Ever since I started working in education, first as a teacher and later as an Education Technology Coach at NUITEQ, I have met teachers with varying attitudes when it comes to technology in schools in general and EdTech in particular. Some are completely against the idea that technology should be used in schools. Others are enthusiastic and try out any tool or app they can get their hands on. And some approach technology with both curiosity and a healthy amount of reservations.
Digital educational content such as history books are always up to date. It is much easier to update a digital version of a book than a physical copy. Changes are implemented immediately.
These differing attitudes all come with their own set of valid arguments. Concerns about screen time are not unfounded, but neither are the concerns about an ever-increasing workload for teachers and lack of engagement in students, something that education technology can assist with. Perhaps then it’s the middle of the road approach, the one where education technology is introduced into schools but not before it’s been vetted by the experts, that should be the one teachers follow.
How can teachers who are meticulous about their choice of technology in the classroom, yet open to implementing it, convince their concerned colleagues that it is an asset? What are some arguments these teachers can use to illustrate the benefits of education technology in comparison to traditional teaching? Here is a selection of added value examples that EdTech offers:
1. Always up to date
2. Multiple ways of teaching
Some education technology offers teachers the opportunity to teach in a multimodal way. Each student has their own learning style: some are visual learners, some learn by doing, others prefer listening to lectures. In order to reach all these students, teachers need to present the educational content by using different media. This is easily done with the help of EdTech.
3. Increased student engagement
Education technology helps address the issue most teachers face: the lack of engagement in students. Education technology provides variation and is an excellent complement to the more traditional ways of instruction. Variation can lead to greater student engagement. Moreover, the use of technology in itself (with the game-like graphics and interactive elements) brings instruction to life and speaks to students in a language they, as digital natives, are familiar with.
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4. Differentiated instruction and personalized content
Education technology software allows teachers to differentiate instruction and personalize content at the click of a button. The personal needs of each student are addressed to a great extent through adapting the content with scaffolding or extensions. This same content is saved and can then be re-used with other students later, ultimately saving teachers time.
5. Increased student participation
Education technology facilitates the switch from the traditional “Sage on the stage” model to a different way of teaching, one where students are active in their learning. Education technology encourages students to participate in the acquisition of knowledge, among others through its interactive elements and through giving students access to a wealth of information to satisfy their natural curiosity.
As with all new things, the prospect of education technology being introduced in one’s classroom can seem daunting or unnecessary at first, especially to educators who have been working for a long time and who have perfected the art of teaching throughout the years. To approach it with caution is therefore a normal reaction. But the problems that teachers around the world face today, such as lack of time, disinterested students and being unable to meet individual needs because of large class sizes, are not the result of incompetence or a lack of effort on teachers’ side. They are simply the way things are today, shaped by decades of shifts in the school system globally, in the attitude towards schools and teachers’ role in particular, and in societal culture.
Education technology is not the answer to every problem a teacher faces during their day but the right education technology tool can go a long way towards solving some of them.
If you’re keen on using EdTech in a remote learning setting or in your classroom, give NUITEQ Snowflake a try for a 60-days free trial. Get access by clicking the button below.