Edtech has encouraged teachers to trade the traditional white board for presentation slides and their usual instruction process for on-demand online courses. The explosion of state-of-the-art tools provides more opportunities for student development and helps educators become extra effective in the classroom.
By Carol Grace for RobotLAB.com
As discussed in our post on Funding Education Innovation, we are constantly working to innovate in education to assist teachers in creating unique learning experiences for their students.
In fact, this push for innovation is what drives the industry today. Maryville University explains how effective leaders in the field of education must be knowledgeable in new and innovative technologies in addition to topics like quantitative and qualitative data analysis, future-focused governance and finance, contemporary student experiences, new and innovative technologies. However, we need to be careful that we aren't pushing too far and leaving educators behind.
When it comes to integrating technology in the classroom, the onus is often placed on the educator. It becomes tricky when they are not aligned with their teaching methodology. A conducive learning environment is one that finds technology as a tool that enhances traditional teaching methods and not as a crutch.
To help teachers perform a balancing act, here are some tips that can make it easier for edtech and traditional education to co-exist.
Offer educators more training and control.
Instead of mandating teachers to integrate more digital tools into the classroom, it would be better to give them more control and flexibility. They know their students better, allowing them to determine which ones work best with their teaching style and the needs of their students. For edtech to work, it has to complement the educator's current instructional processes and not supersede it. And while an edtech product seems great in theory, there's no guarantee that it will immediately work in the classroom. The needs of the teacher and the students should ultimately inform the decision to introduce more edtech.
Accommodate different learning styles.
Traditional teaching makes it difficult for educators to accommodate the varying learning styles of their students, because what works for one student may not work for another. Some are visual learners, some are auditory learners, while others prefer the kinesthetic approach. A teacher's challenge, then, is to find a way to cater to all, and technology can definitely make their job easier. As suggested by education writer Janelle Cox, the educator should be able to provide a blend of multimedia, online teaching, and hands-on activities to cater to the needs of the students. With a supply of different resources, students get a chance to learn with the material best suited to them.
Avoid an over-reliance on technology.
While technology can positively impact student learning, it cannot be the solution to every problem. Not all issues in the classroom can be remedied by an edtech product. Sure, it can help students learn better, but for things like behavioral issues, student engagement concerns, and psychological problems, the teachers' inherent talents and intuition would be more effective than technology.
Parents and teachers can also play a role in helping students have a healthy relationship with technology. An article posted on Medium suggests that both at home and in the classroom, parents and teachers should try to establish media-free zones, as well as set time and content constraints to control what students are consuming.
Technology shouldn't be a deterrent to a teacher's current teaching methods. Instead, it should be complementary. Technology and traditional teaching must work in conjunction with one another to make way for an enhanced learning environment.
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