Pro’s and Con’s of technology are something to be considered when deciding to use technology in our classrooms and in our lessons. Today’s blog will focus on the con’s of technology in a physical education setting and at a later date we will take a look at the pro’s. Huffington Post published an article in 2012 looking at whether technology would be beneficial in our classrooms or if it would hinder the success of our students. Some of the arguments presented in this article that were noted are as follows:
- “Online instructional videos and programs don’t compare to classroom discussions where students have the opportunity to ask questions and hear the opinions of their peers and teachers.”
This statement reminds me of teachable moments, which happen almost daily in my classroom, whether they relate to the topic directly or we wandered off and found another topic that was worth discussing. With technology and online teaching these teachable moments are less likely to happen as the interaction between students and teachers is less rare and not always for an extended period of time. Sometimes there isn’t any room for interaction or discussion, therefore these teachable moments could be non existent to some.
- “There is a level of interaction through an active classroom discussion that you simply can’t replicate on a computer screen.”
Very True. This reminds me back to my grade 12 media studies class. Somehow we got on the topic of the difference between a muffin and a cupcake and discussed, brought up valid arguments and points for the hour long class, these moments often wouldn’t happen had we been using tech in our classroom as w would have just researched and used the tools provided to find an answer rather than forming our own opinions and supporting them that way.
- “It’s imperative that students learn how to socialize without technology.
It’s often through engagement with teachers that children learn valuable life lessons such as respect, manners and self-esteem.” It is essential that we teach our students these life lessons in life before we bring in technology. Teaching someone how to have good digital citizenship is almost impossible without teaching them respect, manners and self esteem first.
This article also mentioned that how we view technology in the classroom will depend on how we prioritize funding. With all the recent budget cuts in our school is technology really what we should be spending our money on?
After reading through many different articles, blogs etc. I came across a blog that had some con’s that were worth discussing. Technology can be a distraction, if students are taught how to use it in an appropriate manner and have access to it all the time it can become essential that they check their Facebook, twitter, snap chat, text messages etc. rather than focusing on the work that they are supposed to be doing using the technology as a tool. Are we using technology for the right reasons or purpose? Are we simply incorporating technology for the sake of incorporating it or are we doing this with purpose? Something worth looking into and thinking about when planning our own lessons that revolve around or involve technology. Again as mentioned before students miss out on that social interaction, which in turn could hinder their verbal communication and their social skills with peers/others. Technology has the possibility of fostering more cheating. Students have access to a variety of resources/tools that may be tempting to use. Not all students in the classroom will have equal access to technological resources.
Students that do not have access will be unable to complete assignments and will be at a disadvantage. When introducing technology in the beginning students may not have the ability do differentiate between quality research and resources therefore are their assignments going to be up to par? Technology in our classrooms and our lessons can prove to make things a little more challenging, booking out the computer cart, making sure everyone has access to a tech tool, logging on, do we have internet connection etc.
Some apps that can be used in a physical education classroom and the con’s that come along with using those apps are as follows:
Coach’s Eye– An app that has the ability to record the students and provide immediate feedback on their performance. Con to using this app is it only analyzes one student at a time, so unless you are working one on one with the students and have other activities planned for the rest of the class it makes using this app impossible. Some students have also noted feelings of embarrassment when critiqued by the app in front of their peers.
Camtasia– A tool that allows instructors to record their computer screen and add in voice overs and other effects so students are able to absorb information and lessons virtually. Con: Traditionally students don’t have homework in physical education class so assigning using this tool may add to their workload at home. Not all students will have access to internet making it difficult for everyone to complete the assignments. If students aren’t completing assignments then the teacher has to repeat the instructions in class, this resources has the potential however, allows for many opportunities for students and teachers to be left on different pages.
Xbox Kinect– A gaming system that is used worldwide that promotes full body movement that is tracked by sensors. Con: Not all schools will have the finances required to purchase one of these systems. If a system is available it limits the number of students that can be participating at one time, therefore the teacher would still need to have alternate activities planned for the other class members.
Heart Rate Monitor– A tracking device that is worn by the students that has the ability to display their heart rate electronically. Many of these devices also have the ability to calculate optimal heart rate based on the students age, weight and activity level. Con: If purchased for each individual within the classroom this can become very costly, so unless the finances are available then this tool wouldn’t be an option.
Fitness Tracker– There are a variety of fitness trackers out there, from pedometers to fitbits. These fitness trackers have the ability to track steps and some of the higher end trackers can track different modes of physical activity. Con: If purchased for every student in the classroom it can become very costly. If students have been granted permission to wear their fitness trackers at home there is the possibility that some may go missing or students may forget to wear it to school which gives inaccurate results when trying to log an individuals fitness levels/hours.
Overall, like anything there are challenges that come along with using technology in our classroom. As educators we need to take a step back and value the pro’s and con’s and make decisions that will be best suited for our students. Although there are many con’s associated with using technology in the classroom there are many pro’s that may potentially outweigh the con’s. I look forward to looking at the pro’s with you guys in a few weeks and hopefully coming out with some great ideas to use in my own classroom.
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