Unlike many of their teachers, millennials have grown up with technology. In fact, it’s one of the basic requirements in today’s society for them. This invites discrepancy between the generations, but, luckily, its effects are slowly reduced. This is good news because the classroom technology application is difficult for educators who aren’t digital natives. Luckily, once they realize how much technology benefits teachers, regardless of specialization or their students’ age, they quickly get on board, then continue developing their skills. Now, let’s examine why they get so committed.
Why should teachers use technology in a classroom?
We already know that there are certain pros and cons when it comes to technology, especially in teaching, but we still advocate for the use of technology in a classroom. Why? We have to understand that the traditional classroom has to change for the students to grow. We are also aware that digital is the way forward.
If we look at the post-COVID-19 education industry, we will find that most teachers are already familiar with technology in the classroom. In fact, according to a 2020 survey done by Education Week, almost 87% of teachers reported that their ability to use educational technology has increased significantly.
According to another report, the value of the EdTech market had already crossed $100 billion in 2021 and is only expected to grow to more than $400 billion by 2025. All this is an indicator that edtech is here to stay, and the teachers have to use it, one way or another. In fact, you can watch the following video to learn what EdTech has in store for the future.
1. Makes Learning Fun
Technology is important in class because it not only allows for an increase in efficiency, but also makes learning much more fun. A student who is engaged, attentive, and enjoys learning will certainly take more from an interesting class than a boring one. And technology has found a way to make lessons fun and engaging by introducing gaming elements.
The gamification of lessons has allowed students to be more proactive, which is why teachers should not dismiss technology anytime soon.
2. Makes students ready for the digital world
Today, the world is essentially running on technology. Thus, the future scope for jobs is the brightest in the technology sector. Which is why when a teacher introduces technology in a classroom, he or she is essentially making the student ready for the future.
For anyone to function in today’s society, technology is a must. Thus, with early exposure to tech, students won’t be shy and can perform accordingly if they have the right skill sets.
3. Allows teachers to access alternative tools
Even teachers benefit from having technology in the classroom. It can make the teachers well-equipped for any challenges they might face in the class. They can also call upon certain tools that might aid them in teaching.
As well, they can even use technology such as the Internet to access better content, resources, or materials for teaching. A survey done by the Pew Research Center even found that almost 92% of teachers view the internet positively and agree that it has a major impact on teaching.
4. Helps in creating immersive lessons
Technology such as virtual reality is a godsend for students. And the teachers can incorporate such cutting-edge technology in a classroom to create immersive lessons that will not only accelerate the child’s growth but also fuel his curiosity, motivating him to explore different topics on his own.
5. Allows teachers to care for a students’ unique needs
Finally, technology can also help teachers take care of a student’s special needs. Every student is not equal, and they all require varying degrees of attention. Some students respond well to a kinesthetic approach, while others crave visual aids. With technologies such as smart boards, videos, virtual field trips, and so on, a teacher can easily navigate a classroom while fulfilling his or her responsibilities towards every student.
Ways Technology Benefits Teachers
Technology benefits teachers by providing tools that make lesson planning and grading more efficient, such as online grade books, digital lesson plan libraries, and plagiarism detection software. It also enables remote teaching and learning, allowing education to continue outside of traditional classroom settings. Let’s have a look at some more ways technology is helping teachers –
1. Access and distribution of materials
We discussed this when we analyzed the effects of technology in education but we focused on students’ benefits. From the teachers’ point of view, a study by Pew Research Center reported that 92% of them reported technology significantly improved their access to resources, materials, and content necessary for the classroom.
Moreover, educators are often forced to repeat the procedure every school year since the last years’ knowledge is either largely outdated or obsolete. Also, without technology, the distribution of knowledge wasn’t efficient. Teachers had to lend their personal or library copies to one student, and trust that it gets shared around and returned to them.
How do teachers find and supply materials?
Teachers can download free resources online or from other colleagues. Alternatively, they can access paid ones with their credentials. In both cases, they can obtain scanned or converted (via OCR (Optical Character Recognition)) resources.
Additionally, search engines allow the discovery of specific citations, quotes, paragraphs, or chapters in seconds. Then, teachers can leave links as sources, references, or bonus reading while creating e-books or question packs. Finally, the distribution of materials to students consists of uploading files and sending them via e-mail or a dedicated learning platform.
2. Paperless teaching
While reading a physical book is satisfying, it has an extensive ecological and financial impact. Digitalization has helped teachers allow clutter both at home and in offices. It also helps them preserve older material from the passing of time and elements such as fading, smudges, tearing/cutting, or even perishing from water or fire.
Paperless education also makes course materials available at all times. We all remember days when teachers stumbled over their words without them, right?
3. Curriculum development
Teachers plan lectures using instructions from their educational institution. In the past, these were often bland, changed slightly and rarely, and shall we say, unoptimized. Oftentimes, no one asked students what they thought nor conducted research into its effects. Nowadays, such institutions are interconnected and share their findings.
What’s more, many institutions decide to synchronize their curriculums so that students get equal access to carefully laid-out knowledge. This saves teachers a lot of time and effort on planning every lesson manually and eliminates human error.
4. Engagement and presentation
We touched on this from the students’ perspective while examining how modern technology helps education. Now’s the time to see how technology benefits teachers in the same area. For one, it allows them to not only occupy students’ attention but also entertain them. Instead of dull walls of text sprinkled with a few pictures, teachers can create engaging presentations using various forms of multimedia.
To display them, they can utilize TVs/digital projectors in classrooms, or laptops/smart devices both at the classroom and home. Also, by using VR (Virtual Reality) headsets, teachers can prepare virtual walkthroughs for a fraction of the price of school trips and show things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
5. Versatility in teaching
Technology allows teachers the freedom to enhance their lecture and these methods have gained popularity:
- Flipped learning. Students can view lecture modules and learn ahead of time. Then they apply what they learned through projects, quizzes, polls, or discussions during classes.
- Blended learning. A mix of online and physical lectures helps extract the benefits of both teaching methods.
- Gamification. Using educational games/apps and other digital tools and exercises in coursework. This includes role-play, competitions, and debates, and introduces experience points, badges, and awards as rewards.
6. Assistance or automatization of tedious tasks
Teachers lose a lot of time and brainpower on repetitive tasks. Collecting homework, essays, or submitted tests, tracking attendance, or uploading lectures are just some of their daily activities. Also, after-school tutoring for struggling students, answering students’ questions, updating parents on performance and behavior, grading tests, creating grading sheets, and much more.
These have all been either significantly sped up or made easier by things such as Google Classroom, or completely automatized by technology. Additionally, artificially intelligent teaching assistants let teachers pass on questions or demands to them.
7. Access and assessment of student data
This is perhaps one of the most underappreciated ways technology benefits teachers. It not only improves their productivity but also saves them time by displaying and evaluating student data. This includes monthly or annual class performance, breakdown of test results and grades, problematic behavior, number and frequency of absences or turned-in homework, etc.
Another example is anonymous “rate your professor” websites. While truth can be harsh and reviews aren’t always correct, they still provide invaluable insight to teachers. Also, they suggest which aspects of their teaching require improvement.
8. Adjusting to special needs students
We previously investigated ways technology helps differently-abled students. Well, assistive technology benefits teachers too, although not equally. It acts as an intermediary, educating teachers on limitations that exist for their students. This sparks teachers’ creativity and challenges them to find new methods that allow their students to keep up with their peers.
9. Assistance with proctoring and pedagogy
While students will always find ways to cheat or break rules, exam assessment and proctoring software allow teachers to preserve academic integrity remotely. It can monitor students’ mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera, and detect suspicious behavior. Additionally, pedagogy tools allow democracy in the classroom but maintain teachers’ authority.
Some tools AI (Artificial Intelligence) to balance audio during online classes, eliminate background noise, or mute problematic students. Also, eye-tracker technology makes sure students aren’t looking around or even sleeping.
10. Professional development
We mentioned plenty of things that prevent teachers today from growing complacent. What we didn’t touch on are transportation technology improvements. These let teachers travel to conferences or seminars, and even exchange positions temporarily. This, combined with online events and teacher-created online content on various learning platforms, helps them improve their skills, earn a certificate, or even get a higher degree.
How Teachers Can Use Technology
Teachers can utilize technology in numerous ways to enhance their teaching methods. They can use digital platforms like Google Classroom for organizing assignments, grading, and giving feedback. Educational software and online resources provide interactive and personalized learning experiences for students.
Additionally, tools like video conferencing enable remote teaching and facilitate collaboration among students. Finally, tech like smartboards and tablets can make classroom lectures more dynamic and engaging.
The following table lists all the different technological aspect a teacher can use and how exactly they help:
|Access and distribution of materials||Teachers can access anything required for a class.|
|Paperless Teaching||Teaching using tablets or PCs can help reduce paper waste.|
|Curriculum Development||Teachers can streamline the curriculum to include individual needs.|
|Engagement and Presentation||It makes lessons much more engaging and interactive|
|Versatility in Teaching||Allows teachers to use different tools that can cover any situation in the classroom.|
|Assistance or Automatization of Tedious Tasks||A reduction in administrative duties will leave more time for the students.|
|Access and Assessment of Student Data||Teachers can better plan their lessons and provide personalized courses.|
|Adjusting for Special Needs Students||Teachers can adopt different types of teaching, such as kinesthetic or visual teaching.|
|Assistance with Proctoring and Pedagogy||Helps with invigilation tasks during exams and assessments.|
|Professional Development||Technology will also enhance a teacher’s ability to teach, creating more professional opportunities.|