Nowadays, you would be much more likely to see a student with a laptop or tablet than with a large pile of textbooks. iPads and computers are introduced to children from a young age not only at home but also in school, changing the way children and schools engage in learning.
Reducing teachers’ workload
Technology has changed the lives of both teachers and students. Throughout the years, the advancement of new technology has eased the pressure off teachers in a variety of ways, enabling them to spend more time on what’s most important, which is of course to teach. Technology has also had a huge impact on teaching itself. Teachers no longer have to spend an enormous amount of time on administrative tasks like marking and lesson planning, not to mention collating resources and putting together learning materials.
Firefly is a perfect example of how technology can be used to connect teachers, students and parents. It’s an easy-to-use tool which simplifies the process of preparing and delivering lessons, assessing students and providing feedback.
Let’s say, for example, a teacher is unable to attend work for any reason. The teacher can easily upload their lesson materials and recommend them to the teacher covering the lesson, as well as to the students themselves. In just a few clicks, any tests taken by students can then be sent straight back to the teacher, who can mark them directly within Firefly. Teachers can also set and assign homework tasks, informing students clearly with beautifully-formatted descriptions and image galleries that are quick and easy to create. Students can complete their work and receive feedback without ever having to leave the app. Teachers can then even use Firefly to share students’ successes with parents.
Technology introduces interactivity
Although textbooks still have a place in the classroom, they can be very static. Providing alternative learning methods opens up different ways to learn, promoting engagement and introducing interactivity. Apps and the internet can open up a variety of ways to test students’ knowledge of subjects. Online quizzes and games offer a channel for learning which is not only educational but also fun and absorbing.
Technology provides unlimited access
Technology is continuing to break down barriers to learning. It can meet the needs of all learners and allow for a more personalised learning experience. Students are able to take it at their own pace – no two learners are the same, after all. Having access to a tablet or other device rather than relying on a traditional presentation at the front of the class means that they can more closely examine and spend more time with learning materials.
Technology has also expanded access to education. The internet provides information at one’s fingertips. In the past, opportunities for communication were limited to the other students in a class or at a single school. By now, technology has opened doors and learners can experience and discover the knowledge people are sharing with each other all over the world. Classroom walls no longer have to create limitations.
Innovative technology developments
For most young children, developments in technology are most often accessed in the home. The majority have used or even owned a phone or tablet, which is a far cry from the situation 20 years ago. There’s no reason why this advanced technology can’t be used for educational as well as social benefit, outside the home as well as inside. Children, having been exposed to this kind of communication at home, will likely already be more proficient with it and more focused on it than on other channels for learning. With the increased opportunity for communication offered by the internet, both students and teachers can now create online communities and participate in discussions on any subject. Teachers can also benefit from access to specialist reports and articles that have been published online by experts in the field.
A collaborative experience
Technology can be used to mirror and exemplify real-world issues. Students can be made more aware of their surroundings, their culture and what goes on in the world around them, and can use this to enhance their learning. Teaching and learning are both becoming more collaborative experiences. Having the internet and its wealth of information at your fingertips has become a blessing. Simulations and models can help demonstrate certain processes to learners, while articles and essays can help expand knowledge in a specific area. Technology and the internet offer new paths and easy-to-use tools for creating videos, art projects, voice recordings and research. No longer is the teacher the sole provider of knowledge and learning. Education becomes collaboration, as barriers to learning continue to be broken down.
Overall, we can see that technology helps to take the stress out of the learning process and provides an incredible number of new opportunities. A learning platform like Firefly is designed to harness this potential to its fullest extent, giving teachers more time to teach and students more ways to learn.