Technology in the classroom enhances learning

This week under the topic “Technology in the classroom enhances learning”. The great debate in which Amanda, Nancy, argued for the agree with stance and Trevor, Matt argued the disagree stance. Both sides made meaningful and insightful arguments around their stance respectively.

Like most of us, I am in favour of the Affirmative. The points that stood out to me were thoughts around the idea that technology alone will never make education take one step forward, but devices and related technologies will play an important role in the hands of teachers who know how to properly integrate technology with daily teaching. As Tarina mentioned in her post that “the integration of technology into a classroom needs to be purposeful”. What strategies related to electronic devices would bring on an engaging classroom and how to steer clear of distraction that comes along with the use of technology may be the two major problems to take into account in the current school context.

Your classroom would not be enhanced by simply using technology, instead, lacking a well-organized technology use may fail you to achieve your initial purpose. When I first used Quizlet in my classroom, I took it for granted that my students’ interests in the learning of Chinese characters would be aroused by this what’s so-called “technology-enhanced learning”. But it was a totally messed up experience that they kept asking me to allow them to stream the Youtube video or to download Roblox rather than concentrating on those flashcards on Quizlet.

  • Why was it unable to be effective as it was supposed to be by replacing a real-life flashcards game with a visual one?
  • What else I need to improve my teaching skills?

I had been struggling with these upsets until I realized this enhancement was still in the first phase of the SAMR model created by Dr. Rueben Puentedura. As it is explained followed:

“At this stage, technology is directly substituted for a more traditional one. It is a simple, bare-bones, direct replacement”.

This simple replacement comes with no functional change. It was still a teacher-based classroom setting and limited student participation and on-task peer interaction.

Coming up with these thoughts, I started seeking genuine technology-enhanced teaching strategies in order to achieve the second and the third stage of SAMR model. Since I combined Kahoot games with the learning materials on Quizlet, in comparison with their previous low participation, students have come to start taking the initiative to review and learn those contents posted on Quizlet. The combination of Quizlet and Kahoot! is a method that has enriched the quality of student learning in my classroom, with a positive impact on classroom dynamics, engagement, motivation and improved learning experience. As Amanda said, Technology is not making kids use Google to find answers of questiones but enhancing meaning and learning because kids become curious and they want to deepen their learning.

Overall, I agree with the statement that technology enhances student learning. This is true across every grade, school size, and school type — technology has changed the entire system of learning. And yet, pervasive as it is in the current educational context, it should be noted that any innovation may come with issues and side-effects that challenge teachers, students and the whole society.

Reimagining What Teaching Looks Like During Quarantine Days And Beyond

I miss those days in a physical classroom. I teach a beginner Chinese course for the age group of 7-9 years at weekend language school. Games-based tasks accounted for two-thirds of all my course delivery, in which sitting in a circle and playing vocabulary cards brought kids great fun. Most importantly, when playing games with kids, I could clearly spot whether an individual student has a good grasp of the knowledge or not.

The rest of the course activities came around playing Kahoot, the most used app in my classroom. This was an unbeatable way of totally allowing them to stay engaged in my class without any distractions.

But with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down schools across the country, kids, their parents and teachers are reimagining what the school day looks like. However, those changes extend well beyond what they need in a brick and mortar school. For many parents and school kids, it means a sudden deluge of technology, while selecting the appropriate and consolidating them in one platform could help kids and their parents spend less time and energy learning technology and steering clear of registering countless websites and apps.

I am fortunate that the guideline and learning outcome from eci834 have inspired me a lot in creating my online course. Google Classroom is a platform that all the learning materials could be consolidated in one place, in which, parents and kids could stay focused on the well-chosen materials, instead of searching around on the internet.

Another aspect I need to consider before delivering my online course is that I cannot take it for granted that every participant would have the same knowledge of using technology as what I have acquired. In this regard, I posted some walkthrough documents with screenshots and descriptive words aiming at showing participants how to use those related apps and sites before they hit the external links corresponding to course content. Google Classroom plays more than being an asynchronous learning management platform. When I host synchronous sessions via Zoom, it also helps keep my mind focused on the task at hand—and avoid potential embarrassment, like having too many tabs open at one time could even affect the quality of my call.

Beyond Google classroom, I primarily use Quizlet and Kahoot to facilitate my Zoom sessions. Quizlet allows my kids to learn the Chinese characters in a visual way by flipping the cards I have designed in advance. The genius part on Quizlet is when you type in the vocabulary on their cards, it always can automatically match a random image to your content, which enhances vocabulary memory associated with the authentic objects.

As for me, Kahoot will never disappoint me when it serves the way of motivating individual kids to catch up with others. “Let’s do it again”, this is what they always said when a round of the game ends.

Flipgrid is my choice for offering extra chances for the interactions between me and my kiddos for the rest days of the weekend synchronous class. My video contents on our Flipgrid community rely on feedbacks from communicating with parents via Wechat and text messages as well as kids’ responses to my questions raised on our synchronous Zoom sessions. In this way, I can post a video to help them address what largely shared problems they are struggling with or design a personalized video to fix the problems that are challenging individuals. So far this strategy goes well as my class is on a scale with approximately 6-8 kids.

One of the major concerns over my online course is that my course could become less fascinating, attractive, or engrossing if I would stick to the same set of apps or tools in my visual classroom. So exploring more apps that can fit in my classroom has become a priority. I really appreciate those apps and tools introduced last night, some of which serve a similar purpose with my current tools but come with the fresh layouts and new features to be explored. My plan for the next week is to dive into Edpuzzle‘s feature of making an interactive and student-centred video and to design a set of questions on

Keeping kids engaged during online learning is always a big challenge for me. My personal teaching practice online has convinced me that embedding technology into teaching holds the key to keeping courses dynamic and evolving in the 21th-century education setting.