It’s no surprise that technology has changed the way we communicate and learn. If you’ve worked in the education sector for a long time, no doubt you’ll have witnessed plenty of these evolutions, from the first interactive whiteboards to integrated mobile devices and applications with classroom learning.
We’re taking a closer look at some of the technology – or edtech – that’s changing schools and learning environments and how your school can invest in new ways of teaching, collaborating and learning.
Enabling digital literacy and providing equal opportunities
The younger generation are learning and growing up in a time where technological independence is essential. With half of 10-year-olds owning their own smartphones today, and 55% of 5-15 year-olds using devices to get online, educators have a responsibility to facilitate these advances to help ensure familiarity, confidence and security using technology. Enabling digital literacy in classrooms can help remove barriers for children and young people that may not otherwise have the same opportunities outside of school, help prepare them for further education and for the world after school.
From learning about the importance of online safety when using social apps to best practice ideas around creating a first CV or portfolio, the various use cases of technology are imperative in ensuring pupils are set up for adult life.
The role of technology in transforming education
Technology has the ability to enhance the learning of pupils in ways that haven’t existed previously, whether that’s in the broad range of subjects that students now have access to or in the equipment that’s transforming the way students with different learning abilities engage with learning materials. Tools such as assistive technology, designed specifically to address a variety of learning difficulties, allow children to learn and communicate in ways that reflect their strengths, whilst facilitating better collaboration between peers and educators.
Benefits for teaching professionals
There are also considerable productivity and well-being benefits in edtech for professionals in schools and educational institutions. As a sector with the highest stress and anxiety rates in the UK, adopting productivity or planning tools can be invaluable for keeping track of workloads and to-do lists, whilst free resources from sites like Twinkl provide new ideas for activities and lesson plans if you’re feeling a lack of creativity.
Check out this list of useful edtech tools by Tutorful for a full list of productivity, creativity and mindfulness resources.
Investing in your school
In order to facilitate the use of different technologies within the classroom, educators need to ensure they are best equipped to be able to do so, with appropriate working knowledge and application for their areas or subjects. It’s a good idea to investigate any potential training you can take up and assess whether any colleagues you may be responsible for could also benefit.
Additionally, when assessing the case for implementing new technologies, whether that’s physical equipment or device software, a good outlook for weighing up potential use cases is by weighing up the key users, the problem you’re trying to solve and how it should be used to complement existing materials. In a world where so much technology exists to replace processes or skills, we owe it to younger generations to ensure we are preserving the skills and techniques that may otherwise become lost, such as meaningful communication or manual researching skills.