Does technology impact learning? Are there advantages and disadvantages of using tech? YES!! I LOVE using technology in Math, Science, Health, any subject but are my students learning the skills they will need for the future?
It was pretty hard for me to DISAGREE with the fact that technology has an impact on learning when it really goes against what I value in education but I found some very interesting information that supported this side of the debate. This article Tablets Out, Imagination In about how the people who work for the tech companies send their own children to schools without tech was pretty eye-opening. Why would they not want their children to learn in an environment that utilizes the latest apps and devices? The article states that they believe in experiential learning that promotes creativity, problem-solving and innovative thinking skills. I do believe that all of the screen time that students are getting between home and school has an impact on the social skills that students need to practice and develop. The article also stated that the education systems that heavily invested in computers saw “no noticeable improvement” in their results for a reading, writing and math assessment. Now I am not a fan of assessments but I wonder what tool is out there that measures student’s growth in preparing them for the future?
Then my research happened upon this video by technology author Nicholas Carr, who wrote a book on this topic entitled “The Shallows”. I learned some interesting facts about the brain like the fact that we are overloading our short-term memory with all the multi-tasking we are doing and we are not transferring knowledge into our long-term memory where deep, reflective thinking happens. I can relate to this myself because I feel like I am constantly doing 3, 4, 5 things all at once but is all of this multitasking making me smarter? A Stanford Study mentioned in the video reported that heavy multitaskers did poorly on six cognitive function tests. It also stated that the more we are attracted to the latest “bits” of information the less we worry about how trivial it is. Are we teaching our students how to filter what they are reading on their devices?
I do agree with this article provided by the AGREE side of the debate that technology does encourage all students to participate and it is useful to differentiate and personalize the needs of students. I use Google Classroom with my own students which has been a great organization tool and gives me the opportunity to provide instant feedback on their assignments. I also use the app Remind to communicate with parents, which I LOVE!! I have always been passionate about technology and I will continue to look for new innovative ways to use tech to enhance the learning in my own classroom. What are your thoughts on this topic?