Summary of Learning

Hello everyone!

What a wonderful class. I had a great time working AND learning alongside everyone. I want to briefly talk about what MY Summary of Learning will look like. Each week we discussed a new topic around Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology.  Each week, I chose a KEY TAKEAWAY. In saying that, I will be outlining the KEY takeaway I had each week. I took most of the videos after each class!

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Thank you for watching!

 

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Is technology is a force for equity in society?

My first first reaction to this statement is that technology is absolutely a force for equity in society. There are so many positive ways in which we can use technology to promote equity as well equality in society.  As Daniel mention in the zoom chat, technology can be a great equalizer. The problem lies within how the technology is being utilized and the ways in which people choose to use it. This week the debaters were Jen, Dawn, and Sapna vs. Amy S. and Rakan.

I wanted to try something new for my reflection this week! I decided that I would create TWO mind maps of the key points that stuck out the most both on the agree and disagree side.

The agree side made some wonderful arguments about how technology can be an equalizer is society.  I think one of the ones that stuck out most was the fact the technology can connect everyone in the world in many ways. This provides some great opportunities for positive environment. I also appreciate the fact that technology can accommodate everyone no matter who they are, especially because I am a teacher. There are so many needs in my own classroom, that technology gives those students will challenges an opportunity to receive the equal opportunity.

Next, comes the disagree side. This statement was definitely a touch one to argue! The following are the main points I gathered from both Amy S. and Rakan. Although I more so side with the agree side, the point they made that technology has the potential to negatively influence many aspects of ones life is quite frightening to me. I guess you never know how one will react to things posted online. Another point they made was the fact that “Low income people do not have the same access to internet as higher income/middle class individuals“. In saying that, this then cause unequal opportunity for low income individuals to search and apply for jobs online.

Overall, I still believe that technology can be an equalizer in society. The ways in which we choose to use technology, educate our children about technology as well, promote technology  is very important when determining if it will be successful!

 

“Social media is ruining childhood”

The statement social media is ruining childhood was debated this week. Melinda, Alyssa, and Lori were on the agree team while Erin, Brooke, and Daniel were on the disagree team. It was very difficult to choose a side for the  pre-vote .this week.

After the debate, it seemed even MORE difficult, especially after each team presented their sides of the argument. I seemed to be more on the fence about this statement than anything, although I did end up choosing agree for the pre/post vote. As the opening videos were taking place this week, I was jotting down important points each side outlined. Below is a chart of the important jot points I made  for both sides:

Agree

Disagree

  • Can cause depression
  • Being judged by peers(not getting enough likes)
  • Girls feel judged
  • Attitudes behaviors and knowledge of children
  • Videos of smoking, fighting, so on ,
  • 20% of teen sends nudes
  • Future jobs can become jeopardize from digital footprint
  • Cyber bullying
  • They lack self regulation with computer
  • 71% of teens use more than one social media
  • Children and parents are not aware of age limits
  • 8/10 parents were not able to give correct guidelines
  •  Enable users to share content
  • Benefits outweigh the risks
  • Allow a sense of belonging
  • Teen around the world to connect with other who can encourage and inspire them
  • Teens use social media to stay in touch with friends
  • Helps autonomy and self identity
  • Social media is the new environment of kids sorting out their autonomy
  • Can encourage learning
  • Can share ideas, important educational value
  • Allows youth to make a better place
  • Create a positive change
  • Prepare students to be digital citizens

There were some  great points outlined by both teams. I bolded the points on each side that most stuck out to me in term of the ones I feel most concerned about as well the ones I agree with the most ( not saying the other are not important).

In terms of the agree side, it was concerning to me   learning that social media can truly cause depression. As stated in the article The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families by Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression”. In saying that, being cautious is very important when allowing your children to be a part of social media.

On the flip side, preparing students to be responsible digital citizens is KEY. The argument was made that technology is not disappearing.  So with that, exposing, teaching, and introducing social media is very important to the safety of our children, and future children. A Generation Zer’s Take on the Social Media Age by The Learning Network stated that:

“so, I urge adults to back off, to encourage young people to use the internet to their advantage. Because while it’s easy to understand the mental and emotional drawbacks that can be associated with the cyber world, this connection to a diverse plethora of information has given us the opportunity to reach our own conclusions about the world, to make our beliefs known, to mobilize in efforts and take a stand”. In saying that, I completely agree with the fact that we need to be the advocates of social media. I myself use social media. One thing I could start doing sharing ways in which I am responsible when using social media as well other ways you can be responsible and safe.

So you see now how one could be on both sides of the argument. I think the BIG takeaway I got from the  debate this week is that teaching is KEY as well parenting is KEY.
In other words, I think it is definitely a parent’s responsibility to educate, monitor, and coach their children of the positives and negatives of social media. On top of that, teachers should be reinforcing these key aspects of social media at school. Having both families and teachers involved I feel would be most effective for our children.

How do you feel about about our children being on social media?

My thoughts on openness and sharing in schools……

Posting Student Photos on the Web By  Scott McLeod caught my attention. Mostly because I often struggle posting pictures with using any type of social media or applications in my classroom.

Scott admits that “schools should solicit parents’ permission to post photos of their child on the Web. The permission form should clearly describe the anticipated ways in which the school will use student pictures”. I think this is absolutely true. The form itself needs to outline exactly what the photos are being used for. For me, I consider myself a bit over cautious when it comes to this topic even though we have a media release form. I always think twice about what I post. Kyla made a great point in our zoom chat. She states that “I find I have stopped sharing as many things on social media as there are a lot more students without consent for photo sharing and I am always worried they will be in the back of a photo and then I cannot use it. Our school division has also made us think more about the photos we are sharing on social media surrounding student work so this has made me limit the amount I have been sharing in recent years”. I would have to agree with Kyla on this one. I think reviewing exactly what the school divisions policy is that you work for is very important and should be done by all teachers before posting.
In saying that, I am not totally against openness and sharing in the classroom. In the future, I think I need to step out of my comfort zone and try some new things around technology because there really are some great benefits that come from using technology as outlined in the weeks debate. In the article Exploring the Potential Benefits of Using Social Media in Education by Rdouan Faizi, Abdellatif El Afia and Raddouane Chiheb explore the potential advantages of social media in education. He makes outlines some great benefits.

GIPHY

They state “It has also been found out that social media are an effective way to promote students’ engagement as it enables shy, intimidated or bored students to share ideas and to express their opinions in a more comfortable way”(2013, p.53). In other words, children can easily express their opinions in a more comfortable way. Another benefit they talk about is the fact that it has been shown that “social media enhances communication and interaction among students and between teachers and students”(p.53).

 

In the end, I really do need to step out of my comfort zone  and think of all the benefits sharing and openness can have on students!

 

 

“Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids”

The statement, “Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids” was debated this week.

Wow, this week might have been the most interesting one yet. Some GREAT conversations took place tonight around this topic. Both teams presented excellent rationals that were backed up by some great articles in which I will address in later posts.

 

Below is point I made in the zoom chat that I think relates to making any decisions as a teacher, including whether or not sharing and openness is fair or unfair to
our kids:

 

“Although I’m hesitant to use technology in the classroom, We are professionals. So if we as teachers are making the professional judgment to use technology and social media to truly benefit our students learning.. I think we can fall back on that when being challenged”

I absolutely believe that before anything you do as a teacher you need to ask yourself these questions….  Will what I am doing will benefit student learning? Do I believe that what I am doing is going to set students up for success? Do I believe what I am doing is purposeful?

If the answers are YES, then you are making a professional judgement and you should have no hesitation. You then have the comfort of knowing that you are truly doing it for the benefit of student learning. If someone were to ever question your strategy or approach, you will be able to explain why you are using it and the benefits the students are gaining from it.

 

In saying that, if I believe that using social media and other apps ( in which I do) to share and be open in my own classroom, then I will..with confidence!

GIPHY

Most importantly, what are YOUR thoughts on this?!

Next Weeks Debate

Happy Friday everyone!!!!

I am looking ahead and am really  looking forward to our next debate taking place on Monday, June 4th. This upcoming week the debate topic is…….
Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids.
My first thought is that openness, and especially sharing in schools, is a GREAT thing!
Does anyone else  have any pre-debate thoughts?!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone….See you Monday:)

 

 

 

Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled…What do YOU think?

This response will include two main points. First, I will outline some of the key points the presenters outline during the group presentations. Next, I will share my conclusions about whether or not I agree disagree or disagree with the above statement.
My thoughts on the agree side (they should not teach stuff on google…..)
Nicole, Channing, and Jodie did fantastic job outlining some key advantages of NOT teaching things you can google. Access to technology was one point they made in which I would have to agree as many children these days have some sort of mobile device or computer . Children are relying too much on these devices and are often shorted from opportunities  to critically think because of them. They argued teachers should  be teaching students how to critically think and problem solve rather than how to look up things on google.  In other words, we should not be filling them with knowledge, rather teaching them how to make choices, how to think, and how to collaborate. The Knowledge is obsolete, so now what?: Pavan Arora at TEDxFoggyBottom video that was used to support their stance was excellent and admitted that knowledge expires, and asks you to question your teaching practices. Overall, Nicole, Channing, and Jodie did an outstanding job supporting their stance.

                                   Disagree Team ( they should teach stuff on google)
Next, Catherine, Amanda, and Shelby did an excellent job outlining some key point about the benefits of using google/technology daily in the classroom. The article they posted, Using Technology To Develop Students’ Critical Thinking Skills by Jessica Mansbach, was a great summary of how technology can benefit students ability to critically think. Contrary to the agree team, this article states that “online instructors can use technology tools to create activities that help students develop both lower-level and higher-level critical thinking skills” (Mansbach, 2015). Speaking from experience, I can agree with this. I have students who thrive off using google applications. There point they outline is to actually teach students how to evaluate the websites they find on google to see whether or not they are valid. This alone, allows students to critically think and decide whether or not the google site is appropriate. Leslie Harris O’Hanlon in her article, Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills, describes it perfectly when she states that “she is one of many teachers and librarians who are explicitly teaching online research skills, such as how to evaluate a website’s credibility, how to use precise keywords, and how to better mine search engines and databases”(2013). Overall, I can see how learning these important skills can teach children how to be critical thinkers. Great job team!

                    My Conclusion
Both sides this week did a fantastic job arguing the statement schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled”  in our great debate! After discussions, and analysing the articles, I believe that technology/google should be used only as a supplement FOR our teaching. In other words, kids still need to learn how to collaborate, work with others, and be creative. Esther made an excellent point in our zoom session. She states that “I think that it depends on the age of the students. I believe that it is vital to have a strong foundation of skills such as reading, writing, critical thinking, communication. After these skills are strong then students should have the opportunity to follow their own interests and find their own info on google etc (Esther Maeers to Everyone:  07:32 PM).” I could not have said it any better! Integrating google and teaching research skills totally depends on the age of children as well their abilities.