Looking at multiple websites I keep noticing a reoccurring theme of a strong focus on participation of students in online courses.  Studies continue to look at if students are truly focused and putting all their effort into these online programs or if they are slacking back and holding back from using their true potential to do the best they can do.

-“The major research questions that guided this study are as follows:

1. What is the relationship between actual student interaction/participation and performance?

2. What is the relationship between student perception of social presence and performance?

3. What is the relationship between student perceptions of social presence and actual


4. Are there differences in student perceptions of their learning experiences and actual


5. Are there differences in student perceptions of their interaction and actual participation?”

-“By virtue of its enabling rapid, nonlinear access to multiple forms of information, hypermedia technology is considered a major advance in the development of educational tools to enhance learning”

  • seeing talk about how a learners environment across hypermedia learning can effect how they truly learn and see what they take in as a student was interesting to me because it wasn’t something I had thought about prior to seeing this article.

  • “Over the last ten years, the way in which education and training is delivered has changed considerably with the advent of new technologies.”
  • with advancements in technology we continue to see a change in the way our educational program grows and the ways in which our students are taught in and out of class.
  • “The use of entertainment technology to enhance the experience of learning activities. i.e.: Technology to enhance both the experience and the learning outcomes of being at a Museum, etc…”

As I continue to look at sights I see reoccurring themes of using games, media, and just basic online courses to further education.  To help a students grow and find easier ways to learn seems to be the overall goal but is making it too simplistic going to become a problem?

By that I mean if we take away the true challenge of having to work to find out what you need to know are we depriving students of the best learning opportunity they can get?

  • This article gave me an outlook on ways technology can be used for students to gain a better education and ways it can also hurt them these ways being;
  • Good
    • Use games to learn
    • have online courses at hand at all times
    • online homework
    • having access to information at your fingertips
    • people with disabilities can partake in online games and activities that develop than learning capabilities.


– Distractions if teachers don’t enforce limitations.

– social media

– forgetting about online work

– slacking because its not something they physically have to turn in.

-After seeing the majority of these studies I continue to wonder how okay it is to continue to integrate technology into schools. I know it is a necessary process to further the ability of students to learn and be the most intelligent individuals they can be but we also need to watch how easy we begin to make schooling for these individuals.


Connect the group

Emily –

When I first read Emily’s entry I was more than shocked about a the production of a $35 tablet made in India to give to all their students.  But, does this solve a problem? Yes it gives the students a new way to learn but the overall cost of the tablet did not include the cost of the programs they would need to handle all the work that was suppose to be done on them.  Then her next source caught my attention with a statement by Conrad Wolfram.  Conrad Wolfram states, “computers are essential to math”  but is this really true.  I stopped at that point to truly think about what he was saying.  Math now a days in a professional standpoint is a lot different than just a word problem and an equation to solve for the missing variable.  For example if you’re an engineer major then this statement would be very accurate.  You can’t do all the modern day math with the ease that you use to be able to do it.  Problems can go a lot more in detail and require more than just one quick equation to figure them out.  Her last two sources went well together in my eyes.  One states that students are comfortable with what they know and the other states that technology can be helpful in class but at the same time can cause a major distraction.  The comfortability we have with technology is also what can hurt us because we know how to use and navigate these products with such ease and speed it would be hard to get caught doing something we shouldn’t.  While the comfortability would make it easier to understand what is going on with your technology and quickly keep information and find it later therefore helping you stay organized.  Is that worth the opportunity to distract yourself when you get a notification from a social media or an add pops up and completely kills your focus?


When reading through what Trevor stated about his sources I noticed that the main focus was how games can be beneficial to the learning environment.  He discussed games being easy to access, give individuals a unique experience, and not dumb down the learning process rather just change it to better fit what the students desire.  Games in learning could lead to a higher focus and lead students to want to be in class learning.  The sources show that students could easily connect to this form of learning and do it almost anywhere because games are easily accessible with all the technology we have.  But, this lead me to question this idea completely.  Yes it could spark interest, could give unique experience, and could be more accessible.  However, does this truly help them learn what all they will need to know.  I feel as if games would only be helpful to an extent. Yes the unique experience would be a great add on and it would be nice to access it almost anywhere but does that help? I can currently do my homework anywhere I can connect to wifi, but there are places I can not focus what so ever.  If you can access these games wherever you please what happens when you forget about the assignment.  You’ll try to do it wherever you are and that can easily lead to a horrible grade and nothing learned because you couldn’t truly focus.  If you’re using a game you need technology and that comes with notifications and an easy distraction.  Is it worth converting and adding these games which leads to a greater need in technology? Is it worth the chance at an easy distraction rather than keep it simple and make sure the student truly does have to stop and focus to truly master the material?

After looking at my groups resources and ideas I think we should take a deeper dive into the general idea of technology.  Take a dive into why we accept some methods but not others. I believe we should use the basics and add a good amount of technology but only enough to the point where it doesn’t hurt the ability of students to truly focus and learn.

The General Idea

So in my past couple post I mentioned technology in education and whether it was accepted and effective.  Well now I want to reveal a couple new ideas.  Starting with this new source  This is a source where the author is talking about an online schooling opportunity based out of Florida.  Enrolling many student across Florida and throughout the world.  However, the question presented towards this schools was about its effectiveness. Like I mentioned in my last couple post the effectiveness of using technology in education would come from more of a personal standpoint and there answer could change depending on who you tend to ask.  But why is this? Why do people accept some technology but not others? Why do we fear what we don’t understand? Does using advanced form of technology in our schools lead to advancing our society? This source left me with these questions because it brought forth a full time online schooling opportunity.  But, I don’t agree with the idea of a full time online learning program because I feel like it robs you of an experience.

Why do we as a species tend to fear what we don’t know? Well that question is why I choose this next source. on our databases at Unc Charlotte I chose to search for articles about the fear of the unknown.  Well an article about how fearing the unknown robs you of harmony came up and just from the tittle I thought it would help me answer this question.  The article speaks of many fears but all of which are fears that come from not knowing where our choices will lead.  We fear failure so we choose not to do things we may not succeed at but that choice holds us back from finding new potential in our lives.  We fear what we don’t know because it is easier to chase what we are already skilled at than practice something new.  As for education and new technology I believe we fear a change.  We don’t necessarily want to dive head first into new forms of technology because we aren’t sure if we will master it like we already have mastered what we currently use.  This lead to the idea of what technology truly is in education. Which is primarily what this article discusses. The author focusing primarily on what technology will benefit and hurt students when they attempt to use them in schools. This article talks about what is educational technology, which could be thought of as what technology is useful in learning now.  The education system can teach us so much from what we already use but the advancement of technology can lead us to learn more and become the greatest intellectual individuals we want to be.  This article presents a new idea of what to use and not to use rather than just leaving a broad idea of using all types of technology in learning.  Which helps me focus more on the topic in my hands.  Technology is a broad range of things from a pencil to a laptop all the way to a satellite.  So the specific forms of technology that could help produce a better education is helpful to know.

Currently technology is viewed as generally helpful for our society and that is undeniable.  But my last source just helps me point out technology now and future ideas. My last source is  In this article the idea of what people see now of technology and where they think technology is heading is discussed.  Clearly technology continues to advance and thats great as long as we find it useful.  However, are these quick advancements what we need in our education?  Maybe they are maybe they aren’t that can be for anyone to decide.  As technology continues to advance a stress for speed to adapt and keep up with technology is presented.  We want to be the best and that is a natural desire but that is not as easy as we want it to be.  Look at your phone and how easily you can use it.  Now give that same phone to one of your parents and let them try to figure it out.  Most likely they will be slower than you are with this technology because they did not grow up with it.  Where as our current minds as students are still growing and adapting to the constant change the older members of our generation tend to fall behind.  Just like the younger half of our generation will know more about technology to come than we will.  While education and technology can go hand and hand maybe there is a limit to what we should use.  We allow others to take the first attempt at things we are uncertain of because we don’t want to be the ones to be seen failing.  But, if we slowly walk towards new technology as a group maybe then our education program will thrive to be stronger than it ever has been.  The writer in this article tends to focus on how we view technology, if we need technology, and if we are ready for the technology to come.  Which is all something we will have to find out as the days go on. We will always adapt but is the adaption slowing us down or moving us forward is what a valuable question to look at.  Where are we heading? What is next to come? What technology do you find useful or harmful to your learning process?

A New Approach

So from the beginning of my inquiry I have been primarily focus on technology in education and whether it is good or bad.  Well now I am going to take a slightly different approach and show you my sources and the good and bad both shown.  The first source I even clicked was “”  and on this source the first thing they do is mention both sides of the topic.  They state, “The rapid and constant pace of change in technology is creating both opportunities and challenges for schools.”  This clearly stating there will be good and bad with the idea of technology in education.  Looking for a way to leave this idea with an open ended question or set of questions is what originally left me with a problem.  To be able to leave the reader with the chance to make a decision on what they think and if they wanted to comment and have a discussion about such ideas.  This website in particular gave me a quick look into both sides of my idea though.  Explaining how technology could be helpful when stating, “The opportunities include greater access to rich, multimedia content, the increasing use of online coursetaking to offer classes not otherwise available, the widespread availability of mobile computing devices that can access the Internet, the expanding role of social networking tools for learning and professional development, and the growing interest in the power of digital games for more personalized learning.”  However they quickly counter this with the mention of challenges by saying, “At the same time, the pace of change creates significant challenges for schools.”  But, this lead me to think why do both and as I continued to read my questions weren’t easily answered which lead to my next source.

My next source was “”  This site however focused more towards where technology could lead and how it benefits our educational program.  This site also asked many questions though and discussed that is there a meter that truly judges how efficient the use of our newest technology in schools is.  The site gave me a deeper outlook into how the technology could be successful and gave me a more in depth look into how people see the good in the use of technology. However, I browsed through this site faster because it truthfully focused on one side for the other so it lead me to search for a site that gave me a little more opposition while still similar to this one.

This next source I found took a much different approach. this source discussed actual problems in our education.  Problems such as cost, performance, and future debts.  Then brought up the idea that maybe one large answer isn’t the true solution rather there might be multiple smaller answers that will collaborate together to fix the current problem.  Which lead me to many questions like maybe my original question about technology being helpful or not in schools was way to broad.  If you approach technology from a historical outlook even then this article can trump you.  This left me at a loss of words and made me rethink.

The next source I choose was and I selected this one along with to discuss some noted effects technology does have in our education program.  These sources gave creative ideas to incorporate technology and showed how technology could enhance our abilities in learning.  Education before the use of higher technology was a slower and sometimes much more dull process.  Education adds games and media such as pictures and videos.  However, while technology can be such a provider for interest into learning the use of new technologies also provides students with an easy access to distracts like social media.  So from historical approach and from the opinion of whether or not technology is something we need in our education my new questions would be is it worth it? Is it worth using technology if it has the same percentage of a chance to hurt us as it does to benefit us? Should there be a limit? What technology should we use? What technology should we avoid? Just think about it.

Discourse and Literacy

When discussing discourse we discussed two things that really caught my interest.  Like how discourse and knowing about certain aspects of the community can help you understand what’s going on and your value in that community.  While we talked someone brought up the idea of knowing what students on campus mean when they say “I’m going to the sac”,”what’s happening at the sac”  or anything similar to this.  If you don’t go here then you probably don’t know what someone is referring to.  When the sac is brought up on campus usually people are referring to the gym or the courts.  Sac, standing for student athletic center.  If you don’t know this it becomes obvious you either are never on that part of campus or don’t go here.

Then we discussed value in the community.  Not meaning what you’re worth, rather meaning what you are capable of doing in this community.  if you don’t know much throughout a certain discourse community are you going to be able to get around or help anyone?  Generally thinking no you won’t be able to help much.  However, if are constantly in that environment and know what other people are talking about and understand the literacy of that community you can easily get around and get through a day or help someone who is new to that specific discourse community.  A primary example I can think of would be if a student joined a class late because they had to wait for someone to drop that class.  That student clearly is coming in behind everyone else.  If you have been focused and a strong participant you will know what is going on and be able to help them without any struggle.

Swales reading and discussion in our class today has connected to the past discussions about understanding of literacy in many ways.  Every discourse community is different just like literacy is different in various aspects of life such as; gaming, texting, classrooms, at work, etc.  Where you are and what type of community you are in determines the way you will talk and act.  If you are out with friends you are more likely to be laid back and less worried about being proper, where as if you’re going into a job interview or at work you are more likely to portray a professional and acceptable appearance to your coworkers and clients around you.  This being the same idea as being in different discourse communities.  Discourse communities change depending on what is going on just like how literacy will change depending on where you are or what you’re doing.

Importance of Discourse

So we just read the article by Swales about discourse communities and their importance.  When reading that article I caught myself thinking about my schedule at school and in my life.  While being a full time student and working I constantly experience multiple different environments.  At UNC Charlotte most full time students are enrolled in four or five classes maybe even six.  I currently am taking six classes for 17 credit hours.  This is a large consumption of my time and I have to focus on many different sides of the learning spectrums.  From taking URWT 1103 to taking Chemistry 1200 I have many different topics going through my head on a daily basis.  While some classes will be similar while taking general education courses you are guaranteed to have a class that completely opposes one of your other courses.  Mine would be science technology and society and URWT 1103.

In science, technology, and society we discuss how technology and society interact together.  When I’m in this class I feel restricted to factual knowledge and not my own freedom to voice my thoughts.  When we have to write there is always a length requirement and a direct idea we have to choose.  There is no open ended questions we are allowed to leave for others to evaluate and think about.  We constantly discuss how things work, advancements in modern day society, and things to come in the future.  We have to do research on topics, constantly read articles well known scientist have written or their ideas are what the article is based upon.  It is acceptable to say what you think in discussion in the actual class but there is always a wrong or right answer and getting the answer wrong tends to be embarrassing.

While on the opposite end of my discourse spectrum there is my URWT 1103 course.  Where I am allowed to clearly voice my opinion and thoughts in class discussions and in my actual writings.  Every student is given the chance to leave an open ended question that gives their peers a chance to evaluate the topic.  With this opportunity we are forced to think more and put more focus and effort into the actual process of writing about these topics.  There is no right or wrong in the discussion because what you have to say on a topic is generally accepted amongst the class.  However, what you say may be objected against by another student which makes the discussions more interactive and enjoyable.

The way discourse communities can be associated to academics is by knowing when and where certain things are acceptable. Freely speaking is accepted in some classes where as in others teachers value their time to speak and hate when students speak out to object the topic and matter at hand.  Many professors I have in my first semester and a half of college are usually strongly set on their side of a topic and don’t give the other side a chance.  Certain languages and literacy are accepted in different classrooms.  By this I mean you need to know how to speak up in a class and when to voice your opinion in the class.

Discourse communities are seen in academics, professional and social environments throughout our lives.  Their will always be various languages and ways of communications that are appropriate at and in certain situations.  The various amounts of classes we enroll in while at UNC Charlotte tend to help students learn when these languages and methods will be appropriate in their future lives after graduation.  So personally I feel that the discourse communities we experience now are here to help benefit us in our near and distant futures.

Technology in School

As technology has rapidly advanced in the last decade society has been trying to adjust.  Schools have tried to incorporate the use of technology into the learning system which can be seen as good or bad.  In the last two years of high school my school had a BYOT policy, or Bring Your Own Technology.  Meaning that you could bring in a laptop or tablet to takes notes if your teacher said it was okay.  Now this worked in some classes however some teachers did not like the idea and did not allow it in their class. Now where this comes to interest me is that most of my work thus far in college has all been online. From reading online, to doing math and science, to writing our papers.  Is all of this online work better for us than learning out of a textbook and from a true hard copied source.

In first semester I realized something about trying to use technology to take notes rather than a pencil and paper.  What I realized was that I didn’t take in the information as well.  As I continued to use my computer in class I also became easily distracted.  Having an iPhone and macbook air my phone and computer pair to one another.  I can receive iMessages on my computer and text people back without even having to have my phone out, this being my first distraction.  Then I would catch myself not focusing on the lecture of the class rather I would be searching the web or on social media. This wasn’t so simple to do when we had to learn out of a book and takes notes directly off the board onto paper.

So while this new and advanced technology does have its purpose and great functions that we could use in some aspects of education does it really help us as much as we think it does?  Last semester I saw my grades drop along with my study habits as I used my computer as much as I did.  Which it is shown that students retain information better when writing it down rather than typing it onto a computer.  I believe students should be influenced and encouraged to continue to take notes on paper and still do some problems out of a textbook just to have a hard copy source of notes rather than doing everything online.