Last weeks class kicked off our first Ed. Tech. debate – in which the two presenters were fantastic! The debate stemmed from the question, “Does technology enhance learning?”. As you can imagine this is a controversial question because there are many sides, viewpoints, and perspectives to consider. It was interesting to see how at the start of class so many individuals from our class believed that technology did enhance learning and then slowly that number dwindled down after the debate was concluded.
The Pro Side:
There are many pros that come to mind when thinking about how technology enhances learning. Including some points that Ashlee made in her post, for example:
- Adaptations: technology can provide many adaptations for students that will enhance their learning and participation in class such as using a speech to text converter for students to record their new learnings if the student expressing difficulty with writing.
- Check out this Teacher’s story through this article that explores how iPads would enhance student’s learning in this class that have Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.
- Collaboration: provides the ability to connect with experts from around the world. For example, live chatting.
- Resources: are at students fingertips where they can access information from a multitude of places and spaces, not only from the Encyclopedia in the library (not that learning from those is bad).
- Multimedia: provides platforms such as audio, video, simulations, blogs where the learner is able to make a personal connection.
Overall, Ashlee’s debate really made me think about how technology has influenced the world in the past few decades and that we, when able and where it enhances learning, should be incorporating the use of technology into our teaching to instill a skillset in our students that they can translate into other areas of their lives. Additionally, after watching the video of the CNA Speaking Exchange it really spoke to the power technology can have in developing personal connections that enhance learning, such as through learning English via video chat. It was also a very heartwarming video, which I would recommend giving a watch if possible.
The Con Side:
There are certain cons that also come to mind when thinking about how technology does not enhance learning. Including some points that Raeann explored in her debate such as:
- Cheating/Plagiarism: Using technology provides students with the opportunity look up their answers where they take someone else’s work and is claiming it as their own.
- Distraction: Distractions come easily when using technology which causes loss of time of instructional time. For example, students multitasking using platforms such as Facebook while in class because it is too tempting to scroll while in class.
- Equity: Not every student has the same access to technology and therefore has different experiences in terms of how technologically literate they are. For example, one student may use a laptop, iPad, etc. at home frequently while another student may not and might struggle to keep up with their classmates.
All in all, Raenn offered a very unique perspective as to how technology does not enhance learning. Her argument is further supported by the article, Negative Effects of Using Technology in Today’s Classroom which emphasizes how technology hinders learning through lost learning time, misuse, and distraction.
In conclusion, I believe that under the right circumstances that technology can enhance learning when it is being used equitably. For myself, this means providing all students with opportunities to enrich their learning through technology, as well as addressing when technology is being misused and is becoming a hindrance to a student or their peers around them.