Category Archives: 830

What does Equity Mean?

This was a tough debate, and I can see both sides. I know that there was a lot of discussion about equitable verses accessibility. The definition of equitable is “fair and impartial”. In my opinion, technology does have the ability to become equitable and to bridge gaps and create ample opportunities but there are some things that keep it from currently being equitable.

Accessibility is a big factor in if technology is able to be equitable. Not everyone has access to technology (wifi, computers, phones, etc). Another great discussion point was that AI shows biases of their creators. It can lead to algorithm discrimination (for lack of better explanation. These biases can be based on race, gender and potentially status. That was a heavy topic in our discussion and one many people have seem to witnessed while working with AI. I do think, that this would be something that could be fixed (by having that generalization of people. I think this area is a big part of where technology fails at being equitable. Another topic where I feel technology fails in the equitability is with privacy.

I think it is fair to say that technology has the ability to be equitable, but we are not there yet. By having all this power and wealth (where technology can expand) in some places but then having places that don’t have access to even simple things like a flushing toilet. – I am not sure who mentioned it but more people have phones than people have a running toilet.


Banning Cell Phones

As I sit here with a blank page scrolling tiktok and checking emails, there is no doubt that I am already distracted. This debate was HOT. I was so heated… heated isn’t the right word… in a frenzy? I guess that is the best I can do to describe it. I was in a frenzy and so I had to physically take five minutes away from the class, go eat some cheese, drink some water and take a breath. I don’t know if it is because it was me debating, because the opposing side really put up a fight, or if it truly was because the debate and chat were so fiery. I’ll admit, the opposing side did make some good points and I think the downfall to our debate is that we were arguing a full out ban. That being said, I still stand by my point.

It was mentioned in the discussion and in our standpoint that whatever we are currently doing is not working. Even if teachers have regulations students are still sneaking in their phones or finding ways to get at it. Or if they do put them away they have to ask to text their “mom” all the time. Who wants to talk to their mom that much… not me. If things were consistent between teachers/classrooms I think it would be SLIGHTLY more manageable but when they see other classes being able to use it, it really gets hard to manage within the classroom.

I also think that with so many issues like cyberbulling, sexting, snapchatting, etc., that eventually mental health issues are going to become so rapid… it already is! Phones are beyond addicting and are affecting social and educational development. Teachers are not going to be able to fully implement a no cell phone rule without the support of administration, and HR. There are already issues with Ontario’s “restrictions“. It is already on a teacher to restrict and monitor phones. I personally, don’t think this is going to work. But great video to watch regardless.

I don’t know about you but I find it so tempting to check my phone when it is beside me. Not for any particular reason, but I too, like to chat with friends… imagine that… teachers who have friends?! bet you didn’t know I also don’t live at the school either… and I am just as guilty, as I am sure most of you are as well that while doing homework, or in class you’ll check your phone. Students who are not able to have their phones will be more engaged during class and will be more engaged with each other. This is a great video that shows the extent that students will go to get their phone in the class, how they interact in the classroom and with each other.

I know that a ban seems extreme and many people think that we should be teaching kids how to utilize it, but do we really know how. In an ideal world, yes that would be great, but wouldn’t it be better if we were teaching kids that they can go 6-7 hours without a cellphone attached to them. That if they don’t have their phones neither do their friends. That they aren’t missing any notifications because no one is messaging them. That they can be engaged in conversation and discussion happening right infront of them.

I go back to what I have stated earlier and what was stated in the debate… what we are doing is not working!!!

AI in our classrooms

“AI should be allowed in the classroom as it can personalize learning experiences, helping students grasp concepts at their own pace. Additionally, AI tools can assist teachers by automating administrative tasks, allowing them to focus more on individual student needs. However, careful implementation and monitoring are necessary to ensure that AI enhances education without replacing crucial human interaction and creativity in learning environments”. At least thats what ChatGPT tells me.

“AI should not be allowed in the classroom as it risks replacing human teachers, whose interpersonal skills and ability to inspire and motivate students are irreplaceable. Additionally, relying on AI may undermine the development of critical thinking and social skills in students, which are essential for their future success. Moreover, concerns about data privacy and security could arise from the extensive use of AI in educational settings, posing potential risks to students’ personal information”. At least thats what ChatGPT tells me.

I was watching the debate late last night, as I was unable to join in for the real thing. When I first started watching I was very much anti- AI and would have stood on a mountain stating that it should not be allowed in the classrooms. My background reasoning and understanding – that ChatGPT will just do all your assignments for you.

Very quickly I learned that there are a lot more apps and a lot more reasons for having it in your classrooms. The issue with AI, and really technology in general, is that our education model is about 200 years old and is not at the point where it needs to be. I’m sure if the education model and curriculum was updated, it would include outcomes and strategies for utilizing technology and AI in the classroom. That meaning said, the curriculum would have to be constantly changing… but isn’t that something we would want? A curriculum that is current, relevant and relates to where we are at as a society? I guess if the curriculum did that then teachers would too have to be up to date… imagine that (no offence to my boomer teacher friends).

There were a couple more good points about how AI can enhance learning for the student, but I think it would be more on the teacher end, like analyzing data, creating personal adaptations to information, adapting curriculum, etc. This was a little bit easier to wrap my head around. I had never used ChatGPT, or any other AI, prior to last year. My grade alike teacher is much more “revolutionary” and he shows me all these fancy things. Finally, after a lot fo convincing, I had chatGPT create a rubric for me… it was amazing! And that was the extent of my use.

I had made note of all these cons and how it de-humanizes connection, eliminates critical thinking, creates instant answers, affects privacy, etc. and had you asked me at the beginning I would agree; however, the debaters did a great job at educating and shifting my viewpoint. Am I techie… heck no, my blogs are boring and I don’t add pictures or videos, I have used ChatGPT once, I don’t even know how to make a fancy video for our summary of learning (but I am learning), and so I can’t say I am even remotely knowledgeable on this topic but within one hour and an article or two and some videos later I do feel more confident in how I feel about it.

I think it was Sydney who made the point that kids are going to use it regardless so why not teach them how to use it appropriately. Introduce different apps and teach them how to cross reference, or how to prompt AI in order to get what you are looking for. There needs to be more PD for teachers so that we can feel confident introducing it to our students. AI is a tool that can enrich and expand knowledge but it requires a lot of learning.

Katia also mentioned that it is important to create assignments and assessments that are more directly related to class discussions or projects that require more than just regurgitating. With all the new information I learned in the discussion and in the readings, I think AI can be a very well used, enriching tool but it is important to remember that it is also very powerful.

Day in the Life

My day in the life right now looks very different than when I am working. Today, I use technology minimally. My most used tool is my phone. When I have time in the morning I will check my messages (often responding days or weeks later). Other than texting, I use snapchat and FaceTime, to connect with others. I do not have games on my phone but will scroll social media (instagram, facebook) periodically (but rarely post/comment).

We are typically up and out of the house either for a walk, workout, coffee with family or friends early – gotta love 8 am play dates!! When my son naps I am either doing things for school, cleaning, showering, cooking or other household things. Sometimes I will sit and scroll on my phone. Tiktok would be my main form of entertainment on my phone.

Throughout the day I rarely have the TV on.  Typically will only turn on the t.v to listen to music and that is very seldom. I try to stay away from technology as much as possible right now, especially while my son is awake. I currently do not even have a computer and so I only use my moms computer when doing assignments for classes. Now that it is nice we try to go to the farm or the lake as much as possible and the service is less than decent.

My use of technology when teaching is very different. I use technology quite a bit when working. I am a connected educator and so a lot of my day does involve computers but try and incorporate as much hands-on as possible. I am not very “techy” and I enjoy learning with my students. When teaching we do a lot with how to type, formatting, how to research, etc. There are many apps we explore together including quizzlet, blooket, StoryBoard That, Sound Trap, FlipGrid. My students do research projects for art, science, social, religion, and ELA. When creating their projects they explore different presentation apps (powerpoint, canva, prezi). I always get excited when students explore on their own and we learn how to use new apps together. We do a lot of work on the projector – watching videos, pulling up assignments, listening to music, etc). I also teach them how to use emails (how to write an email, how to attach documents etc). I work in a community where a lot of students do not have access to computers (or only use them for gaming) so a lot of work is done exploring and learning how to appropriately use them. I use a lot of videos to aid in my teaching. 

As I typed this, I realized how disconnected I am, but in all honestly, the summertime is when I recharge and relax and I really do love being away from technology. Especially being a new mom, I find that my mind would go to mush if I was consumed with it.