What a great debate we had last week. I really enjoyed Amanda and Nancy debating Trevor and Matt. It was a fun and very informative one. Hats off to both teams on the fantastic job they have done. The debate topic was, “Does technology in the classroom enhance learning?” It is one of the questions that I always debate myself. It is essential to integrate this generation’s tools such as “Smartphones” and “Apps” into the classroom. However, technology has its disadvantages.
Reading the article What the Times got Wrong about Kids and Phones provided by Nancy and Amanda was of great interest to me. I have to admit I am one of those parents who control their kids’ WiFi access on their phones and tablets. If we do not, they will be spending pretty much all their time awake (during the COVID-19 stay at home norms) on those devices. I started to believe those devices are addictive. We allow them two hours a day for non-school/ volunteer tasks. (This coupled with one hour of PlayStation a day brings the access to 3 hours a day. Is this too much or too little you think? Any recommendations?) My take over that I am trying to minimize the addiction while enforcing some time away from their devices to do other meaningfully. We discussed different options with them, and the time limit was the one we all agreed on. I am not exactly sure if this is the right thing to do or not, but so far it works for us. But, My husband and I seem to be described by this sentence of the article “”the people who know the most about Tech are the ones who want the least Tech for their kids. Think about that,” while certainly, this sentence is not applicable for us “Some research does show that parents’ wealth [and education] are correlated with their limiting of kids’ screen time.”
Yes, kids have always had distractions. Record players. Radios. TV. Friends and the Internet. Somehow, society has managed to achieve amazing things. In today’s world, we can’t stay away from the internet, although I would agree that some aspects of the internet can distract people. However, the problem isn’t the tool itself, the problem is how we use that tool. There are lots of tools, apps or software that we can use to block notifications or track our time on Social media.
Reading The Myths of Technology Series blog, I realize what I am doing with technology is at the level of “Compliance.” and I should start to think more about “engaging” my kids more and ultimately “empower” them. I liked how the article explained the difference between these terms, and I think this explains very well how Tech enhances education. In fact, I actually agree with the following quote from the article, “people who can keep up with technology will outsmart those who don’t (even more than they do now).”
Currently and with the COVID-19 situation, I would say that technology is not only enhancing education but actually enabling it. I believe education technology has evolved over time to cope with changes in learning needs and COVID-19 is such a time where so many many needs have been expressed. In my work, I deal with many instructors, and I can see a major change in how they are accepting more to use edTech two months only after they started using it because of the stay-at-home norms. Many teachers are passionate and willing to find new ways to gain their student’s attention. They are in the contentious hunt to use today’s technology and techniques and to incorporate them in their class.