Category Archives: Weekly Reflections

Yeah, We Learn From It, All Of ‘Em Days When We Were Young and Wild, Yeah, We Turned Up that Summary of Learning with All Those Debate Topics…

A Final Summary of Learning A Few Quick Thoughts I have to say, the Summary of Learning project is always a task that I feel the least comfortable with. Luckily, Durston came to the rescue and brought me on board for a second time to work on our Summary of[Read more]

Online Schooling: The Road (Best) Not Taken?

I was part of the “agree” side for the debate topic “online schooling is detrimental to the academic and social development of students.” Some of our main debate points were: Online schooling impedes socialization, which is particularly harmful for students in primary and elementary school Online schooling is particularly troublesome for our at-risk students who …

Cultivating Digital Footprints in School: The Times They Are A-Changin’

The debate topic, “Educators and schools have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint” definitely made me pause. I thought it was interesting that the topic was phrased so instead of, “Educators have a responsibility to teach their students about the implications of their digital footprint.” If the debate topic was the …

Summary of Learning

Wow! This course was quick. I want to share my Summary of Learning through this video. This is the first time I have made a video alone; though I faced a few challenges but did my best. I hope you all will like it. It has been an incredible journey for me and I am obliged to gain knowledge from everyone. All the debates were amazingly performed and the participants shared some great points.

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Gunpreesh Kaur 🙂

Debate #8: Is online education detrimental to students?

This all depends on personal and professional experience when it comes to online education.  From my perspective and experiences, online education was detrimental to the development of the students I had.  Many students did not have access to technology, and others did not have internet access.  When the pandemic began, and forced schools to online learning, it could not have been worse for many of my students when it came to their social and academic development.  I would post a link to our meeting time every morning, but very few, if any would show up.  Due to this, we had to print off homework every week and hand deliver it to students’ homes.  Many students were unable to complete the assigned work because they had no assistance besides the typed-out instructions that were provided in their homework packages.  This was detrimental to many students because they essentially missed out on close to two years of their education, and online instruction was not fair to them because they did not have the technology to receive the same level of instruction some of their peers were able to receive.

Years ago, when I first enrolled in university, I could not have imagined doing online learning.  I was a social butterfly who had more fun attending classes to socialize and make new friends than I did learning new material.  As a graduate student, I could not be more thrilled to be doing online learning!  I enjoy that I can come home from work, make supper with my family, read my daughter a bedtime story, put her to bed, then walk downstairs and log on to my class.  If that were not the case, I would likely be in a rush every night prior to class, and hardly have valuable time to spend with my daughter.  My goal is to finish my program by taking all my graduate level classes online because it is so convenient!  Many of my coworkers are currently enrolled in universities throughout the country taking graduate classes, and not setting foot in the province where the university is situated. 

I do not think I can adequately answer this question, as I teeter on both sides of the debate.  I am biased when it comes to this because most of my students were unable to do online learning due to not having technology or internet.  Therefore, online education is detrimental to some, but not all students.  I would be interested to hear some of your experiences with online learning, where most students had technology. 

Thank you to those who took the time to read my last blog.  “Catch ya on the flippity flip. -Michael Scott.” -Reid Quest

Debate #7: Do teachers have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint?

If teachers have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint, there needs to be professional development opportunities in place to assist educators.  If you do not have any social media accounts, or platforms, how can one adequately educate their students on it?  If an educator does want to help develop a digital footprint for their students, what happens if their beliefs or outlook on what should be posted does not align?

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I believe it is important to teach students about a digital footprint, so they can develop their own platform if they choose to share their thoughts online.  However, I do not think teachers have a responsibility to help students develop their own digital footprint.  I would argue that most students already have a digital footprint prior to attending my class, so I believe it is up to the educator to teach on this topic and responsible use, but ultimately, they have already created their digital footprint.  I reflect on my own digital footprint from when I was a teenager, and my views, outlook on life, and the things I posted do not reflect who I am now.  Odds are, that is the case with most people.  Therefore, the digital footprint will not adequately describe who the person grows into years down the line.

The Great EdTech Debate Round Eight – Is online education detrimental to the social and academic development of children?

Girl in pink t shirt looking at the imac
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The eighth and final debate topic of the semester, Online education is detrimental to the social and academic development of children. Congratulations to both the agree team of Britney, Kayla, and Colton as well as the disagree team of Arkin, Kat, and Chris on finishing the semester strong with a fantastic debate presentation! Although a newer topic to the list as Katia mentioned during class, it is very relevant due to the recent pandemic and the participation of online education for students at home.

Admittedly, I did vote agree for both the pre-vote and post-vote, although there was some confusion at the beginning of the debate as to if the debate topic was focused solely on remote learning during the pandemic or more so on general online education. However, with confirmation from Katia and the debate groups, it was explained that the topic focused on both. This therefore led into a great discussion amongst classmates, pertaining to both sides of the argument.

Online education is detrimental to the social and academic development of children. *Agree*

-Lack of Extra-Curricular Activities: Online education provides a minimal selection of extra-curricular activities. It is near impossible for students to take part in such activities through an online learning setting. Extra-curricular activities that are in-person and hands-on are much more authentic and meaningful for students. By taking part in extra-curricular activities, students have the opportunity to develop real-life, transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and sportsmanship. Therefore, the students that take part in online education are ultimately missing out on a lot of great opportunities to help better prepare them for a successful future.

-School and Stability: For many students, physical schools are a safe place that provides stability and security. This includes supports such as access to food, clothing, and counselling. Karen Brown, first vice-president with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario describes, “public schools provide students with equitable learning and support systems like counselors, peer engagement and lunch and breakfast programs.” During the pandemic, this was evident at Albert Community School located in North Central Regina, a school that I previously taught. The primary focus for educators during the pandemic was not providing online education, but rather delivering food and clothing hampers to students and their families, a true necessity.

-Play and Exploration: Play and exploration is a topic that I have become incredibly passionate about over the years as a Kindergarten teacher. As described in the Ministry of Education Play and Exploration: Early Learning Program Guide (2008/2021), “Quality early learning programs recognize children develop socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. When children have opportunities to grow holistically in well prepared environments, children build relationships with their peers, adults, families and communities” (9). Essentially, a well prepared environment that allows for authentic and meaningful socialization is non-existent through online education at home. Therefore, that is why it is imperative for our early learners to learn and grow through in-person learning.

Online education is detrimental to the social and academic development of children. *Disagree*

Men women writing connection
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels

-Mental Health and Online Education: For some students, they feel more comfortable learning in a home setting rather than in a physical school setting. More specifically, for those that struggle with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, bullying and grief or loss. Additionally, as online supports have become more commonly used throughout the pandemic, Abramson (2021) explains, “Online scheduling and remote appointments make it easier for students to access mental health resources, and some students even enjoy virtual appointments more, as they can attend therapy in their own spaces rather than showing up in the counselor’s office.” In other words, students have the option to access online education and virtual therapy in a setting that is most convenient and comfortable for them, which ultimately increases their mental health.

-Online Education and Pursuing Passions: My cousin who is an educator in British Columbia teaches in an online education program for high-school students that are constantly travelling for various reasons such as sports or performing. This program allows the students flexibility and accessibility to still pursue their passion, but at the same time also acquire their grade twelve diploma.

Final Thoughts

As we are beginning to slowly transition out of the pandemic, my admin leadership team recently shared with me that the Regina Public School Division is now transferring the majority of their online educators back to in-person learning in the classroom. Interestingly enough, not a lot of students and their families chose to continue with online learning after their experiences of online education during the pandemic. The reasons at this time for the most part are unknown, but one would assume that perhaps families made the decision based on the fact that in-person learning was more well suited for their child and for their family.

During the experiences of the pandemic and learning from home for students, this type of education of course was not optional, it was mandatory. As Rapke and Ippolito (2020) describe remote learning during the pandemic, “families [were] being asked to support students in ways that [were] unfamiliar and potentially overwhelming.” Many students and their families struggled with this type of learning for various reasons, but with time it ultimately confirmed that online education is not the best fit for all students. Rather, the majority of students are more well-suited for in-person learning.

There are specific circumstances and exceptions for students that do benefit from online education. Such as, students that travel at a young age due to performing, professional sports or those that may struggle with severe mental health issues. However, for students that are accessing online education, family support is crucial. Additionally, the student needs to have the adequate access to the tech resources required to complete their education to the best of their ability. If these requirements are attained, then for some students, online education can ultimately be successful.

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

Online Education!! Debate:8

Here comes the last Debate and both teams- Britney S., Kayla, and Colton vs. Arkin, Kat, and Chris did a great job and as said and discussed in the class online as well as in person teaching and learning is important nowadays. As said by Dalton in the discussion that, “its ironical to have this discussion as we are having online education.” Their are many who is very comfortable in taking online education as you do not need to present in class to take education and education is not restricted to four walls classroom now. Covid-19, Pandemic is one of the biggest example which states and shows how important Online education is and any pandemic can not stop teaching and learning. There is no doubt in saying that person touch is missing in online Education; However, I also felt many challenges when we started online education but slowly and steadily everything took place and education didn’t stop. The advancement of the internet and technology has always helped mankind with an abundance of resourceful information. During the time of happiness, we make use of the virtual world, equally during times of adversity, the internet can bring a smile to our faces and help with loads of information. The online and virtual world has a humongous contribution, especially to the educational landscape. Let’s go through what are the core benefits or advantages one can derive from online learning. 

Efficiency

Teachers can provide lessons to students more efficiently through online learning. Teachers can employ a variety of online learning tools, such as videos, PDFs, and podcasts, as part of their lesson preparations. Teachers can become more efficient educators by expanding their lesson plans beyond standard textbooks to include online resources.

Accessibility of Time and Place

Another benefit of online learning is that it allows students to take classes wherever they want. It also enables schools to reach out to a larger network of pupils rather than being limited by geographical limits. Online lectures can also be recorded, preserved, and shared for later viewing. This allows students to access the instructional materials whenever it is convenient for them. As a result, online learning provides students with the flexibility of time and location in their education.

Affordability 

Another benefit of online learning is the cost savings. When compared to traditional schooling, online education is significantly cheaper. Because online learning reduces the costs of student transportation, lunches, and, most significantly, real estate, this is the case. Furthermore, all course or study materials are available online, resulting in a paperless learning environment that is both more economical and environmentally friendly.

Improved Student Attendance  

There are lower risks of pupils missing lectures because online classes can be attended from home or any other location.

Suits a Variety of Learning Styles 

Every kid has a unique educational experience and learning style. Some pupils like to learn through visuals, while others prefer to learn through sounds. Similarly, some students excel in a classroom setting, while others prefer to work alone and are easily distracted by large groups. With its variety of options and resources, the online learning system can be customized in a variety of ways. It’s the most effective technique to create the ideal learning environment for each learner.

The Rise Of Online Learning

Challenges Posed by Online Learning

While online learning opens up a range of new opportunities for imparting education, it comes with its own share of challenges as well. India still needs to go a long way in order to make online learning available to all the students in the country through proper developments in this regard. Some of the challenges that online learning presently faces in India include:

Inability to Focus on Screens

One of the most difficult aspects of online learning for many students is the inability to focus on a screen for lengthy periods of time. Students are more likely to be quickly distracted by social media or other websites while they learn online. As a result, teachers must maintain their online lessons concise, interesting, and interactive in order to keep students focused on the topic.

Technical Issues 

Another major issue with online classes is the lack of internet access. While internet penetration has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years, maintaining a stable connection with adequate speed remains a challenge in smaller cities and villages. There can be a loss of continuity in learning for children if pupils or teachers do not have access to the internet on a regular basis. This has a negative impact on the educational process.

Sense of Isolation 

Being in the company of their peers can teach students a lot. However, there are little physical encounters between students and teachers in an online class. The students often feel alone as a result of this. In this case, the school must allow for alternative channels of communication between students, classmates, and teachers. This can include things like online messaging, emails, and video conferencing, which allow for face-to-face engagement and alleviate isolation.

Teacher Training

Teachers must have a basic understanding of how to use digital modes of learning in order to teach online. However, this is not always the case. Teachers may have only a rudimentary understanding of technology. They don’t always have the resources and tools they need to offer online classes. To overcome this, schools should invest in providing teachers with the most up-to-date technical training so that they can easily conduct their online classes. 

Manage Screen Time

Many parents are concerned about the health risks of their children looking at a screen for long periods of time. One of the most serious problems and downsides of online learning is the rise in screen time. Students may acquire terrible posture and other physical problems as a result of sitting crouched in front of a screen for long periods of time.

Online Learning is one of the most popular trends that have surfaced in the pandemic world. All of us are working from home or studying online, thus in some way using the internet to carry out the tasks we would normally do in a world without the pandemic. Online Learning has become a true saviour for students who are unable to attend regular classes at schools or colleges. However, for teachers bound to traditional classrooms, online learning was an initial challenge but as they learned its essentials and workings, it has helped every teacher connect better with their students during the pandemic.

Thankyou

Gunpreesh Kaur:)