The world as we know has changed immensely in the past two decades. From computers as a luxury and a special instrument in offices to a personalized computer in most households; things have progressed at breakneck speed. The IT-revolution and the growth of the Internet and use of affordable smartphones have changed the lifestyles of people. The education sector has been affected tremendously. From sitting in the library and patiently copying down notes to accessing 1000s of web-pages of content right on the phone; information disbursal has evolved significantly.
Behavioural changes in terms of attention-spans and patience to learn or acquire a new skill have also changed. More and more teachers complain of children not being receptive in class and it is extremely important for teachers to innovate in the classroom and keep students engaged. Every day teachers face choices about how to implement the curriculum and instruct students. It is during these decisive moments that teachers should reflect and exercise choices that embrace technology to help students learn better.
One of the key problems that limits teachers bringing in technology to the classroom is the mis-conception that edtech is extremely expensive. Not every bit of technology is expensive; there are a lot of open-source tools and moderately priced products that teachers can use to make classroom learning interactive and engaging.
Be it learning a new language, using a tool like uTalk or using an animated story-telling tool like Plotagon to make lessons interactive and engaging; technology used appropriately by teachers makes the learning experience richer and useful for students. Tools like Revisely and Urkund help teachers save precious time when verifying assignments and tests. Learnium is a social network for learning and teaching designed to improve the student experience. Teachers can create specific learning groups for their students and post assignments, give feedback and collaborate securely. An app like DIYA allows students to get ideas for school projects with ease and collaborate with other DIYA-users on projects. Read our earlier blog post on ‘Re-imagining the classroom with technology’.
Benefits of bringing edtech in the Classroom
• Saves time for both teachers and students.
• Simplifies the tasks of learning and teaching and offers students a refined learning experience.
• Students are interested in innovation and new experiences: enabling them to direct their own project through new technology can increase engagement and motivation.
• Technology can be used effectively to implement project-based learning in schools and also help teaches structure classroom teaching time effectively.
One key element that teachers need to remember is that technology should not be used as an artificial ornament or a gimmick as an excuse to hike the tuition fees charged from parents. Technology should blend seamlessly with the curriculum and offer a visible and measurable benefit to students and inspire them to study and learn with ease. There are a number of new edtech tools available, which can make a huge difference by enhancing educators’ professional development and empowering students to direct their own learning. With teachers embracing technology they can also overcome their own inhibitions and use learning products and services with ease.