Summary of Learning

This is the summary of our learning. Hanieh and I decided to prepare it together. Special thanks to Dr. Alec Couros for his informative and enjoyable class.


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AI Technologies will Revolutionize Education for the Better

In our latest debate, we tackled the topic of AI technologies and their potential to revolutionize education. This is a topic of great interest and importance, as AI is increasingly being integrated into various industries, including education. In addition, Chat GPT is well-versed in the latest developments in this field. In this blog post, we will delve into the potential positive and negative impacts of AI on education. While AI has the potential to revolutionize education for the better, it is important to also consider its potential downsides. By exploring both sides of the issue, we can gain a more complete understanding of how AI can best be integrated into education to maximize its benefits while minimizing its potential drawbacks. By considering both the positives and negatives of AI in education, we hope to provide a balanced perspective on this important topic.

The following video has some informative information about using AI in education and answers the question if AI will make teachers obsolete:

Agree: AI Revolutionizes Education for Better

According to Sushama et al. (2022) learning is a lifelong characteristic that applies to all ages and mentions the growing popularity of distant and online learning, particularly in the post-pandemic era. It also emphasizes the significant role of technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, VR/AR, and learning platforms in the alternative patterns of learning. There are also many potential benefits of using AI in education. Here are some of the most important ones based on our discussion on the class.

Personalized Learning:

One of the most significant benefits of using AI in education is its ability to personalize learning. For example, DreamBox Learning is an AI-based platform that provides personalized math instruction to students. The program uses algorithms to analyze student performance and create customized learning plans for each student. Many parents reported that their children were struggling with math until they started using DreamBox, which helped them improve their skills and confidence. This can help students learn more efficiently and effectively as they are given personalized instruction that is tailored to their needs.

Improved Student Outcomes:

Another benefit of using AI in education is its ability to improve student outcomes. AI algorithms can analyze student data and identify areas where students are struggling. Teachers can then use this information to provide targeted interventions that help students improve in those areas. This can lead to better academic performance and increased engagement in the classroom.

Enhanced Collaboration:

AI can also enhance collaboration in the classroom. AI algorithms can facilitate group work by identifying students with similar interests or skills and grouping them together. This can help students work more effectively in groups and can lead to better outcomes for everyone involved. For example, Carnegie Learning is an AI-based math curriculum that has been shown to improve student performance. In a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, students who used the program performed better on standardized tests than those who did not. The program uses AI to provide personalized instruction and feedback, helping students improve their math skills. Another example is an AI-powered tool called PeerScholar which is used to facilitate peer review among students. The tool helps students provide more detailed and constructive feedback to each other and lead to better outcomes for everyone involved.

More Efficient Grading:

AI can also make grading more efficient for teachers. AI algorithms can analyze student work and provide instant feedback, which can help teachers identify areas where students are struggling and provide targeted interventions. This can save teachers time and allow them to focus on other aspects of their job, such as lesson planning and classroom management. For example, Turnitin is an AI-powered tool that can analyze student work and provide instant feedback. The tool can identify plagiarism, grammar errors, and other issues, allowing teachers to focus on providing targeted feedback to students rather than spending time on tedious grading tasks.

Disagree: AI may have negative consequences

While there are many potential benefits to using AI in education, there are also some potential negative consequences that should be considered. Here are some of the most important ones:

Dehumanization of Learning:

One of the potential negative consequences of using AI in education is the dehumanization of learning. AI algorithms can provide personalized learning plans and instant feedback, but they cannot replace the human connection that is essential to effective teaching and learning. Students may feel disconnected from their teachers and peers, which can lead to a lack of engagement and lower academic performance. For example, some schools have started using AI-powered chatbots to provide counseling to students. While these chatbots can provide immediate support, they cannot replace the human connection that is essential to effective counseling. Students may feel disconnected from their counselors and may not receive the support they need.

Privacy Concerns:

Another potential negative consequence of using AI in education is privacy concerns. AI algorithms require large amounts of data to function effectively and this data may include sensitive information about students, such as their academic performance and personal information. There is a risk that this data could be misused or hacked, which could have serious consequences for students and their families. For example, in 2019, a school district in Iran used an AI-powered program to monitor student social media accounts for signs of violence, bullying, or drug use. The program raised concerns about student privacy and the potential misuse of student data.

Bias in Algorithms:

AI algorithms are only as good as the data they are trained on. If the data is biased or incomplete, the algorithms may produce biased results. This could lead to students being unfairly disadvantaged or overlooked, which could have long-term consequences for their academic and professional careers. For example, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that an AI-powered job matching platform had a bias against female job seekers. The platform was more likely to recommend male candidates for higher-paying jobs even when female candidates had similar qualifications.


Finally, there is a cost associated with implementing AI in education. AI algorithms require significant investment in infrastructure and personnel to operate effectively. For example, the cost of implementing AI-powered tools and platforms may be a significant barrier for many schools and districts, particularly those that are already underfunded. As a result, some students may not have access to these tools and may not benefit from the advantages of AI in education.

Right now, about 63% of students are not interested or involved in school. This means they stop trying to learn before they have the necessary skills to succeed in the future. Scott Bolland talks about how our brains naturally learn and how teaching methods don’t always match up. He also discusses how artificial intelligence could help improve our education system.


In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using AI in education. While AI has the potential to revolutionize education for the better, it is important to consider the potential negative consequences. Schools and districts should carefully weigh the potential benefits and costs of implementing AI in education and should work to ensure that the technology is used in a way that is safe, effective, and equitable for all students. By doing so, we can harness the power of AI to improve education and create a brighter future for our students.

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Educators Have a Responsibility to Use Technology and Social Media to Promote Social Justice

The topic of our fifth debate was educators’ responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice. It was a crucial topic to discuss. Before going further, it is important to know what social justice means. According to one article, “Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. Social workers aim to open the doors of access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in greatest need”.

This sentence expresses the idea that social workers aim to provide access and opportunity for everyone, especially those who are most disadvantaged. Educators, like social workers, also have a responsibility to promote social justice by ensuring that all students have access to the same opportunities to succeed. Technology can be a powerful tool for achieving this goal as it can help to level the playing field by providing access to resources, information, and opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach for some students.

For example, technology can be used to provide online educational resources to students who might not have access to traditional classroom settings, such as those who live in rural or remote areas. It can also help to bridge the digital divide by providing access to devices and internet connectivity for students who might not have access to these resources at home. By using technology in these ways, educators can help to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to learn and succeed, regardless of their socioeconomic background or location. In doing so, they can play an important role in promoting social justice and creating a more equitable society. Therefore, it can be seen that in today’s digital age, educators have the responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice. While some may argue that technology and social media can be distractions, there are many benefits to utilizing these tools to educate and advocate for social justice causes. In this blog post, we will explore both sides of this topic and provide real-world examples to illustrate the importance of technology and social media in promoting social justice.


Technology and social media can be powerful tools for educators who want to promote social justice. For example, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can be used to spread awareness about social justice causes and to connect with others who are working towards the same goals. Teachers can use social media to share resources and engage in discussions with other educators about how to address issues such as systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia. Moreover, Scherman and Rivera (2021) investigated about this issue in their article. Their article talks about how social media was used to organize protests in Chile for social justice issues and how young Chileans were able to successfully come together for causes they strongly believed in without any official leaders. The article explores two hypotheses: that individuals who use social media are more likely to participate in protests and that those who use social media for political goals are more likely to participate in protests. Educators can share stories like this to inspire and encourage their students to be activists using social media, which can lead to direct and important activism and the betterment of society as a whole.

it is striking to point that, based on one article that I read before our class, educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice because it increases accessibility to a wider audience, amplifies marginalized voices, enables innovative teaching strategies, addresses bias in education, and empowers students to make positive changes. By integrating technology and social media into their teaching, educators can engage students in discussions about social justice issues and promote diversity, inclusion, and empathy for others. This helps to create a new generation of social justice advocates who can make a positive impact in their communities.

Real-world examples of the benefits of technology and social media in promoting social justice can be seen in the Black Lives Matter movement. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in 2020, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram were instrumental in spreading information about protests and organizing demonstrations. Educators also used social media to share resources and materials for teaching about racism and police brutality, which helped to educate a new generation of students about these important issues.

The following video is a presentation which is about teaching social justice through technology. In this presentation, different types of technology that can introduce social justice in a learning environment will be learned by the participants and ways to incorporate social justice through technology in their teaching practices will be discussed.


While there are many benefits to using technology and social media to promote social justice, there are also potential drawbacks that educators should be aware of. For example, social media can be a breeding ground for misinformation and echo chambers. This can lead to students becoming polarized and closed-minded, which can hinder progress toward social justice.

One real-world example of the potential drawbacks of using technology and social media to promote social justice is the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many social media platforms have been used to spread false information about the virus, its origins, and possible cures or treatments. As a result, some people have developed conspiracy theories and extreme views about the pandemic, which can hinder public health efforts to control the spread of the virus and lead to stigmatization and discrimination against certain groups of people.

Another potential drawback of using technology and social media to promote social justice is that it can be time-consuming and take away from other important aspects of teaching. Educators may find themselves spending more time on social media or researching digital resources than actually teaching their students. This can be a problem, especially for educators who already have limited time and resources.  Therefore, based on evidence in different societies, promoting social justice through technology and social media can lead to divisiveness, distract from academics, promote political bias, create controversy, and expose students to inappropriate content.

Real-world examples of the potential drawbacks of technology and social media in promoting social justice can be seen in the QAnon conspiracy theory. QAnon originated on social media platforms and has been responsible for spreading misinformation and promoting violence. Educators who use social media to promote social justice must be careful not to inadvertently spread false information or contribute to an already-polarized online environment.


Educators do have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice. While there are potential drawbacks to using these tools, the benefits are too significant to ignore. Educators can use social media to spread awareness about social justice causes, connect with other educators, and create a more inclusive classroom environment. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as the spread of misinformation and the potential for polarized online communities. By carefully considering both sides of this issue, educators can effectively use technology and social media to promote social justice and create a better world for their students.

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Educators and Schools Have a Responsibility to Help Their Students Develop a Digital Footprint

The topic of the fourth debate was educators’ and schools’ responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint. It was a really interesting debate but knowing the meaning of “Digital Footprint” is so essential before any further steps.  According to one article, “Digital footprint sometimes called a digital shadow or an electronic footprint – refers to the trail of data you leave when using the internet. It includes websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit online. A digital footprint can be used to track a person’s online activities and devices. Internet users create their digital footprint either actively or passively”.

The following picture adopted from a website can clarify what “Digital Footprint” means in a really short and comprehensive way:

In my opinion, in today’s digital age, it is important for educators and schools to help their students develop a positive digital footprint. Additionally, based on its mentioned definition, “Digital Footprint” can include a social media activities, online purchases, and any other online activities that leave a trace. In this blog post, I will write about its positive and negative sides.


One of the most important positive sides of this topic is that it encourages students to develop a digital footprint that can promote digital citizenship, which is crucial in today’s world. Digital literacy means having the ability to use digital technology in a proficient and responsible manner. One excellent way to enhance and develop these skills is engaging in the creation of these contents. A positive digital footprint can also build a positive online reputation. They can create digital content that shows their skills, interests, and achievements. It leads to creating a positive online presence which is beneficial for students, especially when they apply for colleges and jobs. It is critical to mention that creating digital content helps students to find more opportunities to grow and learn. Different examples of creating digital content are creating videos or writing blog posts which help students improve some of their skills including writing and communication.

A good example can be a student who started a blog where she writes about her experiences with mental health. She shares her personal struggles and offers advice to others who may be going through similar challenges. Her blog has gained a large following and she has received messages from people all over the world thanking her for her honesty and inspiration.


If educators and schools do not have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint, there could be several negative consequences. One of the potential drawbacks can be the lack of digital literacy which means students may lack the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the digital world. Therefore, they may be unaware of the potential risks and may not understand how to manage their online presence. Another one is the danger of cyberbullying. Students may be more vulnerable to cyberbullying, which can have a significant negative impact on their mental health and well-being. The next one is about reputation damage. Pupils might unintentionally post inappropriate contents that harm their reputation for future opportunities such as jobs and colleges. The last two instances can be exposing to inappropriate contents and lacking privacy. The former refers to exposing inappropriate or harmful contents online, which can negatively impact students’ development and well-being and the latter means that they can put themselves at risk by sharing personal information online.

One real-life example of the negative consequences of an unmanaged digital footprint is the case of Justine Sacco, a public relations executive who posted a racially insensitive tweet before boarding a flight to South Africa. The tweet read, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Although Sacco only had 170 followers at the time, her tweet quickly went viral and sparked outrage on social media, leading to widespread condemnation and public shaming.

Sacco was fired from her job as a result of the incident and faced significant backlash, with many people calling for her to be held accountable for her actions. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of an unmanaged digital footprint and highlights the importance of thinking carefully about the content we post online and how it may be perceived by others.


In today’s digital age, having a positive and well-managed online presence has become increasingly important. Educators and schools play a critical role in helping students develop a responsible and beneficial digital footprint. By providing guidance and education on online behavior and privacy, schools can empower students to use the internet and social media in a way that reflects positively on themselves and their community. Encouraging students to actively curate their online presence can also help them in their future academic and professional endeavors. As such, it is essential for educators and schools to prioritize digital literacy and ensure that students have the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.

The following video is so informative about this topic. Dr. Alec Couros examines the difficulties that children encounter in a world that is becoming progressively digitalized, where their online identities are indistinguishable from their real-world ones and where nothing is ever forgotten. Educators and schools can play a crucial role in preparing children to understand that information is inherently public and only private with conscious effort. He urges us to come up with methods to assist our students in discovering and participating in networked human interactions that are both beneficial and considerate, while also keeping them secure.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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

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