Should schools embrace technology?

Kristy & William (Pokemon Master)

Our joint position acknowledges the usefulness of technology for educational purposes while recognizing the limits of usefulness. Technology is simply a tool. High-quality teaching is an important aspect of technology use.

We jointly accept that technology can increases equity by narrowing gaps in access to current knowledge, skills, resources, tools and tech training for the work force.

We jointly accept that technology can decrease social barriers by connecting people to other people, thereby building cross-cultural bridges.

This debate is ongoing and evidence is not conclusive. Therefore a specific position cannot be firmly taken without acknowledging the shortcomings of either side.

Kristy & William

Mike McShea & Alexandra Lee

Schools should embrace technology to achieve specific aims at developmentally appropriate times in a child’s education. Young children need to practice essential skills through in-person experiences leading to literacy and social moral development. Motor skill development depends upon physical interactions and should take priority over technological literacy at early stages. Conversely, secondary students, who are preparing for careers and continuing education, need equal access to technology. Technology provides access to authentic interactions with primary sources including experts that are not geographically bound. Technology can also provide these students with opportunities to manipulate factors in simulations and develop inductive reasoning skills.

Kyle and Monaca

Schools should not fully embrace technology without a plan to maximize the benefits for learning while supporting social, ethical and cognitive skills needed for successful use of that technology. Giving students access to technology can foster collaboration, creativity and critical thinking when introduced with regard to age and stage and the skills teachers need to share with students and clear parameters on how to use the technology in relation to the learning goals. However, if technology is presented as a main educational tool without these safeguards, the untoward impacts may be a decrease in achievement, result in decisions that are harmful to the students and others and may impede social, emotional and ethical development. Technology is at its best in education when teachers and students have a clear intention of how and why they are using the technology and how it aligns with the learning goals. Through this process teachers are afforded the ability to demonstrate the ethical and social considerations needed for the positive integration of technology in the learning process and its uses to contribute to society.

Katie & Tommy

We are for technology in the classroom, always and forever.

However, we support the introduction and implementation of digital technology with careful application and consideration of development readiness. Until extensive and more conclusive research is proved positive for early implementation in child development, we recommend that technology use move in tandem with developmental progress. We also recognize the unique affordances that digital technologies bring to learning environments for both instructors and learners, including differentiated instruction and greater capacity for multimodal content delivery. With graduated implementation, learners will be better able to avoid the myopia of past generations and the consequences of injudicious decision-making resulting less than ideal academic outcomes. We also look forward to future advances in educational technology to support diverse learning audiences and wide ranging learning opportunities. In conclusion, wise technology utilization can support and provision learners to thrive in the digital age.

Brooke and Zac

We believe that schools should embrace technology use in the classroom throughout K-12 setting while still emphasizing the skills learned from real world interactions. Schools can help provide equal access to technology and the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace. Without schools providing this access many of our students would not otherwise have the opportunity to grow these skills. Through cross-curricular instructional methods, students can develop valuable life skills (technology skills, collaboration, analyzing sources) while learning subject area content. Technology affords students the opportunity to engage in cross-curricular instruction. While they are learning subject area content, students are also developing life skills. Technology should never replace authentic, hands-on learning experiences. Technology-based curriculums offer flexible learning environments that adapt to students’ learning levels. Students should be provided with opportunities to strengthen self-discipline, moral judgment, and empathy in parallel to using technology tools.