Digital Learning: Vice or Virtue

If you’ve been on Twitter at all this week you’ve probably seen #DTLUtah in the trending section.

DTL stands for Digital Teaching and Learning. This is a program that is being implemented in Utah as a way to assist schools by giving teachers and administrators resources to utilize technology as a means of improving teaching and learning experiences.

The use of technology in the classroom setting seems like a logical step forward in learning and the way schools work out their curriculums. Having the ability to put all the information necessary for the class up in a way that gives the students and instructor the ability to have near instant access to it is the type of thing that movies in the 1980s assumed would be old news by now.

“My high school actually had half of their classes on CANVAS, and half on paper,” said Easton Bowring, a freshman undeclared major from Monticello. “I feel like it was by far more effective to have classes online through CANVAS or systems like it. It allows me to have easy access to documents and media, helping me to complete a project no matter where I am.”

Integrating technology into the education system also allows for more and varied communication and group collaborations on work and ideas.

“I think technology gives students opportunities to expand their learning experiences and have up-to-date knowledge of what is happening in the classes they’re taking,” said Emma Sorensen, a freshman communications major from Orem. “Not all my classes are on CANVAS and I wish they were.”

With this availability of things at the fingertips of the students however, there are undoubtedly some who will spend the time in class perusing Steam for new games or filling up their digital shopping carts with the newest fall fashions rather than pay attention to the work at hand. Some students may also become less willing and open to physical interaction with their classmates and even instructors due to a disconnect from normal social interactions.

Technology in any form is powerful and in a classroom setting it can be used as a tool to support education. It can also be a distraction and disconnection from the world around us.

If you or anyone you know has thoughts on the relationship between technology and schools, send a Letter to the Editor.


By Carlee Jo Blumenthal