Technology in Education
Technology has changed everyone’s lives, from the way we communicate with our friends to how we shop, work and research important decisions. But has technology truly made it into our classrooms and if so how will this effect education in 2016? Let’s explore the role of technology in education and how it is impacting students and teachers alike. Education technology, or EdTech, is an important part of most teachers roles now and this is only set to become more prevalent in 2016, where it will affect everyone from the students to teachers and those with classroom assistant jobs.
BYO … Phone
Most of you will recall the days when students had their phones confiscated on a daily basis for texting or playing Snake under the table. These days the role of technology, such as mobile phones and tablets, are increasingly used in classrooms for educational purposes and more and more schools are encouraging students to use such devices as part of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) schemes.
This is due to the amount of educational apps and programs now available. Virtual learning environments, such as Oxford Owl, allows teachers to set work, track student progress and offer advice from anywhere in the world to provide students with extra help and a series of interesting resources all at the touch of the button.
Only a Click Away
Then there are the electronic voting systems some schools are starting to use. Systems like CLiKAPAD allow teachers to track the responses of their students electronically. It’s simple, all the teacher would have to do is pose questions on a PowerPoint presentation or during the lecture and every student can respond, the teacher can then look at a report at the end of the lesson and see which students are getting it and who is struggling. Remember those classes where most of the students were too self-conscious to take the risk and answer a question? Well now you can answer them without putting your hand up and the lecture can continue without interruption.
A study in 2014 discovered that only one in five teachers use social media in the classroom. However as the next generation of teachers take to the classrooms and more and more emphasis is put on getting graduates into teaching, through schemes like edustaff’s Premier Pathways, you can expect to see this figure grow dramatically.
The Way Forward
Obviously we are not talking about adding students on Facebook, in fact it is not appropriate and bad idea for teachers to allow themselves to be found by their students – do you really want them to see that picture of you at your 21st birthday party?
However, using sites such as Twitter to follow current debates about the topic you are teaching and encouraging the class to do the same is a great way to get students joining in with important world-wide events in their own time. Then there are education specific social network sites like Edmodo, which provide safe, easy ways to share content with your class and allows them to chat about homework assignments and coursework, as well as updating them about news in the school and your specific department.
The role of technology in education will only increase in coming years and 2016 will more than likely be the year it all takes off.
What are your thoughts on technology in the classroom? Do you find it to be a help or a hindrance? Please comment below!
Guest blogger, Naomi Webb, is a passionate writer who loves everything tech-ed related, always looking to broaden her horizons!