Technology Has Led to a More Equitable Society

The topic of our third debate in the class was also as essential as the last two previous debate topics. Two groups talked about both agreed and disagreed sides of “Technology Has Led to a More Equitable Society”. The rise of technology has undoubtedly had a profound impact on our society. Additionally, many argue that it has led to a more equitable and fair world. However, others disagree, believing that the opposite is true. In this blog post, we will explore both sides of the argument, discussing the ways in which technology has both helped and hindered efforts toward a more equitable society.

Agreed: Technology Has Led to a More Equitable Society

Advocates of the idea that technology has led to a more equitable society argued that it has enabled marginalized groups to gain access to resources, opportunities, and information that were previously unavailable to them. For example, technology has played a crucial role in expanding access to education. Online platforms like Coursera and Udemy offer free or affordable courses on a wide range of subjects, making education accessible to people who might not have had the chance to study otherwise.

Moreover, technology has made it possible for people to work remotely, which has opened up job opportunities for those who might not have been able to travel to work. This has been particularly beneficial for people with disabilities or those living in rural areas, who may have struggled to find employment opportunities in the past. With the rise of remote work, these individuals can now find work without having to worry about the challenges of commuting or relocating. In addition, social media has revolutionized the way public health communication operates, as it enables organizations to reach a broad audience with reliable information. It allows for continuous communication, knowledge exchange, and access to health messaging during emergencies. Social media helps to democratize information and tailor messages to specific audiences, ultimately increasing the impact of public health initiatives (Ndumbe-eyoh & Mazzucco, 2016).

Technology has also played a significant role in promoting social justice and activism. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have allowed marginalized groups to organize and raise awareness about issues that matter to them. The #MeToo movement, for example, was born on social media, as women around the world shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, leading to widespread awareness and a push for change. In the following you can see a short video about the #MeeToo movement:

Disagreed: Technology Has not Led to a More Equitable Society

However, the other group argued that technology has not led to a more equitable society and in some cases has actually made inequality worse. One key concern is that technology has exacerbated the digital divide, meaning that those who have access to technology are at an advantage over those who do not. In many parts of the world, access to technology is still limited, and those without access may be left behind in terms of education, job opportunities, and access to vital information. According to Bruce (2020), one of the primary reasons for the technology and education gap is income inequality among families. For instance, some students did not have any access to the internet and technology in some privileged areas of my country during the pandemic (Covid-19) so they were not able to educate themselves. However, the most interesting thing is that Don Hall (2006) in their article effectively explains how they discovered through their efforts to close the digital divide that technology can provide fair learning opportunities for students. Their program, “Bridging The Gap,” aimed to provide technology to students without access at home and has successfully supplied over 3,000 homes with technology in the past three years. This program highlights how technology can bring communities together and create equality by providing all families with the chance to support their child’s education.

Moreover, the use of technology in hiring and recruitment processes has been criticized for perpetuating discrimination. Algorithms used in hiring processes may unintentionally exclude certain groups, such as women or people of color due to bias in the data on which the algorithms are trained. This can lead to the perpetuation of systemic inequalities in the workplace.

Finally, the rise of social media has also led to a new type of inequality. Social media algorithms are designed to show users’ content that they are likely to engage with, which can lead to a silo effect where people only see information that confirms their existing beliefs. This can lead to the spread of misinformation and the entrenchment of political and social divides. There is some useful information in the following video in that Rufus Pollock is talking about how technology is driving inequality:

Examples of Technology and Equity

To illustrate both sides of the argument, let us look at some real-world examples of technology and equity.

One example of technology promoting equity is the One Laptop per Child program, which aims to provide affordable laptops to children in developing countries. The program recognizes that access to technology is essential for education and that by providing laptops, children in remote or underprivileged areas can gain access to a wealth of educational resources and opportunities.

Another example is the use of facial recognition technology in hiring and recruitment processes. While some argue that this technology can help to eliminate bias and promote equity, others worry that it may actually perpetuate existing biases, leading to further inequality.


In conclusion, while technology has undoubtedly had a significant impact on our society, the question of whether it has led to a more equitable society is a complex one. While technology has enabled access to education, remote work, and social justice movements, it has also perpetuated the digital divide, discrimination in hiring processes, and the spread of misinformation through social media. Therefore, it is essential to approach the use of technology with a critical eye and to ensure that it is used in a way that promotes equity and fairness for all. This requires addressing the systemic biases that exist within technology and working towards creating a more just and equitable society. As the debate continues, it is crucial to remain vigilant about the effects of technology on society and to ensure that we are using it to create a better, fairer world.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Media is Ruining Childhood

The topic of our second debate was “Social Media is Ruining Childhood” which is a critical issue in recent days because social media has become an integral part of our lives in recent years and it has impacted almost every aspect of our daily routine, including the way children spend their childhood. If I want to compare my childhood to the current generation, I should say that I come from an outdated generation because every aspect of technology was in its basic stage. However, the current generation cannot live without technology and social media. The prime example is when Covid-19 started in 2020. Technology and social media was our miracle in those years. The only way for people to communicate was by using social media. While social media has some benefits, there are growing concerns that it is ruining childhood. This blog post will explore both sides of this argument and examine the evidence for and against social media’s impact on children’s lives. In the following video, Katanu talks about the positive and negative impacts of social on youth:



On the one hand, social media offers many benefits to children. It can help them stay connected with friends and family members who live far away and it can be an excellent tool for building and maintaining relationships. Additionally, social media can be a great source of information and entertainment, providing children with access to educational resources, news, and games. Furthermore, social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have enabled children to showcase their creativity and talent, creating an avenue for expression. According to Nesi (2020, p. 116), technology and social media create “significant new challenges and exciting opportunities” in young people’s lives. For instance, you can see the LaBrant family TIK TOK mashup in the following video:


On the other hand, the negative impact of social media on childhood is becoming increasingly evident. According to the article that I studied before our class, the overuse of social media has been linked to sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression in children. Children who spend too much time on social media are at risk of developing low self-esteem and poor body image, as they are constantly bombarded with images of perfect bodies and unattainable beauty standards. Moreover, children can become addicted to social media, which can lead to isolation and a lack of physical activity.

As a personal example, I have a younger cousin who spends most of her free time on social media. Her phone is her constant companion and she is always scrolling through her feeds, even during family gatherings. Recently, she confided to me that she feels lonely and isolated, despite having hundreds of friends on social media. She admitted that she doesn’t know how to connect with people in real life because she has become so used to superficial interactions on social media. This is a clear indication of how social media is changing the way children socialize and interact with others.

In addition to social isolation, social media can also expose children to cyberbullying and other online dangers. With the anonymity that social media provides, bullies can hide behind fake profiles and harass other children without fear of reprisal. This can lead to long-term psychological damage, with victims of cyberbullying experiencing anxiety, depression, and even suicide ideation. Similarly, children can be exposed to inappropriate content on social media, including pornography, violence, and hate speech, which can be traumatic and damaging to their emotional and mental well-being.

Another personal example is a friend’s daughter who was the victim of online bullying on Instagram. She received derogatory comments and messages from her peers, which caused her a great deal of emotional distress. Her parents had to step in and take measures to protect her online, which included blocking the bullies and limiting her access to social media. This experience was a wake-up call for her parents, and they now monitor her social media use more closely, recognizing the negative impact it can have on her mental health.


In my opinion, while social media has its benefits, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is ruining childhood for many children. The negative impact of social media on children’s mental, emotional, and social well-being cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is crucial that parents and caregivers monitor children’s social media use and educate them on how to use it safely and responsibly. Moreover, social media platforms must take a more proactive approach to protect children from online dangers and ensure that the content they are exposed to is appropriate for their age. By doing so, we can ensure that children can enjoy the benefits of social media without risking their well-being.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Technology in the Classroom Enhances Learning

Yes or No: Technology in the classroom is a must-have if students want to be prepared for almost any career today (Ivus et al., 2020, p.7)”.

Before our first debate in the class, I read the ICTC article and I was thinking about the answer to the mentioned question but honestly, I was not sure what to say.

“Technology in the classroom enhances learning” was our first topic debate in the classroom. It is a crucial topic because the current moment in the world is the age of technology and most students and educators encounter using technology in the classroom. Therefore, knowing its positive sides and negative sides are necessary for both students and educators. When I step back to some years ago, I can remember that we did not use technology in our classrooms, at least the time when I was a student at school. In my opinion, the classrooms and their atmosphere were so boring and frustrating to learn new things in comparison with the atmosphere of the current generation’s classroom in the world of technology. It can be seen that learning has been facilitated by using projectors, laptops, printers, etc. It is so critical to mention that when Covid-19 started in the world, the only way that students and learners could learn depended merely on using technology. Otherwise, learning could be stopped for approximately 2 years due to the lack of technology for students and educators to communicate. In the following video, Dr. Lila Fleming is talking about some challenges teaching and educating faced in the age of Covid-19 and how teachers provided learning support remotely:



All previous written sentences were my first impressions and thoughts regarding the use of technology in the classroom. When Dr. Alec Couros asked us to pre-vote, I was strongly on the agreed side. Then, Janeen, Catrina, Will, and Michael started their debate. While Will and Micheal argued that technology in the classroom improves learning, Janeen and Catrina argued that it can be detrimental. In this blog post, we will look at both sides of the debate to see if technology in the classroom is truly beneficial to students. The debate was a real battle between these two groups and they were perfect to support their opinions. In the following you can see Will and Michael’s opening debate statement video:



According to Will and Micheal, technology has advanced rapidly in recent decades and revolutionized the way we live, communicate, and learn. Technology has become an integral part of the classroom in recent years and schools and educators using it to enhance learning experiences. The prime example is that there are many tools to organize students at schools such as Google Workspace which offers professional emails, shared videos, video meetings, online document editing, etc. So teachers can share class activities and assignments with students easily. It also makes it simple for teachers and students to collaborate. Another interesting fact is that most students these days prefer visual aids that Google Workplace is one of the best options. Therefore, it can be said that technology can make learning more interactive and engaging for learners. The second important factor is students’ individual differences. One of these differences is their speed in studying and reading materials. Technology made it possible for them to study materials at their own pace. So anxiety and getting nervous or stressed are decreasing among them. The last and most important reason is that using technology in the classroom makes students ready for the digital age. Since technology is an inseparable part of human life, students are able to learn how to use it from an early age. According to Ivus et al. (2020), “A vision of success for educators would incorporate learning pathways like college-ready, career-ready, and citizen-ready skills together with personalized learning approaches that address a child’s unique educational needs. Increasingly, this holistic learning pathway is considered inseparable from technology (p.58)”. Therefore, students are able to learn some skills related to digital citizenship and digital literacy at schools and they can positively use technology in their life.


However, Janeen and Catrina talked about the negative sides and they provided many insightful points about using technology in the classroom. According to their presentation, using technology in the classroom can be a distraction for students. They can not concentrate well on their studies because they tend to check social media or browse some information on the internet. It also can lead to some problems in their learning and comprehension. Another important factor is that by using too much technology, students will lose some social skills in their real life such as friendships or communicating well with people. So they tend to be isolated and alone with their gadgets. According to Strom (2021), children should spend no more than two hours watching television or being exposed to screens. In addition Hunt et al. (2018) mentioned in their article that 10 minutes per platform must be spent per day for individuals. So using more than that leads to technology addiction among students which is not a good point in education system.


Debating this topic was so interesting in the classroom and I changed my mind. I think it is important to consider both sides of the argument. While technology can make learning more interactive and engaging for students, it can also be a distraction and a barrier to learning. As a result, educators must use technology in a way that is both effective and appropriate for the needs of their students. Educators can ensure that technology enhances learning and prepares students for success in the digital age by using it thoughtfully and strategically.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does Digital Citizenship Matter?

It is a really thought-provoking question. As an educator, we mostly encounter some questions about necessary skills which have to be taught to students at schools. However, teaching online skills is a type of question that I have rarely heard to be addressed by teachers. Indeed, it is a crucial topic and skill, particularly for students who live in the twenty-first century which is the era of technology. Let’s see what Digital Citizenship means.

According to Simsek & Simsek (2013), the concept of the word citizenship refers to individuals’ ability to participate in a decision-making process within a society. Some skills are required in order to have appropriate social decision-making to access and process information. The forms of information have dramatically changed with the advancement of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the age of the digital world. As a result, it is crucial for citizens in a democratic society to possess skills such as accessing, interpreting, understanding, reconstructing, and sharing information (Aufderheide, 1993; Christ & Potter, 1998). Therefore, it is a crucial topic to be taught to students. Digital citizenship is divided into two opposite categories: Good Digital Citizenship and Bad Digital Citizenship. The former refers to showing students how to connect, empathize, respect each other, and have long-lasting relationships through digital tools. On the other hand, Bad Digital Citizenship means cyberbullying, harassment, irresponsibility, and lack of knowledge about the correct use of the Internet. Subsequently, educators should teach Good Digital Citizenship and its skills to students at schools to prevent bad consequences of being encountered of Bad Digital Citizenship.

Role of Schools

These days, the world that students are growing up and studying is increasingly technology-driven and interconnected. Students are constantly exposed to new ideas that can shape their online identity due to the widespread availability of the internet. Therefore, the role of schools in supporting students to develop their digital identity is crucial because they can help students how to present themselves online and manage it in a safe and responsible way.

Schools have to educate children about the potential consequences of their online activities. They must be informed that the Internet is a permanent record and their posts and online activities are shared not only with their friends and family members but also with strangers such as employers or mutual friends. So they must be mindful of what they post online and consider the impact of their post on their future. In addition, schools need to teach students to develop their digital identities positively. This includes teaching them to communicate respectfully and friendly and developing positive online communities so they can learn how to use technology and build a positive online reputation.

Another important factor that schools have an important role in is helping students to learn how they can protect their online privacy and security. For instance, giving information about the importance of strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and being cautious and responsible when sharing personal information online. Moreover, they have to teach students how to develop their critical thinking skills to recognize accurate information from inaccurate data. So they need to know how to evaluate the information.

Dr. Alec Couros mentioned in his class that evaluating information has 5 main steps including Looking for Previous Work, Going Upstream (to the source), Reading Laterally (assessing the value of the source), Circling Back, and Checking Your Emotions.

To sum it up, schools play a critical role in teaching students how to develop their digital identity and educate them about the risks and rewards of their online presence and how to protect themselves in this permanent and massive world.

Role of Teachers

Teachers can play an essential role to inform students about digital citizenship. They can incorporate it into their lesson plans and classroom activities. For instance, some lessons about digital citizenship can be incorporated into the curriculum including some topics about empathy, safety, online privacy and etiquette, etc. These lessons can be integrated into other subjects such as History, Math, or English. Another activity is using role-playing exercises. Teachers and students can think of some current issues in the world of technology such as cyberbullying and act out scenarios in which they have to consider all aspects, share their ideas, and make a decision about what information should be shared.

Teachers can help students to understand the importance of ethical decision-making in the online world. They can discuss the negative effects of plagiarism, cyberbullying, and spreading false information and rumors. Teachers can also encourage students to develop positive online communities by encouraging them to participate in online forums and virtual communities. Modeling good digital citizenship is important as well. Having and knowing a good model is more informative than just having lessons and lectures about the topic. Therefore, teachers have to use technology in the classroom to help students develop their digital literacy skills and understand the role of technology in their lives then we will have responsible digital citizens who are able to navigate the digital world with confidence.

Role of Parents

Parents also play a crucial role in developing their children’s digital identities and citizenship. There are many ways that parents can help them. The most important one is to educate themselves. First and foremost, parents must understand what the digital world is in order to support and educate their children. This aim is achievable by attending different workshops, reading books and articles, or taking part in classes related to educational technology to stay up-to-date in this field. Next, they can set clear rules and guidelines for their children’s online behavior such as using technology in a responsive way, not sharing personal information, etc. Children are children. Its meaning is simple. They are not mature so, in my opinion, parents should monitor their children’s online activities indirectly including their social media accounts to be confident that they use the Internet and technology in a safe and positive way. Finally, they have to talk about digital citizenship to their children and be a positive good role model for them.

Suggested Reading Material

The Handbook of Open, Distance, and Digital Education is a really informative source for schools, teachers, and parents. There are various units about digital citizenship, identity, and literacy.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

AI in Education

Today, I want to write about AI. I have already heard this word before in different contexts but unfortunately, I did not have enough information about it. 

“I am interested in AI because it is changing the world of gaming.”

“I am curious how AL can learn.”

“AI is a new revolution in the world.”

AI? What does AI actually mean? According to Russell and Norvig (2010), Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a sub-field of computer science that can carry out tasks like speech recognition, language translation, visual perception, and decision-making that require human intelligence and the mind.


It is hard to believe it. We have learned many useful and practical information about AI from Dr. Alec Couros in ED830 class.

First, the meaning of GPT3 should be clarified. GPT3 stands for Generated Pre-trained Transformers 3. It uses internet data to generate any types of texts. As Dr. Alec Couros said: “ It has learned the patterns of human speech and generates the probability of the next word in sequence.” GPT3 is able to perform various natural language tasks including translation, answering questions, and summarizing texts. It was developed by OpenAI which is an American artificial intelligence research laboratory. 

ChatGPT is a chatbot built upon GPT3. It can be used in many different ways such as summarizing a text, composing music, producing various types of written work, providing specific information, etc. Please watch the following video to know what ChatGPT is:

Wowwwww! I could not believe it. How is it possible? After the class, I decided to check it and I typed some job interview questions related to teaching ESL and their answers. The answers are: 

“What inspired you to become an ESL teacher?

Answer: My passion for languages and cultures, and my desire to help others develop their language skills, led me to pursue a career in teaching English as a Second Language. I find it incredibly rewarding to see students make progress and achieve their goals, and I love the challenge of finding creative ways to engage and motivate them.

What is your approach to teaching grammar and vocabulary in the ESL classroom?

Answer: I believe that grammar and vocabulary are best learned in context, through meaningful and authentic activities and tasks. I also believe in incorporating a variety of teaching methods, including individual, small group, and whole class activities, to cater to different learning styles and to make the learning process more interactive and engaging.

How do you assess and track student progress in an ESL setting?

Answer: I assess student progress through a combination of formal and informal assessments, including quizzes, tests, oral presentations, and writing assignments. I also regularly observe and take notes on their participation and engagement in class, and use this information to inform my teaching and provide individualized feedback. To track progress, I maintain detailed records of student performance and regularly meet with students to discuss their goals and achievements.

Can you provide an example of a successful lesson you’ve taught to ESL students?

Answer: I once taught a lesson on describing people and personalities, which involved students working in small groups to create short skits and role-plays. The students had to use vocabulary related to physical appearance and personality traits, and present their skits to the class. The students were highly engaged and had a lot of fun, and it was a great opportunity for them to practice their speaking skills in a creative and low-stakes environment.

How do you handle challenging behaviors or disruptive students in the ESL classroom?

Answer: I believe in addressing challenging behaviors in a positive and proactive manner. I first try to understand the root cause of the behavior and then use a variety of strategies to address it, including redirecting the student, providing positive reinforcement, and setting clear expectations and consequences. I also communicate regularly with students and their families to keep them informed and to build positive relationships that foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment.”

Interestingly, it is important how to write your sentences and questions. You can see some prompt templates if you want more accurate results using ChatGPT:
Act as <role-name>
I will provide you with <info-on-input>
You will <detailed-test>

One of the most important issues that must be considered is “AIgiarism” which is a created word from plagiarism. Plagiarism is an important issue because detecting a generated text by ChatGPT seems challenging however some companies can detect these generated texts. Therefore, people in the world have many different ideas about using AI in education. Look at the following examples (from class):

We also discussed Quillbot as well which allows users to paraphrase a text. Most students use this bot to paraphrase different texts. The following video is a tutorial video showing how to use Quillbot in academia.

Other AI tools such as DALLE-2 and Playground are image creators. They can easily generate images based on your instruction about 10 seconds. I was so curious so I asked DALLE-2 an oil painting of a girl who has ginger red hair who is reading storybooks. This is the result:


The last AI tool that I want to introduce here is Tome which is a storytelling tool. It generates stories based on your instructed words and is capable of adding details. In the following you can see the story of a girl who has ginger red hair interested in reading storybooks generated by Tome:

I have not used AI tools in my classes before. I think using them has its pros and cons such as. Let’s talk about ChatGP. Regarding its advantages, one of them is increased efficiency and speed. It can grade assignments and provide feedback to students. Therefore, It saves most teachers’ time. However, there are also some disadvantages to using it in education. As mentioned before, one of the most concerns is plagiarism. It may be challenging to detect a generated text. Many other AI tools are interestingly useful in education such as LEX, Synthesia, Descript, etc.

Have you ever used them in your classes? Please share you experience here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of Regina. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life working as an instructor, teacher trainer, and researcher. My main research interests include Educational Technology, Methodology and Testing, Storytelling, and Teacher Education. I finished my B.A. in the field of English Language Translation at the University of Zanjan. After I passed some courses related to teaching English, I decided to change my major to focus more on teaching English; and ever since I have been devoting my education and work to this field. I never regret my decision to change my major and study Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), because it was a perfect way to apply my teaching abilities and creativity. It is worth mentioning that, in my Undergraduate Studies in English Language Translation at the University of Zanjan, I was among the best 3 in the class of 30.

Since 2012, I have been teaching English to different age groups and at various levels of proficiency. Meanwhile, I started my M.A. in TEFL at the University of Zanjan. I was outstanding at academic courses, teaching English, and related research. My academic research resulted in eight high-quality articles and one book chapter. I also won the first rank among M.A. students of TEFL.

Achievements can’t quench my thirst for self-improvement. I also took part in different workshops and received different certificates like CELTA, TESOL, DELTA, etc. I eagerly like to acquire the depth of knowledge and sophistication of methodology to attain a superior level of expertise in teaching English. During these times, I begin to feel my need for self-development in teaching English are not being satisfied because of the lack of necessary latest equipment, resources, and facilities available for research and development in this field.

Teaching is an art and several factors should be taken into consideration, including the students, classroom atmosphere, the teaching approaches, evaluation methods, cultural factors, and so on. When I was an English teacher in my country, I had students from many different places in the world who could not participate in class since they could not speak English well. As an ESL teacher, I did my best to overcome this problem and create a situation where each student can actively participate in the course. I would say I am quite comfortable with technology because I believe using technology enhances students learning in the classroom and encourage them to participate more. As an ESL/EFL teacher, I used Google Classroom daily to post all activities and assignments. Moreover, during the pandemic days, Zoom, Skype, and Google meet were the platforms to teach and support our students.

EC & I 830 is my first course during my Ph.D. studies. It is also my first course in digital and online learning spaces. I am so excited to participate in this class and learn more about educational technology issues.

I look forward to learning from you all this semester.

Rokhsareh Kakvand

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment