Over the last few years teachers have gone from dusty chalk boards, to squeaking white, boards and now IWBs are the focus of most classrooms. But how has the addition of new technologies changed the teaching industry?
The most important way technology has changed education is the availability of information. Thanks to the internet teachers and students can now find out information about a seemingly never-ending range of topics. This means that teachers and students have the tools to tackle a wider variety of topics and subjects and students have the means to do extra reading around any areas they are interested in. The flow of information is simply better and everyone in every industry is profiting from this, but education is the industry where this is most obvious.
From tutoring to degrees online learning is another huge development. You can now complete whole professional diplomas, training courses and university degrees from the comfort of your own home by taking lessons at your convenience (after school / work, or during your lunch hour), and what’s more is that plenty of them are available for free. In addition to this teachers can also provide extra support for students through the use of online learning platforms like Oxford Owl. Programmes like this mean that it is easier than ever for students to seek advice and for teachers to set work, monitor progress and evaluate student progression.
The use of computers and new technologies has also seen pupil engagement saw thanks to introducing whole new ways for them to engage with topics. Playing educational games, working through mobile and tablet apps, or watching informative videos on YouTube means students have more interesting lessons than ever before. But this isn’t all… when it comes to engagement in lessons, students now have a variety of options available to them. Electronic voting pads provide students with instant feedback during classes, teachers can then also receive real-time feedback on how well their material is being understood – even on a question by question basis. These are a very recent development and have not been adopted by every school yet, but by looking at companies like CLiKAPAD it is easy to see how important systems like these are going to become.
When it comes to revision, technology has also made things a lot easier. There are of course a multitude of free and paid revision sites available to students. However teachers also have the option of recording their lessons through a system like AudioBoo so that they are available for students who miss the lesson and for when it comes time to revise.
The importance of understanding how to use all this new technology is now more important than ever, just take a look at some of the job vacancies on the EduStaff website and you will be hard-pressed to find anything that doesn’t mention using new teaching technologies. Luckily for the less informed teachers details of how to use most of this new tech is available through online tutorials.