The Great EdTech Debate Round 1: “Technology in the classroom enhances learning”

College student with laptop

This evening in my EDTC 400 class was the first day of our The Great EdTech Debate. The 1st debate: Technology in the classroom enhances learning. Logan Fettes v. Jocelyn King

Fettes agreed with the statement. He stated that technology DOES enhance student learning in the classroom. His agreements were it helps close the achievement gap. According to this 2014 GSE report at risk-students benefitted the most from classroom-integration of technology because the teachers use technology for interactive learning. The teachers used technology to explore and create, rather than technology replacing then the teacher. Fettes argues that it’s the way an educator integrates technology that will determine if technology will or will not enhance student learning. Fettes gave examples of pedagogies that teach educators how to properly integrate technology in the class. Fettes uses the examples of TPACK and ASMR.

King disagreed with the statement. She argues that technology in the classroom does NOT enhance student learning because it degrades student learning and proves a distraction. For example, King references this article, “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away.” It highlights a study that gave evidence that students who wrote longhand notes had better memory external storage and encoding functions, than the students who type their notes. Another example, King gives is that students have a hard time focusing on lecture or task when their ability to use their electronics devices on class, mailing because there are multi-tasking. According to the Washington Post, when college students multi-task the quality of their work is reduced.

My thoughts

I honestly agree, with Fettes, that technology does enhance students’ learning, but I also agree that with King that technology does not enhance students’ learning because it can be an obstacle. The keyword CAN. Technology can be an obstacle. I think that whether technology enhances or degrades student learning is on the educators. It how educators use technology in the class and how they teach their students how to handle technology. Do educators teach students when it is appropriate to use their computers? For example, using a computer to research during work time is good, but using it during a lecture to go on Facebook is inappropriate. Educators need to not only teach when to technology but which devices are more suitable for different contexts. For example, using the school computer to do research is appropriate. While using your phone for research can be seen as rude. Another thing that students need to learn, is what resources can their use to enhance their learning? For example, an app like Forest help with time management and homework helps keep track of your assignments, due/test dates, and important school days such as field trips. I conclude that it is the educators that will determine if technology will enhance student learning or not.

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Teacher in training.

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