Logan the Mentor

This semester in EDTC400 we were to mentor and help out our peers from EDTC300 through online interactions and sharing resources. Although I started off the semester slow, as we progressed through the semester together it proved to be a very rewarding experience.  This online school thing has put a damper on everyone’s lives.  I am no exception to this as I have found it very tough to stay engaged with school as I normally would.  The peer mentoring was an excellent way to meet some new friends, something we are all surely lacking through Covid times.

            I began the semester getting to know my mentees through Slack. This went on right through the Christmas break, where I began commenting on the EDTC300 blog hub. I got to know my mentees and explore their learnings in a whole new light.  This was particularly interesting because I was in their shoes no more than a couple months ago, as I took EDTC 300 in the fall semester.  With the busyness of daily lives always getting in the way, whether it be work, training, or family time, it was sometimes a challenge to get to each of my mentees blog every week.  However, the weeks I was able to make this happen proved to be very rewarding.  Just as exploring my own classmates’ blogs, I was able to gain so many new perspectives on teaching.  As mentioned, I was in that class a few months ago, which struck home as they were all posting on the same topics I had.  With this information still being relatively fresh in my head, I had a good understanding of what they were talking about and the viewpoints they arose.  Also, talking with them on Twitter proved to be very beneficial and rewarding. As we followed each other, they would each show up in my feed posting about their educational findings and resources.  It was a great way for e to expand my horizons and interact with more fellow educators.  I believe that the more people you can interact with, the better when it comes to this profession.  More viewpoints and ideas can only enhance your teaching pedagogy, which is why I put so much value on these interactions.

            This project taught me lots about teaching.  Not only the insights my mentees provided, but just having others to interact with in general.  I learned so much about how the ideas you gain from others can help you in the classroom.  My classmates and I would share ideas with each other, then I would find my mentees have also shared educational resources that develop my pedagogy even further.   This has shaped my future classroom in the way that I can understand better how managing it works and how our best resource is each other.  Students will learn if we set them up for it the right way.  What better way to set them up then to use things you have learned from others to provide the best possible experience.  We are there to educate, plain and simple, so helping and assisting each other is only going to make the result of this teaching better for our students, and us as educators as well.  

            I would like to conclude my post and this semester by thanking my classmates and mentees for all their input and ideas.  I believe so much learning has taken place, and will continue to take place through our interactions.  We are each-others’ most valuable resource when it comes to education, so why not utilize that to our fullest potential?

Here is my link to only blog posts with my mentees and our interactions.  Enjoy!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_UKyfZXZWu1NzbSHg35lYZh0WKC9oEFynfgKhTOLJKY/edit?usp=sharing

Along with this is my Twitter where I interact with many peers about education

https://app.slack.com/client/T01JLM02E73/C01J50QFHQV/user_profile/U01JVMEDSNP

The Great Edtech Debate Finale

Our fourth and final day of the debates was perhaps the most controversial one thus far.  I say this because we dealt with some fairly debateable, yet touchy subjects.  The first topic we discussed was focused on the idea that Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression. This was perhaps our most ‘touchy’ subject in my eyes, as we discussed how oppression affects our students and our reputation in general.  The second debate was on the statement Cellphones should be banned in the classroom. This topic proved to be less controversial as we all generally had similar views on what cell phone use will look like in our classrooms.  Through it all, I gained lots of informative views and perspectives I never really thought of before.

            Our first debate on educators using social media to fight oppression was tough to say the least.  The reason for this being tough is for the fact that “[l]earning about social justice at a young age prepares children to be informed, young adults” (College, 2021).  Being educators, we are not only an influence for our students, but we are also influential to their guardians, other students, and our fellow educators.  By showcasing our opinions and promoting what we believe in on social media, our voice is able to reach more and more people.  This seemed to be a common theme in the debate for the ‘agree’ side of the statement.  Myself, I tended to drift more towards the ‘disagree’ side of things, and my reasons why are pretty important.  I do not like the fact that “[p]eople can hide behind profiles” (Conscience, 2020), therefore pretending to be someone they are not and seemingly spreading fake news.  Considering online activity and social media presence is still fairly new to us, I think it is almost unsafe for us to rely on this for our views.  Something that was discussed in the debate was the fact that social media has the ability to rapidly spread news about issues like Black Lives Matter, or Police Brutality.  This is true, however as we are learning with covid-19, this can also come with a lot of fake news or even fear.  

            I am not a very active person on social media.  Perhaps the most active I have ever been is through my Twitter.  Sharing and interacting with fellow educators is very beneficial, however I feel that is all it is.  I am not one to advocate for things on social media, purely because I do not see the need.  If I want to advocate for something, I will be an activist, promoting to people I am close with, or use other means than social media.  In addition, students do not have access, nor should they have access to our social media accounts.  So, the question is why?  If I feel the issue is something my students should know about, I will teach it to them through class.  It is for this reason I do not believe it is a teachers’ ‘responsibility’ to advocate for social issues.  Rather, I feel it is a choice.  I am not opposed to other educators sharing, however I do not think it is a requirement.

            Our second debate was, in my eyes, a little more balanced.  The idea was if Cellphones should be banned in the classroom. This was broken into three categories, they should be totally banned, only banned from k-8, and not banned at all. My opinion went along with the majority of class.  This was having cell phones banned from grades k-8. Reasons for this were boiled down to the maturity and responsibility of our students.  In my classroom, I generally think cell phone use is a privilege.  Students want respect too, so allowing them to have their phones as long as they are using them appropriately will show them you have a trust for them that will make them want to learn and be willing to learn in your classroom.  

            We had some great, insightful discussions throughout all these debates.  They are among my favourite projects in university, as well as the most beneficial.  I gained so many new perspectives not only on my topic, but many others as well.  I believe the formality and structure we had were great for enhancing learning and allowing us to explore these educational topics in depth.  I would like to thank everyone in EDTC 400 for their input and ideas, and a special thanks to Katia for organizing and teaching this class!

Bibliography

College, M. (2021). The Importance of Social Justice in the Classroom and Curriculum Design. Merrimack College.

Conscience, E. (2020). Pros and Cons of Online Activism. Environmental Conscience.

Dell’Angelo, T. (2014). Creating Classrooms for Social Justice. Edutopia.

The Great Edtech Debate #6

Our third day of The Great Edtech Debate came with a very interesting topic.  That topic is Educators should share lessons, resources, and other materials that they have created openly online. The results at the beginning of the debate kind of shocked me as it was a 50/50 vote.  Myself, I was on the agree side of the argument and here is why.

            Our job as educators is to educate, plain and simple.  That is the reason I came into the profession.  I want to educate and help students have a great school experience, which will hopefully have a positive impact on the rest of their lives.  The main point I found for the disagree side had to do with two things, time and money.  To me this is a little bit ridiculous.  If I wanted to make money, I would not have gone into the teaching profession, but rather trades or something of that nature. This is not to bash those who think that way, because time and money certainly is valuable. However, there are so many better ways to approach this.

            Websites like teacherspayteachers are the focal point of teachers selling their lessons for money.  While there is nothing wrong with this, to me it promotes a pay-to-win type of mentality. Since I have been studying education, I have learned so much from my fellow teachers.  My question is, why does this have to stop after university?  As a beginning teacher, I would love some help creating lessons and trying out new teaching methods, but I do not want to pay out of my own pocket for them. Either way we are going to make lesson plans for our class, so why do we need to profit?  

            This brings me to the time argument.  Rather than spending upwards of three hours creating a mathematics lesson, I would love to find a lesson online, and adapt it to my class.  This will save me half the time, as well as potentially give me new ideas in the way I want to teach.  With this extra time, I can create more lessons and better lessons overall.  The notion of a ‘lazy teacher’ that we discussed in this debate is seemingly trumped by the fact that we can administer better lessons in less time.  Call it lazy if you want, but if we lack time to create a lesson, we will not create a great lesson for our students.  On the flip side, if teachers share their lessons online, we can quickly adapt the lesson to our class.  The lesson will be much better than the quick one we made due to time constraints, and we will be providing a better education for our students. That is my ultimate goal, as I am sure it is for most teachers.

            To sum it all up, I would gladly share my lessons online if I knew it would be helping a fellow teacher and their students.  We want the best for our students, and I believe that by sharing online lessons and resources, we can achieve this goal. It is time we start working together for the students.  The debate much followed this idea. I feel like as a class we all want our online resources shared so we can help each other out and benefit our students.  This showed as the vote swayed toward the ‘agree’ side of the statement.

Bibliography

State, P. (2021). Penn State OER and Low Cost Materials. Retrieved from Penn State OER: https://oer.psu.edu/benefits-of-using-oer/

Tipton, K. (2020). Don’t Blame Teachers for Selling Their Lesson Plans. Blame the System That Makes It Necessary. EducationWeek.

Watson, A. (2012, April 3). The Cornerstone for Teachers. Retrieved from Should Teachers Sell the Materials They Create: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/should-teachers-sell-the-materials-they-create/

The Great Edtech Debates 3 and 4

Our second experience of ‘The Great Edtech Debate’ was just as engaging as the first.  There were some pretty controversial and well debated topics being discussed.  The first one was focused on the statement ‘social media is ruining childhood,’ and the second ad to do with the statement ‘Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety.’ While both debates had me on the fence as to whether or not I agree with these statements, I learned a lot and was able to form an educated opinion on the matter.

Starting with the first debate on ‘social media is ruining childhood,’ I was on the fence.  In my debate I was advocating for technology enhancing learning, which had me leaning towards the side against social media ruining childhood.  The fact is, even if social media does not enhance the learning of students, we still have evidence that it can enhance the learning environment.  One way this is true is the fact “[s]ocial media helps the parents stay involved in the child’s learning” (Willbold, 2019).  I thought this was a very interesting point that trumped all the other pros.  Many parents want to be more involved in their child’s learning, and social media provides a great platform for them to do that. In addition, our debater for this ‘disagree’ side of the argument raised some valid arguments.  Students can gain many collaboration and creative skills from social media use.  Also, one point that rally stuck out to me was the idea of social media not ruining childhood, but rather changing it.  I am guilty of occasionally bashing social media and saying that kids need to play outside more.  While I stand by this, I also acknowledge this point as something I have never thought of before. It seems to me that social media has, in a way, revolutionized childhood and provided many different ways for students to learn and play in addition to traditional ways.

On the flip side, I cannot ignore the ways social media may actually be ruining childhood.  You look at social media ‘stars’ like the Paul brothers, Jake and Logan, just to name a couple.  While they have millions of fans, they also have their share of controversy that makes lots of people lose respect for them. It goes to show just how easy it is to post one bad thing and ruin your reputation.  This is a danger that could potentially face our students and have dire consequences.  Another point that I want to note raised by the debaters was that of mental health.  As we all know, mental health is just as, if not more, important than physical health.  Social media can be toxic in this way.  People not getting enough likes or attention, or anything of that sort can have a negative impact on the individual’s mental health.  

Overall, I still hold on to the thought that social media is not ruining childhood, but rather changing it.  That change is neither for the better or worse, however we must be careful.  If we can educate our students on the potential dangers and risks, we can better use social media for its benefits with less impact from the negatives.  Just like we teach safety training prior to starting a new job, we also need knowledge of safety when it comes to using our online resources.  It is al about balance, which is the main thing I got from the debate.

The second debate about ‘Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety,’ was another one that had me questioning my opinions as both debaters raised interesting points.  From privacy concerns to comfort levels to monitoring student engagement, there are so many ways to approach this problem, no one being more correct then the other.

I tend to lean more towards the disagree side of this argument.  This is for the reason that students are almost being treated as prisoners, with their every move being carefully monitored.  Privacy is a huge factor in this as students may be insecure or uncomfortable in the school environment.  If they are then monitored constantly and have no source of privacy, they are not going to want to come to school.  My school had restricted certain things that may have posed as a distraction for students. I think this is a much better method than monitoring what they are doing constantly.  By doing this we can limit distractions, as well as respect student privacy and not be invasive to the point they do not want to come to school.

Social media is ruining childhood articles:

Faizi, R., Afia, A. E., & Chiheb, R. (2015). Exploring the Potential Benefits of Using Social Media in Education. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 50-53.

Willbold, M. (2019). Social Media In Education: Can They Improve The Learning? eLearning Industry, 1.

Student Surveillance articles:

Noise, A. T. (Director). (2020). Your School is Watching You Online…Should They? [Motion Picture].

Patchin, J. W. (2013). Should Schools Monitor Students’ Social Media Accounts? Cyberbullying Research Center.

The Great EdTech Debate: Should Schools Stop Teaching ‘Googleable’ Facts?

The second debate of The Great EdTech Debate was also very engaging as it was about another very controversial topic.  The idea of schools to stop teaching ‘googleable’ facts in classrooms was one that had me on the fence the entire time.  This was such a difficult decision for me as once again I found balance to this was the key.  Both presenters raised some very good points and I would like to highlight those, along with referring to the literature supporting these claims.

google

“google” by FindYourSearch is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On the ‘pro’ side to stopping the googleable facts being taught in the classroom, the main point of focus was regarding teaching for understanding, rather than simply memorizing facts.  This idea made a lot of sense to me as we are talking about this in EMTH 200.  Being a math major, I know the importance of teaching for understanding.  We can teach students mathematical formulas and concepts, but they need to understand it in order to apply it to other problems.  Students, myself included, are guilty of simply searching for answers rather than truly understanding material.  When test time comes, they quickly learn they have not done themselves any favours.  Something that was brought up in the debate was the notion that when you google something, you will certainly get lots of answers, but on google you only get the facts.  You cannot understand what you are doing by simply googling.  It takes hours of practice and instruction to truly develop understanding.  Googling something takes a matter of seconds.  You cannot build understanding in seconds, it takes time.  Googling things is monotonous.  As ‘Most Likely to Succeed’: Schools Should Teach Kids to Think, Not Memorize states, “The only surviving skills that will save young kids are creative and innovative” (Thilman, 2015).  You cannot build creativity and actual life skills by memorizing facts. Google can be great tool, but it simply does not work on the level that in-class and in-person instruction does.

            On the other hand, one may argue that googling facts is essential.  This is true, which is why I was relatively undecided on my opinion of the topic throughout the debate.  Google provides a wealth of information that is incredibly accessible to anyone.  Memorizing facts is crucial to learning as it provides the foundation to learning.  You cannot build without a foundation and having that base of knowledge is required to begin building understanding.  “Memorising facts can build the foundations for higher thinking and problem solving” (Smith, 2012).  This is an indication of how you need a foundation to begin building understanding.  Higher learning begins with memorizing essential information, then building understanding from there.

            While I am still on the fence in many ways regarding this topic.  It is without a doubt, a very controversial topic as we do not know where to draw the line.  Are we eliminating all googleable facts?  This is a burning question I still continue to have in response to this debate and these articles.  I think that true knowledge does not exist without understanding, which is the main reason I am more persuaded to the ‘pro’ side of the argument. 

            In conclusion, much like my opinion on the first debate, I think the key to teaching is balance.  In terms of the argument about googleable facts in the classroom, I think one cannot exist without the other.  What I mean is you cannot teach googleable facts without building an understanding.  Similarly, using google as a tool for learning is very helpful in ensuring the critical facts are known for whatever it is you are learning.  I think both presenters did a great job arguing these points.  So good in fact, that I continue to remain undecided.  

Wexler, N. (2020). Why Kids Know Even Less About History Now—And Why It Matters. Forbes.

Smith, M. (2012). Why memorising facts can be a keystone to learning. Teacher’s Blog.

Thilman, J. (2015). ‘Most Likely To Succeed’: Schools Should Teach Kids To Think, Not Memorize. HuffPost.

The Great EdTech Debate- Does Technology Enhance Learning?

            This week in #EDTC400 we began our coverage of “The Great EdTech Debate.”  Myself, along with classmates have been looking forward to these debates all semester and let me tell you, the first day did not disappoint.  

            We began with a debate surrounding the statement “Technology in The Classroom Enhances Learning.”  This was actually the topic I was studying for these debates.  I advocated for the ‘pro’ side, agreeing with the fact that technology enhances learning.  I learned a lot from this and formed a very well-informed opinion on the topic in the process.

            I will begin by stating some of the benefits to using technology in classrooms today.  There is no question that technology is seemingly inevitable these days.  There are constantly new technologies being made and integrated into the everyday lives of people, including those in the classroom.  Many of the points of focus came from Webanywhere’s Top 6 Benefits of Using Technology in The Classroom.  I will begin with the idea of technology improving engagement among students. I like this point because it acknowledges the fact that “[t]echnology provides different opportunities to make learning more fun and enjoyable in terms of teaching same things in new ways” (WebAnywhere, 2021). Technology provides many adaptations for learners of all types.  Headphones provide a great audio resource for those who prefer audio learning, smartboards and other gadgets provide learning for those visual-oriented learners, and online programs such as games or trivia websites provide some interactive-type resources for those who like a more hands-on experience.  Technology also provides ways for students to work individually, as well as work with one another.   The simple fact is, “[n]o one learns in the same way because of different learning styles and different abilities” (WebAnywhere, 2021), which prompts me to again remind readers of the many adaptations students can have to better fit their learning.  In turn, students will be more engaged in what it is they are learning as they feel as if the lessons are more catered to their needs, yielding better results.  There is a seemingly infinite amount of benefits associated with technology in the classroom.  However, like any great thing, there are some consequences involved.

            On the other side of the argument, we must highlight some of the potential disadvantages to technology in the classroom. Overstimulation of technology is something of concern nowadays.  This is because students are around technology so much in their home lives.  This can be problematic, as “students are more interested in the technology, and not focused on the learning” (Kulesza, Dehondt, & Nezlek, 2011). If technology is not used in an effective way, the idea here is that it turns into more of a distraction than a tool. To sum it up, “technology must be properly managed and moderated in order to mitigate the negative aspects and bolster the positive ones” (Kulesza, Dehondt, & Nezlek, 2011).

            The debate for technology in the classrooms was quite an interesting one.  As mentioned, I was arguing for the side agreeing that technology enhances learning.  This tended to be the opinion for most of the class, as 86% of them agreed with the fact technology enhances learning.  This is not to say that there were not some valid arguments for the other side.  

            At the start of the debate I found I was being questioned a lot about my points made in the opening statement(which I will also link below).  Much of this may have had to do with the fact I had the vast majority of the class on my side. Over the course of the debate I found a couple of my key points seemed to be prominent in the argument.  In terms of technology being a distraction, I argued the fact that technology was not the problem, it was the way it is being used.  I continue to stand by this point because I truly believe it to be correct.  Technology would not pose as a distraction or an overstimulation if it was being used properly and safely.  What I mean by this is we as educators can restrict certain sites or apps that we feel are not beneficial to our students.  My high school had restricted the use of snapchat as they found it was a distraction as an example.  In addition, if we limit the access our students have to their devices without being completely invasive, we can thereby eliminate any chance it would be a distraction, or use it as a tool for learning if we choose to do so.  Overall, I just want to acknowledge the fact that we need to be educated, and our students need to be educated, with the use of technology.  If we as educators can use it effectively, we will only reap the benefits technology provides.  Similarly, if our students know proper online safety and fact-checking they will be much more knowledgeable tech users.

            The debate about Technology Enhances Learning was well argues on both sides.  Just like anything in life, the main thing I learned from this is that we need balance.  I am still an advocate for the ‘pro’ side of using technology to enhance learning, however I do agree that it should not be the teacher of the class.  We are still the teacher, we just use technology as a tool to provide a better educational experience for our students.  We can address the needs of all types of learners, including those with special needs.  If we can learn to use it effectively and teach our students the same, we will, without a doubt, enhance the quality of education we provide for our students.  I would like to thank the entire #EDTC400 class for the excellent discussion, and I am very much looking forward to the coming debates.

Hicks, S. D. (2011). Technology in Today’s Classroom: Are you a Tech-Savvy Teacher? The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 188-191.

Kulesza, J., Dehondt, G., & Nezlek, G. (2011). More Technology, Less Learning? Information Systems Education Journal, 4-13.

ONTARIO, E. C. (2021). Five Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Technology in The Classroom. Retrieved from ecoo.org: https://ecoo.org/blog/2018/03/27/five-reasons-you-shouldnt-use-technology-in-the-classroom/

WebAnywhere. (2021). Top 6 Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom. SchoolJotter.

Technology in The Classroom, is it Effective?

I have recently been exploring the concept of technology in the classroom and whether or not it is useful.  This is a very abstract idea as technology and the ways we use it is fairly new to all of us, both teachers and students. Although it is relatively new, technology in the classroom is an amazing learning tool, with so many great features and ways to support that statement.

            Among the many benefits associated with using technology in the classroom, Webanywhere and their team have highlighted six of the most prominent benefits we see in technology being integrated in our classrooms.  One of these points that stood out to me the most was the idea that technology “[e]ncourages individual learning” (Webanywhere, 2016) among students.  As we know, each and every student is different.  This also means they learn differently.  Online resources provide a great supplement to this theory, as “students can learn at their own speed, review difficult concepts or skip ahead if they need to” (Webanywhere, 2016).  This allows for us as educators to control the pace of our classrooms, and provide the best quality education to each of our students.  Some students may need extra work, others may not need it at all. The seemingly infinite number of resources we can access on the internet allows for this to happen in an effective way.

Technology can be enjoyable in addition to being effective in teaching

            I keep mentioning all these resources that help students learn.  One may ask, what are these resources.  In my case, over the course of my time in school, as well as my ventures in post-secondary education, I have encountered many useful resources that I plan to use in my future classrooms. Nearpod is a site that is powerpoint-based, and uses interactive features for students learning, as well as assessment.  It is one of those sites that seems to do anything for you. Other sites include kahootmathleticsmentimeter, and canva just to name a few. In addition, there are so many videos on sites such as YouTube that we can use to help enhance our students learning experience.  The point I am trying to make is that there is an endless amount of websites and interactive platforms we can use to help our students in their learning and understanding of the material we are presenting. With this, we can address the needs of our students at all levels in the classroom by both simplifying, or enhancing the difficulty of the content we are teaching.  

            Technology is amazing in the way it can be integrated into our classrooms and really enhance the learning that takes place in our schools.  There are all sorts of websites, gadgets, and ways we can deliver the material to our students that are much more effective and can also enhance their understanding on the topic.  We as educators know what level our students are at and how much help they need.  By using these amazing technological tools that are provided in an effective way, we can better address these needs and help our students to get the most out of their education.

Digital Responsibility Lesson Reflection

This week in EDTC 400 my group had the privilege of presenting our mini lesson to the class. The lesson was entered around 10th grade English, and the social responsibilities that come from social media use. We also tried to incorporate a wellness element in there as we talked about balance between screen time and no screen time. 

The lesson went very well and was generally perceived in a great way by the class. We used a variety of new tools for teaching such as nearpod and canva, which is a site we used for students to build posters. These tools worked very well for us and were generally well-received by the class.  If we were to change anything, I think the lesson could have focused a little bit more on the wellness aspect.  In talking to peers recently, the main thing they are all struggling with through Covid is screen time and sedentary behaviour in general. This is a big problem.  We as humans are meant t move and to interact with others without the use of a screen.  Too much screen time leads to depression due to a lack of serotonin to the brain, which comes from activity.  Screens are not all bad, but I think we need to do a better job on balancing screen time and time away, which means we really need to educate students on that topic.  Overall, I think the lesson was well planned out though and I would not make a change unless we had to.

Planning our lesson actually went quite smoothly as we began planning weeks ago.  This allowed us lots of time to make changes, rethink our lesson, and go through the plan so we knew what our roles were.  Having three people in our group was quite a luxury as we had an extra opinion on things, as well as being able to monitor our students in a more effective manner and to guide them through the assignment.  Our planning process was very solid, even with the online format. 

Digital literacy and social responsibility are a more prominent topic than ever nowadays.  With so many online resources, paired with the fact that Covid has us all online for school, it is crucial that we teach students online safety and responsibility.  Our group have all used social media and are quite familiar with how all the sites work, which made it quite easy for us to understand what things we can do to make it safer for our students. However, for those who may not have as much experience, this could pose as a great challenge.  Social responsibility and online dangers haunt our society and it is important we teach these ideas in an effective way for our students.  

Technology and Our Vulnerability

Technology today is rapidly changing and evolving much faster than humans can keep up. One thing that has come from technology that is taking over the world is the internet.  The internet has a wide variety of purposes that let people learn all sorts of things and perform all kinds of tasks.  People use the internet in many different ways but none more than social media platforms.  This is where “people create imaginary identities in virtual worlds and spend hours playing out parallel lives” (Magazine, 2003). This rises the question of how much internet is too much and how can the world change to adapt to the new challenges?

            This week in Edtech 400 we had a very interesting debate on if we should go back to the old ways before the internet.  While the focus was mainly on education, the world as a whole was of concern in the debate.  One main idea that I think is important is internet safety.  Kids are on the internet and have online platforms at quite a young age now which indicates that schools should begin teaching internet safety right from the start.  The amount of information that may be fake or inappropriate that children can easily access is endless. In addition to this, the predators that roam the internet can hack all sorts of information from anybody who displays it on the internet and potentially ruin lives.  With so many dangers one would wonder how the internet can be a good thing.

            The internet provides so many benefits to people.  Schools can access endless amounts of information with a simple google search and learn all sorts of things.  Also, people can use GPS to find where they are going, or buy anything online.  Bills are paid online and school is online which makes life so much easier for people.  They can do almost anything from the comfort of their own home.  There are challenges, especially while the internet is relatively new to the human race, but in my opinion the benefits that come from the internet overrule these challenges.  Just like any other activity it is just a matter of teaching safety with this new thing. 

            This is the one main thing that I think the education system can do with the internet and all this new technology.  As mentioned before, safety is of utmost importance with concern to schools.  Students need to know the safety measures that must be taken on the internet in order to properly use it, maximizing benefits and minimizing the hazards that come with it.  

            Technology is an amazing thing.  The world is evolving and humans almost can’t keep up with it.  With every good thing comes responsibility and if we as a society can learn to be safe, we can truly enjoy the many benefits that will come from this technology.  The debate we did in Edtech really opened my eyes to the safety that needs to be taken in regard to the internet. We as educators are the ones to bring about this change and teach our students proper usage and safety.  Change starts with us.

“No Internet” by Graciolli Dotcom is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Twitter and Me

Twitter was always one of those social media sites that I never used. While there was no particular reason for this, I never really saw Twitter as a platform I could really use. Twitter is perhaps one of the most popular social media sites which is what I think deterred me away from it. I am not a very active social media user so the thought of something so busy made me avoid it. It was not until EDTC 300 in the fall of 2020 that I began using this platform.

I began using twitter in the fall of 2020 in order to be more engaged with fellow educators from across the province. Since then, I have made lots of new friends and further shaped my teaching pedagogy. Over the course of the fall I made a strong effort to regularly post on twitter with various things such as current events or educational topics. While I have not been 100 percent consistent, I have posted more on Twitter and social media in general in the last 4 months than I ever have in my life. In addition, I have interacted with many fellow educators and shared ideas to benefit the both of us.

This week in EDTC 400 we participated in the #saskedchat which was focused on mental health. This was my second time participating in the chat. While it is rapid-fire and sometimes hard to keep up with the questions posted and the comments on responses, #saskedchat is a great way for Saskatchewan educators to interact with one another and share ideas. I believe teachers working together is very beneficial in enhancing the quality of teaching we provide as well as our overall teaching pedagogy. #saskedchat is one of those judgement-free spaces in which we can do that.