E-Learning is Fake
I attended a very interesting talk a few days ago. The reason was that I heard that someone who knew much about teaching in the digital age would be speaking. I was interested to know how I could educate my students and children for the next generation. However, things turned out to be rather different.
Before I continue any further, I would like to first point out that I respect the speaker for what he has done for underprivileged children. However, I do disagree with a lot of his ideas. I find that his points go against the many articles and papers that I have reviewed.
All E-Learning Is Fake
After approximately half an hour, things became rather… interesting. The speaker postulated that much of the technology that we see these days are the reason that our students and children are so. He linked the lack of attention and the children’s inability to study to computer games and the pixel per inch (PPI) of smartphones.
The speaker however provided evidence of this from a medical point of view. Much of the evidence provided was related to how the brain and its chemistry reacts to smartphone screens. Because of this, the speaker pointed out that all research done on teaching and learning using technology is fake. In other words, he believes that E-learning does more harm to teaching and learning.
The speaker further pointed out that teaching and learning should not involve any form of technology until the children are at least 12 years of age. As such, he believed that no matter how positive a study may be, it is all but fake.
As a lecturer who advocates the use of technology in the classroom, I have found his claim to be rather far-fetched. Thus, I questioned him about his claim about the use of Minecraft and other games to improve learning. He claimed that all those studies and research were paid for by the company.
One member of the audience who was a doctor even questioned the speaker, asking how he could make such a claim when many of us learned through shows such as sesame street. In fact, he was an avid gamer who did rather well for himself without the ill effects as pointed out by him.
I believe however that his findings are marred by bias. The speaker apparently works with many children who have been addicted to computer games. As such, it is possible that what he claimed to be true is marred by his past experiences.
In addition, if you limit your vision to a specific field of studies, you will continue to see it with all the biases that accompanied it. For example, the speaker pointed out ton the ill benefits of smartphone displays to the chemistry of the brain. However, he would likely not have used it in the classroom to enhance the engagement of the students due to its ill effects.
Furthermore, much research has been done on this issue. Also, many countries and educators agree that technology does help with the teaching and learning of the students.
I suppose my point of this is that it can be rather dangerous to make claims that the speaker does. I think we should never discount the advantages of technology in education, even if it could ‘harm’ the students.
My last qualm on all this is that the speaker did not take into account other perspectives. Also, he exerted some rather bold claims. That being said, I will be sending him some studies that were not paid by large corporations. Hopefully, it will change his mind.