This week’s debates when on if technology enhances learning and if schools should continue to teach googleable facts and information.
For the first argument, if technology enhances learning or not, both sides had good points. One of the main topics was if it was more of a distraction than a helpful tool. It is easy for students to get distracted by technology and not actually learn anything. Whether that is by having unnecessary tabs open or playing on your phone while in class. One of my classmates mentioned that it depends on what you are doing on your device if it is a distraction or not, it was also brought up that students will always find a way to be distracted either on technology or not. Another good point that was brought up was that technology opens many doors for students that aren’t possible otherwise, visual learners, for example, there are resources online that wouldn’t be accessible without technology. I think that even if there is a possibility that technology is a distraction, it is still worth using in the classroom. I think that if technology is used in the right way it greatly enhances learning, however it can be a distraction so if teachers are going to use it, they should have a plan in place to deal with it if it became a distraction. A good point to not use technology is that not all students have access to it, as mentioned in “five reasons not to use technology in the classroom” I think this is an important point that cannot be overlooked. I find that many teachers assume that students have access to technology and internet at home, giving those who don’t an unnecessary disadvantage. It is important to consider how it will be used before you start using it (only using technology when students can be provided with everything they need at school might be a good option.)
The second debate was based on if schools should continue to teach googleable facts and information. In “most likely to succeed: schools should teach kids to think, not memorize” one thing that stood out to me was that they say that the argument that “the more you know, the better off you will be” is not relevant anymore because all the information is on a device. This implies that we shouldn’t have to learn anything because we can find everything online. While yes there is lots of information available online it doesn’t mean that you should just not learn anything for yourself. For example, using that same logic, say you are a med student, and you figure that since you can find all the information you could possible need is online why should you waste all your time learning what you can just look up on google when you need it? Now this is an extreme example, but I wanted to make my point clear, there is power and value in knowledge, it doesn’t mean you have to know everything but the more you know the better off you will be. I was debating the disagree side of this debate. Although many valuable points got brought up for the agree side, I still think that schools should still teach googleable facts and information. One of the main points on the agree side was that schools should be teaching skills rather than facts or information, as much as I think this is a valuable idea the facts and information that students are taught are the foundation to build skills on. Facts and information also provide valuable context for learning. A good point that one of my classmates made was that if we were to not teach facts or googleable information also affects how teachers teach, and what they need to learn. Doing this has a ripple effect and education programs and classes will have to be re-thought in order to properly prepare teachers for teaching this way. Teaching “googleable” facts and information give context for learning skills. For example, building creativity is important but without some information to give context, being creative about what exactly? I will say that building skills is important, but you have to have something to build on. I made the point that memorization is also a skill, many people like to make it bad, but it isn’t a bad skill, and it helps with your memory, as much as everyone hates memorization it is an important skill to learn if you intend to go to post-secondary especially because professors still expect you to commit some things to memory.