If Education Technology initially intimidated many educators, today most teachers are happy with the tools available to them and with the level of innovation in their school.
Technology can be a great tool for teachers, enabling them to improve their time management skills and dedicate more time to their students.
According to recent surveys, 88% of teachers believe that education technology improves the quality of education by enabling innovation in pedagogy. British educators, in particular, seem to trust technology in the classroom and see its benefits more than their EU counterparts. Despite the evident appreciation for edtech though, many teachers (around two-thirds of those surveyed) believed its main shortcoming was the amount of time and effort required ordinary teachers to use how to best utilize these technologies, 56% of surveyed teachers felt it would make classroom management more difficult.
So how can technology be used effectively? The doubts expressed by the teachers are legitimate, but there are easy ways to work around them. Teachers who are new to technology should take their time to research how to integrate it in a way that is reasonable for them to learn and for the school to implement. The first step would be to address the following questions:
– What are the school’s resources?
– Are tablets available, if so how many? What kind of internet access is provided by the school? What are school policies regarding students using their smartphones in class?
– What are your resources?
– What are you already familiar with? What would you need to learn and how long do you expect it to take? Is there a member of the school staff who can help you understand edtech and integrate it into your teaching method?
– How are you going to integrate edtech?
There are countless ways edtech can be used, it is about deciding which ones work best for you.
You may need technology to help you expedite administrative tasks you were previously done manually, or maybe to monitor your students’ homework from remote. There are many things you can do just with tools you would normally use in your day to day life, like creating a classroom facebook group or a WhatsApp group to communicate with the classroom parents.
After taking the first step, introducing more and more technology will become much easier. The final goal would be to use it in order to stay up to date with the subject that is being taught, while also monitoring the way students are learning and addressing their shortcomings.
Unfortunately, technology is not always a priority in the school system, and innovation may take a back seat and teachers need to respect school policies and curriculum. This is why it is very important for school administrators to also have an understanding of how edtech can increase productivity, save time, and in some cases even save money.
While many schools are starting to adopt edtech, others are still very close minded. France recently banned mobile phones during school hours, many schools in the UK and USA do not allow smartphones to be part of the learning experience despite them being the main source of information for many students.
The only way to narrow this gap is to spread information on edtech, sharing success stories and ways in which technology has been used in positive and productive ways.
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