Technology is not a magic bullet that can solve all the challenges faced by schools, but it can be a powerful tool to enhance teaching and learning, if used appropriately and effectively.
In this blog post, I will discuss some of the ways that teachers can have more impact in the classroom through the use of technology, based on the latest research and evidence.
Tip 1: Reducing teacher workload
One of the main benefits of technology is that it can help reduce teacher workload, which is a major source of stress and dissatisfaction for many educators. Teachers want to teach, but too much of their time is taken up by activities that surround teaching, but don’t involve interaction with the students themselves. With technology automating or streamlining some of these administrative and repetitive tasks, such as marking, planning, reporting, and communicating, teachers can get back to what they love. This leads to happier, satisfied teachers and better supported, more successful students. This might include, using online platforms and tools to provide instant feedback, share resources, track progress, and collaborate with colleagues and parents. Using the right technology can also help teachers access and use data more efficiently and effectively, to inform their practice and improve student outcomes.
Tip 2: Increasing efficiency
One of the hallmarks of technology is that it can increase efficiency. We can see this in the classroom, with teachers able to save time, re-use resources, and enhance the quality and quantity of learning opportunities. Technology can enable teachers to differentiate and personalize instruction, to meet the diverse needs and preferences of their students. For example, using adaptive learning software can allow students to learn at their own pace and level, and receive tailored feedback and support. Technology can also help teachers create and deliver engaging and interactive lessons, using multimedia, simulations, games, and quizzes. For example, using virtual reality or augmented reality can immerse students in authentic and immersive learning environments, such as historical sites, natural habitats, or scientific experiments.
Tip 3: Improving accessibility and inclusion
A third benefit of technology is that it can be used to improve accessibility and inclusion in the classroom. By removing barriers and creating opportunities for all students, especially those who are disadvantaged or marginalized technology can ensure that the education experience is one that everyone has access to. Online learning can enable teachers to reach students who are geographically isolated, have special educational needs, or face socio-economic challenges. For example, using online platforms and tools can facilitate remote and flexible learning, and provide access to high-quality content and teachers. Schools and Government can also help in this regard, by addressing and overcoming the digital divide, ensuring that all students have equitable access to devices, connectivity, and digital skills.
Tip 4: Supporting excellent teaching
Finally, technology can support excellent teaching, by enhancing the professional development and collaboration of teachers. Technology can enable teachers to access and use high-quality and evidence-based resources and guidance, to improve their pedagogical knowledge and skills. For example, teachers can get access to online courses, webinars, podcasts, blogs, and research. By doing this online, teachers have a wider range of courses available and need less time out of school. It is also easier for teachers to network and learn from each other and this might be across schools, regions, and countries. For example, using online platforms and personal learning networks can enable teachers to join communities of practice, share best practices, and mentor or coach each other.
There is no doubt that technology can have a positive impact on the classroom, if used appropriately and effectively, and if supported by adequate infrastructure, governance, and teacher preparation. Technology can help teachers reduce their workload, increase their efficiency, improve their accessibility and inclusion, and support their excellent teaching. However, it is important to remember that technology is not a substitute for good teaching, but rather a complement to it. Technology can enhance, but not replace, the human interaction and relationship between teachers and students, which is at the heart of education.
If you would like to find out more about how teachers can get more out of the classroom, download our ebook full of strategies and ideas.
You can also talk to one of our experts and learn about how Firefly supports schools all around the world.