The Great Debate Round 1!

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.

Topic #1: Technology in the classroom enhances learning.

Megan HenrionNicole Romanow
Brittney MeyersDaryl Sveinson

If you have read my past blog posts, follow me on Twitter, or know me personally, you will see that I strongly agree with this statement. I did not think Nicole and Daryl would be able to change my mind. I am sorry to both of them to say that they didn’t. They did a great job exploring and arguing why/when it wouldn’t enhance learning. However, they changed my mind on how I view this statement now. I had not considered many of their points. It is not that technology can enhance learning in every classroom. Many factors and inequalities can stunt learning in a classroom rather than enhance it.

Megan and Brittney hit on some main focal points around technology enhancing the classroom learning environment. They spoke of:
Quicker Feedback: Technology can give quicker feedback than a textbook and can provide self-correcting steps based on the answers provided and how they were reached. Although not as authentic as an educator, there are still subjects such as math where a teacher’s authentic feedback is not necessary 100% of the time.
Meet the Needs of Learners: Technology can be an excellent aid for differentiating to enhance or support approaching students. Technology allows you to re-watch/engage with the material as often as you need. The ability to stop, pause, and think is not always possible with a teacher in a classroom setting.
Unattainable Experiences: They spoke about how the advancements in technology allow you as an educator to give the students insight and experiences that would not be possible without technology. We do not have the freedom to take our middle year classes to Paris, France. However, we can put our students in a more imaginative situation through virtual vacations and Google Maps. This is just one example of endless possibilities. Throughout the pandemic, companies were getting creative with engaging students virtually.

Although these are strong points and the reason I love technology in a classroom, Nicole and Daryl did a fantastic job arguing against it and giving me a second thought on some of the issues that can arise due to a heavy focus on technology. They touched on:
Unauthentic Experiences: Where educators are relying too heavily on technology and lack the personal engagement that students find rewarding about school. 
Dependency: This point could be argued for both the students and the educators at this point. If we rely too heavily on it, we are losing touch with our practice as educators and the authentic student experience.
Inequalities: With an already increased divide amongst younger students on who has a cell phone and who doesn’t. The norm of BYOD at school is increasing stress amongst our students who do not have those luxuries at home. 

As I said to begin this post I have my own personal biases about technology in the classroom and the positives it can bring to educators and students. However, I am aware that when not utilized correctly it can cause more stress than it is worth in a classroom setting.

thank you for taking time to read my blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

One thought on “The Great Debate Round 1!

  1. Dependency is something that is being tested right now in Regina Public Schools. The sheer panic that some teachers are feeling about not accessing our networks and some of the ways we used to teach. Some are even forgetting that you can actually still hook up to the projectors using a cable, and without internet, but that’s another story. Anyways, balance is key. Good pedagogy is what drives learning, and the balance between both worlds.


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