of how we figured it out and it became more obvious to them.

I feel we are potentially going to a better place now, but this has been my experience for the last two years. Students using it improperly and not understanding how what what the program generated was not adequate to be handed in. I am a firm believer that AI can be a great tool to use in the classroom, but I don’t think we have necessarily done a great job, as a whole, to educate students on how to use it. Some teachers do a fantastic job of it, while others avoid it like the plague.

If we want to use it for a good in the future, we certainly need to be addressing it to avoid situations like this. I think there will always be students who try to take an easy way out and will abuse it, but I always end up with at least 1 kid who tries to take the easy way out in other classes without AI. If we can mitigate the overall numbers and teach the majority of students to use it properly, I think we can lower instances like my example above. I still believe that there will always be someone to abuse it though. I don’t know if that can be avoided.

One topic I liked from the debate was that some teachers are worried about chatgpt and other AI’s because it wrecks their only way of assessment or teaching that they have ever known. Too many teachers are heavily reliant on essays or a formal piece of writing. I do think this issue of those misusing AI is a good thing, because it forces some of those teachers to take a look inward at their own practices. Maybe there are other ways of doing things? Maybe we should have been doing those things all along?

This one was a lot more personal with my example above. I feel like I went on a rant, but I wanted to showcase my own personal experience.


Hurt People Hurt People

Is social media ruining childhood? This is a very difficult topic because it is approached from all sorts of different angles, depending on who is talking about it. For some they argue that of course social media is ruining childhood. The common argument stems from the point of view that, “When I was a kid I was always outside or doing something. Now kids are only on their phones!” So of course that is a blanket statement and cannot be cast over the entirety of children. Also, just because someone’s childhood (or my childhood for instance) is different than yours, does not necessarily mean it is bad. Looking at the history of the world each generation’s childhood has been drastically different than those before and we’ve historically always been afraid of technology. The world evolves and things change. Maybe something to consider now that our current students are cringing at and making fun of the music that we think is awesome (Side note: If you’re in Regina, I can’t stand what has happened to the radio station 92.1. If I have to listen to another late 90’s or early 2000s song I’m going to snap).

MusicLee on X: "Step up your game modern music 🤔 #music #memes #meme # musicmeme #newmusic #soldiersmusic #funnymemes #funny #modernmusic  #goodolddays" / X

Social Media is designed to help people stay connected. It certainly does that. Some misuse it and use it to hurt people or “cyberbully”. Yes that is an issue. What if we just took away social media from the people that want to do that? That would automatically fix the problem, right? I argue it might not be as affective. That person that was the one bullying could just find a different avenue to do it. Why don’t we try and help that insecure individual who feels that they have to hurt someone to feel better about themselves?

The Simpsons Theory: Nelson's Real Dad Is Barney Gumble

I used an analogy last post, so here’s another: If a child hits another child with a stick, take the stick away, right? Why don’t we just do a better job of teaching the child not to hit people and deal with things in a better way? (Please do not relate this to the issue of gun control. Sticks are just sticks. Guns are designed to kill. That is their use). Or the analogy of if there are are babies floating down a river, how do we help? Make a dam to catch the babies? Pick out each baby one by one? Or we could just go find out why there are babies floating down the river and stop that? Shout out Dr. Michael Cappello for that latter analogy. I relate this idea to that of cyberbullying. People that don’t know how to deal with their emotions and issues will find a different way to let it out or “bully”. Bullying was a thing before social media and will continue to be a thing if it somehow ever does.

Babies in the River | The ILR School | Cornell University

Here’s an example of the double edged sword that is social media. Who remembers the unfortunate story of Amanda Todd ? A teenager who was bullied and extorted online. She committed suicide in 2012. I was in the 10th grade when it happened. The power of social media led to her death. She tried to reach out, via social media, and the video she created absolutely blew up. This caused discussions around the world of the power of social media, how to use it appropriately, and where the issues are. Is the sacrifice of a child worth everyone realizing how messed up things can get? I don’t know and I don’t know if I’ll ever know.

On another note many have claimed that Social media leads to depression. An article title The Kids are Alright argues that this is not the case and most studies done have not had the appropriate evidence to conclude this. As stated in the article,

“They studied nearly 600 adolescents and more than 1,000 young adults over two and six years, respectively, and found that social media use did not predict depressive symptoms but that depressive symptoms predicted more frequent social media use among adolescent girls…We know that problematic smartphone use may as likely be a
result of mental health problems as a cause, and that calls for a different set of solutions.”

This adds to some of my earlier analogies? What is the root of the children’s issues and how do we address those, so that maybe they don’t know rely on social media so much? Did I do this study? No. Do we know if this will be the same case in 20 years? No. It does offer a different perspective at looking at social media as the issue though.

Be kind to each other.



Aren’t crutches designed to help people walk that can’t though?

I believe I heard Katia say this during the winter semester when it came to talking about technology as a crutch. There was also a lot of talk about how technology “supports” learning, but it doesn’t ‘enhance’ it. I’ll be honest, that doesn’t make sense to me. If something is supporting you or aiding you to be able to do/learn something, does that not enhance it? I’m getting very literal with the statement, but hey, that’s how debates are sometimes. The topics given are intentionally polarizing so that we can reflect on both sides. Luckily, in the real world we don’t have to be so black and white with things. I firmly believe that at times, you bet it enhances learning. At other times, yeah we probably don’t need to go this route. Finding that healthy balance is something that I think many of us are reaching for.

Alright so with the crutch analogy, I get it. Some people are too heavily reliant on certain technologies/others to accomplish things. That is an issue. Where does that issue stem from though? Was the the child taught how to use a device properly? Has there been an attempt at rules/regulations/even classroom management techniques (in certain circumstances) to try and deal with these issues? Is there actual practice time set in place to aid these weaknesses? I’m not throwing anyone under the bus when it comes to this, but I feel like there are also a lot of external factors, besides the child, that lead to this. Sometimes it is just easier to give a kid technology than meeting them where they are. I get it. We’re busy and we have a timeline, so a quick fix is sometimes more economical when it comes down to it. Kind of like just giving a screaming child an iPad because it’s just easier than entertaining that child ourselves. Hope I didn’t offend anyone with that one. Topic for a different time!

In my experience, I have seen students take advantage of certain resources, like tech, scribes, etc because they were allowed to. There have been multiple cases where a student is provided a scribe (usually an EA) who is supposed to take notes/write for the student in specific situations. Things were not made clear and the student would pressure the EA into writing everything down for them or just assume that the EA would do that for them. Avoidance is not going to help a child improve their weaker areas, so again, by all means I understand where many people come from when they say students are too reliant on things.

On the other side for the kids taking advantage of tech and supports, there are students who actually do use the supports given to them appropriately and it does enhance their learning. The last school I was at was almost 50% EAL. Huge respect to those that are getting an education in a language that they are not fluent in, yet. I can’t imagine how different my own schooling experience would have been if I was in a similar situation. Not saying mine would have been bad, but it just would have been very different and I could have seen my own confidence levels affected. Continuing on, I had a lot of students rely on technology when it came to doing homework. From translating words, to using a thesaurus and dictionary (that was made more easily accessible because of technology) the students were able to have some equity in their learning.

In order do use technology effectively I think we actually do have to use it like a crutch sometimes (see what I did there?). Crutches are designed to help people who need help walking. Some people, no matter what, will always need that help to walk. While others are fortunate enough to be able to heal and walk on their own. I think when technology is used in a similar way, used to aid and then can be maybe phased out, is a starting point for individuals who desperately do need that support for where they are in their educational journey.

Side note about Outdoor experiences being better than using technology, which was used in the debate: how are you getting to where you want to go? Bus? Are you doing something like trapping or using maps? Are you writing things down? You walking around barefoot or wearing shoes? That last one is a little petty, but even when we’re outside, we’re still using a lot of technology to get things done. Maybe not in the sense of computers and phones but a hammer, heck even the way you use a stick, is still technology. In honour of Dr. Nick Forsberg, I have to say that just being outside or having class outside and not utilizing the land and learning from it is not outdoor education. This does require us to look at the land scientifically and use it to complete goals or aims, which is a form of tech.

Bottom line for me, yes it does enhance learning. This depends on so many factors though. We didn’t even get into when accessibility is a huge issue and some of the other socio-economic areas. Some areas it takes away, but I think overall it has done so much good and made things better.


Mr. H do you want to play Fortnite with us?

Ahh the joys of being a younger teacher (soon I won’t be able to say this so I’ll take advantage of it). Students are always asking me what video games I play, if I want to play with them, and if I’m any good. I usually just default to the, “it wouldn’t be fair if I played you. I’m too good”. This is my attempt to get them to drop it. Then they say something like “Skibidi Ohio” and then I’m left confused and feeling like I can no longer call myself a younger teacher.

One of my previous posts for a former class was about how I grew up with technology. I was born in 1997, so it has always been very present in my life. From video games, media, and learning tools like the internet, PowerPoint, and the google suite. Learning PowerPoint was wild because in the 4th grade they pulled 5 students from our class of 25 to learn PowerPoint on their own with the teacher-librarian and then present to us. We all thought it was the craziest thing. Fast forward 2 years and I got to use PowerPoint for the very first time myself. It was for science class and you wouldn’t believe how proud I was of my first slideshow about Uranus. Yes, I was that kid. Too be honest, I’m still that kid.

In the more modern times of my current job as a high school teacher I’m constantly using technology and it is a real pain in the Uranus when it doesn’t work. EDSBY, Outlook, and Google Suites, are all used on a daily basis. My school division operates with these systems, and if you’re a teacher in Saskatchewan, I can imagine you have experience with these as well. I’m not a big Google Classroom person anymore as I found it was too much of a pain in the (insert same lame butt/planet joke here) to have things posted on EDSBY and in classroom. I much prefer having things in one central location so I default to EDSBY now.

The last two years I’ve been a Phys Ed teacher/Social/Math teacher. In the gymnasium we use more basic technologies like physical equipment (i.e a ball, racket, volleyball net etc.) These are more primitive in nature than a cellphone, but they are still developed forms of technology. I might as well address the elephant in the room with what I just said, but yes I even *gasp* use cellphones for somethings too. This will be a hot topic come my debate on the 17th, so stay tuned for that. In the classroom we have used slide show programs, Padlet (learned about this last semester from some peers. Super fun for getting some engagement from the students). Students have made mock social media accounts for philosophers using Canva or real social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. Nothing makes you chuckle more like seeing Descartes spam posting like a 13 year old. My favourite format we use is videos. Not like in the sense that I show a lot of movies, but I love having students create their own movies. I have not laughed harder at anything in my life that student made films. They are funny, informative, and just let students shine in a different way.

Outside of my job I’m taking the TLL program through the University of Regina. I’m not in the online cohort, but so far, all my classes have been digital. In the fall I take my 5th class and it will be the first one in my program where I will actually have to go to the University. What is even the point now that Henderson’s is closed? Urcourses, while not my favourite tool, has been instrumental in my undergrad and now master’s studies. Also shoutout zoom. You made university a little lame but also a little practical in my busy life.

When it comes to communication, I was 16 when Snapchat came out and that is still how I contact some of my friends, 11 years later. I don’t even bother texting them. That only works for my old friends of course, so besides that it’s texting, other social medias, and *sigh* having to call someone. That is how I know I’m part of the technology age when my principal said, “you should give that students a CALL home.” I looked at him like he was crazy. Disclaimer: I can talk on the phone fine-unless ordering a pizza).

When it comes to communicating with students, we use email, EDSBY messenger, and the gradebook on EDSBY. I can leave comments on things in there, and on google/microsoft projects they hand in. Sometimes when I’m feeling crazy I even given them feedback on a literal piece of paper along with their rubric.

Thanks for reading this far! I’m very excited for this class and for these debates to kickoff!



Wake me when you need me (It’s a Halo 3 reference)

In my current working context (Grade 9-10 teacher) I’d say I rarely use any kind of generative AI. I teach Phys Ed 9, Math 9, Wellness 10, and Social 10. I could definitely use it in Wellness and in Social 10 for a variety of different things, but so far, I just haven’t. I have taught students how to utilize some of the different AI system’s though. Mainly just in the sense that I’ve given them an article or reading and then showed them how they can use AI to make a synopsis or gather key points that they can utilize. Of course I have taught them (in conjunction with their ELA teachers) how if you’re going to use this type of info, you still have to cite the original piece. We’ve mainly just used it to either tone down something that sounded to complicated or used it to explain something in a different way.

For my own personal use I have used it just a few times for a quick lesson plan when something hasn’t gone to plan and I need something quick and I’ve also used it a couple times to help generate a general rubric for assignments. I’ve tried to use Chatgpt to make some more in-depth lesson plans, but I find it only works well for a generalized plan. It gives great outlines, but I’m either to lazy to write in more info to get what I want or I’m just not using it correctly. With the general nature of it I’ve used it once or twice to create a general unit plan, and it does a decent job of making a timeline for different topics to cover, without going into too much depth. For long term planning, again, its solid. For something extremely detailed, to me, it’s not the best option.

From what I can tell, I’ve only ever had one student blatantly use it. I taught Social 30 last year and over the course of about a month to a month and a half we did a dialectic essay. Students need to pick a controversial topic in Canadian society, argue for both sides, give their opinion, and then a possible solution (Silvius if you’re reading this you probably know the exact one as I’ve stolen.. erm was gifted it by Tammy). We went over the writing process multiple times, had an outline that they had to fill out, and then they had to create a draft, edit it, and then hand in a good copy. It was a whole process that we took a bunch of time on. The average one was about 7 pages long and had 7-8 sources. One student handed in a single paragraph, zero sources, zero grammatical errors, and to boot, it was about how AI will be making teachers useless in the near future.

So obviously it didn’t pass because it was missing so many components (which were in the rubric) and just for fun I ran it through a couple different AI checkers like gptzero and Winston AI. I was able to utilize the free versions because of how short the writing piece actually was. I ran it through and sure enough it said that it was most likely almost 100% AI generated. These systems are not full proof or standard in our division. I had to take the evidence to our VP. He agreed with me that it was just a fail to begin with based on the criteria, but the tricky thing was if he failed this, he failed the whole class. It took about 30 seconds of grilling from the VP to get the answer out of him as to whether he cheated or not. He said he didn’t do any of the “extra” stuff (the research portion, outline, draft, etc.) because he thought this would be good enough. Every time I checked on him in class he said he was working on it and even had stuff in the proper format. That went out the window quick. Spoilers: he did cheat. He was like, “how did you know?” and then we showed him what one is supposed to look like. It’s pretty obvious in comparison. Super long story short, because we’ve talked about how we need to consider our assignments so that kids can’t just cheat, this is one of those examples. He ended up doing credit completion.

The benefits of AI are that it can help you in a bind, but the drawbacks are certainly when factually, peer-reviewed proof is needed, or when assignments are designed to a level where students can simply just input the info into a generative AI program and get a base level answer that might not need checking.

As things develop I do have a feeling that things are going to get extremely intricate. As a fan of the video game series Halo I cannot wait to see Cortana (an AI) become real, but it also scares the absolute crap out of me. I think for the most part AI will eventually evolve to take care of “quality of life tasks” by automating tasks that are usually a nuisance for humans so we can focus on other things, but what that could lead to is just some space-age, Sci-Fi stuff that could potentially be terrifying (insert Terminator scenes). How great would it be though if I just had AI that could do my attendance for me and keep updating it so that I don’t have to take time at the beginning of class or remember to fix it if someone walks in late. Or if it could just pull up what I want on the screen instead of having to fight with our projectors that all operate differently at our school. Sounds like a dream. If me still doing my attendance manually keeps us from a robot apocalypse, then so be it.

Coding is basically phys ed… kinda

Coding can be a difficult concept for some to adapt to. There is a growing narrative that if you want to have a job in the future you will need to know how to code. This is a narrative that has been pushed for a couple years now and has aided in the growth of coding as a whole. No society has progressed a lot, technologically, over the past few years and there are a variety of jobs where coding is one of the main functions of the job. However, to say that the only jobs you can get are in coding is just using buzz words to get people to pay attention. This then brings up the conversation of, “well is the purpose of school job training” and that is another whole can of worms.

When it comes to coding and well anything we teach in school, I enjoy the idea of it for the process and the problem solving skills that it helps bring on. Coding is essentially putting things in a specific order, or following a process, to accomplish something. When it comes to more primary grades learning a process or a system of doing things is similar to students learning the process of mathematics or writing a sentence. There is a certain order of doing things, and if one thing goes wrong, the whole thing goes wrong. This is also a very behaviorist method of teaching, but when it comes to the more primary grades understanding the process is great because when they are more developed, cognitively, in the future, they can begin to utilize these processes they have learned to be able to share, create, and explore in their own ways. They just need the foundations first.

As a phys ed teacher, I can relate coding to the completion of a movement pattern. When I teach student how to “send” or “throw” an object I have a set number of smaller movements/cues for them to follow to be more successful. A simple throwing of a ball can be broken down into 5 mini steps. A beginning, transition, middle, transition, and an end. If one thing in the sequence is off, the whole thing can be thrown off. As discussed, coding is very similar. As students get more comfortable with throwing a ball, they can begin to utilize it in drills, games, etc. How I view coding is in a similar manner.

What I think could be a hinderance is that most children learn how to throw a ball when they’re very young, coding isn’t necessarily taught at young ages and trying to teach something like this at an older age could potentially be hard. Learning a skill or even a language at an older age is harder compared to a student that learned it at a younger age and has continuous practice. If my students have never learned anything about coding is it worth taking it up in the high school setting and focusing on all these basics, when other students their age could be miles ahead?

To be honest, I think so. Coding is something that many people pick up as they age into adolescents or even not until adulthood. It takes work of course, but there are a lot of external learning resources and even university classes dedicated to the topic. Many people steer away because they think it is too late for some to learn. As coding becomes more and more mainstream, maybe this will happen though. With students beginning to learn it earlier and earlier a knowledge/skill gap could potentially begin to form and now it isn’t as manageable to learn it later in life if you are “competing” against people that have been doing it their whole lives. I use “competing” because, again, is that the only reason we teach stuff? Do get people jobs? As a phys ed teacher I know what I’m teaching will not make students be able to get a job. What it can allow for is students to be confident and competent, be healthy, and maybe find something they enjoy doing or are passionate about. I think coding could be a similar thing. It could be good to know how to do it, what it could lead to, and who knows maybe somebody does really enjoy it, but just as a hobby in their spare time. I feel like that is still a major win.

Of course I have to mention the drawbacks to this. Not everyone has access to technology in their school divisions, or if they do, there aren’t enough to go around. Many teachers don’t know anything about it and are too scared to learn as they don’t want to seem clueless in front of their students. Many just also feel that they can accomplish the outcomes of the curriculum in an easier manner, and who doesn’t love it when things are easier? What I think is really holding teachers back is the extra effort and resources that it could take for this to be accomplished. Teachers are already busy and don’t always have the prep time or professional development opportunities for them to learn it. Asking them to learn on their own time is also a little unfeasible when they already have so much going on. If there was easier access or school division based training opportunities, well then maybe I could see more teachers getting onboard.