830 Summary of Learning!

Well another semester has come and gone!

I am so thankful to have been about to get of the waitlist and get my mind turning with all of these awesome debates!

Of course, my summary did not turn out like I imagines but here are some of my largest take aways from the course! Enjoy!

(P.s- Does it take anyone else 4 hours to shoot a 6 minute clip…. Yikes!)

The Great Ed. Tech Debate- Take 7&8

And just like that, we completed our last two debates!

What an exciting Semester!

Like all the others these statements got the wheels turning as both sides make valid and truthful points!

Debate 7: It is Educators Responsibility to help students develop a Digital Footprint

To be honest, I have no idea what a digital footprint was up until now! I assumed I had one, as I activity use social media. However, I did not think about it all inclusively like active apps, commenting and my online shopping addiction! Originally I didn’t think it was a teachers responsibility to develop student’s footprints but I did feel it was our responsibility to inform students that all online actions have an outcome!

On the agree side they argued just that! They said that while developing students digital footprints they will….

      1. Create safe online habits and build a healthy foundation from a young age. Decipher fake/real news and how to actively and properly participate online.
      2. Develop basic skills for future and create real spaces.
      3. Family workshops to inform families of safe practices and keep them up to date on the newest platforms to make all things tech. less intimidating.
      4. EVERYONE has a footprint. Focus on what students can do with a footprint instead of what it will do to them.

The disagree side argued that it is not and cannot be solely teachers responsibility because…

      1. Not enough PD for educators, allowing for discrepancies in knowledge passed on.
      2. Very challenging to protect the privacy of all students in a school setting.
      3. Even with consent, many families may not know what they are signing up for.
      4. Many students have an online presence before even entering school.
      5. Currently Reactive approaches are taken rather than proactive approaches.
      6. Much larger problem than teachers can handle, need to look at bigger companies their goals.

Both made many good points but I always go back to is it the teachers responsibility?

Well since tech is used, taught and explored at school it seems only right for teachers to help student develop their digital footprint. However, I believe teachers cannot be solely held responsible.

Child start to create an online presence long before they get to school and there is so much time spent outside of school that teachers have no control over. While I believe yes 100% teachers should be creating and educating digital citizens, it is a team effort inclusive of Families, government, large companies. Unfortunately, many have their own agendas and don’t have children’s best interests in mind.

Debate 8: Online Learning is Detrimental to Academic Development

Oh goodness, what a topic. My brain automatically is like Ohhhh yeah its detrimental. Which is why I needed to be apart of this debate to see the other side!

The most important thing that needs to be remembered is that Emergency Covid Pandemic is very different than Organized, planned online learning platforms!

Our agree team argued that online teaching is detrimental to academics because…

      1. Screen Time is increased and can have adverse effects.
      2. Not as much social and group experiences such as working as a team, cooperation, problem solving as in person.
      3. Assessment is challenging.
      4. Practical and Applied Arts/ Hands on are more difficult
      5. Distractions at home.
      6. No access to additional items like food, shelter, a safe place.

This is essentially where my mind went when we started online learning in the pandemic!

Obviously, these were not planned, we were all rushed and thrown into something we did not sign up for or have ever done before. I am comfortable saying my online teaching experience was detrimental to student academics as well as social experiences. Online also created extreme stress for many of our families because school provided more than academics, it also provided adults the ability to go to work, it provided food and other necessities!

HOWEVER! This is a big however, because when online learning is planned and requested by both parties it can provide undeniable ways of enhancing learning opportunities. Our disagree team argued….

      1. It allows for flexibility and accessibility. Students can learn on their own time and work into their own schedule for whatever reasons, work, sports, hearing, visual, physical demands, anxiety.
      2. Creates strong independent skills.
      3. More affordable.
      4. Can provide more one on one time between teacher and student.

Such strong arguments! Much like our other arguments all controversial and dependent on the situation.

I can definitely see benefits to both sides! I feel grateful to be living in a time where we have access to all these options and can choose to make choices that are a best fit for us!





The Great Ed. Tech. Debate- Take 5 & 6

Mondays don’t tend to be very exciting….

That is until new episodes of The Great Ed. Tech Debate started to be released every Monday night!

They never seem to disappoint. This week dug into two topics, Is Social Media Ruining Childhood? and Should Cellphones be Banned in the Classroom?

Again, two very controversial topics… Depending on how you look at it!

Debate 5: Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?

I immediately want to say yes! For goodness sakes, I think it is ruining my adulthood somedays! Here are some of the main arguments from both sides.

Agree Team:

  • Social Media and Technology Overshadows Play.                                                                Like I said sometimes I catch myself letting social media take over my play time. However, I have gained some willpower to restrain myself from checking social media when I am out and about, when I am with friends or family. Although, sometimes social media can take over conversations or influence conversations and thoughts had.

When I think of social media and childhood, which in m head is ages 5-13, they don’t necessarily have that restraint yet and don’t always have an understanding of the large influences and impacts it can have on their actions, conversations and thoughts.

  • Scaring and Hard to Monitor.                                                                                                   Turn on the child controls and monitor children when they are on technology they say…But lets be real, there are always loop holes, ads, that can be easily accessed in a blink of an eye. We all have scrolled by something we wish we didn’t see or read and once its seen, it can’t be unseen.
  • Cyberbullying                                                                                                                                         It is much easier to say, share, post, harmful messages towards someone behind a screen than in person. Spreads like wildfire and cant be simply be erased or forgotten.
  • Addiction, Distraction, Depression                                                                                               It is a vicious cycle… All things technology can be so engaging it becomes addicting. It is designed to draw you in and keep you there. It can then become a distraction from other important things in your life and can expose you to harmful images, messages and ideologies.

Yet, is it social medias fault for ruining childhood? Is childhood really being ruined?

Possibly not. Maybe it’s simply adapting.

Disagree Team:

  • Enhances Education and Shares Info and Insight                                                                    If you’re a teacher, you know Pinterest. The best app to help generate ideas, find hobbies and build passions. This also applies to lots of other apps, Instagram, Facebook, you’d be lying if you haven’t ever got an idea or information off social media. It is updated in real time, efficient and effective. Why shouldn’t kids also use these tools?
  • Connection                                                                                                                                    Social Media is all about the ability to connect with peers with similar interests and passions, hardships, and needs. It provides opportunity to show and acknowledge representation of differences and similarities. It provides “I am not alone” mentality.
  • Opportunity                                                                                                                                    While exposure on social media can sometimes be taken in a negative direction, it can also be the absolute best thing for people to learn, find, try new passions and be successful in whatever they want to be or do. Ever heard of Justin Bieber? Without Youtube, you probably wouldn’t!

Every Monday I tend to say the same thing….

Two sides to every story!

In conclusion, I truly believe we cannot blame ALL childhood issues on technology.

Yes, it can be harmful.

Yes, it can expose inappropriate age level content.

Yes, it can be distracting.

Yes, it can used to bully, become addictive and distract from our everyday lives.

However, it can be an extremely useful tool, build off current or inspire new passions, spread information and build community.

With background knowledge, considerations about technology, the education of what it takes to be a good digital citizen and also moderation, technology can be an outstandingly educational tool!


Debate 6: Should Cellphone be banned in the classroom?

Well doesn’t this tie in nicely with the pervious debate!

Let’s hope right into the arguments…

Agree Team:

  • Ban Phones. They are a huge Distraction.                                                                                As I stated before, they sure can be for me! My phone can totally take me out of the present moment, distract me from my current task, and put me in a zone where I don’t hear or see that’s going on around me. Phones allow the outside world to be present in the classroom. If students are using their phones in class, they have the opportunity to become extremely distracted.


  • Distractions to Others.                                                                                                                         You can guarantee is one has their phone out their peers will follow along.  As a teacher, I would become extremely distracted too.

They can become stolen and broken, causing problems and takes away time for school activities.

    • Cheating.                                                                                                                                         There are ways to monitor this, however you never know! As teachers, we want to know what our students understand to better support them!
    • The Digital Divide   

Some students will have access to technology andomome wont. Some will
different tools and platforms while others may have none. Allowing students to have phones in the classroom could cause discrepancies in accessibility.


  • Privacy                                                                                                                                            Teachers, peers have no privacy if students are allowed the access their phones with cameras, microphones, etc.

Disagree Team:

  • We live in a Digitally Integrated Society.                                                                      Technology is relied upon in all aspects of life. Why not allow students to gain and understand those tools and give them opportunities to find the boundaries and limitations on when to use their phones.
  • Effective                                                                                                                                                    Phones are effective. You can utilize them to engage student participation, develop collaborative spaces and projects. They are flexible and realistic tools.
  • Emergency Situations                                                                                                                  Families are able to directing communicate with students in emergency situations.

Ahhh! I am so torn on this one. I do believe phones can be a distraction to students for many reasons. I believe they can take lots of time out of the school day to handle problems. There seem to be so many more reasons to ban phone in the classroom.

However, I think we need to consider the opportunities they provide. They allow for engagement, collaboration, and tools for students to be successful. Students must also be provided the opportunity to build boundaries and create good digital habits.

Two sides to every story and both need to be taken into consideration when creating a digital environment for students!


The Great Ed Tech. Debate: Take 3 & 4

Wow, what a night! 

Two intense debates and four very strong arguments! My adrenaline is still pumping a day later!

We started the night off with Debate #3: 

Schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology (e.g., cursive writing, multiplication tables, spelling).

Very interesting…. 

The Agree Team Argued that…

 Technology is the future. 

So true. It is relied upon and integrated into our everyday tasks, that truthfully I don’t know what I would do without it! Why not set up our children for success down the road!

Effective and Efficient:

By using technology to effectively and efficiently complete tasks we have more time to focus on creative thinking and mental well being.

Student Centered, Independent and Engaging: 

The skill and use of technology allows students to drive their learning in the direction they choose, creating independent and engaged learners

The Disagree Team Argues that…

Essential for Fine Motor Skill Developement:

Teaching students to write instead of type, and draw instead of calculate, students develop fine motor skills that are needed for necessary everyday actions.

Better Processed and Problem Solving Skills:

When students use strategies that do not involve technology, they develop a deeper understanding of the process instead of simply gaining an outcome

Equity Gap Widened:

Teaching with only technology can create a larger Equity Gap because some children will have opportunities to practice and apply these skills outside of the class, while others will not.

If I am being honest I voted in favor of the disagree side both prior and after the debate. My reasoning is simply, I believe there is a place for both skills in the classroom. Technology and traditional skills have the ability to enhance each other when both are present.

If only traditional skills were taught… All I can think of is the groups quote “If we teach today as we taught yesterday we rob our children of tomorrow”. We know technology is becoming more and more present and relied upon in society and therefore need to expose our students to such skills.

On the other hand if only technology was taught… I really do believe students would lack understanding (especially in math concepts), fine motor skills would not develop and I don’t think the skill of printing/handwriting and spelling will ever go out of style. Although these skills take time and a lot of practice, I truly believe they are an undeniably important part of children’s development. 

So I guess I am taking the easy way out, but in conclusion, both tech and traditional skills need to be taught and intertwined in the classroom to set them up for future success. 


Moving on to Debate #4:

Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice.

What a hot topic and what a privilege it was to take part in this debate! Actually.. I was beyond nervous and scared to death to debate in favour of the disagree side!

The reason for that is…

 I DO think it is educators responsibility to discuss and examine social justice issues in the classroom.

I DO think it is their duty to share personal opinions respectfully. 

I DO think educators have a responsibility to help students find their voices and model how to present them in a thoughtful manner.  

I DO think it is their responsibility to address appropriate social media practices to make informed decisions online. 

However, in the end I DO NOT think it is educators responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice issues if they do not feel comfortable. It doesn’t mean they can’t, but that is their choice.

To summarize the arguments, the Agree Team Acknowledged…

-Using technology and social media connects communities, shares information and events to promote issues students need to know about.  

-Technology is already embedded into their everyday routines and is a great agent of change.

– Develops critical thinkers and gives students a voice. 

– Teaching and education is not neutral

Amazing points that I do not disagree with at all!!

To summarize our Arguments on the Disagree Side…

-Educators do not need to be neutral, but rather teach the values of differences in the classroom to allow for a safe space for all students, families, and colleagues. 

– There are effective ways to promote and make change regarding social justice issues rather than simply posting on social media.

– Teachers must protect themselves and it is their choice if they feel comfortable posting on social media.

– It is not the educators responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice issues. (Not to say such issues should not be represented and acknowledged in teaching.)

In conclusion, I really truly see both sides!

I believe the purpose of these debate topics are not to prove one side is correct and the other is wrong, but to shed light on both sides and see how when both sides work together it is most beneficial for our students!