At Round Midnight, we combine our knowledge of transferable creative methodologies with modern-day technology to support PSHE educators. Take a look at some of the key benefits of technology in education.
What are the Benefits of Technology in Education?
Technology is a central component of our lived reality. Having grown up with technology, young people understand digital tools and engage with technology in ways that we could never understand. Of course, this comes with its concerns. The Department for Education has identified the importance of helping young people understand how to safely use technology. There are also concerns amongst educators that technology, such as mobile phones, are a distraction in the school. However, there are many benefits of technology in education that must be considered. Read on to learn more about the advantages of implementing technology within the classroom.
1) Technology in Education makes Learning more Accessible
Due to the global pandemic, the education sector has relied upon technology in ways that it has never done before. With educators and students working from home, technology became a vital way to ensure learning can continue remotely. Communicating via Zoom or Microsoft Teams became the norm, and digital platforms became an important tool to distribute resources. As students and teachers return to the classroom, it is unlikely that these remote technological practices will be completely forgotten. Technology in education will allow outside experts or experiences to interact with young people virtually whilst social distancing practices are still in place, offering a safe but effective way to diversify teaching practices. Moreover, remote learning through technology will make education available to those in remote areas. Learners can be anywhere in the world and resources can be still be shared and learning communicated effectively.
Differentiated Learning Experiences
Students learn in different ways and at different paces. Technology in education encourages individual learning whereby individuals can learn at their own speed. Learners using digital tools can often press pause to reflect on difficult topics or skip ahead if they are finding it a breeze. Technology can also provide a tailored experience in which students can select games or resources that best fit their interests and creative pursuits. Furthermore, technology can adjust to students’ individual needs such as the use of magnification in e-books and e-resources. There are many options out there to provide each individual learner with a personalised experience that makes them feel connected to learning.
2) Technology in Education improves Engagement
Young people are actively interested in technology. Therefore, it seems only logical to integrate technology into lessons to make learning more engaging. A Study by Promethean found that of rising importance to educators is using technology ‘to boost engagement’. In 2017/18, 15.8% of educators thought using technology as a tool for engagement was a priority. However, in 2019/20, this dramatically rose to 52.3%. Educators are increasingly seeing the power of technology to interest and engage students.
Technological tools such as apps and online quizzes can make lessons more interactive. This reduces passivity and encourages even the quietest members of the classroom to get involved. Innovative technology can also allow students to engage with an experience that would have been unsafe or impractical in real life. For instance, VR (Virtual Reality) offers the opportunity for Virtual Field trips in the comforts of the classroom. Technology in education can provide an immersive experience that makes lessons come alive. Take our Virtual_Decisions experience, for example. In Virtual_Decisions, a VR film places participants in a situation where they make decisions and observe the outcomes. Virtual reality helps to open up a discussion that allows students to gain #knowledgethroughexperience about complex topics. To learn more about Virtual_Decisions, click here.
Improves Knowledge Retention
We all know the moment when a subject matter clicks in your mind. Well, technology can make this moment happen naturally by distracting students from a fear of failure or frustration. ‘Gamification’ is the use of gaming elements in lessons. For instance, incorporating an element of competition like a points system or virtual prizes. This can be done through tools such as online polling that help to make lessons more fun, engaging, and memorable. Moreover, technology neatly aligns to the practice of microlearning. Microlearning is where information is broken into bite-sized chunks to boost knowledge absorption. By adding quick technological components within a longer length lesson, students remain attentive and focused.
3) Technology in Education encourages Collaboration and Communication
Technology encourages collaboration between students. Working with technology promotes key problem-solving skills as students learn to overcome digital challenges. Moreover, more technologically confident students can enjoy the opportunity to support others. Through shared learning platforms, they can share information together and engage with each other’s work. Furthermore, Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard can allow teachers to effectively communicate and share resources with their students. We are currently developing LINK_UP, an online platform that aims to ‘bring people together, to learn together’. With LINK_UP, students in different classrooms or schools across the UK will be able to participate in a shared experience. Participants will work together to make group decisions about specific scenarios. Click here to learn more about LINK_UP and get in touch if you would like to contribute to our research.
4) Technology in Education promotes Digital Skills for the Future
Awareness of Dangers in Technology
Technology is a great tool for social communication and knowledge accumulation. However, it is an important skill to learn how to use technology safely in this changing digital climate. Alongside promoting safe digital practices in PSHE, using technology throughout the curriculum can help students to understand on a deeper level how to use technology appropriately. For example, in a research- led topic within history, the use of search engine research could teach them about plagiarism and copyright infringement.
Digital Skills in Workplace
Over 89% of educators believe that, as technology is integral to everyday life, it should be present in education. This makes sense as technology in education can help to advance and promote digital skills of value within this workplace. Students can learn useful soft skills such a problem solving and critical thinking. They can also develop confidence in creating word-processing documents or database software. By using technology throughout the curriculum, students are better prepared to enter a workplace increasingly reliant on technology.
5) Technology in Education supports Teachers
When students interact with a technological tool such as an app or a digital platform, they create a digital footprint. These digital footprints can help educators learn about which learning tools are effective, and which students might need extra support. Technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning allows the personalisation of content based on a student’s individual needs. Furthermore, a safe digital infrastructure within a school or organisation allows data to be collated across the entire school allowing seniors to identify broader improvement goals.
Technology helps to automate tedious admin tasks. Online tools can streamline grading and testing, offering educators quick and efficient ways to monitor their students’ progress. Moreover, teachers can use technology to create, find and share a diverse range of resources that can elevate traditional methods of teaching. Social media is a valuable tool for educators to share best practices and communicate with like-minded practitioners. A recent survey found that 47% of teachers are embracing social media as a communication tool. Technology in education therefore supports not just the students but the educators too. Digital tools helps to free up time so educators can focus on making a difference to students’ learning.
Round Midnight and Technology in Education
In an increasingly digital world, technology will continue to evolve to fit changing needs. Educators must remain reactive and attentive to developments in technology in education. At Round Midnight, we understand that incorporating technology in the classroom in new and exciting ways can be complex. Therefore, we are continuously working to support educators by creating innovative programs such as Virtual_Decisions and LINK_UP. Please learn about these projects here. If you would like a friendly conversation about how we can support your school or organisation, please get in touch.