Peer Mentoring

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It is crazy to believe that the semester has now been brought to a close.  But, the final assignment for the semester is here! Over the course of the semester ed. tech. 400 classmates have been mentoring ed. tech. 300 classmates as part of one of our assignments. Thus creating the opportunity for peer mentoring! In order to track this assignment, we were to keep a log of all interactions, here is a link to mine.

Meet the Mentees!

I was given three students to mentor for this project: Justine, Thunderbird, and Zunaira. Please feel free to take a look at their blogs, I’m sure they would appreciate a comment or two! I liked how for this assignment by following my mentees blog posts I was able to see how their learning progressed over the course of the semester. Overall, I felt that this assignment was beneficial as it provided an opportunity for peer teaching and PLN development. The majority of our interactions took place over blog comments, in slack, or on twitter.

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I think this assignment was challenging because there is no face to face aspect. With that being said all communication is online and sometimes it is nice to talk one on one with someone about difficulties you may be having rather than to a stranger online. With that being said I think my mentees are very hard working independent students as often times it did not seem as though they were in need of assistance, although I offered anyways.  So I settled in for a more supporting type role, offering blog comments on my mentees posts, offering suggestions, resources, things their posts reminded me of,  or words of encouragement.

In conclusion, I am happy to have had the experience of being a peer mentor and I hope it has helped my mentees learning journey!

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Summary of Learning

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It is hard to believe how fast the semester has gone by, but here we are in the last week of classes already! Educational Technology 400 has been a wonderful class that I am happy to have had the chance to take. This class, along with the 300 level class, are definitely classes I would recommend to any future educator- and already have!

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With that being said, one of the final assignments for this class was to create a summary of learning. For this, my classmate Ashlee and I decided to collaborate for this project. To add an element of humor to celebrate our learning, Ashlee and I thought it would be funny to present our summary of learning as if it was a Great Ed. Tech. Debate, just like one of our previous assignments we had done in class. This way not only would our video be filled with all of our new learnings but it would also be interesting. So that was exactly what we did. Here is our Summary of Learning for Educational Technology 400:

Over the course of this semester, so many important topics and discussions took place I am happy to say that I was able to have a part in that.

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: An Educators Responsibility – Social Justice and Anti-Oppression through a Technological Lens

It is hard to believe that this week was our very last Ed. Tech. Debate! It is crazy how fast our semester is flying by. With the being said Jesse and Daniel embarked on our last debate, “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression: Agree or disagree?”. Jesse took the pro side meanwhile Daniel represented the con side. Prior to the debate here was our classes vote:

Pro:

Jesse shared the following main points within his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate:

  1. Staying Neutral is Problematic:
    • In his video, Jesse suggests that remaining neutral ignores the fear interests and concerns of students as teaching is politically driven. This article, provided by Jesse, further examines this concept and identifies that by ignoring issues or try to remain neutral that we instead ignore our students’ needs for guidance. During the debate, Jesse also suggested that choosing to stay quite reinforces the status quo.
    • Jesse also talks about how trying to stay neutral becomes damaging towards students as it is almost impossible to remain objective. Additionally, it becomes so important to watch and address misconceptions about isms for example (Racism, ableism, etc.).
  2. Risks of staying quite:
    • Remaining quite online does not model digital citizenship for students. Jesse also shared this article that explains some of the ways in which educators can model digital citizenship in the classroom. For example by discussing digital etiquette and examining with students what is or is not okay to do online.
    • Fake new is related to politics and ignoring it completely leaves misinformed news to reign free. It is important to talk about fake news and for students to learn how to identify fake news.
    • Jesse also brought up the concept of silence as complicity in that remaining silent is agreeing with a particular statement or standpoint. Jesse suggests the best way to not stay silent is to engage.
  3. Using tech. more effectively:
    1. During this point, Jesse recommended doing the following: modeling digital citizenship and digital literacy for your students, speaking up about what you think is important via social media or during a class discussion. In order to do this, Jesse also pointed out that it is important educators know how to use tech effectively.

Con:

Daniel  shared the following in his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate about technology:

  • The educational system is political:
    • The educational system is very political in many senses. One of which where religion is mixed in. In an article Daniel shared, it examines how for some teaching positions teachers are expected to conform to certain schools religious beliefs or risk expulsion.
  • Students are easily influenced:
    • During Daniel’s debate, he argued that teachers are often seen as a keeper of knowledge and that they are ‘always right’. As a result of this teachers have a strong influence of their students. Daniel uses the example of this protest in this article as an example. Whether intentional or not teachers must consider how their views are being expressed as their perspective has the power to sway students. In his video, Daniel describes this concept as the ‘brainwashing of students’. It is important to remember to ensure students are provided facts so that students have the opportunity to think for themselves
  • Differences of Opinion:
    • Throughout his debate, Daniel examines how teachers are often placed under scrutiny. This may become an issue in the classroom if something the teacher has differing political views/perspectives on social justice then parents.
    • During his final statement, Daniel mentioned how at the end of the day that teachers need jobs. He then went on to state that if teachers were to post particular political views or share perspectives on social justice issues via social media that depending on the community there could be potential backlash for the teacher.

Conclusion:

This was an interesting concluding debate as in each debate we have had in class there are multiple perspectives to consider. As always we concluded our debate with our post-debate vote and our results were 84.2% agreed and 15.8% disagreed. As in any debate I have a difficult time choosing a ‘side’ as I see various perspectives of each side. With this debate, I would personally say that educators have the responsibility to educate their students to promote social justice and fight oppression using technology in the classroom; however, I think that how educators choose to share, or not share, their beliefs personally through technology should be respected.

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: The ‘good old days’

During this week’s ed. tech. debate Jayden and Kiera debated the statement, “We have become too dependent on technology and we’d be better off returning to the “good old days” before the Internet and smartphones took over”. Jayden took the pro side while Kiera represented the con side. Prior to our debate, this was our classes vote on the topic!

Pro:

Jayden shared the following main points within her video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate about technology:

  • Negative mental and physical effects:
    • Injuries: Individuals these days are becoming injured due to the effects of becoming an increasingly technology-dependent society. One example of this is the texting and walking phenomenon where individuals are texting and walking and not taking in their surrounding which is, in turn, causing them physical harm. This particular occurrence is happening so frequently that it has become known as ‘distracted walking’.
    • Markus Binzegger Flickr via Compfight cc

      Some places have even gone as far as banning distracted walking. This makes me think of distracted driving in that although oftentimes individuals might be doing something ‘really quick’ or they don’t see it as distracting when really a few seconds of not paying attention can be life-altering.

    • Lastly, technology can be addictive which is bad for our health as our technology use has increased. Jayden included this blog post in her required readings that elaborates on the negative impact technology has had on human health such as vision impairments from staring at screens or a sedentary lifestyle from sitting in front of a computer or binge-watching Netflix.
  • Loss of Interaction Skills
    • Individuals would rather text than have a conversation. One example of this is texting instead of phoning each other.
    • Individuals have also become reliant on GPS’ which can become problematic when service is lost, a specific route is closed or under construction, etc. An article Jayden shared expands on this issue as a Brad Plumer speaks to the dependency that has been placed on GPS usage and how some individuals are not aware of how to read a map; which can become problematic for numerous reasons.
    • Peoples are missing life moments such as when parents are spending time on their phone instead of spending one on one time with their children.
      • This concept is further expanded in this TedX Talk Jayden shared where a father speaks about his personal experiences trying to balance work technology while raising his son.
  • Tech dependant classrooms are not beneficial
    • Students relying on information being found online and do not always check to see if it is a reliable source or factual information.
    • Typing notes is faster but does not account for the information processing that exists with handwritten notes.
    • No drastic improvements with schools who are using tech

Con:

Keira shared the following in her video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate about technology:

  • Technology provides connections as it gives us the ability to connect with people instantaneously. Additionally, it creates opportunities and collaborates on projects with individuals from around the world.
    • This is evident in the following TedX Talk Keira shared with us about how a choir group formed from individuals from all over that meet online for their sessions – a similar concept to EDTC classes!
  • Technology Creates Opportunity:
    • As a result of today’s technology, we are able to now share and collect information in an instant.
      • Another TedX Talk Kiera shared with the class discussed how having a cellphone on you can potentially save lives. For example, if it is an emergency situation you have the ability to get into contact with the appropriate personal instantaneously.
    • The internet provides opportunities to those around the world should they have access.
  • Technology is Efficient:
    • The technology we have today is amazing in that information and
      Earley Photography Flickr via Compfight cc

      devices to have become so compact. Wallets, cameras, books carried on cellphones can all be on a singular device that can be stored in a pocket – what an improvement from the bag phone!

    • Sending a message has never been easier as there are so many ways to get in contact with someone (i.e. text, facebook messenger, email, etc.) and it allows the sender and the recipient communicate with ease and respond instantly instead of waiting a week for a letter to come in the mail.
    • Information can now be accessed quickly and easily thanks to platforms such as Google. Just think, prior to technologies advancement you may have to look through encyclopedias to find an answer!

Conclusion:

Overall, Jayden and Keira provided a stimulating debate that really made me think about what I value as a person. Personally, I agree with Keira’s points, especially the ones she made about efficiency. However, I also agree with some of Jayden’s; for example, the points made about the loss of interactional skills in society. In conclusion, I would say that society, for the most part, has become somewhat reliant on the use of technology, but I wouldn’t say that would necessarily be better to go back to the ‘old days’ either. There are positives and negatives to both sides of this debate, which is where I think having balance is so important. So once again, I am on the fence with this debate.

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: “Public Education has sold its soul to corporate interests”

This week our class debated the statement, “Public Education has sold its soul to corporate interests”. Liz took the pro side, agreeing with this statement. Meanwhile, Shaleen represented the con side, disagreeing with this statement. Like always, our debate began with our jazzy theme song and then we had our pre-debate vote. As you can see, the agree side had about 10% more followers at the beginning, but this would be an interesting debate for each side.

The Pro Side: Here are some of Liz’s main points found within her video, suggested reading/recordings, and in the debate itself.

  • The Common Core Standards: here Liz discussed how every student will learn the same curriculum. This becomes problematic as the common core standards does not account for things such as the hidden curriculum or place-based learning.
  • Push for Standardized Testing:  In this point, Liz examined the systemic issues with standardized testing and how that creates an environment where teachers are teaching to the test rather than taking part in other valuable learning experiences. Liz also pointed out how corporations, such as Pearson the textbook company, profits from each exam written; which is pointed out, in this video, how this becomes problematic for students as can potentially be made harder in order for students to have to repeat exams and thus corporations reaping the benefits.
  • Corporate Sponsorship:  As identified in Liz’s video and during the debate, corporations such as coke or pepsi sponsors schools. The problem with this is that through these advertisements corporations are looking to gain consumers at a young age to participate in lifelong consumerism. Liz pointed out that it is important for schools to consider the implications these types of sponsorships have on their students, which is further identified by this article Liz shared. (Additionally, Aurora made a great point during our debate, in regards to consumerism being found in students and recommended the resource: Consumerism Kids)

The Con Side: Here are some of Shaleen’s main points found within her video, suggested reading/recordings, and in the debate itself.

  • Technology in the Classroom is Beneficial: In this point, Shaleen discussed how schools rely on technology. With that being said, technology is needed for schools to function in today’s society. Just as this article indicates, technology is improving students learning experiences and it is important to continue investing in that. Shaleen also addresses the Chromebook ‘takeover’, as many schools and divisions are using Chromebooks in schools K-12; in addition to the use of programs such as google classroom and drive.
  • Schools determine what platforms to use: Shaleen also mentioned how schools/divisions are their reasoning for using the platforms in which they do. These decisions may be made based on available funding, ease of use, connectivity, etc. as such there are numerous factors to consider when making these types of decisions.
  • Moving Away from Bad Business: Lastly, there was also the discussion of the ethical consumption of products from corporations and how schools are beginning to realize there are problems with standardization and are beginning to take actions to address this such as presented in this article shared by Shalene.

Conclusion:

 In concluding our debate, these were our results. The results were more drastic then I thought they would be, but I think it is important to acknowledge that both debaters presented a strong argument. Overall, I think this debate encompassed a conversation that was about more than technology. This debate was an interesting topic because, like our other debates, there seems to be such a middle ground; Additionally, I feel as though this topic may have been one that our class possibly had less background information about, at least it was for me. In any case, both debaters did a great job – thank you for sharing your insights on this topic.

 

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?

In this weeks debate, my fellow classmates Lauren and Kylie debated the statement Social media is ruining childhood. Lauren took the pro side debating that social media is ruining childhood while Kylie took the con side debating that social media is not ruining childhood. As always, before we began the debate we took our pre-debate vote. As you can see, our results were relatively close to half and half, which in turn, created an interesting debate with many perspectives.

Pro:

Lauren’s video had some really great examples that provided a very persuasive argument, here are some of her main points:

  • Social media has negative effects on mental health.
    • Here Lauren explained how children’s mental health is being negatively impacted through using examples such as “FOMO”. Which Lauren described as the ‘fear of missing out’, which further examined in one of the articles shared by Lauren. This becomes problematic because social media is a snapshot of an individuals life while creating the illusion that it is their everyday life.
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    Social Media is additive.

    • In Lauren’s video, she explains the addictive properties that social media has on children as well as yourself. For example, consider how many times do you check your social media accounts per day or how high is your average screen report time (a feature that has become available on iPhones) is, and think about whether or not you are happy with the results. I feel this point is more of a personal choice, depending on how each individual uses social media, but I see how it contributes to this argument.
  • Children are unaware of danger online.
    • Here Lauren identified that the internet is forever and we need to consider if children should have access to something where they can post or send messages on a platform that lasts forever, following them into their adult lives.
  • Social Media is a platform for bullying.
    • Lauren also mentions how social media can be a place where children fall subject to cyberbullying. Lauren also discussed how cyberbullying has become an issue where children have been taking their own lives as a result, as identified in another article.

Con:

Kylie also had some insightful points, here are some of the main points she included:

  • Social media opens doors.
    • Kylie identified how many children are able to find their passions through social media. Here Kylie discussed how these skills/hobbies can be nurtured and used a place of learning through social media such as YouTube videos.
  • Encourages children to take a stand.
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      Here Kylie talked about how, through the use of social media, children’s voices are being heard and they can use that to take a stand. This concept is further explored in this article. In turn, this enables children to connect and participate in social change or movements that are happening around the globe.

  • Promotes mental health initiatives.

  • Social media is unavoidable.
    • Kylie also discusses how children want to use social media. This article, shared by Kylie, discusses how social media has become part of our society and is becoming near impossible to dismiss. Thus, it becomes more beneficial to teach about how to use social media responsibly. ETDC 300 student Jana Schlosser shared an interesting resource advocating for the safe use of social media, which relates to this point via twitter:

Conclusion:

Both debaters did a great job with this debate and offered thought-provoking statements such as, “Social Media is both good and scary, as is the world” (Kylie) and, “Children often measure the value of their lives by number likes and shares” (Lauren). During the debate, the nostalgia of childhood was brought up. I think this is also important to acknowledge, as sometimes we like to reflect on the past and think that things were ‘better in the old days’ when that might not have been the case for everyone – Cody does a good job of summarizing this concept in his blog post. In any case, it is hard to determine if social media is ruining childhood or not because there are both positives and negatives within this debate so I will remain neutral. Thanks again debaters for this interesting discussion!

The Great Ed. Tech Debate – Is technology a force for equity in society?

This week’s debate was definitely an interesting one – though that may be subjective as I was one of this week’s debaters. This week Ryan and I debated the statement: Is technology a force for equity in society? Ryan took the pro side meanwhile I debated the con side. Prior to our debate, the class took the vote and these were our results. As you can see, our results were almost split down the middle, so I knew I had some persuading to do.

The Pro Side:

Ryan did a good job during his video as he examined how technology helps individuals with exceptionalities, creates an opportunity to connect those from around the world, and gives youth a voice. Ryan expresses how technology can improve daily life and functioning. For example, Ryan discussed how Stephen Hawking’s life was improved through the use of speech generating technology. This is an excellent example as it examines how technology has been used to provide individuals with exceptionalities with opportunities to participate in society in a more equitable manner. This article, shared by Ryan, explores how different technologies that are being used to improve the functioning of individuals with exceptionalities daily life. Ryan shared how, when done right, individuals can empower students in developing countries or in refugee camps (as stated in his video) and supported in this article. Ryan also discusses how technology gives the youth of today a voice and in turns empowers them to discuss their thoughts via social media. Ryan also shared this article, that discussed how the use of technology gives adolescents the ability to engage in the world around them and can become a participatory citizen.

Counter Argument:

After listening to Ryan’s video, having our debate, and engaging with our assigned readings I was left pondering some burning questions:

  • What youth are you empowering through the use of technology? Who gets a voice as well as the right to participate?
  • Are their bigger issues other than the implementation of technology in developing countries or refugee camps?
  • How does using technology create equity in society for individuals who have exceptionalities if they can’t afford it? (This was brought up by a classmate in our debate and I felt it was important to include here)

There are no easy answers for these questions, but ultimately are things to consider when thinking about this weeks debate.

The Con Side:

During my video, I examined the following: the digital divide, access, digital equity, and digital inclusion. The digital divide refers to the gap in who has access to technology and who does not. As you can imagine, that leaves a wide array of experiences in the classroom. For example, those who have had more opportunities to be exposed to technology may be more technologically literate whereas those with less experience may fall behind. On page eight of this article, the author discusses how low-income and minority students are some of the most affected as well as this article identifies low-income and rural students to be at risk. One might ask the reason why, and the answer is simple, technology costs. Not only is there the initial purchase cost of technology (whether it be a phone, tablet, computer, etc.), but there is constant upkeep such as the cost to maintain these devices as well as the price of internet connection. For some families, this just isn’t realistic or sustainable. This is where I think it becomes crucial that individuals recognize the position of privilege they hold in society; some families have to make the choice between buying groceries or paying bills, so it is not unreasonable that technology isn’t in the picture. This is where our debate turned to look towards the concept of techno-colonialism and the issues that have risen around the globe.  Justin Reach examines part of this conversation in a video, by discussing how technology has become a civil rights issue of the 21st century and uses the example of how funds are distributed inequitably between schools low and high-income schools. Why is there such inequity between the opportunity to take part in learning at school? In Mark Barnett’s TEDx Talk, he explains how the Maker Movement is making its way into schools, but he too identifies that there are areas where schools have little to no access to technology whereas other schools do. Why are some students using sewing needles as there technology where other students are coding or using 3D printers? But this issue is much bigger than whether or not everyone has access to technology, as the problem would not be solved by giving an iPad to every student (Katia shared a similar example during our debate). I think this becomes an issue of ethical consideration. Should the implementation of providing access to technology take priority in today’s society meanwhile there are many individuals living in third world conditions?

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As Lauren, mentions in her blog post, I think that technology is one of the puzzle pieces that contribute to striving for an equitable society; however, I do not think that technology can achieve that on its own.

 

Conclusion:

Overall, there are many factors to consider when examining this debate; which makes it so difficult to choose a side. Even after having this debate, I am still thinking of topics that can be brought into consideration with regards to how this debate is approached.  As a classmate, Cody, has shared via Twitter this debate is a lot to think about.

The Great Ed Tech Debate: Cellphones in the Classroom

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During this weeks class three classmates took on the challenge of debating the statement, “Cellphones should be banned in the classroom”. Kendall debated that cellphones should always be banned in school; while Cody debated that cellphones should never be banned in school. Additionally, Tiana debated that cellphones should be allowed but only in high school. It was interesting to see how there can be so many perspectives and views on this debate. Often times, I found myself wishing there was a ‘sometimes’ category as I personally agreed with aspects of each of the debates.

Always (Kendall):

  • Use of cellphones can be disrespectful
    • Students may not be giving the teacher their undivided attention. For example, texting or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while the teacher is trying to give instruction.
    • The use of cellphones is unprofessional (unless there is an emergency).
    • Students may not be learning the social skills required to take part in society; for example, learning social etiquette such as having a conversation without being on their phone, the ability to make small talk, etc.
  • Cheating
    • Students creativity is suppressed. For example, when drawing students want to look up how things are ‘supposed to look’ and tend to copy what they see instead of using their imagination.
    • Students have the ability to direct message one another and share their answers which can become problematic when trying to assess a student’s individual work.
    • Students have access to others work have the ability to plagiarise either with or without knowledge of have done it.
  • Disruptive/Distracting
    • Cellphones are prone to causes interruptions such as buzzing, lights, ringtones, etc.. Prior to class, I also read the article Katia shared in class. It was about a teacher who decided to conduct an experiment to see how many notifications (text messages, social media, other notifications, etc. her students received in half an hour and the results were shocking (or it was for me at least!).
    • Once disrupted it takes students time to regain focus, thus losing out on valuable instructional time.
  • Dangerous
    • Cellphones create a greater opportunity for cyberbullying to take place.
    • Cellphones pose a danger to public safety. Kendall shared an article that examines the correlation between cellphones and how communication networks can become overloaded in an emergency situation. For example, the article discusses how individuals such as parents, community members, news personal, etc. may be contacted and arrive before emergency personal has a chance to control the situation.

Never (Cody):

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Cody’s began his argument by identifying how cellphones have become a part of our everyday lives that they hold a place in society. Cody then noted that technology is constantly evolving and that the power technology holds is tremendous and that we now have essentially a computer at our fingertips.  The debate then turned towards how the use of cellphones is managed in the classroom. For example, focusing on how to use technology appropriately and implementing behavior strategies such as leaving the phone face down on the table or using a “parking system” when students leave their phone at a designated area of the class when they do not need it for educational purposes. Cody also mentioned that when dealing with issues such as cellphones it is important to have a proactive rather than a reactive response. I thought this was a great point to make as Cody then shared his personal experiences with using this approach throughout his internship. The conversation was then turned to how cellphones create ease of access to utilized amounts of resources that become accessible to students. In turn, this also allows students to look up questions they may have to find an answer when the teacher may not have one. One of the articles Cody shared spoke to how allowing students the freedom to use their cellphones instills a sense of responsibility for their learning and can even produce better results that engage students in becoming lifelong learners. One of the reasons this article resonates with me is because allowing students to use their cellphones for educational purposes create an environment where students can take charge of their own learning. Additionally, using cellphones promotes things such as Genius Hour and inquiry projects that keep students engaged in learning.

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Only in High School (Tiana):

  • Prepares students for adulthood
    • Give students the opportunity to develop good tech habits to use later in life.
    • Students are then taught mobile etiquette (when is and when is not appropriate to be using a cellular device) and safety (for example, identifying safe practices when online).
    • Having students recognize that cellphones rarely exist in workplaces.
  • Difficult to regulate
    • Some students work on laptops or tablets
    • Not every child has a cellphone
  • Diverse learning strategies
    • Lesson possibilities are enhanced with the availability of cellular devices (given they have access to the internet or data plans).
      • Tiana shared a wonderful resource that explores the possibilities using cellphones in the classroom brings. For example, it included educational tools such as Poll Everywhere and podcasts as well as identified how the use of cellphones benefits schools economically. Additionally, the article provides learning activities that can also be incorporated into everyday lessons.
    • Provides opportunities for inquiry-based learning at the clicks of a few buttons.
    • It is important to recognize cellphones aren’t always readily available so other options such as using a school computer or tablet should also be considered.

Overall, there are many pedagogical approaches to this topic and I think it is important to acknowledge the differing perspectives of educators (i.e. each teacher may have a differing view as to how or if cellphones are used in the classroom as is their own educational philosophies). Great job to all debaters you did a wonderful job exploring this controversial topic!

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: “Openness and sharing is bad for our kids”

This weeks topic for our classes ed. tech debate focus on the statement, “Openness and sharing is bad for our kids”. For this debate, Ashley took the pro side while Dryden represented the con side. Each presenter provided a valid argument with interesting points that make you consider both arguments. Often times in these debates, there is a place that exists where both sides of the debate come together to form a middle ground. For myself, this is exceptionally prevalent in this debate.

Pro Side: During Ashley’s debate she raised the following points:

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  • Student consent is not always considered; in that, the student is not always asked about what is being posted, rather it may be the parent or guardian making that decision.
  • Digital footprints are not always being created by the student.
    • An article Ashley shared speaks to how student work is published online; for example, by using digital portfolios. The article discusses how students aren’t always given choice in regards to if their work is shared privately or in a public domain.
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    Puts students in the spotlight.

    • Students may be embarrassed by photos or work being shared online.
    • Some students and their parents/guardians prefer to be selective about their digital footprint and what is shared online and that should be respected. This topic is also brought up in an article Ashley shared about student photos and if they should be shared in online spaces.

Con Side: Dryden then shared the following points:

  • Through technology, students are better able to share the knowledge they have learned by sharing online.
  • Be open with parents, let them decide what they are comfortable with in terms of what is being shared in an online space.
    • Dryden shared an article that speaks to building trust and fostering an environment that is open to ideas, perspectives, and listening in the classroom. I think these concepts can be brought into this conversation surrounding technology and how it is used in the classroom as students and their parents/guardians will have varying perspectives and beliefs.
  • Documenting students growth and learning online provides parents and guardians to explore what their child in learning through different means such as blogs.

    One Click Group UK Flickr via Compfight cc
  • Provides students with the opportunity to access notes or examples from home.
  • Encourages interaction and communication between home and school.

 

 

Overall, both Ashley and Dryden did a great job sharing their knowledge with the class and provided a stimulating debate in regards to openness and sharing with technology.

The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: Google and it’s Place in the Classroom

This past weeks debate focused around the topic argument for an against the following, “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled: Agree or disagree?”. While each of my classmates debated I found myself agreeing with both sides of the argument. Sydney and Aurora both did an amazing job! Syndey’s argument focused on the pro side of the debate while Aurora’s focused on the con side.

Pro Side:

Sydney’s argument focuses on the concept that schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled. Sydney explains the concept of memorization and how why should we as educators spend so much time on ensuring students have memorized the information we have given to them rather than give students the tools they need to succeed. The article,Why learn facts if you can google?” further examines this concept and dives into the exploration of curricula and that if you cut back on traditional teaching such as having students memorize multiplication facts you can spend that time personalizing students learning experiences instead. While  I’m not 100% personally sold on this point, it is one to consider.

The next article, Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education, however, does spark my interest. While the article discusses the concept of minimalizing traditional teaching, it also explores revamping education. This excites me as the discussion of bringing in google searches, collaboration, and inquiry into the classroom. These concepts make me think of how we as educators are preparing students for life once they are done school, and as the saying goes, we are preparing students for careers that haven’t even been invented yet. So remains the question of how do we prepare students for the unknown? This is where becoming technologically literate becomes so important because if students are technologically literate they have the tools they need to think critically, synthesize, and problem-solve to learn.

Con Side:

Aurora’s argument focused on the concept that schools should focus on teaching things that should be googled.  Aurora shared this Ted Talk, which explains the results we find through the act of googling. Technology offers so much information, however, can be censored thus providing biased search results. When learning through inquiry or through other process technology is used to gather information. But when information becomes censored it becomes an inaccurate source because it may not always include all the information students need to make an informed decision.

One of the articles Aurora shared, Will Technology Make Teachers Obsolete? explained the human factor to teaching; in that society will always need teachers, however, their role may change to becoming more of a moderator rather than a keeper of knowledge. In addition to explaining how important a teachers role is in giving students a love for a subject and mentoring students throughout their educational journey. I think this concept is so important because it places value on the hidden curriculum, the things that teachers teach students that aren’t mandated to be taught such as social responsibility, respect, and ethics.

Articles and research aside, my own personal belief is that educators should be providing students with the ability to think critically with the information they gather. So although students may be able to google information to learn from teachers are there to guide students to push students thinking further to really examine their findings to make an informed judgment. In closing, I believe that being able to google is important, however, I still think schools and educators need to focus on teaching students things that can be googled.