In the modern era, there continues to be a heavy reliance on the use of technology in both the personal and professional life of the British public. The younger generation, in particular, has grown up in a world where technology and the internet make the world go round. According to research by Business Insider, 99% of those between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media at least once a week for an average of 2 hours 26 minutes a day – a figure that is almost double the statistic for adults! With this in mind, it is now more important than ever for those in the educational industry to remain up to date with the latest technology and processes to ensure that they provide the very best level of education to pupils.
An Insight Into The Effectiveness Of Technology In Education
While the knowledge, along with the skills and teaching techniques of teachers, lecturers and tutors remain the most important contributing factors towards the success of pupils, technology plays a vital role in assisting this success. Technology enables processes to become seamless, allowing those responsible for teaching to focus on what they do best, sharing their expert knowledge. Due to this, technology should no longer be seen as a distraction in the classroom, but instead, a fantastic resource which, if used effectively, will help every student to strive.
If your educational institution is yet to incorporate the use of technology into the classroom, then we have devised a full guide into not only how to implement various types of technology, but also the benefits of opting to do so.
The Benefits Of Technology In Education
Many educational organisations remain somewhat dubious about the idea of intertwining the use of technology into their teaching techniques; however, this most definitely does not have to be the case. Below are just some of the many benefits both teachers and pupils can reap from opting to make the transition to technology-based learning.
1. Promotes Independent Learning
While every student does require initial guidance to familiarise themselves with the foundation of each subject, the more that they can be encouraged to continue independent learning, the quicker they will progress. In the past, promoting independent learning was slightly tricky as the only resource available would be textbooks with no element of fun. Online-based resources, on the other hand, has a considerably wider breadth of options for those willing to continue to expand their knowledge outside of school hours. Pupils are free to participate in virtual or online learning, without the need to attend a physical location. They will have unlimited access to open learning resources enabling them to continue to learn freely. Not only are options such as ebooks available via a digital library, but also podcasts, educational games, tutorials and tests.
Opting to provide students with online learning resources will not only benefit their learning but also teachers, lecturers and tutors. All class details can be uploaded to platforms, ideal for any pupils who have missed out on a class or to use later on down the line as revision notes. It will also allow students to spend time finding their own style of learning, spending time working out effective ways to conquer areas that may be proving a little more of a struggle. As students will have more control over what they learn, they will become increasingly more motivated to continue outside of hours. They even have the opportunity to pick up new skills, for example, using software such as Adobe Photoshop to utilise their creative flair or MyMaths to improve their mathematical knowledge.
2. Enhanced Lesson Planning
Successful lesson planning is imperative in guaranteeing the success of students. Lesson planning, of course, differs depending on the teaching level you cater for; however, regardless of the institution type you specialise in, you will have multiple classes you will need to prepare for.
Technology enables teachers to cater to each and every pupil individually, both in and outside of the classroom. There are a number of performance tracking systems which make student organisation an easy task. Systems keep track of unique information on each student including their performance in each subject, along with their learning capabilities. As all data will be in one place, you will be able to locate the strengths and weaknesses of pupils quickly, then plan lessons accordingly. Notes can also be taken during and after each lesson and used to plan the next. You may even want to consider splitting the class into groups based on their performance then assigning tasks at different levels of the difficulty scale.
Not only does technology enhance lesson planning while working face-to-face with pupils, but also outside of classes. Poll Everywhere is a super handy app which lets pupils provide feedback on their lesson. Questions can be set based on the information you, as the teacher, would like to receive to then improve further lessons.
3. Improves Technical Skills
Almost every job vacancy in recent years states that applicants must have basic IT literacy. According to Techopedia, computer literacy is becoming an increasingly essential skill when hoping to win over potential employers – this is only set to grow as technology continues to advance.
With this in mind, introducing students to an array of educational technology at a young age will prepare them for the working conditions they will face when they eventually leave education. Using technology during lessons will help to develop technical skills in different applications and spark an interest in particular areas. Essentially, the more experience pupils are in the use of technology, the more opportunity they will have when beginning their career.
4. Increases Interaction
Every student is different; each has their own unique personality traits and preferred method of teaching. Keeping this in mind, as a teacher, you will come to learn that not all students will be confident to raise their hand in class to begin a discussion, ask a question or give their opinion – this is where technology comes in incredibly useful.
Technology and online learning tools allow all students to interact, including those that are usually a little too shy to get involved. Online portals are a fantastic way to encourage all students to ask questions, request help or perhaps even let their teacher know what they enjoy the most and will help them to come out of their shell. When taking charge of a new class, online quizzes are a fun way to break the ice between students and give the perfect opportunity for everyone to get to know each other.
5. Reduces Tedious Tasks
There are several time-consuming, tedious tasks that teachers, lecturers and tutors must carry out to ensure that they remain organised. Keeping track of the performance of each student, along with their attendance becomes considerably more manageable when all that is required is for data to be submitted onto a digital tool. Due to this, everyday tasks can be automated and can then be printed off whenever a hard copy is needed.
6. Up-To-Date Information
While textbooks and other physical learning materials will always come in useful when assisting teaching, there will come a time where they will begin to become outdated and will need to be replaced. Digital resources, on the other hand, are consistently updated with the latest information and will always remain up to date. There are also different tools that enable outsiders to share their knowledge and expertise to supplement the overall learning experience for pupils.
The Essential Technology In Education
Opting to implement technology to the classroom will be a costly project which means that extensive research is required to ensure all resources remain a worthwhile investment. Every institution has different requirements which need to be fulfilled; therefore, would benefit from different technology. We have listed the top three types of educational technology that you should consider in the initial steps of the implementation process.
1. Wifi Technology and Internet
Wifi technology proves highly beneficial particularly on campus’ with older pupils, for example in a secondary school, college or university. It enables pupils to learn independently using their own laptops or tablets and complete outstanding homework, coursework or assignments. Providing openly accessible internet on campus means that work can be completed quicker and at a higher standard. This is because rather than struggling with trickier topics at home, pupils can visit their teacher to ask questions or work together with another student in their class.
When equipping a campus with wifi, it is vital also to put security measures in place. Always set a limit on internet usage to ensure that only educational sites can be visited while connected to wifi. Many organisations block social media websites to avoid distractions and inappropriate use of school resources. The campus would also benefit from fibre cabling installation while fitting wifi as it guarantees a reliable connection and faster data transfers, along with additional control over security.
2. AV Systems and SMART Technology
SMART technology continues to grow in popularity, and nowadays, it is unheard of for an educational organisation not to use the resource to their advantage. It falls into the AV system category which is related to a device that possesses both a sound and visual component. As opposed to using a whiteboard, SMART technology incorporates the function of a whiteboard with an interactive digital board display. The board enables teachers to show presentations, videos and explain materials using a touchscreen.
More examples of AV systems that can benefit the classroom and campus include the following:
- Ceiling mounted projectors
- Projection screens and monitors
- Hallway AV screens and systems
- Digital signage
- Audio installations
- Entrance digital displays
3. Remote Access and Server Room Installation
Even if an educational organisation is capable of accessing data without an issue, they need to be able to store it correctly with secure server rooms and data cabinets. Organisations store thousands of files of data, some available to students and others open to only staff members and IT personnel. Although cabinets and storage spaces can be expensive, fortunately, there are a number of installation options available that provide the following:
- Secure data cabinets
- Cabling management and implementation
- Cooling systems
- Ongoing network support
Having all data stored in one place also means that students can be provided with remote access. This allows all pupils to access their school, college or university computer through a network connection. They do not have to be on a physical computer on campus; their remote access can be used through their device at home; therefore, further improving productivity and independent learning.
Utilise Technology To Aid Learning!
Implementing various technology in an educational organisation doesn’t have to be a stressful task. While it may take a little time, planning and initial investment to ensure that results are effective, both students and teachers would most definitely reap the benefits in years to come.
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