Mentoring My Mentees

When I first started EDTC 400 I said “the end of my university education is near”, but now I can say “the end of my university education is actually here”! How crazy is that! 4 years of education has gone by so fast, and I have learned so much. Although I had a heavy course load this semester with taking 6 courses, I was still able to pull through.

During EDTC 400 we were given the task of mentoring four EDTC 300 students throughout the semester. This consisted of commenting on their blog posts, and communicating with them via Twitter. At first, I loved the idea of mentoring because when I was in ECMP 355, I wished more people would comment on my blogs and tell me what I should work on. However, as the semester went on my course load started getting heavier and heavier and I couldn’t keep up with the commenting. My goal was to comment on two blog posts a week, and I think there was only two weeks that I missed, but I tried to make them up by commenting on 3 blog posts a week at other times. Although mentoring was something that I really looked forward to in this class, it started to become such a hassle to keep up with.

Throughout this mentoring experience I have learned that teaching an online course has many benefits, but also some downfalls. As I mentioned before, I started to fall behind with commenting, and I think another reason for that was because it wasn’t a hand-in type of assignment. I feel like as a teacher, if I had to comment on each of my students blog posts or something of this nature, it would be something I put off doing until the very last minute because I have the mindset of “it’s through technology, so I can do it whenever I have free time”. However, if I kept putting it off until I had free time, I would never do it, because I never have free time. I have learned that whether you are teaching an online class, or a class in an actual classroom, it’s important to keep up with each assignment and to not put things off. I got extremely busy for a couple weeks this semester and I put the commenting off because I was focusing on the stuff I thought was “more important”, but in reality, it’s all important and you just need to power through it.

During this mentoring time, I have also learned so much about my four mentees. They were all so passionate when writing their blog posts, it was incredible. Each one of these girls has taught me something. Below I am going to share a comment I made on each of their blog posts so you can see just how passionate they were in their posts.

mentee 1

For Amy’s learning project, she wanted to learn how to speak the language Afrikaans. I was so impressed by how much she learned. She even met a student who spoke that language, and her story with that student really touched me. The link to this blog post is here.

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Laura’s blog posts were so informative and contained so much detail about each technological tool she came across. She raised many important points in her blog posts, and constantly got me questioning where I stand with technology. The link to this blog post is here.

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Lisa’s blog posts were full of information and always discussed how you could include technology in the classroom. Specifically, this blog post discussed how the teacher, the student, and the parents can all use technology to help bridge the communication gap. The link to this blog post is here.

mentee 4

Kaitlyn’s blog posts always discussed how much she values technology, but also how new some of the tools are to her. She always finds positives in the technological tools she discusses which is always great to here and she always provides ways she would include these tools in her classroom. The link to this blog post is here.

If you want a complete list of all the peer mentoring I have done throughout the semester, click here. It also includes the interactions I made with my mentees on Twitter!

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Is unplugging really necessary?

Technology is something we use every day, but are we using it too much? This weeks debate was about whether or not we should unplug, and it got me questioning whether I should take a step back from technology. The debate topic was:

We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need to do is unplug: Agree or disagree?

Morgan raised some great point in her argument saying that we need to unplug because technology is affecting our social lives. She provided us with a Ted Talk by Sherry Turkle who mentions that technology is becoming too prominent in our lives and that as a result we are feeling more lonely. A quote from her Ted Talk is, “being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved” which goes to show that whenever we are alone, we feel like we need to fix it, and to fix it we rely on technology. This got me thinking of how much I rely on technology when I am alone. If I am in a mall and I am alone, instead of walking around and looking at people, and I look down at my phone so it doesn’t appear that I am actually alone – which is crazy. It’s like I think that my phone is helping me be less lonely, which is not true and it’s actually resulting in me being more lonely. Turkle also discussed that when she sees her daughter with her friends, they’re on their phones communicating with the outside world, instead of communicating with each other.

In the other article Morgan provided it asks the question, “At what point do students stop thinking for themselves because a computer thinks for them?”. This is something that always worries me when using technology in the classroom, because what if she students constantly rely on technology to solve things for them, then they can’t solve it themselves. I am guilty of relying on technology to solve problems for me, especially in my upper level university math courses, but even if I use technology, I still go to my profs office hours and double check with him to make sure I’m on the right track. This article discusses that some students relied so much on using calculators, that they can’t perform basic math calculations without a calculator. I understand that in our day and age, you will always have a calculator on you, but I still think it’s important to be able to do the calculations without a calculator.

On the other side, Noah presented several articles that argued that we shouldn’t unplug from technology because technology helps us in so many aspects of our life. The article Can’t get away from it all discusses the different types of unplugging. Some people shut their phone off and go on a hiking trip to unplug, but still use a GPS to track where they are. Others might think that because they are using a GPS they aren’t truly unplugged. Others might say that to truly unplug you need to unplug from everything, such as driving a vehicle, using a tent to camp in, etc. There are so many different ways to define unplug, that we will never be able to truly unplug from everything. This article also mentioned that when you are out camping, you might not rely on your cellphone as much, but having it with you can also be beneficial. There is an app that when you point it at the sky it shows you which constellations are above you, which is awesome. I taught a lesson on space in my Science 9 class, and I explained this app to my students and they were so excited about it. They were able to use technology for educational purposes, such as looking up constellations, instead of just using it for social media.

Noah also provided us an article explaining the benefits of technology and how it helps us live in our day to day lives. One of the benefits that the article states is that it helps with medicine. At first I was unsure of this argument, because whenever I Google my symptoms online I end up having cancer or I’m dying. Jordyn, a classmate, explained how her dad uses technology to have his doctor appointments, and they are able to view each other face to face, but through a webcam. Especially when you are in remote areas where doctors aren’t always available, this becomes a huge perk of having technology. This article provided so many reasons why technology is important.

Overall, I still think unplugging is something nice to do every once in a while, but staying unplugged your entire life doesn’t provide you the benefits you would get if you were using technology. During the summer I always spend a couple weeks out at the lake where there is no service, unless you walk 5 miles up a hill. During these couple weeks of not having technology I have time to reflect on my life and take a break, but there is still that part of me wanting to use technology. Although technology is something that I believe I probably cannot live without, and that I don’t want to unplug from, I still think it’s important to take time out of your day for yourself – whether be playing outside, reading a book, or having a nap.

Social Media Is Ruining Childhood

Technology is something that has definitely changed how children live their lives. Children who spend their childhood surrounded by social media are at risk of cyber bullying and unhappiness; however, social media also helps the students communicate with their friends. This bring us to the debate topic for this week.

Is social media ruining childhood: Agree or disagree?

I stand heavily on the agree side of this debate topic, as this was the side that I had to debate; however, Cassidy did raise some great arguments that swayed some of my opinions. Although I still believe social media is ruining childhood, I am going to explain some of the arguments Cassidy made that made me question my own beliefs.

Cassidy mentioned that social media can help children who are somewhat marginalized find others who are interested in what that child is doing. In the article The upside of selfies: social media isn’t all bad for kids that Cassidy mentioned, it states that children, “… can just find other kids who are superexcited about the same thing, so if you are living in a small town and you’re the only kid who loves musical theater, instead of feeling like a freak about it, you can go online and find all these other kids that love musical theater,”. This is definitely one of the upsides of social media because it allows children who feel isolated to find other people who will support them. Another example of this could be if a child was coming out as gay, bi, trans, etc, they could find a supportive community online to support them during this huge step in their lives, as opposed to being made fun of by people in their town who do not support this. This is definitely one of the positives of social media.

Another positive that Cassidy mentioned about social media is that it just overall allows for a greater way to communicate with others around the world. As mentioned in the other article that Cassidy provided, it states that, “social media is a step in making new friends”. Brian brought up that social media allows him to meet new people who are into the same sports he is into, and to keep up with friends from far away. Noah mentioned that he uses social media to stay in contact with his family who doesn’t live in the same province as him.

Social media is definitely a huge help in communicating; however, there are still other ways to communicate with people. Personally, I keep in contact with my friends and family by calling them or texting them. We never communicate over social media, heck, half of my friends and family don’t even use social media. A perfect way to communicate with someone is just picking up the phone and calling them, because hearing their voice is way better than reading a 10 second Snapchat message. Who doesn’t love just laying on their bed and having a two hour phone call with their best friend? I know I always look forward to these phone calls.

If you are constantly communicating with others over social media, you have most likely seen all the negative comments that come along with communicating this way. Katia mentioned that social media has immensely helped the protests happening in the US right now; however, even with the positives surrounding this protest, you still see all of those negative comments. There are many people commenting that what the youth are doing is stupid, or that their protest is useless. So even though there is this positive of social media, the negatives still have a way of emerging.

Cyber bullying is another negative that emerges when using social media. People seem more inclined to say mean comments and bully others when they can hide behind a screen, whereas, if we didn’t have social media, these people wouldn’t have that screen to hide behind, and they most likely wouldn’t bully others. According to the article the impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families, cyber bullying can result in depression, anxiety, social isolation, self harm, and suicide, which is something we do not want our children, or anyone for that matter, to go through. To give you a snapshot of just how many children are affected by cyber bullying, the article is social media ruining childhood, states that more than 1 in 5 children ranging from ages 10-12 have been affected by cyber bullying – which is absolutely horrible. Social media also causes people to become more unhappy with their lives because they are constantly seeing other people living “a happier and more exciting life” than they are. This results in the new acronym called FOMO which is explained in this article.

Although social media can greatly benefit those who are marginalized and can help others communicate with people all over the world, there are still so many negatives surrounding it. I definitely think we need to enforce the 13 years old age limit because it is shocking when we hear that 10-12 year olds are being cyber bullied, and I definitely think we need to educate children on how to use social media in a positive way. Social media can be used in a positive way; however, there are too many negatives associated with it. Therefore, I firmly stand on my side of the debate, and I still believe that social media is ruining childhood.

Is technology really leveling the playing field?

I always thought that providing each student the opportunity to use technology in the classroom would create a more equitable classroom climate, but now I’m questioning whether or not that is the case. This weeks debate topic was one that left me questioning my prior ideas on technology in the classroom. The debate topic this week was:

Technology is a force for equity in society: Agree or disagree?

I have always thought that if I provided each student with a laptop, I would be leveling the playing field in the classroom and everyone would have the same advantages; however, Doug made some great arguments that left me questioning my opinions on technology. This one article that Doug recommended really interested me because it explained how providing technology to each student to level the playing field is really “un-leveling the playing field”. This article discussed how students from different socio-economic communities interacted with technology. Both communities were provided with the same type of technology in a public library, and in each community all students were welcome to use the technology provided. The differences between these two communities were that in the high income community, students were working on homework, or were on educational programs, whereas in the low income community, students were playing games and were frequently changing what they were doing. This article then shared the point that “A computer in the hands of a disadvantaged child is in an important sense not the same thing as a computer in the hands of a child of privilege”. This quote really impacted me, because it made me realize that just by giving each student in the classroom a laptop doesn’t mean that I’m providing everyone the same opportunity to learn. Students from higher economic backgrounds may have more knowledge in the area of technology as opposed to students with lower economic backgrounds. Doug’s argument made me realize that there are a lot of factors to consider when providing technology to students.

On the other hand, Robbi provided a great argument that lead me to believe that technology is a force for equity in society. A quote from one of the articles Robbi provided is, “technology has the power to remove students’ boundaries to a better education”, which is something that I completely agree with. A huge thing in schools lately is something called “Distance Education” or “Distance Learning” which is where students can take classes online, that aren’t necessarily provided at their school. Some schools don’t have the resources to teach that class, but another school might be teaching it, so students can join the “Distance Ed” program and can take that class online, whether it be through video recordings, online notes, etc. It provides students the opportunity to broaden their education and to provide themselves with a “better education”.

In another article that Robbi listed, it discusses that by providing technology it can give “access to a world-class education”, it can “level the playing field instead of tilting it against low-income, minority, and rural students” and it “gives a boost to students with disabilities” and EAL students. It states that technology” opens doors for all students as long as we make sure that the students most in need have access”.

I believe that if we teach students how to use technology efficiently, we use technology in the classroom effectively, and if we provide specific technological platforms for those in need (Google Read and Write), it can definitely lead to equity in the classroom.

An Intertwined Debate

This weeks debate was a bit of a mix up between two different debate topics. Emily and Brian were the debaters; however, there was a miscommunication and they both presented different topics. Although the topics presented were different, they did seem to align well with each other and in the end, it ended up being a great debate. The debate topics for this week were:

Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests in what amounts to a Faustian bargain: Agree or disagree?

Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids: Agree or disagree?

As you can see, the two debate topics are different, however, they intertwine with each other wonderfully.

Emily’s debate was the one on the Faustian bargain, which is a term I have never heard of before. Emily did a great job at explaining what the Faustian bargain was, and it really got me thinking of myself as a future teacher and what I want to implement in my classroom. One thing I noted from this argument is that it is important to understand what you are signing up for when implementing something in your classroom or even in your school. As mentioned in this article, Google is a corporate name that is just as common as pencil and erasers, and it is being used daily in classrooms. So many schools have laptops, computers, and iPads sitting around waiting for students to use, and the programs offered by Google are constantly being used. This article states, “Google is also tracking what those students are doing on its services and using some of that information to sell targeted ads”, which one of the negative repercussions that can emerge from using technology in the classroom.

Another thing I noted from Emily’s argument is that standardized testing is horrible. I have always despised standardized testing when I was in high school, and now as a teacher, I continue to despise it. Personally, I think standardized tests are designed to limit the creativity of teachers, and to limit to success of the students. I remember during my first year of university, it was midterm season and I was about to write a midterm for a class. I got into the class and the midterm was 100 multiple choice, and the answers were to be filled in on a bubble sheet. I was furious. I have always been someone who writes in the margins if I don’t feel like my teacher will understand why I chose A on a multiple choice test; however, when I had to fill in a bubble sheet, I realized I couldn’t write in the margins to express my thoughts. This, among many others, is a reason why I despise standardized tests. This article lists another 15 reasons why standardized tests are horrible, and I agree with each one of them.

Brian’s debate topic was one that I completely agree with. I think that being open with sharing in schools is extremely important and it can greatly benefit the students. Brian listed an article that discusses the benefits of sharing students work online, and I couldn’t agree more with them. One thing that Brian stated in his debate topic was that sharing students work online allows the student to take responsibility of their work, and in turn, the student reevaluates their work as time goes on. Since it is constantly being viewed by people, the student feels as if they need to put in their best efforts. If the work was being handed in directly to the teacher, then directly back to the student, that student might not put in as much effort as they would if their work was being shared with the world. I have always been a strong advocate for sharing ideas and collaborating with others , and with the use of technology, it is always possible to do that. Students can share their work and collaborate with other students, and teachers can do the same with other teachers. I believe that through openness and sharing, our schools can become a better and more collaborative place.

These two debate topics intertwine with each other because Emily discussed how schools are being sold out to corporate interests due to technology, and Brian discussed how technology can benefit students in the classroom and in the online world in so many ways. I first thought this weeks debate was going to be a mess, but it ended up being a great mix.

Is technology healthy?

Technology is something that I use every single day, but I never really noticed the negative effects it has on people. This weeks debate really helped me understand the negative effects of technology, but as well, how we can use technology to keep us healthy. This weeks debate topic was:

Technology is making our kids unhealthy: Agree or Disagree?

When we first had to choose which side we were on, I chose the agree side because I noticed that ever since I have begun using technology, I have gotten less healthy. When thinking of this debate topic, I decided to reflect on my own experiences with technology, and those experiences of my family. I got my first laptop when I was in grade 11 and coincidentally, I got my first pair glasses in grade 11 a few months after getting the laptop. I noticed that my eye sight got a lot worse after I got my laptop. Another thing I noticed is that I never get enough sleep anymore since I am always on my laptop or on my cellphone. According to an article, “Fifty years ago, the average adult got eight and a half hours of sleep; now we average less than seven hours a night”. This shows that now with technology at our fingertips, we aren’t getting the right amount of sleep at night, which in turn is making us more unhealthy.

In another article, it mentions that “The research determined that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.” This statement absolutely shocked me because I didn’t think technology has gotten that bad that it causes people to become depressed; however, I guess I was oblivious to the fact that this is actually happening. After reading the article and seeing that one of the reasons that causes this depression was from viewing the “highly idealized representations of peers on social media [which] elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives”, I realized that I have felt this way before too. I noticed that sometimes after I see a post of a friend going on a trip, or having a BBQ with a bunch of people, I get upset because I don’t have the time in my life to do those things. Now that I have read more on this topic, I can definitely see how technology has caused many people to become depressed.

In an article that Jordyn recommended we read, it states, “Technology is so addicting that individuals are neglecting their families to spend more time with their blackberry’s and laptops.” I hate to admit that this is what our society has come to, but it is true. There are tons of people out there who ignore their family and friends just so they can be on social media. I am guilty of being on my phone when someone talks to me and I either ignore them or give them a little “uh-huh” without fully listening to them. Another thing I have noticed is that my nephew who is 3 years old has become fairly attached to the iPad. He would still much rather play hockey or go outside, but if we are ever sitting in the house doing nothing, he will go straight for the iPad to play games instead of playing with his toys.

Rebecca listed an article that shares many technological apps that kids can download on their iPad that will get them more active in their life. This is something I will definitely try to implement when I am with my nephew, because since he likes his iPad so much, maybe I can get him to use an interactive app that will get him up and moving instead of just sitting there. Whenever I go home to visit my nephew I always try to be as active with him as possible because I want him to see that health and being active is important. Using the interactive apps that Rebecca listed will definitely help me show my nephew that being active is important.

To conclude, I still think that technology is making our kids unhealthy; however, I think that we can also use this technology in an interactive way to help us become more healthy. There are so many workout apps, and YouTube videos out there, so we might as well take advantage of that and use the technology to help keep us healthy and active, instead of making us unhealthy.

Online Social Activism

Online social activism has always been a topic that I have been intrigued by, but also one that I have questioned. I have been intrigued by it because it has impacted and influenced so many people in the word; however, I have questioned it because sometimes what is being campaigned is quickly forgotten.

To begin, I would like to start off with a quote from an article explaining what social activism is, or as the article states, digital activism.

Simply put, digital activism is where digital tools (the internet, mobile phones, social media etc) are used towards bringing about social and/or political change.

A few examples of online social activism that I am going to discuss are: #bringbackourgirls, #IceBucketChallenge, and #MeToo.

The #bringbackourgirls campaign that was developed in 2014 was a campaign to free more than 200 young women who were abducted by Boko Haram. All over social media sites people were using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls to spread awareness of the abductions of these women. Michelle Obama, the Pope, and Malala Yousafazi were few of many who tweeted about the campaign and used the hashtag. This campaign reached its peak in 2014, and then it seemed as if people forgot about the campaign completely. Hilary Matfess wrote an article about how the campaign has evolved in past three years since it reached its peak in 2014. As of April 2017, almost nothing has changed. Out of the 276 women that were abducted, only 21 of them were released. Although the #bringbackourgirls movement was popular and widespread around the world, it did very little to actually bring back our girls. This is one of the reasons why I question online social activism – if we have a campaign that has reached around the world, how can we not get positive outcomes from it?

The ALS #IceBucketChallenge was another campaign that was developed in 2014. This campaign was to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The challenge included people tipping buckets of ice water over their heads, and then nominating three other people to do the challenge. People who do this challenge are then asked to donate to the ALS Association. This challenge was so popular that celebrities were taking part in it. Over the course of this challenge, the ALS Association raised more than $115 million dollars, and according to this article, the money raised financed a discovery. Now, although a lot of people did not donate after they did the #IceBucketChallenge, they did raise awareness about it which is equally as important. This is one of the reasons why I am intrigued by social media campaigns, because just look at the difference it has made in the world.

The #MeToo campaign is the latest campaign that I have come across that has reached internationally. According to this article, “more than 1.7 million women and men have used the hashtag in 85 countries.” This campaign is one that really touches home to me and I am extremely happy that this campaign has had results emerge from it. This article has a great explanation of what the #MeToo campaign is all about.

Many shared brief but painful personal stories of their experiences, some reaching back to their teen years, others to bad memories of abuse in the workplace never revealed, of troubles they encountered in their families and of their own silence in the face of harassment or assault.

The #MeToo campaign has encouraged so many people to speak up about their sexual abuse experiences and because so many people have spoken up, people realize that they are not alone in this. The first to be accused under this campaign was Harvey Weinstein who has since been fired from his job, and on top of that, according to this article, as of February 2018 a lawsuit has been filed against the Weinstein Company. Weinstein is just one of the many accused of sexual abuse through this campaign. I am thrilled that women are finally feeling strong and brave enough to be able to speak up about these horrors that they faced, and that these accusations are being taken seriously. This campaign is one of the reasons why I believe online social activism campaigns work.

Is Google the new teacher?

Since almost everyone has access to technology and the internet, I have always wondered if it is really necessary to teach students topics that can easily be googled. The debate topic this week was:

Schools should not be teaching anything that can be Googled: Agree or Disagree?

When I first looked at the debate topic, I was sure that I would be on the disagree side because, well why am I becoming a teacher if I think schools should not teach anything that can be Google? But, as the debate went on and McKayla and Brooklyn shared their ideas, I started to change my opinion.

In one of articles McKayla presented, it states, “by encouraging children to invent and use their own procedures, teachers allow them to use a method that makes them focus not simply on practicing computation but also on developing strategies”. This is something that I have definitely seen first hand in one of my grade 9 mathematics classrooms. I taught students how to calculate the surface area of a composite object a few different ways, but I told them there are other ways to do it as well. I was expecting students to stick to the few ways I taught them; however, one student handed in an assignment that was done a completely different way and I was in awe. This student understood how to calculate composite objects so much better doing it the way they created, instead of the way I presented it.

In one of the articles Brooklyn presented, it states, “I agree that the ultimate goal should be to teach people how to think, solve problems, and create. Central to these capabilities, however, is the ability to remember things”. This is also something that I find extremely important. Problem solving skills is definitely one of the most important skills a student can acquire; however, I believe that they still need to have memorization skills. A huge debate in the math community is whether or not students should be memorizing basic math facts. Since students constantly have access to calculators on their cellphones, should we be teaching them how to multiply and divide numbers the pen and paper way? During my internship, I asked the question, “should I teach students how to multiply and divide decimal numbers the pen and paper way or should I just let them use a calculator?”. The answer I was given was, “you sound decide that one”. This was a tough decision, but I decided to teach students this concept using two methods. Method 1 was the long pen and paper way, and Method 2 was using a calculator. I gave them the option of choosing whichever method they preferred; however, if they got the question wrong on a test and they used Method 2, there is no chance for partial marks, but if they used Method 1 they could possibly get partial marks. I think giving students the option of whether they want to memorize how to do it the long way, or to take the short cut is the best option is today’s education.

The TED Talk that McKayla shared with us was the source that made me switch my mind. Seeing all the children that became extremely knowledgeable in the subject area that was presented at the time was so fascinating, and knowing that they taught themselves without a teacher was incredible. Sugata Mitra discussed a “school in the cloud” idea where students would use technology to teach themselves. I believe this idea could definitely work because based on experience, sometimes I learn more by teaching myself through the internet, than from listening to an actual teacher who is trained in that subject.

I think we should continue to teach students in the classroom; however, students should be given choice as to whether or not they want to solve problems the long way or the short cut way, and we should be encouraging students to use outside sources aside from the teacher if they want to learn more on the subject area. During internship I promoted the Khan Academy website so many times to my students and several students used it just for extra assistance if they needed help and I wasn’t available.

Based on all I have stated above, I have decided that I stand in the middle on this debate topic.

Does technology enhance student learning?

Technology benefits students in the classroom is something I have heard millions of times throughout these four years in education. In all of placements – fields, pre internship, and internship – I have tried to incorporate technology as much as I can into the classroom because I have always been told that it benefits the students. During my internship, I hardly saw teachers using technological tools aside from power points, smart boards, Kahoot!, Desmos, and some YouTube videos. This shocked me because I was always told technology is extremely important, so when I saw how little it was being used I was confused.

When the debate topic for this week emerged, I was excited to learn as to whether or not technology does enhance student learning. Both debaters presented their sides clearly, and outlined their thoughts in a way that left me intrigued and wanting to learn more.

On the agree side:

I find that technology is important to include in the classroom because it can benefit the students; however, the technology cannot be forced. I believe that when you are using technology in the classroom, it has to work with the lesson itself – it can’t just be forced in there because you are told that you need to use technology. Webster presented two articles that made me think back on to my own experience in using technology. The one article discusses that three students were observing a puppet show and had to locate the puppets after the show. One student watched the puppet show live, another watched a video recording of the puppet show, and the third used a computer where they could push buttons to make the puppets appear. In this article, they noticed that the students who used technology were able to walk directly to the puppets; however, the student who watched it live could not locate them right away. This leads to the concept of retention. In the other article that Webster presented, it discusses the benefits of technology – and one of those being ‘improved retention rates”. I have seen this first hand in my internship, because whenever I demonstrated a math concept using Desmos or another technological tool where the students can view what is actually going on, they seem to remember it. Whenever they ask a question and I encourage them to think back on the lesson where we used Desmos to help us understand, they remember what I am talking about; whereas, when I ask them to remember a lesson where we just wrote notes, they don’t recall. For this reason, I think technology definitely benefits students in the school.

On the disagree side:

Although I agree with using technology in the classroom, Melanie presented some topics that made me question where I stand. In the article that Melanie presented, it discusses the idea that teachers are only using technology in the classroom for the sake of using technology – which is one of my concerns in regards to technology as I mentioned above. In another article that was presented to us this week, it discusses that students who type everything word for word on their laptops do poorly on tests; whereas those who physically write the notes out succeed. I noticed that when I am in lectures and I have a laptop with me, I hardly pay attention to what the prof is saying because I am solely concentrating on writing notes down. However, when I am physically writing stuff down, I am concentrating on the what the prof is saying so I can add my own little side notes where need be. Especially in a math classroom, I find that physically writing stuff down is extremely beneficial because you can listen to what the teacher is saying, write down the examples, and then write your own little steps alongside the notes. If I were to use a laptop to take notes in a math classroom, personally I would have no idea what is going on.

Overall, if I had to decide whether I agree or disagree that technology enhances student learning, I would have to agree for the reasons listed above. Although I do have some concerns in regards to technology in the classroom, I think if we integrate technology properly, it can definitely aid students in their learning.