Just google it they say! It’s easy they say!

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Hello ECI830’s and beyond,

It was another amazing debate this week – to be honest, both sides argued many of the same points which leads me to believe that this topic is one that will stick around for a long time as it’s relevant!  Our question this week was, “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled”  If you are following along on my blog, you’ll know that I was on the side of disagree!  I think it is still the school’s responsible to teach information even if it can be googled – just because Google tracks it down for you, doesn’t mean that the information is correct, relevant or that you’re students understand it.  Google is wonderful, I couldn’t live without it and my job would look dramatically different without it, however, it is simply a tool to help facilitate learning and deep understanding.   

To summarize the “agree” group’s argument I have to say, they were  close to converting me!  Great work Channing, Nicole and Jodie.   So well researched and presented. 🙂

google GIF

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They made many very convincing points that really got me thinking about the potential for changing our mindset around what and how we teach in the classroom.  There is no denying that times are changing and the skills that kids need moving forward are not the same as the ones they needed when we were younger, and so how are we going to change and ensure that we are leaving kids with the knowledge and information they need?  The agree group argued that there is a rapid change of knowledge – things are moving lightning speed and we need to keep up and show students how to access this important information so they can keep up.  They devalued the use of rote learning and memorization saying that it was no longer a relevant addition in any classroom.  This group put huge emphasis on the fact that we have smart phones and the internet with us at all times so  we literally have the “keeper of knowledge” in our pocket.  They argue that rather than filling our heads with information, why not show kids how to find the information instead!  Again, as I mentioned above, the agree group focused on the idea that students now require a very different set of skills than they did before in order to be prepared for the “real world”.  In the article this group posted, “The Objective of Education is Learning, Not Teaching” from Wharton University in Pittsburgh posted an interesting question,

“furthermore, even young children are aware of the fact that most of what is expected of them in school can better be done by computers, recording machines, cameras, and so on. They are treated as poor surrogates for such machines and instruments. Why should children — or adults, for that matter — be asked to do something computers and related equipment can do much better than they can?” 

When do we just accept the fact that there are certain things that we can streamline and make more effective – not out of laziness but out of the fact that kids need the skills these tools offer and we need to prepare them for a world filled with them!  To conclude, both groups did agree that Google and it’s affiliates are a tool that needs to be utilized correctly and effectively in order for it to make a difference.  I loved how this group offered up the idea that it is our responsibility to make sure that our own biases are not holding our kids back.  Regardless of what we believe a teacher should be, we need to reside the fact that we are the be all end all of teaching and learning and start utilizing the tools we have to think forward to the skills the kids will need.

Next up we have the “disagree” group!  disagree office space GIFI will have to say, I had already sided with this group!

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I was hoping that the evidence they presented would reassure my decision to select the disagree side for this argument and they didn’t disappoint!  Awesome job to Catherine, Amanda and Shelby!  The first and in my opinion, one of the main points this group made was the need for an actual person facilitating the learning.  In order to ensure understanding and deep learning is happening we need someone in the classroom to talk to the students, to add text to life connection to the conversation.  Google can tell you an answer but it doesn’t offer much past that in the way of deep learning.  Google is a wonderful tool but not on its own.  Another great point that this group articulated is, if we aren’t focusing on or teaching things that can be googled, what would we be teaching?  You can literally Google everything!  The next point this group made was that memorization is important to learning.  It creates life long memories that will stick with students throughout their schooling and beyond.  In the article “Why Memorizing Facts Can be a Keystone to Learning” as posted on The Guardian it reminds us that our brain is a pretty darn cool thing – each time we learn something new, a new pathway and connection is created, the more we repeat it, the stronger that connection gets.  It’s like a work out for our brain!  We have the capability to learn how to organize our brains to get the most storage and the easiest retrieval.  Memorizing isn’t just a party trick – it helps train our brain to be efficient.   Finally, and this in my opinion was this groups weakest point, they brought up that Google is just another distraction.  This wasn’t as relevant to me as there are many distractions associated with technology and Google is no exception.  I don’t think distraction is a reason not use this tool as we should just be responsible and teach kids to use the program respectfully and efficiently, and therefore the weakest point.

Overall, both groups did an excellent job selling their side!  Although there were times that I absolutely agreed with the pro group, I couldn’t get past the fact that the teacher plays an integral role in making sure deep understanding is accessible to all students, and that we can’t possibly  not teach or focus on anything that can be googled.  I am a firm believer in the idea that just because you have an answer, or an answer is accessible, doesn’t mean you understand it or are even reading accurate information.

barack obama mic drop GIF by Julie Winegard image source


I’m now going to address one of the big questions Alec posted to our class this week, “In your discipline, is there any content that you feel you could replace?  With what?”  This is kind of a loaded question because I respect what we are asked to teach kids and understand that it works into a giant continuum that follows a specific schedule so that kids learn what the government feels they need to know, blah, blah, blah…HOWEVER…there are absolutely things missing that I would add.  I would, first and foremost, add a unit in health or literacy on digitial citizenship.  I recognize that there are issues with adding content as teachers plates are already full, but I think it would work in well with existing content too.  I think simply making this content mandatory would solve some problems with the generations of kids moving forward.  It is integral that kids understand how to behave online and that their “real life” selves are not too far removed from their “online” selves.  Digital citizenship and learning online etiquette young has the potential to stop the wild growth in online bullying, oversharing, etc. that sometimes comes with lack of knowledge.  Kids are not dumb, they have grown up with technology and they have a better understanding of the implications technology has than some adults.  I teach grade 2,  7 and 8 year old kids and although they don’t all have their own devices they do explore them at school and home.  They are curious and want to be active on the internet but their brains are not developed enough to understand long term consequences.  On the University of Rochester Medical Center website there is an article titled, “Understanding the Teen Brain” where it explores the fact that adolescents brains are not fully developed until around the age of 25.  It also states that there are fundamental differences between a child’s brain and an adult’s brain based on where they both process information.  Adults use the rational portion of their brain and children still use the emotional.  What better time in my opinion to add these skills into the curriculum!  Children NEED to be digitally literate – safe, effective and responsible online.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”





To learn…or to google…that is the question.

Feature image source.

Hello ECI 831’ers and beyond,

Here we are, week 2 and you’re in for The Hackel Hub second pre-debate post!  I want to share my feelings on this week’s topic, “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled”.  Again, just a reminder, this post is happening BEFORE our debate on Monday and so these are my feelings before hearing either side sell their point.  There are actually no articles posted yet so this is my own little bit of research into the subject too.  Enjoy.

technology time magazine GIF image source

This is a LOADED question no matter which way you swing it…we literally have a world’s worth of knowledge in the palm of our hands, on our wrists, on a our desks, everywhere.  We have access to infinite information at the touch of a button.  So, the question arises, do we bother to teach kids in this rapidly changing generation anything that they can google?  They can pull out their phones, type in any question and find the answer.  They have the power to be self-centered learners, 24/7.  Sounds pretty amazing, almost euphoric.  However, I will admit, I am on the disagree side of this argument. 

I think schools absolutely SHOULD be focusing on teaching things that can be googled.  

I think schools and teachers play a valuable role in ensuring that kids not only find accurate answers for their questions.

I think schools can help students weed through falsehoods online – and let’s be real, there a LOT of falsehoods online!  

I think schools can offer the personal, text to life connections that might not be possible with just ask and search learning.

oh yeah ok GIF by Mauro Gatti

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To expand on my above thoughts – first, I think part of learning is being inquisitive and being self guided however, and maybe I’m bias as I’m a teacher, but I think that the role of teacher is an important one.  There is an incredible amount of information available online as the whole debate implies. This idea rolls into my second point, about helping kids weed through the false news, fake articles, dark web, etc.  It is increasingly easy for kids in this day and age to learn how to search for information but that in no way shape or form means that they know they are finding the correct answers.  I am also not saying that teachers have all the right answers, but I think we can help guide students in the correct directions, with the correct tools in their toolboxes for the job.  Education is shifting and changing and in order to keep children up to date I think it’s important not to shy away from a tool like google to help find answers but teaching kids, like anything online, how to use it safely and effectively is crucial.  If schools don’t teach that, who will?  If we don’t focus on anything that can be googled, in my opinion our kids are being done a serious dis-service.  They will eventually lose their curiosity about the world because everything can be found instantly – there is no point in wondering.  As I have also learned in my two previous classes with Alec, there is so much fake information online that if we truly believe that students should not be taught anything that an be googled, we can’t guarantee that what they are finding when they google is true.  There are dark corners of the web that will end up doing much more than good.  Again, I am not naive to the fact that not all information received from teachers is accurate or good, but it’s integral to incorporate the human connection with the information so that students can start to make educated, connected decisions.

education hug GIF by Teach Stem

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Finally, my third point, and maybe call me old school, but I still put value in the human connection and the connections that you can make with the world around you in person.  The feeling you get when working and learning together in the classroom is what you remember when you move on from school.  It’s often not the information, the facts and the points that you remember from school.  We need to encourage change in the world and do that, we can’t expect it from typing and reading and learning in a rote way.  Teachers can use google to help children find answers and then show them how to use the information to go further!  I am confident that this is the role of “teacher” going forward in the technological world.


I so look forward to hearing the debate on Monday and seeing if my opinion can be swayed! 🙂

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”


Post Disputandum Week 1

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Hello again everyone!

Just a quick refresher, our first debate topic in week 1 was

“Does technology in the classroom enhance student learning?” 

We pre-voted and post-voted and in both instances, the consensus was that indeed technology does enhance student learning – I will admit, I was and still remain on the same side.  However, can I say the hugest congratulations to both sides of this debate!  Arguing that technology DOES NOT enhance student learning in a technology based class is not easy and there were valid, educated and relevant points made on both sides.  If you didn’t get a chance to, or aren’t in our class and want to peek the opening statements for both sides please check out the links below!



I want to start by bringing attention to the fact that both sides made it VERY clear that regardless of how much or how little technology we have available in the classroom, without the direct support and guidance of the teacher, there will be no opportunity to enhance learning or deepen learning for our students.  Teachers play an integral part of ensuring that technology is used properly and safely for students.  It was really refreshing to hear both parties agreeing on the fact that we are and will continue to be needed in the classroom. Technology (at least for now! 😉 ) does not, regardless of how valuable it is, create the rapport and relationship that is offered by the teacher.

Image result for teachers appreciation

picture source.

I would like to tackle the wonderful points that the disagree group made that were close to swaying me.  They posted this article by Timothy Smithee that outlined 4 substantial negative effects that technology could have in the classroom.  I was really surprised because many of these I hadn’t considered.  The first one that stuck with me was the idea that technology is not being used effectively in the classroom and therefore not enhancing learning.  In a lot of circumstances, I really can’t disagree with that.  There are teachers who are resistant to learning the ins and outs of new programs and devices and therefore are not doing them justice if they are being used at all.  This in no way shape or form enhances learning, it just wastes time.  The second and third points they made which in my opinion are closely related is the immense cost of technology and therefore when purchasing it, there is potential to divert resources from other areas.  I get it – in order to use technology in the most effective way, the more you have, the more time each child gets with the device, the more potential for deepening learning rather just substituting.  I was big into the arts in high school and I would have been livid to know that money was being funneled from arts programs to fund a computer lab.  Granted, technology didn’t have the power it has now – that aside, to promote people’s passions and offer opportunities across the board is very important and was a valid point brought forward by the disagree side.  The final point that the disagree team made was the one that I had assumed they would rest on – that technology is a distraction.  There are so many opportunities for kids to spend more time fussing with the tech and learning enough about the topic, or just simply getting distracted by the million other things your device can do, other than what you’re supposed to do.  My colleague Catherine pointed out that she struggled with distraction from technology through school and had to set strict guidelines for herself in order to get work done… I have to admit, I did the same….but thankfully, now we have the abiltiy to get kids young and start teaching them proper, healthy technology and social media use.

All of these points were well researched, well thought out, and well presented.

well done good job GIF by Ecard Mint

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Now, on to the agree side.  These gals made excellent points to support why they felt technology does in fact enhance learning.  One of the main things I appreciated about this group was they openly admitted there were flaws in their argument and they argued their points regardless of them.  They proved that even with these downsides, their beliefs would outweigh the cons.  The article, “6 Pros & Cons of Technology in the Classroom in 2018” was a great read as I feel like it did the same thing – pointed out flaws but gave suggestion as to why, despite the cons, it’s still a great addition.  The agree group pointed out that technology is in fact a tool like any other we would use in school and needs to be treated as such.  When suggested that technology be integrated, it’s the same as being able to integrate any other newer tool or program.  Another very important point that this group made was that we are using technology as a means to prepare students for the future.  Kids are going to need to have a very specialized skill set for jobs moving forward and being digitally literate and competant in technology as well as multi-tasking and group work will be integral.  We learned of Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship last term and they are once again relevant as we explore what the future might look like for kids.  The agree groups main argument comes in the form of showing exactly how technology deepens learning and engages the students.  They said, it improves access so that children who don’t have access 100% of the time at home, can still have a chance to dig through and explore resources online at school.  Second, they mention that having chances for technology in the classroom makes it more teacher centered which essentially means that while you’re students are working independently, you can work with small groups who need extra support, etc.  Our time is so precious and this is a huge pro.  Another point that was brought up was that technology extends the audience that our students can write to, which can inspire purpose!  As teachers we are always looking for ways to motivate our kids and showing them that the world is bigger than our classroom walls is a great way to do it.

All of these points were also well researched, well thought out and well presented.

good job GIF

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Again, excellent job to both groups.  It’s so important to see both sides of an argument so you can informed decisions.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”


Pre-disputandum Week 1

…But is it actually good for anything in the classroom???

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Hello ECI830’s and beyond,

I am SO excited to be back with Dr. Alec Couros for another Ed. Tech class.  I have been so lucky to take 2 classes (ECI 831 and ECI832) with him in the past and have gained a plethora of relevant knowledge that I have translated directly back to my classroom!  This term I think I am going to set up my blog a little differently – I am going to post my “pre-debate” feelings on the topic and then follow up after Monday night’s class and see if my opinion has been swayed!

This weeks question: “Technology in the classroom enhances learning”

First, what is technology?  It is defined on dictionary.com as,

1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts,engineering, applied science, and pure science.
2. the application of this knowledge for practical ends.
3. the terminology of an art, science, etc.; technical nomenclature.
4. a scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like.
the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of
their civilization.
Second, what is learning?  It is defined on dictionary.com as,
1. knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application.
2. the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.
3. Psychology. the modification of behavior through practice, training, or experience.

I commented on the Padlet this week and tagged the following image from this site.

Image result for samr model

I am a visual learner and love this as a way to explain what technology does in a classroom.  In my opinion, there is no way to steer clear of technology in the classroom.  It is all around us and it is not going anywhere – by not using it and not teaching our kids how to use it safely, we are setting them up to fail in the world they are integrating in to.  They need the important skills that learning through and with technology provide.  The jobs that kids will have as they grow up require many skills that weren’t as crucial when I was growing up and technology allows for these skills to grow – multi-tasking, research based rather than rote learning, quick pace learning, etc.

In order for technology to enhance learning as the topic suggests, you need to choose worthwhile resources that transform and allow your students experiences that they couldn’t get elsewhere.  As suggested in the picture, this will get you into the transformation stage where you are offering your students something new and exciting and relevant.  Having technology readily available at school has the ability to enhance learning, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s going to benefit children.  We need to ensure that the skills they are gaining are creating technology and media literate learners, not just learners who know to use a computer or tablet.

Technology for technology sake WILL NOT enhance learning.  This is the idea that you SHOULD be using technology so you show a video or find a website and use it because you feel like it’s good practice, and don’t understand the real life connection the resource can have for your students.  Technology causes a great divide in many classes on account of accessibility at home and on the go, so using these resources in the classroom should be worth while and precious.  Many families cannot afford or choose for their children not to have devices or social media for other reasons and this makes it hard to offer enhancing lessons outside of the school.  Use the valuable time we have with our students in a meaningful, engaging, transformative way!

I’m so looking forward to hearing tonight’s debate and hopefully informing my opinion!

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”


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