I found this podcast to be very interesting and informative. Betsy Corcoran, an employee of EdSurge, an educational technology company, classified apps into three categories: Teachers Managing Daily Life, Students Building, and Learning. The first category consists of grading apps, outlets to communicate with students, ways to collect homework, and apps that track student behavior. The second category can include apps that allow students to work on programming, coding, and building different objects. The third category, Learning, involves interactive ebooks, virtual textbooks, apps that teach how to speak different languages, and apps that focus on reading. While Betsy’s opinions on technology in the classroom were quite positive, she mentioned that humans learn by doing things, instead of observing. If an app is not interactive enough, or students are not able to experiment with something hands-on (building a tower, flipping pages in a book), the learning is not fully there.
One other idea mentioned in the podcast that I found to be interesting was in regards to time displacement. One hour with screen time translates to one hour that a child is not interacting face to face with somebody, using manipulatives, or exploring nature. Discovery and experimentation are lost during this hour. Some can argue that students can experiment and utilize apps that encourage self-discovery, so there is no loss, but ultimately there needs to be a good balance of both screen time and “traditional” experimental time. Finally, I found the discussion about teacher preparation programs to be compelling. Some researchers have mentioned that with the increase of apps, there is not enough time (in our current teacher prep curriculum) to train educators and allow them to experiment and learn how to use them properly. It is my hope that this will change throughout the years, and perhaps all schools will require students to participate in an Educational Technology course (especially PC) in order to graduate. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this podcast.