Nearly every profession has changed in the past ten-to-fifteen years as a result of new tech innovations. And the education field is no different. In the past, teachers used relatively simple tools like blackboards and powerpoint presentations to craft lesson plans. Now though, it’s not at all uncommon for teachers and students to use digital tablets and online programs regularly. However, new technology doesn’t always equate to improved student engagement and academic performance. Here, we’ll explore which tech advancements provide a tangible benefit to educators and students alike, and which ones don’t:
Dynamic Classroom Tech Solutions
The modern tech applications outlined in this section are almost guaranteed to be a smashing success. Check them out here:
- Educational Videos. Videos often succeed in capturing students’ attention and are a great tool to explain a complex subject in a streamlined fashion. Plus, there are thousands–– if not millions of educational videos available online that cover a huge array of subjects.
- Portable Microphones. Believe it or not, sound quality within a classroom can have a major effect on student performance. Therefore, schools that take the trouble to purchase a special-made teacher microphone will likely see an uptick in classroom participation and collaboration.
- Google Classroom. Google classroom works so well because it allows teachers to post grades, study guides, documents, and other resources in a single space. Plus, students don’t have to keep track of a myriad of different papers when their teacher decides to implement this app.
Tech Features that Fall Short
These tech upgrades may provide some advantages in other fields, but they tend not to work particularly well in the classroom.
- Digital Note-Taking. Some teachers allow their students to take notes on their laptop or tablet. And while this may seem like a good idea at first blush, it presents some problems in practice. For one, taking notes digitally is less effective at promoting retention than taking notes by hand. Plus, younger students may not use laptops, tablets, or smartphones for strictly educational purposes during class.
- Writing Apps. Though some writing programs (like the Hemingway app, for instance) are free, many other apps dedicated to writing and grammar are cost-prohibitive for teachers. What’s more, even as writing apps help students catch errors from time to time, they’re unlikely to help students express themselves creatively or form a style of their own. In fact, if anything, they’re likely to make your students’ writing more homogenous.
- Video Games. Some video games can present educational value; unfortunately, most of the time they serve only to distract students. As one study pointed out, cutting out video games could enable gamers to learn a foreign language in as little as six months!
The Bottom Line
Progressive educators are always looking for new methods to impart old lessons. While many recent tech innovations can indeed assist teachers, others don’t offer significant value for money. That’s why it’s important for teachers and administrators to discuss budgets and tech purchases before any final decisions are made!