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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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
have 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.
- 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!