Author Archives: Hanieh Majd

AI in education, a change for the better or worse?

The last debate topic zoomed on whether ” AI technologies will revolutionize education for the better”.

AI refers to artificial intelligence which includes numerous formats in the realm of education. Some examples of AI in education can be Chat GPT and DALLE-2 which were discussed in the previous posts.

Lots of toddlers nowadays learn the alphabets of their language or even how to read or write some words before their school age or attending any academic classes just due to the availability of AI applications or games. My daughter learned all English alphabet before she was 4. Is it
because of her more talents than us (who learnt the alphabet at 7 years old at school) or the presence of tech in learning?

Refering to this article helpful applications of AI are as follows: 

  • Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS): AI acts as a tutor and is equipped with plans to assess the learner’s strengths and weaknesses and present appropriate materials considering the student’s abilities.
  • Virtual Facilitators: They are AI programs designed to make learning procedures easier and more fun like 3D gaming and computer animation.
  • Personalized Learning: With the help of AI, both tutors and learners can be aware of the process of each student’s progress and more tailored feedback and learning experience can be provided for the students.
  • Speech Recognition: The application shifts whatever is said in the classroom into written words which are useful for the recognition skills of international students, spelling, and disabled students.
  • Adaptive learning technology – Virtual Assistant: This assistant provides open-format answers using conversational technology and boosts critical thinking as well as one-on-one teaching and feedback
  • Availability: At any time in the class, each student is capable of participating in asking or answering questions using chat functions
  • Online Resources Applying: AI makes it possible for class participants, especially tutors, to use online resources and not be restricted to printed ones. Any questions aroused in class can be resolved by online resources.
  • Not Lecturing: Rather than individual lecturing in class, teachers may apply collaborative methods to ask students to gain information.
  • Clear Assignments: Just like in-person classes, assignments can be made clear through AI and it assists tutors to figure out which tasks and assignments were well received by students for further modifications
  • Ongoing feedbacks: Continuous feedback can be provided to relieve students’ stress and the physical distance does not matter for communications.


However, the opposing team worried about the cost of AI application in education, the privacy of learners and their lack of digital literacy and finally the unavailability of AI for all people. they saw the future world as the cartoon WALLE.Yet, they agreed with the most benefits that AI brings to our education.

Social Fairness and equity by technology???

This week we argued on this topic: “Has Technology Led to a More Equitable Society?”

Kennedy and Ummey  were on pros of it while Graeme and Jeff Barrett challenged them as cons. Social equity means: “Equity is just and fair inclusion. An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. In short, equity creates a path from hope to



Technology and educational equity
The advocates of the debate elaborated on the importance of Technology in classrooms. They discussed two ways technology is used in the classroom:
 Teaching online especially during pandemic

 Daily education from applications and social media (tutorial apps like Duolingo) to posting assignments, resources and materials

Advancements of technology have helped everyone’s learning providing online teaching and learning platforms and apps without spending much money or time (on commuting to distant classes) regardless of a person’s age or free time. It means that younger ages or elder ones can easily have access to learning at any time of a day! Referring to the article by Hall (2006), you can bridge the technology gap only if equitable learning opportunities are provided for all students.

Technology and social equity
Social platforms result in social justice or equity by sharing information and campaigning for your rights. The benefits of such platforms can be summarized as freedom of speech, raising awareness, having global audience for opinions and news and finally sharing your content without any costs!!! Nowadays, by means of social networks and blogs, everyone in the world who has a net connection can share his/her ideas or believes and create content and widespread it worldwide without the fear of authorities or their positions. In addition, people can enjoy the empathy and self-awareness by creating a global support group after sharing pictures, videos and texts in social applications like snapchat. Let’s watch how well Varela (2017) describes it. So even lonely peopled are not bothered of their loneliness.


Assistive technology (AT) and equity
Assistive technology (AT) is a term used for showing how technology helps people with cognitive or physical disabilities to have easier learning, communication, education, work and life. With the help of AT, disabled people can experience almost as normal lifestyle as other people for their education, work or communication. For instance, specialized mobile phones are used by blind people to talk, search or navigate. Communication devices, special purpose computers, wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, mounting systems, and much more are examples of physical ATs.

 Technology and Health Opportunities
Individuals’ access to healthcare services and health records through telemedicine are other beneficial aspects of technology for all. Moreover, health education can be provided through social media.

Technology and Funding
This includes donation pages, such as go fund me crowdfunding and rally up. Technology is not only useful for providing people with equal opportunity to advertise for their fundraiser, it also provides easier opportunity for people to donate and help them. So you can easily fund raise and bring awareness to those around the world.

Technology and more globalized world
Online pages help us bridge cultural diversity and make immigration processing easier. Language learning and cultural exchange through social media platforms and apps which results in more diverse but less racial societies. As I learned a lot about my destination, Canada, before immigrating to it.

On the opposing side, some people like Sume (2016) put the relevance of technology and social equity under question. For instance, the sudden shift during Covid-19 assumed that everyone had the capacity to learn and work online. However, the difficult reality is that many were left behind. Most deeply impacted were students from low- income families who returned to school having experienced even less engagement.

Hence, due to the arguments above, benefits of technology in a more equitable society is undeniable and it has digitalized and globalized our world. Tech in education caused reduction of educational disparities and expansion of online learning.

Summary of Learning

This is the summary of our learning. Rokhsareh and I decided to prepare it together. Special thanks to Dr. Alec Couros for his informative and enjoyable class.

Technology and social justice

This week debate was about “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice.” Yes or No?

Jacquie and Amanda took the pro side and Ramsell took the counter side.

First of all, what is meant by social justice?

“Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities” as SDF (2016) represents it.

According to Marx (2019) technology can enhance the user’s identity which results in a more equitable society. The significant role of technology in making schooling available for everyone is non-negligible. The marginalized individuals can take advantage of such formal education. They can be international migrants, women with children and domestic obligations, and people living in rural and remote areas. However, informal education can take place daily by means of mobile phones and computers.

Maiese and Burgess (2003) identify four types of justice: distributive (determining who gets what), procedural (determining how fairly people are treated), retributive (based on punishment for wrong-doing) and restorative (which tries to restore relationships to “rightness.”). Social media can affect all these four.

This kind of literacy can be assigned as a duty to school divisions. As I read in an article, there are two levels that school can target promoting social justice. First, the higher level is the administrative one which is about setting policies to guarantee the equitable distribution of resources and treatment to all students. The other level is the classroom one, through which schools “can be inclusive in their teaching and engage students by teaching multiple perspectives on issues, helping them understand their place in the larger community, and incorporating their lived experiences into the curricula.”

Therefore, Blake (2023) discusses, the task of educators is not only teaching learners academic issues but also make them critical thinkers and lead them to feel so safe to share their ideas and thoughts despite disagreements and oppositions; so that they can bring positive changes and create a better society. So, educators can act as models to literate their learners regarding social media skills and online campaigns to be social activists rather than neutral individuals. Educators can share their own ideas and experiences online to make their learners more courageous and powerful. Although it may foreclose their privacy and lead to more discussions, this is the demanding job of teaching.


Some social justice movements invoked by social media

Lots of protests and changes were not aroused by the traditional posters and word of mouth but by technology and online activities. In September 2022, a revolutionary movement started in Iran, called woman, life, freedom, which was mainly due to the publications and announcements in social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This Ted Talk describes in details the reasons behind this social movement.



In that movement, teenagers and young people played a key role which emphasizes the online social literacy even more. The following video, published on March, 8 th (International women’s day), is showing a kind of Iranian teenage girls’ social protest spread in social media. They ask for social justice and women’s rights which are banned by their regime.

Moreover, Scherman and Rivera (2021) refer to the social movement of youngsters in Chile who did not even have a social leader as the result of social media and technology. Two main hypothesis form this article: Individuals who use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whats App are more likely to participate in protests than those who do not use them and that individuals who use social media for political goals are more likely to participate in protests than those who use social media for other purposes. Do you agree with these assumptions?


Which other movements in your region or country owe a big deal to social platforms?








Teaching digital footprint, who is responsible?

With the advancement of social media and online technology, lots of people share their personal and work experience through these platforms. Educators and parents are not exceptions and they share the students’ and children’s improvements or talents with the others. However, some disagree with this action and regard it as kind of digital footprint for children before they reach their legal ages. This is relevant to the topic we discussed about in one of our challenging topics in EC&I 830. “Do educators and schools have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint?” The summary of our debate is presented in this post.


Here there is a clip of some kids’ ideas about the results of their digital footprints.

Digital footprint includes several issues that can clarify a person’s identity which is effective in his/her future personal and professional .So they should be taught to keep someone’s digital footprint safe. Educators and schools can maneuver on these digital skills to lead to a more responsible, thoughtful and secure society in future.



There are two ways that digital footprint happens ( as Rahima and Jessica mentioned): active and passive one. What parents do about sharing their kids’ experience online can be regarded as a passive one while the academic teaching of digital literacy is regarded as an active one.

The pros of this debate assume that online sharing of parents and educators helps students build a positive online identity. Keegan Korf (2017) as an educator also mentions that “entering education means that all eyes are you and you have to model digital citizenship for your students”. She shares her online personal experience, tackles and worries as a kid dealing with exploring her independence in an online space. That is why the important role of educators as online role models lie.


Moreover, by educators involvement in digital world, children can  “understand the implications, consequences and best practices for engaging with technology and social media is critical to safeguarding their well-being and to developing workplace skills”  according to Dotterer(2016)

On the other hand, others argue that schools and educators are too busy to take the responsibility of educating children about their digital footprint. They may also discuss that they are not well-educated or equipped in online affairs. However, just like other necessary subjects at school, this resent topic can be allocated appropriate energy, budget and planning to minimize the unwanted and devastating effects of children’s digital foot print.

Finally, though everyone is responsible for his/her decisions and actions, the role and effect of a person’s surrounding people such as educators cannot be ignored. As they can be a main and impartial reference for education.

Do you remember the best life-long thing you learned from any of your educators?




Should social media be banned for children???

The topic of this week is really challenging one because at least all of us can compare our childhood with the one of new generation. It is “Social media is ruining childhood.” To what extent do you agree with it? Coughlan  believes that modern childhood terminates at the age of 12. However, when a for instance 7 year old child doesn’t know how to have fun with his/her peers and prefers sticking to the tablet or phone games, don’t you think it is much sooner than that???



It seemed to me just like an exaggeration before I personally experienced this situation when my five year old daughter looked like this boy holding a football in a gathering of 5 children and that was the point that I got even more worried about the future of next generation.


Social media and technology can harm children physically and psychologically and socially. From the physical aspect, children using the online platforms stick to a place and it results to damages to their parts of body overtime such as skeleton reshapes, vision problems and aches in their hands or obesity, which is very common nowadays. Regarding psychological problems, not only children, but also adults may suffer from cyber-bullying leading to committing suicide in some cases. Depression, anxiety and lack of concentration and self-esteem are other negative side effects of social media. Susan Stutzman describes them here. 

Moreover, visiting inappropriate content or pages can affect children’s mind negatively and lead to precocious puberty. In view of Social aspect, social media makes children isolated from the real world and ends up in children not good at social and communicative skills.

Conversely, the positive aspects of social media on children should not be neglected. This clip lists a few of them. That can be why the new generations look smarter and sharper compared to their age. Moreover, some scholars insist on the positive impact of social media on children’s mind. Nessi (2020) believes that social media not only doesn’t harm children but also creates significant new challenges and exciting opportunities for them.

Also, Eva Amin focuses on the non-conscious teaching aspect of social media and blames how some user apply it rather than the social media in case of harmful effects. Let’s watch her TEDTalk.


In conclusion, while there are several benefits of social media such as providing information, developing the mind capacity and providing new challenges for children, its physical, psychological and social negative impacts on children’s development should not be neglected. Therefore, it is necessary to guide children by digital literacy to help them benefit its advantages without becoming its victim.




Do benefits of technology in the classroom outnumber its harms?

We explored our debates in EC & I 830 with this first topic:” Does technology in the classroom enhance learning?” This is a really controversial topic with its advocates as Janeen and Catrina, and protesters as Will and Michael. According to my personal experience as a learner and educator, I am more enchanted by the glamour of today’s tech immersed classes. So before the debate, I was one of the fans of this idea and this is one reason why I attended EC & I 830 class. Fascinatingly, a new aspect in my class was pre-voting and post-voting which can be kind of informative and fun tech aid in classes. After listening to the opposing debaters’ ideas, I hesitated to make a certain “yes” as approving the enhancement of learning by technology.



As an English language educator, I usually got help from the internet to provide audio-visual aids for my classes and also introduced different language learning games and podcasts to my learners for entertaining them or asking them to practice more while at home. Interestingly, most of them got more involved in their learning process, interacted with others more and became to some extent more independent learners. So they could spend as much time as needed for themselves and their learning was more personalized as well.

However, there are always opposing ideas in debates. The opponents of tech in classrooms blame it for being distractive rather than constructive. Learners can be tempted to surf irrelevant pages and waste their time unconsciously.

Dr. Barth (2020) tried using totally virtual teaching and claimed that you should not expect learning through virtual education since learning takes place through scenarios and story-based learning. You can watch his talk here.



In addition, Mary Jo Madda explains two cases of boosting technology in school divisions which ended up in negative results rather than better education. She emphasizes on the role of teacher as the key element for success of learners and highlights the preference of teachers for making technology usage beneficial or not.

Some other scholars such as Wexler (2021) also reject the efficiency of technology in improving learning because although many schools or learning centers     themselves with technological devices, many teachers are reluctant to use it which does not put tech benefits under question but is about teachers’ tech saviness.

Another reason for being against technology usage is the cost it accompanies. Equipping school divisions with suitable tech devices and educating learners how to use them costs an arm and a leg. However, I personally recon that it cannot be regarded as a disadvantage of technology itself.

Moreover, technology can make learners more dependent looking from a different perspective. Many students get addicted to using tech-relevant tools such as message auto-correction and Grammarly rather than reading or doing research about them.

In conclusion, just like any other issues, educational technology (Ed Tech) can be both beneficial and detrimental. What matters is how or when to use it .remember that it can be regarded as a facilitator tool for learning not a substitute. Even if you do not like it, it is going to drown the modern world in itself just like the boom of cars and mobile phones.





Digital citizenship and its concerns for students

Nowadays that we are living in the technology era, it is crucial to get familiar with terms and expressions

in this domain as well. “Digital citizenship” is a phrase that I was not familiar with before my EC&I

830 class.


Digital citizenship refers to “the practice of defining the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with

regard to technology use”, according to Hedges (2016). Just like any other types of citizenship, there are

several issues and concerns in digital citizenship that divides appropriate and ethical use of digital world

from the misusing of it. These are how Marlborough Public Schools specify them. You can read it in

detail here.


As other school subjects that parents are not supposed to be  knowledgeable and professional at,

digital related issued and citizenship are not exceptions. Technology specialists are required to instruct

students how to use or keep themselves secure in the digital atmosphere which can be called “Digital

Literacy”. Tips of Sara Wanasek on digital literacy can be helpful for educators.


Some concerns of the users of online world can be summarized as: cyber bullying, digital footprint,

plagiarism and copyright and digital addiction.




Since digital harms or benefits can directly affect

children’s emotionally, physically and socially, not only

schools and educators but also parents are required to educate themselves regarding this issue to be able

to protect their kids and youngsters more against the hazards of misuse of digital zone. So let’s join

Parent University.


Whether to like it or not, digital technology is surrounding us and our children, so rather than taking a

guard towards it, why not to hug it by increasing our digital literacy to experience good digital



The Doubled-edged Sword of AI

This session of our EC&I 830 was a really shocking and eye-opening session for me. I have learnt so

many new things in just a few minutes. Dr. Alec Couros, our professor, talked about AI (Artificial

Intelligence) and its usages in education.  Chat GPT  is a recent bot launched in 2022. It is capable of

generating human-like texts, debates or even papers! It seemed incredible to me. How far is technology

going on??? Is it going to replace many people and resources? What I did since our last week class was

just giving various prompt to Chat GPT to check if it could provide answers for various topics? And to my

surprise, it succeeded.



However, some are against AI because using it cannot lead to any new productions or creations but just

copying the others. The term “AIgiarism” is coined from “AI” and “Plagiarism” which is a concern for

some scholars as cited by Jeffrey Brainard (2023) . However, Detect GPT is what is designed to scan the

content of the webpage you are viewing and analyze it to identify if any of the content has been

generated using the GPT language model.



Adding to my wonder about Chat GPT and its qualifications, other bots were introduced which can

generate realistic or cartoon photos as you wish! Examples of such bots are DALLE-2 and PlaygroundAI.

For instance DALLE-2 can generate realistic photos of whatever you order. Here are some sample

productions of DALLE-2 being asked to create an image of a unicorn knitting a

sweater floating on a cloud.



But don’t forget to give them a try and enjoy the “Alice in wonderland”– like world of AI.


I do not know whether my lack of knowledge about these technologies was due to my personal

technology gap or the restrictions in my country as a developing country. Anyway, I am really glad to

become aware of such facilities in my life although I do not know if in future, I am going to be addicted

to AI or avoid it as it never existed.

What sort of AI are you familiar with???

Let’s learn more from each other.


Want to know me more?

My name is Hanieh but I am mostly called Hani and I moved from Iran to Canada in January 2023. I am a master’s student of Education at university of Regina.

My teaching career started twenty years ago when I was a bachelor’s student of English Translation in my home country, Iran. After a while I was experienced enough to teach several age groups and levels of English classes. At first I worked in various language institutes and in private classes. My passion for being positively effective in others’ life made me so dedicated in my job that I was promoted to be a curriculum planner and teacher mentor where I worked. After several years, I managed to be an instructor in three universities in my hometown. I used to teach some technical courses of English Translation major.

In my personal life, I was too far from online world. The only social media that I was using was only “What’s app”, for video calls and messages, and “Instagram”, mostly as a reader rather than a producer. The advance of pandemic was a turning point in applying technology in education. Our group classes were held on Big Blue Bottom but even at that time I tried to avoid attending online classes and just held private classes in person. But after a while, I thought to myself so what? Up to when could I resist using the technology? Technology usage was prevailing in the realm of education even though I escaped it. That was the point that I decided to update my knowledge and start masters’ degree at Regina University.

Although I have kind of stupid phobia about using technology, the first course that I eagerly chose for my first term was Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology (EC&I 830) ! Weird but yes, I planned to come out of my comfort zone in order to experience a new horizon. I am certain that attending this class and learning from our professor, Alec, and my classmates not only will enhance my teaching qualities and socialize more with teen students but also aid me in dealing with my five-year-old daughter’s needs which could be partly technology-based.

I am really enthusiastic and excited to learn from you all.