Technology enhances learning, but are we prepared to use it?

First off, I would like to say thank you and congratulations to the two teams who professionally debated the topic “Technology in the classroom enhances learning”. Both teams did such a good job and I must say, I took away many points which I had never paid attention to before; such as the amount of funds that Regina Public pays yearly simply on the integration of technology devices and the regular maintenance these devices require. Both teams presented strong factual information and I have to admit I left the meeting with mixed emotions. However, I do want to believe that technology can enhance student learning.

It is evident that technology within the classroom presents both positive and negative attributes. However, we must first acknowledge the fact that technology in itself presents a stigma that it can either be a productive tool or a major distraction within the classroom. I do agree that technology is a positive tool, especially for students who struggle with learning disabilities and require additional assistance. Tools such as iPads or lap top computers can assist students with low fine motor skills, where they may find greater success through the use of technology. Within the debate, we were informed about the many ways that technology can be implemented to support learning. Simply having access to iPads, computers, or smart boards does not account for integrating technology. It is ultimately up to teachers to be mindful about the types of technology that will benefit their students. For instance, would a Google document effectively support a classroom community or would it lead to singling out the students who do not possess technology devises in their home? Would creating a classroom blog or a website be an effective platform for students to create and share content by posting animations, videos and photos, all of which are known to help empower individuals to develop their own sense of creativity and identity.

Moreover, I strongly agree with the point raised during the debate about there not being enough trained teachers to effectively support technology within the classroom. When I reminisce about my time spent in elementary school, I do not recall technology being integrated within our daily lessons. In fact, the only memory of technology I do recollect was going to the computer lab once a week to practice appropriate typing skills (which I never used seeing as we performed everything using paper and pencil) followed by playing Oregon Trail.

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Furthermore, when I look back to my time spent doing my post-secondary degree, I do not recall taking more than one Ed Tech course. Personally, by the time I graduated with my post-secondary degree, I can say that I was not prepared to begin technological learning strategies within the classroom. Perhaps part of teachers Professional Development should include Ed Tech training, so teachers can learn how to effectively include technology in the classroom to enhance learning. With technology advancing every day, so is the assumption that all teachers are tech-savvy as well as up to date with the latest apps and social media programs. But for teachers who feel they need a little extra help integrating technology to enhance learning, consider watching this helpful video.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge that integrating technology in order to enhance learning can be beneficial yet also time consuming. It can be difficult to include technology into a lesson when teachers are spending too many minutes getting students logged onto devices as well as redirecting. However, technology will continue to present itself as a positive or negative tool. We must be open to the idea that while technology is being used to assist with professional development for teachers, it can also be used to enhance student learning.

Thank you again everyone! I look forward to the next set of debates!

 

 

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