Summary of Learning
Technology beneficial in the classroom or not? February 5, 2019
In talking about whether technology is positive for the classroom or negative I immediately thought this is a no brainer it has to be positive for the classroom. Through our classroom debate though my concept on this idea started to shift to the other side. Many points were brought up on distractions in the classroom and using technology improperly just to use technology in the classroom. That using technology peeks interest of your students when it can do the exact opposite and allow students to tune out.
I think as a teacher we have to be conscientious when using technology. Making sure students have access to use of technology in class and as well as opportunities at home. That we are knowledgeable about the technology we are using and not to over use technology in the class more is not always better.
In saying this there are positives in the classroom with technology. Access to a large spectrum of information, access to scientists and experts through social media, an alternative way to learn and present material and assess students.
From my own experience with school technology in the classroom, this mostly revolved around using Microsoft programs such as Word and PowerPoint. We only had one smartboard in the school in the library and many teachers were unfamiliar with using this technology. Overheads were still used almost everyday as we did not have projectors set up in the classroom and the school only had one that had to be signed out. As my schooling progressed more into University I started to really benefit from technology. I am a fairly unorganized when it comes to keeping papers and stuff all together so being able to do my work online and create folders that I can keep classes and assignments as well as notes altogether or separate. I have found though that through texting that my once decent spelling and grammar has started to slip and I find myself trying to spell some common words.
Week 2 January 15, 2019
After conducting my digital scan, I definitely found some things on Facebook that I need to address. There are some old photos from back in high school that I may want to keep as they are good memories, but they do not need to be online for future students and parents to access. I am not very active on social media outside of using Facebook in high school. I have twitter, but mostly use this platform for news and sports. I do not have Instagram or any other type of social media. The two social media platforms I have are locked and cannot be accessed by anyone. I had to limit my setting before when working at Paul Dojack Youth Centre for safety and security.
I believe going forward I really need to improve my blog page itself. I am not extremely well versed in using a blog having only used it in one class before EDTC 400 a few years ago. I would also like to make my blog more personal and represent me for others to see. I also would like to find and follow more education influences on twitter. This can help me gain further knowledge and continue to build my online profile and teaching philosophy.
I think that I truly could improve on the message I would like to send on my online profile, cleaning up my Facebook and adding some more influential follows on twitter. As well as improving my blog to allow it to fully represent me.
Week 4 January 29, 2019
Technology in the classroom enhances learning: Agree or disagree?
I was shocked to see how persuaded I was in this argument. Going into this debate I was fully on the side that it enhances learning, but through the discussion I began to see that not all technology enhances learning. Yes, things like the internet can make things easier to access, but there is a time to use this and a time not too. That we as teachers have to be careful that we are not just using technology to just use it and bring it into our classrooms. We must be aware also that technology might not be available for all of our students. This maybe to our own school or programming or not available for families to purchase on their own.
Technology is always changing and there are going to be new ways continually that technology can help us in the classroom and enhance learning. Yet it is our jobs as teachers to know what does enhance learning for our students. What hampers their learning. What can be dangerous in the classroom and what is safe to use.
Week 5 February 5, 2019
Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled: Agree or disagree?
This debate/topic stayed the change going into it and after. We should focus on teaching things that can be googled. Not all answers on google are factual and true. Many topics can be miss leading. As teachers we can teach topics and what is true about them, what is fact and fiction. Along with this a lot of topics may be googleable, but that does not mean students are googling them. Many topics I learned in school I had no interest in googling. It was after learning in the classroom that it would peak my interest to learn more about a topic and further my research.
Some may say that we should not focus on these things and focus on others since students can google them, but where do we draw the line. In reality everything is possible to google so does that mean we teach nothing? Obviously not, we must teach our students. Google itself is also something we must educate our students how to use that not everything on google is creditable, that there are things like google scholar that help narrow your search. To look for creditable websites and information.
Week 6 February 12, 2019
Blog post: Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids: Agree or disagree?
This topic is one that I focused on in my debate. Going into the debate I thought no brainer that I would disagree. That being open and sharing is what we are taught as being fair for all. And yes, openness and sharing can be fair, but as Ashley pointed out on her side of the debate that there is not always a time and place for openness and sharing. Now I had thought of this before the debate there is sensitive information that does not need to be shared and that we do not need to be open about everything. Although I had never thought of having a class blog or twitter account where you post assignments or pictures of your students work or working could be harmful. Students have not given you their consent as maybe parents signed that this is okay. People who should not have access to photos of your students can gain access.
At the same time sharing a class project based around global warming or raising some other type of awareness can be safe if done properly. Not including direct pictures of students, keeping names out of the picture or post. Another is the use of sharing through an app like we do in our EDTC 400 class though Slack. Students can help each other ask questions, share resources or news that can further your learning. Something like this can be implemented in your classroom. Making sure that you do not force students to share as some may not feel safe or want to share with others. Just giving the option for students to share sometimes can be beneficial.
Week 7 February 26, 2019
Cellphones should be banned in the classroom: Always, never, or allowed only in high school?
This debate was a tough one for me. Going into it I was thinking only in high school. Through the debate though I began to see that cellphones could be a resource in the classroom and older elementary students could benefit from using cellphones in the classroom. I think as a teacher you have to first look into your school boards policies on cell phones, then talk with your Principal and administration on their thoughts. You also have to talk with other teachers and be on the same page. If I bad cellphones and another teacher the students have allows them, we are going to run into issues with the students. Being consistent that if they are banned that you stick with this rule. To role model if they are banned you should not be on your phone in front of your students all the time. To come up with a system where students can store phones in their locker or a cellphone locker where students leave their phones and can access them if need be for class work or an emergency or free time.
To communicate with the parents if phones may not be on their kids. How they can contact them through the school office, or when students will be allowed to have their phones (recess, lunch).
Week 8 March 5, 2019
Technology is a force for equity in society: Agree or disagree?
This week’s debate is connected to last week in fairness with technology. I think as we discussed it can not be a force for equity. Not all students have access to technology. Bullying can happen through technology. These types of things do not force equity in society. This stems even further outside the classroom. More money usually leads to more technology which in turn leads to even more money. Technology can be a great tool, but more often than not it costs money and usually is not cheap. This leads to as mention those who can afford get the ability to use the technology.
Week 9 March 12, 2019
Social media is ruining childhood: Agree or disagree?
This topic I again was planted on one side and had to open my thoughts as the debate went on. I started to disagree with our statement, but as many of our other topics there is a middle ground. Social media can be a wonderful tool and resource in peoples lives, and yet it can also damage someone’s life just as fast. People can stay connected on social media, share resources, find out news, post family photos and be a tool for one to express themselves online. And yet we have to be careful how we express ourselves on social media. You see with athletes they post something controversial in high school that they were joking about and it gets brought up in their pro career as a judgement of character. We have to be careful and understand what we post is there for others to see and take how they want.
This is where our jobs as teachers comes into play. We must educate our students on proper social media use, what can happen not as a scare tactic but so that they understand the possibilities and outcomes that can happen. To also role model for our students on how we use social media.
Week 10 March 19, 2019
Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests: Agree or disagree?
This week’s topic I had never given much thought of in a public education setting. I would immediately say no to this topic before the debate if asked. As we tackled this topic some brought up the idea of Coke or Pepsi being in schools and that we are advertising to our students. From my experience in elementary students had no access to the one pop machine in the school only staff. As for high school there were vending machines. I do believe though at this age if students want pop or chips, they will get it at a gas station anyways. Now its up to you if you think we still shouldn’t be advertising these brands in the school. With this though school funding is be cut and slashed each year and schools may have to rely on funding from corporations in order to have the necessary funds for a functional school year. The problem is how much is to much, who should you allow for them to fund who should you not. As discussed in class with students getting brain washed into using a brand if given this brand in school. We see advertising every, TV, news, radio the internet. People make choices on who they support and do not. I do not believe if I used a MacBook growing up, I would have stuck with this product. They are expensive and I can find the needs I need for school on a cheaper laptop. I do believe though that we have a duty to make sure that schools and teachers are not taking improper funding for a corporations hidden agenda or a shady or corrupt corporation.
Week 11 March 26, 2019
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: Agree or disagree?
This topic made me laugh and even in our class we had some good laughs with this topic of returning to the “good old days”. For a few of us the good old days is dial up which is not that old or stone age. Technology is a great resource for day to day lives, many different things have made life easier and more accessible for everyone. Cars and planes allowing for quicker travel. The internet allowing for information to be based on, news to be more accessible. Now obviously all of these have their cons like everything else in life. Where I do find technology hurting my learning is things like spelling or simple math. Or writing skills as we are typing or texting now more than writing. Autocorrect takes care of my errors or so I believe. The same goes for math I rely on a calculator or my phone to do simple or difficult math when I know the answer and can work there on my own, I just rely on the easy method. I think that we should still build these skills that technology makes faster as they are good life skills to have yet we can still use the technology for help if need be that’s what it us there for.
Week 12 April 2, 2019
Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression: Agree or disagree?
This was a very serious debate and lots of people had input this week. To say teachers, have a responsibility can be a slippery slope in this topic. I think teachers with or without technology should talk about and raise awareness about social justice and fighting oppression. We have to also check our bias in these regards as well. Facts and the truth is what is important here, as we discussed in class about the anti anti vaccine movement. We should talk about this and the facts that there is not medical proof anywhere saying they are harmful and cause disease. Social media can be a great place to bring awareness and promote for a good cause as athletes use platforms such as this in a good way. They can also use social media in a bad way, promoting false news or facts, someone like Donald Trump who is very influential. The same goes for us on our students we spend 8 hours a day with them and influence them whether we believe it or not. We have to make sure if we are promoting and raising awareness we are doing so in a proper way and not putting others down or spreading rumours or false information.