In this post, I will do my best to summarize a great debate! The topic itself sparks thought-provoking conversation along with differing opinions. I’m sure this will be echoed through my colleagues’ blogs, but I felt both teams did a great job defending their sides, whether for or against. Coming into the debates, I had an opinion about the topics and was already leaning on one side. Throughout the debate and conversations, I found myself hard-pressed to choose a clear winner as they did a great job at dividing the room.
Debate #2: Technology has led to a more equitable society.
Hope you got the mortal combat theme I was going for in the title. Although this was not as one sided as the gif below I do enjoy a debate. There is times of intense heat that resonate with the crowd listening. My favourite part of the past debates was the conversation happening from the observers. The pre-vote was not replicated with the final vote which lets you know it made for an interesting conversation.
The agree side started the debate with strong points such as access to education, differentiation for learners’ needs, and sharing of resources. These three points make it easy to see how technology, when properly implemented and utilized, can create opportunities for students not there when I was growing up. Technology can support teachers when planning with resource sharing, which directly impacts the students learning. Having access to a computer and projector in a classroom will enhance learning. We are fixated on a 1:1 ratio when discussing technology in a school. However, technology involved in the planning portion is having a positive impact on student learning.
As you would know from any previous blog posts or knowign me, I was already leaning favourably in the agree side for this topic. That being said, when listening to a debate, I would be doing a disservice to approach it close-minded. The opposing side did a compelling job at outlining the cons of technology in education.
Christina, Amaya, and Matt pointed out that not all communities have equal access to technology as we may think. Not only separating communities, but there can be discrepancies within school divisions from facility to facility. This is impacted by one of their points which is funding. Technology is not a cheap tool to implement in schools, and with the rapid acceleration of advancements, there is an additional cost trying to repair and replace broken and outdated machines. Lastly, they touched on the digital divide. Throughout the pandemic, we have unfortunately seen this gap increase as we saw less fortunate families struggle to attend school due to a lack of devices within their homes.
Although I am in favour of technology in the classroom, it was eye-opening when the choice for online was made and how many families were impacted due to a lack of devices in their homes or having no internet. Coming from someone with access to technology and the things I need to help me succeed. Watching the digital divide increase for your students and their families is hard.
I appreciate you taking time from your day to read my blog. I’d love to know your thoughts down below. I hope you are having a great week!