Does technology enhance or diminish learning?

Last night the EDTC400 crew took part in our first debate where Ashley and Raeann debated if technology-enhanced learning or diminished learning in the classroom. I was conflicted about this topic before entering the debate, and now after the debate, I am still conflicted about if I agree or disagree. However, I feel like I have gained more knowledge about the controversial topic that educational technology faces on a daily basis. Both debaters gave numerous examples and information that allowed me to gain a larger grasp about how I feel about technology in the classroom, and I have come to the conclusion that I agree technology enhances learning, with some circumstances that need to be recognized.

 Photo Credit: ITU Pictures Flickr via Compfight cc

I will begin this blog post to why I believe technology enhances learning. As we have learned both in EDTC300 and EDTC400, technology used in the right way allows for endless possibilities both in the classroom and out. Specifically to the educational context, using the SAMR or TPACK model one can understand that yes technology can be used as an easy replacement to the pen and paper model. But, if technology is used to it’s fullest potential, technology can enhance learning and children’s interests in so many ways that the original pen and paper model could never do. Ashley gave many examples of how technology can enhance learning. The article she shared titled “Using Technology To Create a Dynamic Classroom Experience” stated that all means of technology can be used to enhance learnings. Different platforms such as audio, video, blogging, and many more are just a few platforms that can be integrated into the classroom to allow students to learn how to effectively use technology for their work as well as keep it interesting. Technology can also help close achievement gaps between classmates and allow for all children to get the education they deserve. With the multiple technology platforms that are available to teachers worldwide, it all comes down to if teachers are willing to put the time in to integrate these sources into their daily teachings.  Technology allows for so many different opportunities to allow children to learn in diverse ways that suit their learning needs, with that, I think it is very important to integrate technology into the classroom to enhance a child’s learning and school experience. Just look at these heartwarming videos of how technology in the classroom leads to such amazing relationships:

As you can see from the above examples, technology allows for so many different experiences that would have never been possible without technology platforms. However, technology in the classroom does have some disadvantages and negative impacts as explained by Raeann throughout the debate. Technology in the classroom results in some kids being advantaged, and some kids being left with disadvantages. Not all schools have the ability to supply technological resources to integrate technology into the classroom. With that, not all children will benefit from these integrations because they can not afford to have their own source to learn from. Raeann shared a great article that looked at how money and the widespread of technology can leave some kids behind. The article states that yes technology is great in the classroom, however, not all classrooms have opportunities to do so. Another problem with allowing technology into the classroom is multitasking. Multitasking may seem to be great, however, in an educational setting multitasking can lead to information not being retained and negative impacts to an individuals grade. This article does a great job of explaining the negative impacts of multitasking in the classroom.

Overall, I believe that done the right way, technology is a great resource to use in the classroom and can even enhance children’s learning. However, there would need to be some guidelines to ensure the enhancment of learning occurs. One would have to ensure that they were not using technology to replace other ways of learning but instead changing those ways of learning to make it better. If one was to integrate technology in the classroom they must also ensure that all students have an equal playing field so all students learning is improved. I agree with technology used to enhance learning and I hope in my future classroom I will be able to use technology to my advantage!

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2 thoughts on “Does technology enhance or diminish learning?

  1. Hey Sydney! Great post! Your thoughts are well organized and you highlighted some really great points! I think it’s really important that you mentioned how we need to implement technology in a way that does not replace other ways of learning, but improves upon methods already used or provides new opportunities that would otherwise not be available! This is well highlighted in the SAMR and TPAK models, as you mentioned above! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. Hi Sydney, you have done an awesome job of analyzing our debate and tying it into your personal beliefs! I agree that the pressure is on the educator to determine whether technology will enhance learning or not because although it has great potential, there can be troublesome consequences if implemented incorrectly. You have done an excellent job linking sources to back up your ideas, keep up the good work!

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