The Instigator
awesomeness
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Personal Electronics should be allowed in the classroom

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,836 times Debate No: 23523
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

awesomeness

Con

Debate Parameters
Opponent:This will be an 'Open Debate' and the first member to accept my challenge will become my opponent.
Category:Education
Rounds:There will be a total of 3 rounds of debate.
Voting Period:The voting period will last 3 days.
Time to Argue:For every round of debate, each debater will have 24 hours to post their argument.
Argument Max:Each debater will be allowed to type up to 8,000 characters for every round of debate.
Voting Comments:Members voting on this debate are required to provide comments for their vote.

Round 1 - acceptance
Round 2 - constructive
Round 3 - refutations and conclusion
Danielle

Pro

I haven't done a real debate in about 5 months, so sure, why not :)
Debate Round No. 1
awesomeness

Con

Neg
Definitions:
• Personal electronics refers to any instrument that uses electricity, for ex: tablets, cell phones, and computers that is owned by the student for at least a one-year term.
Standard:
The standard, or weighing mechanism, for this debate should be the quality of education. Since this debate is about personal electronics in the classroom, it will impact education the most. The team that can best prove that their side of the resolution betters the quality of education should win today's debate.


Contention 1: Cheating
Allowing electronics in the classroom will provide a method of cheating to teenagers.
According to US news:
• 1/3 teenagers admit to using cell phones to access information quizzed on a test
• ¼ teenagers don't think using cell phones to get info for a test is cheating
Judge, if 1/3 of teenagers use their phone to cheat, imagine how many students use other electronics to cheat.
In addition, electronics promote plagiarism.
Rutgers University found:
• 72 percent of the students admitted to "seriously cheating on a written work"
• more than half had "copied portions of a paper from the Internet without citing the source."
Electronics will just expose students to more chances to plagiarize. This should absolutely no happen since plagiarism is already such a big problem.
• For Fall Quarter 1998, 73% (51 out of 70) of Georgia Tech cases where students were judged guilty of cheating originated in courses administered by the College of Computing.
• According to U.S. News and World Report, cheating occurs 53% more in classrooms with electronics that not
• In a 2006 survey by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, 60 per cent of U.S. high school students said that they had cheated in the previous year. A 2005 Rutgers study found that more than half of graduate business students in North America admitted to the same thing.
• Common Sense Media, a non-profit advocacy group, finds that more than 35% of teens ages 13 to 17 with cell phones have used the devices to cheat. More than half (52%) admit to some form of cheating involving the Internet, and many don't consider it a big deal. For instance, only 41% say storing notes on a cell phone to access during a test is a "serious offense." Nearly one in four (23%) don't think it's cheating at all.
according to ABC news, a 2002 confidential survey was taken of 12,000 high school students, 74 percent admitted cheating on an examination at least once in the past year.

Contention 2: Downgrades Education
According to NY Times, the children of CEO's of high tech companies Google, Yahoo, Hp, Apple, and Ebay send their children to Waldorf schools, in which children are exposed to absolutely no technology in the classroom:
• A parent of waldorf schoolchildren says, "I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in…school…The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that's ridiculous."
• According to bls.gov, 68% of recent high school graduates enroll for college. Waldorf school graduates, who have little to no exposure to technology in school, boasts a rate of 94% of its high school graduates that enroll for college, many of which go to "Oberlin, UC Berkely, and Vassar."
In addition, according to The Economist April 7th 2012:
• "GIVING a child a computer does not accomplish anything in particular."
• "In Peru, site of the largest single programme involving One Laptop per Child… test scores remain dismal. Only 13% of seven-year-olds were at the required level in math and only 30% in reading, the education ministry reported last month."
• Judge, even though Peru spent $225m to supply and support 850,000 basic laptops to schools throughout the country, Peru's education system was still one of the worst in South America.
Danielle

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate.

Hopefully I am constructing this round appropriately.

[ Rebuttal ]


1. CHEATING

A. Teenagers use cell phones to cheat.

Before there were cell phones (and even after cell phones became popular), students have found various ways to cheat including but not limited to asking their peers for information; copying off a neighbor's work; creating a cheat sheet; etc. We will never fully inhibit cheating, however it can be combatted through more attentative teachers, particularly during testing. Cell phones may also be prohibited during testing times only. Perhaps the teacher can collect them before the beginning of class and return them at the end during exam days. If you do not believe this provides enough security, keep in mind that mobile phone jammers can be utilized during testing. This device is an instrument used to prevent cell phonesfrom receiving signals. When used, the jammer effectively disables cellular phones. These devices can be used in practically any location [1].

B. A lot of students admit to"seriously cheating on a written work," primarily through plagirarism from the internet.

I don't see what this has to do with cell phones considering the students are referring to cheating via the internet. Presumably a student could not plagiarize blatantly in the classroom insofar as copying entire walls of text for a paper without being noticed by the teacher, especially on a cell phone. The issue of plagiarism goes beyond the classroom. You might as well say students should not be allowed to use personal electronics outside of the classroom which is absurd. Regardless, like cell phone jammers there are also programs and software that prohibit one from browsing all or particular websites [2] which can be utilized during testing.

2. DOWNGRADING EDUCATION

A. Con quotes a parent saying they don't believe in technology in the classroom.

That's their personal opinion, not even an "expert" opinion. I have a different personal opinion. Big deal.

B. Waldorf schools don't utilize technology, and the students are very successful.

The New York Times article that Con references admits that there is no clear evidence as to whether or not students are successful specifically due to not using technology in the classroom. In fact there are a plethora of other reasons why Waldorf students are probably successful. Many Waldorf students come from families that value education highly enough to seek out a selective private school, and usually have the means to pay for it. This means they come from an environment that highly values education and thus fosters an environment that promotes education not only inside the classroom but the home. Second, Waldorf schools utilize very specific teaching methods, so there's no way to discern whether or not the students' success is because of specialized teaching or a lack of technology. Also, FYI the figures reported by Waldorf about their graduation rate and other successes comes from an "affiliated group," so that research is to be taken with a grain of salt as it would obviously be inclined to portray Waldorf in a positive light considering the affiliation.

C. Even though computers were given to children in Peru, they were not particularly successful.

Quite obviously kids in South America grow up in a completely different environment, and those variables will surely impact the way they perform on standardized testing (which by the way has proven to be an unreliable indicator of intelligence and even measuring acquired knowledge). Furthermore, equipping children with technology alone is not a way to assure educational success. Instead I will argue that permitting technology in the classroom coupled with effective teaching methods can certainly be beneficial.

[ Arguments ]

1. We live in a world of technology, and from a young age children are exposed to a lot of it and often. Computers can hold students’ attention sometimes better than interpersonal interaction. In fact, some young people who have been weaned on electronic devices can not tune in without them [3].

2. When students use certain technological instruments to learn, they are more able to learn at their own pace. Some students need more time than others to grasp a particular concept.

3. Class sizes are increasing all over the country. While direct teacher-pupil interaction is important, allowing students to do educational work on technological devices while helping students individually at the same time allows more students to learn at once. Teachers may also utilize testing programs that allow them to see what areas particular students need help in.

4. Allowing students to use electronics during school can help teachers impart skills necessary to succeed in a modern economy. Face it: A lot of what we learn in school will not be utilized in our everyday lives or careers. However you'll be hard pressed to find many jobs these days that do not utilize technology.

5. Many studies have found that technology in the classroom has helped. For instance, researchers found that writing scores improved for eighth-graders in Maine after they were all issued laptops in 2002. They also found that math performance picked up among seventh and eighth-graders after teachers in the state were trained in using the laptops to teach [4]. Admittedly there are conflicting studies, but it goes both ways. Also keep in mind that standardized testing has already been criticized as a precise measurement for learning anyway, so these studies are not of utmost significance.

6. Electronics give you access to innumerable informational websites and sources. Online encyclopedias and news outlets are just a few ways kids can be exposed to a lot of useful information very fast. This can certainly be useful in the classroom for obvious reasons.

7. Many classes are offered online. If you can take a class strictly using the internet, then you should be able to take a class that incorporates it.

8. Computers make it quick and easy for students to edit their papers or other work.

9. There are computer programs and other electronic tools that make learning easy and more importantly fun (which makes schooling tolerable and in fact appreciated). Even games that seem strictly recreational can teach you a lot about logic and reasoning, geometry, physics, etc. [5].

10. On another note, I was a freshman in high school in New York City on 9/11/01. I cannot imagine what it would have been like had cell phones been prohibited in the classroom. Parents have the right to equip their kids with cell phones in case of an emergency.

Ultimately it comes down to how the electronics in the classroom are utilized, and the effectiveness of individual teachers and their teaching methods. A spokesman for Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, a nonpartisan group that has studied this issue, says it best - "Good teachers can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t." This doesn't mean that electronics should not be utilized, but rather it should be ensured teachers learn to utilize them effectively and limit them when necessary. Computers are not meant to replace teachers but assist them, and teachers can have an impact on how students use them to make sure it is helpful and appropriate.

Thank you.

[ Sources ]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.gearboxcomputers.com...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
[4] http://www.nytimes.com...
[5] http://nrich.maths.org...
Debate Round No. 2
awesomeness

Con

Refutations to my arguements

Efficient

-fast writing

  1. 1. Electronics allow plagiarism.
  2. 2. You can type it on the school computers or at home. This would prevent a lot of cheating.

Enhances learning

  1. 1. Waldorf (68% vs. 94% going to college rate)
  2. 2. While our opponents talk about small groups of people getting a better education, we have a study from the Economist that shows that when millions of students were given a laptop, education remains dismal. 13% passed standards on math and 30% in reading.

Emergencies

  1. 1. When all the students in one area are calling, this would jam the phone line. This proves that phones are not useful in emergencies.
  2. 2. Emergencies occur very rarely. The risk of cheating and distractions far outweighs the chance that a student would need to call his parents in an emergency.
  3. 3. Authorities and the school office should be in charge of emergencies. The school office can use their phone to call parents one by one. This way, lines will not jam up, and would eliminate the risk of cheating.

Help Learn

  1. 1. Cheating on voc/spelling/comp.
  2. 2. Distractions. According to IDC 2011 report, kindles captured 48% of the eReader market. According to ehow.com, kindles can store music. The last thing we need is students listening to music in class from eReaders.

keeps children in college

-save money on textbooks via eReaders

  1. 1. In this debate, we are not talking about colleges. We should focus on k-12 education because everyone knows college students are very mature and have less of a problem with electronic cheating or distraction.
  2. 2. You won’t need to buy the textbook, school provided.

Her refutations to my arguements

1. CHEATING

A. Teenagers use cell phones to cheat.


Before there were cell phones (and even after cell phones became popular), students have found various ways to cheat including but not limited to asking their peers for information; copying off a neighbor's work; creating a cheat sheet; etc. We will never fully inhibit cheating, however it can be combatted through more attentative teachers, particularly during testing. Cell phones may also be prohibited during testing times only. Perhaps the teacher can collect them before the beginning of class and return them at the end during exam days. If you do not believe this provides enough security, keep in mind that mobile phone jammers can be utilized during testing. This device is an instrument used to prevent cell phonesfrom receiving signals. When used, the jammer effectively disables cellular phones. These devices can be used in practically any location [1].

According to time magazine, 57% of kids cheat without using electronics but 73% cheat using electronics. Clearly there is a huge difference ad that makes Danille's refutation invalid. Also, many kids have their own networks like 3G that block cell phone jammers.

B. A lot of students admit to"seriously cheating on a written work," primarily through plagirarism from the internet.

I don't see what this has to do with cell phones considering the students are referring to cheating via the internet. Presumably a student could not plagiarize blatantly in the classroom insofar as copying entire walls of text for a paper without being noticed by the teacher, especially on a cell phone. The issue of plagiarism goes beyond the classroom. You might as well say students should not be allowed to use personal electronics outside of the classroom which is absurd. Regardless, like cell phone jammers there are also programs and software that prohibit one from browsing all or particular websites [2] which can be utilized during testing.

Students can go on websites that have the essay, copy it and paste into an essay reworder and copy that essay as their own. It is that simple. Again I would like to bring up the 3G netwrorks that use their own networks which blocks and jammers. The programs that prohibit the children to see those websites are on the schools network not the users 3G network.

2. DOWNGRADING EDUCATION

A. Con quotes a parent saying they don't believe in technology in the classroom.

That's their personal opinion, not even an "expert" opinion. I have a different personal opinion. Big deal.

A personal opinion by an engineer who works at a highly valued company matters.

B. Waldorf schools don't utilize technology, and the students are very successful.

The New York Times article that Con references admits that there is no clear evidence as to whether or not students are successful specifically due to not using technology in the classroom. In fact there are a plethora of other reasons why Waldorf students are probably successful. Many Waldorf students come from families that value education highly enough to seek out a selective private school, and usually have the means to pay for it. This means they come from an environment that highly values education and thus fosters an environment that promotes education not only inside the classroom but the home. Second, Waldorf schools utilize very specific teaching methods, so there's no way to discern whether or not the students' success is because of specialized teaching or a lack of technology. Also, FYI the figures reported by Waldorf about their graduation rate and other successes comes from an "affiliated group," so that research is to be taken with a grain of salt as it would obviously be inclined to portray Waldorf in a positive light considering the affiliation.

The article states that the graduation rate in normal schools with electronics was 68% and in waldorf it is 94%. this increase was caused just because of the hands on learning.

C. Even though computers were given to children in Peru, they were not particularly successful.

Quite obviously kids in South America grow up in a completely different environment, and those variables will surely impact the way they perform on standardized testing (which by the way has proven to be an unreliable indicator of intelligence and even measuring acquired knowledge). Furthermore, equipping children with technology alone is not a way to assure educational success. Instead I will argue that permitting technology in the classroom coupled with effective teaching methods can certainly be beneficial.

The technology given to the Peru students was the same as the technology as the one given in America to make the study most accurate.
I conclude this awesome debate with two words: Vote Pro
Danielle

Pro

-- Introduction --

I completely agree with Con's conclusion... you should VOTE PRO! :)

I apologize in advance to the audience for my opponent's poor structuring of his rebuttal. I'm going to address the arguments in the original order I presented them to make it easier to follow. However this will be difficult since Con dropped 5 of my contentions. While I presented 10 arguments in my favor, he responded to only 5.

Furthermore, the 5 he responded to weren't even all my contentions. For instance, the last argument of his box responds to the idea of saving money on textbooks via e-Readers. However nowhere in this debate did I ever make that argument to begin with (though it's a good one I probably should have brought up!). To me this indicates that my opponent has not only completely failed to address my points, but is taking most of his arguments from another source that highlights this debate. Why else would he respond to arguments I didn't make? Clearly he Google'd arguments against electronics and is applying those here even when they are irrelevant.

That said, I think I've made my case for points going to Con for spelling and grammar (structure) and perhaps conduct.

-- Pro's Arguments --

1. Computers hold students' attention.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

2. Electronics help students learn at their own pace.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

3. While direct teacher-pupil interaction is important, allowing students to do educational work on technological devices while helping students individually at the same time allows more students to learn at once. Teachers may also utilize testing programs that allow them to see what areas particular students need help in.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

4. Allowing students to use electronics during school can help teachers impart skills necessary to succeed in a modern economy.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

5. Many studies have found that technology in the classroom has helped.

Con responds by citing studies that suggest technology in the classroom has not helped. I've already addressed this in the previous round, noting that (a) standardized tests are not a good measurement of learning; (b) different testing yields different results anyway - some in my favor.

6. Electronics give you access to innumerable informational websites and sources.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

7. Many classes are offered online. If you can take a class strictly using the internet, then you should be able to take a class that incorporates it.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

8. Computers make it quick and easy for students to edit their papers or other work.

In response, Con has says that computers allow plagiarism and that you can use computers at home. Both of these responses are completely irrelevant. I've already addressed how/why it is easier to plagiarize at home, and allowing electronics in the classroom won't prohibit that. This also fails to respond to the fact that computers in the classroom allow students to work efficiently at school and not only in the home.

9. There are computer programs and other electronic tools that make learning easy and more importantly fun.

Con dropped this. Extend my arguments.

10. Cell phones can be used in school for emergencies.

While it's true that real emergencies might be infrequent, they still occur so my point still stands. Fires occur in schools very rarely and yet they conduct multiple fire drills in school per year just in case something happens. Also, Con says the risk of cheating outweighs the possibility of emergencies, yet I have addressed cheating and other related incidents in my rebuttal to his few points. Moreover, the school offices are just not equipped to handle all emergencies.

-- Con's Arguments --

1A. Teenagers use cell phones to cheat.

I pointed out that students utilize other ways to cheat (peers, cheat sheets, etc.) aside from cell phones. Con concedes, but notes that more students cheat with cell phones. This doesn't change the fact that cheating has/will occur regardless, and also fails to respond to my points that:

- This can be combatted through more attentative teachers, particularly during testing
- Cell phones may be prohibited during testing times only
- Perhaps the teacher can collect them before the beginning of class and return them at the end during exam days

Regarding breaking through cell phone jammers, I have never heard of that nor was I able to find anything through Google. Considering my opponent hasn't cited or sourced info indicating that this is accurate, I'm not sure we have any reason to believe it, not that I think this is a strong contention in his favor anyway.

1B. A lot of students admit to"seriously cheating on a written work," primarily through plagirarism from the internet.

Con's only argument here is that students can c/p work from the internet and utilize it in an essay. Obviously this is completely irrelevant because students can do that while working on papers at home and not only in the classroom. I've already explained in the last round why this is far more unlikely to happen in the classroom anyway which Con didn't respond to. Moreover there are programs teachers can utilize to ensure that students are not plagiarizing, such as turnitin.com [6].

2A. Con quotes a parent saying they don't believe in technology in the classroom.

Con says "A personal opinion by an engineer who works at a highly valued company matters." His opinion would matter if we were talking about engineering, but we're not.

2B. Waldorf schools don't utilize technology, and the students are very successful.

Con writes, "The article states that the graduation rate in normal schools with electronics was 68% and in waldorf it is 94%. this increase was caused just because of the hands on learning."

This is perhaps the most insulting response (or lack thereof) of the debate. In the last round I gave a plethora of other possibilities that explain student success at Waldorf schools, absolutely none of which my opponent responded to, nor did he prove that the increase in success was because of the hands-on learning specifically. He is being completely dishonest (bad conduct) when he says that the article specifies this distinction, considering the article specifically states that they can NOT validate this as the sole distinguishing factor.

2C. Even though computers were given to children in Peru, they were not particularly successful.

Con says, "The technology given to the Peru students was the same as the technology as the one given in America to make the study most accurate."

This completely neglects my entire point. I never denied that students in Peru were given similar technology, but that those kids grow up in a completely different environment, and those variables will surely impact the way they perform on standardized testing. Con did not respond to this. Furthermore, equipping children with technology alone is not a way to assure educational success, so there was no reason to expect the kids in Peru to do better. Of course Con did not respond to this either.

-- Conclusion --

My opponent pretty much dropped every single one of my arguments, and I negated all of his points several times over.

-- Sources --

[6] http://turnitin.com...

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by K.GKevinGeary 2 years ago
K.GKevinGeary
awesomenessDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro gets the arguments, she refuted con, and introduced her own that were not refuted or poked at
Vote Placed by socialpinko 2 years ago
socialpinko
awesomenessDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro after Con apparently addressed arguments not brought by Pro, a sign that Con might have been using an independent resource to pick arguments to refute. On arguments, it would have been more close had Con responded to all of Pro's arguments. However, the drops count as concessions. On the argument Con did address, he was unable to show that students are able to cheat only through electronic means and not owing to any other methods.
Vote Placed by Multi_Pyrocytophage 2 years ago
Multi_Pyrocytophage
awesomenessDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped several of Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by t-man 2 years ago
t-man
awesomenessDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't adress many of Pro's points