This week in EDTC 400 we got started on the great edtech debates!
Debate 1: Technology in the classroom enhances learning.
Technology is continuing to grow and become a huge part of our everyday lives. The “agree” side of the debate argued that technology provides more opportunity for students and enhances their learning environment. Some of the benefits of technology in the classroom is that is promotes individual learning, collaboration, and improves engagement. While the “disagree” side of the debate argued that technology can be a huge distraction. Decreased participation and student interest were other concerns of using technology in the classroom.
I am leaning towards agreeing with this statement. I think that technology provides opportunity for a more inclusive environment. There are endless apps and programs that can be great tools for students who have varying needs within the classroom. For example, if a student has difficulty with writing, whether that is fine motor development or spelling, they can use speech to text functions so that they are able to engage in writing tasks. Another example is the choice boards or picture boards that can help students who may be nonverbal communicate their needs and wants. Overall, if teachers work together with students to outline expectations around technology and it is implemented appropriately I think that it can be an excellent tool to enhance both teaching and learning.
Debate 2: Schools should stop teaching “googleable” facts and information.
With the increase in technology we as future educators may begin to question whether or not we should be teaching googleable facts to our students. The “agree” side of the debate argued that we should be teaching our students how to be critical thinkers and encouraging them to be creative rather than teaching and testing them on googleable facts. While the “disagree” side of the debate focused on using googleable facts as foundation and building blocks that were necessary for students in order to become critical thinkers. When teaching googleable facts it was noted that students build more connections by memorizing and that this will support their learning.
This topic is something that I cannot settle on one side or the other. I think googleable facts can be unavoidable at times, but we as educators need to take time to show kids why or give them tools and strategies to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. In order for us to help kids gain new skills and make connections they need to have a base of knowledge to build from, so I think that creating a balance of both teaching googleable facts and teaching students to be critical thinkers and how to apply their knowledge to new situations is essential.