Last night I participated in a debate with Doug Song on whether or not technology is a force for equity in society. It was a great debate, but I think Doug won! He certainly provided many valid points, like the lack of broadband access in rural areas and the fact that technology alone does not level the playing field. Despite obstacles such as access, I still believe that technology can create a more equitable learning environment within our classrooms.
First of all, technology is here to stay and I believe we need to equip our students to utilize technology efficiently and responsibly. Some ways this can be utilized in the classroom is for students to build a positive digital footprint, learn to evaluate real news from fake, and be kind from behind the screen. We live in an age where employers often Google potential candidates and what one does online has an impact on RL, and so I believe that a positive digital footprint is a must.
Technology can provide tools to adapt instruction and make your classroom more equitable. If a student struggles with organization, then I’d suggest a Rocketbook or Microsoft Office Lens. With tools like that, the student can focus more on learning the content instead of worrying about misplacing notes or homework. If students have limited motor skills, a speech-to-text extension or app might improve their writing without the interference of a third person or scribe.
Not only does technology have the power to adapt instruction, but it also can be beneficial to teachers for professional development. Twitter is a fountain of knowledge for teachers searching for a professional learning network, and there are professional development opportunities via webinar or online course. This can save both time and money- cutting down on transportation costs and time away from school.
Overall, I firmly believe that technology has the opportunity to supplement- not replace, solid pedagogy and quality instruction that allows the teacher to cater to students’ abilities and needs effectively and efficiently.