The topic is “Does technology enhance education in the class?”. Before talking about that, I have to mention that my experience in teaching was in a school for refugees and children who suffered from displacement and war traumas so that even having basics technological devices like computers and projectors for the school was a privilege. That being said, my first expression to the topic above was simply
I have never dig that much into studying how technology and how passively and/or positively affect education. However, after listening to many points of views and reading about many opinions specifically in that field, judging whether technology enhances education or not becomes a sensitive topic. During both the debate and the discussion, I listened to classmates who are with and those who are against. Their arguments were as an eye opener to go further with the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the class. After all, no one could deny what technology has brought to education and its improvement, but with a certain limitation.
After the debate, comments, and articles we had in our first session, I can see now how technology saves much time in education. Indeed, I really remember how the teachers in the school complained about dealing with any feedback. they depended only on the results of the quizzes and exams to assess their students’ status. With technology, my ESL instructors used to display a padlet for our (as students) reflection on every topic. With few minutes, each one of us expressed his/her understanding in each class. After that, the teacher had all of them labelled with our names so that she can analyse our feedback easily. Yes, the feedback can be fast like that. To go further, the authors of Applying an eBook Tool with Lecturing Function and a Game-based Student Response System in Flipped Classroom for a Seminar Course explains how different technological apps such as Kahoot, flipped classroom, and the EBLEF can be used in the class to save time and have more flexibility. For instance, flipped classroom gives online accessibility to the class’ materials; consequently, more time to ask questions and discuss the teacher in the class. No spending more hours on sorting papers or on preparing materials for every class!
Another question raised between the lines of the debate is that whether students are attracted more or not to the learning process. No more traditional paced lessons after having more space for variety and creativity. Jo Debens, a geography teacher, explains to Emma Drury, a contributing editor on Guardian Teacher Network, in Mobile phones in the classroom: teachers share their tips how varied is using cellphones for the class, “Some of the examples of where we use mobile devices range from simply taking photos and videos to share in class or recording homework, to creating revision podcasts or animations.“. I believe that students pay more attention when they use their devices for educational purposes in and out of the class when they are told to do so by the teacher.
On the other hand, being a teacher in a very low-tech school does not mean I agree with excessive use of technology in the class. First, I felt jealous in each time I see teachers having unlimited access to IPads and laptops with students (all of them) having cellphones. I was imagining how creative and enjoyable the class would be if it had all of that and how successful my class would be if each one of my students had his/her smartphone. With more focus on other dimensions, I found that technology might affect students’ negatively. For instance, students are easily distracted by other applications such as Snapchat and Instagram; I was one of those students when we had a classroom cellphone-based activity.
I never expected to read that technology might decrease some core skills. The Guardian mentioned in Is technology in the class good for children that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that the results of math, Science, and reading noticeably declined because of using computers in classrooms. Furthermore, in the same article, there is a hint of how Ipads are harmful for handwriting skills. No more first impression after looking at statistics and reports.
All in all, I still believe that education is the most important field in our life, and it should embrace technology as the last permeates in all our life aspects. What matters for me is controlling how to use technology in the class to keep student-teacher and student-student interaction, to make the learning process enjoyable, and to have a space for creativity.