Technology in the classroom has both positive and negative impact on students’ learning. Before the first debate, I am totally on the agree side of this topic. I think technology is creative and innovative, thus, in the physical classroom, it is essential for increasing student engagement. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, perspectives are changing, classes have moved online overnight, and teachers have relied on technology more than ever before. However, after the debate, I start looking at the negative side of using technology in the classroom and begin to thinking the best practice of using education technology in effective teaching and learning that “harness the good, limit the harm.”
I. Technology on Accessing Information
Technology impact student learning in many ways. Teachers and students can access up-to-date learning resources and to materials at anytime and anywhere (McKnight et al., 2016). However, not all information is valid and verified. For example, students who use Wikipedia-like resources are not unique. This impact of technology on education can lead to mass disinformation (Patel, 2022).
According to Stanford researchers, high school students are unprepared to judge the credibility of information on the internet. They still have difficulty discerning fact from fiction online (Spector, 2019). Students are fluent in social media, but it doesn’t mean that they are equally savvy about they find there. More than 80% of middle school students believed that “sponsored content” was a real news story (Domonoske, 2016).
How teachers can help students fight “fake news” and get access to credible and reliable information that will enhance learning?
The concept of Media Literacy Education has been brought up to me. It is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of approaches that help students develop critical thinking skills around all types of media. Teachers can help students develop a “checklist” method that asks students to consider certain criteria as they look at an individual website and teach them how to consult the broader web to establish a site’s trustworthiness (Spector, 2019). Thus, technology can help students easily access up-to-date information and materials. With media literacy education approaches, they will learn how to find trustworthy information and will not lead to mass disinformation.
II. Technology on Communication & Feedback
As Brittney mentioned in the debate technology can help teachers communicate with parents. The use of technology to enhance communication and feedback between students, teachers, and parents. For example, students use technology to communicate and collaborate with their peers on assignments (McKnight et al., 2016). This usage focuses on building social interactions among students and promoting learning as a partnership. Moreover, technology can help teachers spend less time on grading, thus spending more time with students to improve their learning. Brittney uses technology to communicate with her parents at her workplace. Through email, text and classroom management software, it improves communication with parents and enables transparency for students and parents regarding student progress (McKnight et al., 2016).
However, the oppsite side thinks that students feel sense of isolation with virtual and distance learning, and it hampers their needs for collaboration, and using technology also hampers the rapport between teachers and students and forms an obstacle to easy communication between them (Alhumaid, 2019). Students become disengaged communication with other students. They are stuck on their phone and walking the halls with their heads down, like a “zombine walk.”
How teachers can use technology to improve communication between students and parents, but limit the harm of hampering their relationship?
I feel teachers can help students learn different education technology in class, and prepare group assignments by using these technologies. Students can be creative and use technology to complete their group assignments with their peers. Through these online platforms students could interact with, support, and engage with their peers. Thus, this usage of technology can improve collaboration between students and reduce the sense of isolation.
III. Teachnology on Class Engagement
Technology can help facilitate engaged learning. Children often struggle to stay on task or interested, particularly if it is not interactive. Technology can make school tasks more engaging, which will help your students to stay focused (Cullen, 2019). By providing students with tools and platforms they are familiar with they are more likely to be engaged and get more out of the learning experience (Cullen, 2019). The power of gamification in learning can help teachers to motivate their students, increase collaboration and leverage the power of storytelling to help improve the learning process (Skooler, 2019).
However, technology is also viewed as a distraction. Students can be easily distracted by the technology, especially if applying gamification in learning on tablet, children are being distracted due to the excessive reliance on tablets in learning (Alhumaid, 2019). Moreover, the widespread use of smartphones in the learning process leads to student distraction, the fragmentation of knowledge and the inability of teachers to manage classrooms.
How does innovative technology help students interact with classes but not be distracted?
I think teachers should have strong control of using which type of technology on what device. For example, teachers need to only use those platforms and software that will enhance learning on devices that the school provides only. Thus, those devices can be set up with limited access. It only allows students to access the platform and software that teachers require and not be able to access other applications. Schools could not allow students to bring their own devices to school to limit students’ distraction on other websites.
Debate #2 Reflection – Has Technology Led to a More Equitable Society? Coming soon…