“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.