Mentor or Mentored?

Throughout this semester I had the opportunity to mentor 4 developing EDTC 300 students. With my busy schedule and procrastinated mind set I found it hard to keep up with commenting on all 4 blogs, however I managed to survive it all. I thought it was a good way to give back to these students because I remember being in there shoes in the class that use to be called ECMP 355. Mentoring not only had me help them with their blogs and overall thinking, but also gave me a new incite on certain topics in the realm of technology and their own learning projects. This mentoring process’s intent was for me to help these new students learn in the terms of blogging and technology; however I think that I did the most learning while reaching out to each of them. I learned a lot from them, whether it was in the term of their learning projects (learning ASL, and ketogenic diet), or there insightful post about technology I think I learned a lot from them and hope that my comments helped them out and gave them insight on what they could do better. Here is the proof of my commenting of all 4 the students I mentored and feel free to follow each and one of them to see their growth as they become future educators.

Regan

Kayci

Julia

Sydney

With regards to whether or not I could teach a class like this in the future, I would probably decline. This is only due to my lack of technology skills and liking and if I took more classes to advance my knowledge even more I think my answer would possibly change. However, with my knowledge on technology as it sits right now, I don’t think I could manage planning and setting up a class in this framework of being online.

Even with my lack of technological skills, I can’t deny my growth of technology in the terms of teaching. I believe I have the knowledge to use technology properly and safely in the class due to this semesters work. I have learned of so many new tools to use like google classroom, flip grid, and even google docs and I think I will incorporate this learning into my future career. I also had my ECS 200 placement this semester and my co-op teacher was pro-technology so I got to use the knowledge i learned in the actual classroom. In conclusion I do believe I will use my knowledge of technology in my future classroom, and I hope to further educate myself in this topic as the decades advance.

Best of luck to all 4 of my mentored students and also to all my EDTC 400 peers. As i grow in the future i am sure you all will too, and i hope to chat with all of you in the future.

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Summary of Learning

Here is my representation of our summary of learning project, hope you guys enjoy!

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Fight Night: The final debate

 

the day had finally come, the time for where my constant arguing would pay off… the day of the debate. I was quite happy with my debate topic because I truly didn’t agree with either side and thought that I could argue for both, so once I found out I had to disagree with the topic of “We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need is to unplug” I was ready for the challenge. I was quite worried about the debate and also my lesson because I was in Montreal for Nationals and the WiFi at my hotel was quite unstable.  however, the WiFi managed to pull through and both went swimmingly (that’s a pun because I am in Montreal for swimming nationals).

With the debate up for discussion, I thought it was a good fight. Morgan provided some well pointed out facts about how we do indeed rely on technology and how it disconnects us from society and also relationships. I fought hard to contradict those key points and I do believe I kept my ground in that regard. although I found a video that I found interesting on how relationships are affected due to technology which would have helped Morgans case. This video talks about whether if we want relationships or not, we hide from them (technology in this case) and although we truly may not want them, we, in fact, do need them.

“see, the challenge is we all want to be with somebody who makes us happy. when what we need is to be someone who makes us happy”

this statement contradicts the idea of how we need relationships in our life, however, he goes on to say that

“because the problem with our generation not wanting relationships is that, at the end of the day… they do”

both quotes really struck my attention because although they contradict one another it perfectly fits this debate topic. my side falls under how we need to be the happiness in our lives and be the change. whether it’s cutting all technology whatsoever or just limiting it, my argument relied on how it’s our own personal choice. however, the second statement falls under Morgans side of how we need to have relationships in our lives and whether or not technology is influencing them we still need them present in society. I think this video is a great representation of how influential technology is in our lives and whether its positive, negative or both it’s up to you to decide.

 

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Social Media: Good or Bad on our children?

Being a 90s kid you can imagine the drastic change I went through in my childhood when in the midst of technology. Starting from Disney movies on VHS all the way to smart phones and smartboards in high school, and one can agree the severe change my generation went through. However, when in the debate topic of; if Social media is ruining childhood; I find myself in a deadlock. I can’t deny that I use social media and although I know of its harm I think it’s also a great way for me to keep connected to family and friends. However, it didn’t ruin my childhood in any way. Although it didn’t ruin my own childhood, in today’s generation it may be a little more severe because of the easy access to technology. This is the reason why they have such a pronoun digital identity at such a young age, and such depression due to online social contexts. This exposes them to social media at such a young age that they become overexposed and at times addicted. This may be why people think it is ruining childhood in today’s generation but I don’t exactly agree with its reasoning due to my own experience.

We can’t deny the facts that “71% of children now have access to a tablet computer at home” or how” Cyberbullying has affected more than 1 in 5 children aged 10-12 years”. These facts are concerning and make us wonder if social media is in fact ruining our kids childhood. However, I do believe there is ways to overcome these shocking facts and still have social media present in society. I think the first way to overcome these realities is for us as teachers to teach for digital citizenship. As long as kids understand the reality of social media and how to safely use it, I believe social media can be a part of our society. I also think it revolves around the guidance of a parent/guardian.in my own experience for example,  I wasn’t allowed to have Facebook until I was older and more mature. However, once I got Facebook in grade 7 I had restrictions to my online use. As long as my parents could see me when I was on it and also limit my use of it they were willing to let me have it. I think that guidance helped me become more responsible with social media and also kept me from becoming dependent on it. so one can see how with the proper use of technology one can avoid it from becoming harmful towards you and can benefit from its use.

Both sides to this argument have valid points and as I said above I am in a deadlock. Both debaters did a wonderful job stating their opinion and although I answered with the disagreement side online, it was only because I couldn’t choose neutral.

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Equity or equality: technology in today society

Technology is a force for equity in society. Agree or disagree?

When first reading this debate title I originally agreed with its meaning however once the debate happened in the class I personally started to second guess myself. I have always connected with how technology helps us in an educational stance and I figured it was an equitable source for our students. Nevertheless, I never put into the consideration the context of poverty. Whether technology benefits students learning is irrelevant if you can’t manage to get it in the first place. This realization was Doug’s main argument and was the reason I second guessed my original judgment and leaned more to the disagree side of the argument. Although I disagree with this topic we can also look at the arguments for why you may agree with it. The main reason I took from this side was how we can see how technology can benefit students in a general sense when in context of their overall learning. Most kids nowadays use the internet for homework purposes and with all the online sources that are out there, it’s no doubt why it helps them learn a topic easier. In a general sense technology makes learning easier and if used properly in the class will promote a deeper understanding of learning. However, because of its main role in society, it will also connect better with students overall engagement of the lesson due to the use of technology in one’s class.

What tipped me over to the other side was the idea of how not every place has access to technology. Whether it may be somewhere up north where the internet connection is limited or even looking into low-income families who may be under the poverty level and simply can’t get any technology because it’s not in there budget. You can’t possibly make technology equitable if these situations can’t even use it at all. The article on the two different cities with the exact same library opportunity also shocked me once I learned that even if these low-income families are provided with the technology does not mean it will help them in any way. It discussed how the already advantaged students gained more because of the student-parent interaction that led them to be on task. However, technology on a low-income city student had no effect on them because they either couldn’t use them (lack of experience) or just fooled around on them due to lack of supervision. It was a crazy realization of how even if all kids were on the same playing field when in context of technology doesn’t make it equitable in any way. This article is definitely a good read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about this issue and can locate it here.

I applaud both debaters for their wonderful job. Although Doug did lead me in the direction of disagreeing with the topic I think both sides were well presented and thought through. I think both sides have valid arguments and I hope to hear your guy’s opinion on the matter. Comment below what you think

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Debate Debacle

This week in EDTC 400 we had a slight change of plans when involving our debate, and instead of having 1 topic up for debate we got the pleasure of hearing 2 topics. These topics being

  • Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests in what amounts to a Faustian bargain

AND

  • Openness and sharing in schools are unfair to our kids.

The biggest argument which was actually the reason I had switched my own opinion on the matter of the first topic, was in the context of standardized testing. We can all agree that standardized testing sucks, and although there has been lots of research disproving it in the past decade we still manage to still revolve around it. At first, I believed that standardized tests were just part of the school, that they made a baseline of where you were at in the context of your learning and that there was no alternative to it. however, what if there was an alternative to it but no one is willing to come out with one because of the power of these testing companies, which in fact are a multi-billion dollar cooperation’s. What also struck me was the fact of how students in this generation understand that schooling isn’t as important as it has been in previous years. Having a post-secondary degree and or even a high school degree isn’t a requirement anymore for lots of jobs in our society. Students have come to realize this and have gotten bored with the school system and what was ever considered a great way to learn (standardized testing) is even more worthless than before. I applaud Emily for her persuasion in leaning me towards the agree with side to this debate, because I do believe that our public education has sold out in this context.

When in terms of brains debate topic of how openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids, I could not disagree more. I think sharing your work with not only your parents and your teacher but to the world is a great idea mainly for 2 reasons. The first notion is based on Brian’s idea of how it can push students to create better work. Putting students work online will push students to create their best work because not only will the teacher see it but also their parents, peers, and possibly the world. It pushes them to have their best work, and in the long term have a deeper understanding of the original context. What’s the use of having a worksheet that will be lost forever once it’s marked when you can instead showcase it online and even promote learning to other students. It also is a great way to applaud students for their success, and as I learned in another class that physical rewards are less wanted then verbal rewards. Although, in this context, an online congratulations would be more impactful then let’s say a piece of candy. Secondly was my own thought of how sharing online can create ideas for discovering teachers. We have all searched the internet for new ideas on how to teach our kids, and sharing students work is only going to spread the knowledge. Why not share your own kids work because it’s easy and can help someone in need and we can all agree that as a teacher we have been that person in need. The only argument against this topic is the fact that one might say it’s an intrusion of one’s privacy but if we just kept it anonymous and have some sort of coding so parents can see their own kids work it can all work out. It was a great debate topic, and even though there was no offending side I do believe that it was well presented.

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Technology: Good or Bad for our heath?

In EDTC 400 we had been brought to the debate topic of how technology is unhealthy, and although I disagree with this fact I can’t forget the strong points that both sides have to offer. Whether it may be how we spend constant hours in front of a screen, the overall addiction of technology as a whole, or even the lack of sleep due to this technology, all of which are great argument points for technology being unhealthy for us. However, we can also look at the fact that technology is being created to prevent an unhealthy lifestyle which the creation of fit bits and other apps of this nature. As I mentioned, both sides have great points and I want to specify some key points that each side may have from my own personal perspective.
We can first start with the side that I don’t agree with, that being of how technology is making us unhealthy. One main argument that UCLA pointed out to me was the fact that technology is reducing our overall sleep. The average of 8.5 hours of sleep 50 years ago has changed to just about 7 hours of sleep today. Whether people find this shocking, I personally don’t think it’s that surprising because of how the world runs today. The main flaw in this fact, in my opinion, is the context of how busy people are today compared to 50 years ago. People work longer hours, kids have more activities, and life, in general, is just busy. Using myself as an example, I swim 9 times a week, I’m in the weight room 3 times a week; I obtain a course load of 4 classes, and also have a part-time job as a coach. My life is busy and I can’t physically get 8 hours of sleep because it’s just not obtainable. It’s not the fact that I’m glued to technology; it’s just due to the fact that I’m busy doing work or training. In retrospect technology actually speeds things up for me, because if I had to write this blog by hand I would never get my degree and might as well drop out now.
A second point that this side has to offer is on how technology has made us lazier as a society. I totally agree with this argument because I agree that people are lazy and have grown into being a typical “Couch Potatoes”, and I too am part of this society. It’s true that we watch too much T.V, play too much video games, and even sleep with our technology, but is that exactly what leads us to an unhealthy lifestyle? Yes, it leads us away from physical activity, but is it the sitting for 3 hours that makes us unhealthy or the fact that we tend to eat during this leisure time. I like to believe that it’s not the technology that is making us unhealthy but the choices we make using them. For instance, let’s say you watch a movie. What are the chances you make popcorn or order a pizza? I would say pretty high, so in this context, I would say that the choices we make are the reason we live unhealthily. Although I have heard that screen time triggers something in your brain that triggers your body into being hungry even if you’re not. So maybe, in this case, they do have a valid argument, it’s up to you to decide.
Now moving on to the side I fall under, how technology promotes a healthy lifestyle. This side, in my opinion, has only one valid argument but has an endless amount of possibilities and this revolves around apps. Whether it’s a Fitbit, a nutrition app, a weight loss program, they all are made to help with our everyday lives and help promote an active and healthy lifestyle. The only thing with all of this is it revolves around choice. You need to choose to want to use the app and to choose to want to be healthy and live an active and healthy lifestyle. I also believe that you choose to watch T.V and sleeping less so both arguments can revolve around choice. In the long term, I think technology isn’t necessarily helping us stay healthy but it gives us the opportunity. There are so many options for technology in this genre and in the next decade, I’m sure it will double and even advance to extremes. Whether or not you agree with my opinion on how technology isn’t making us unhealthy, I hope you take into consideration on why I believe this.

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