Over 86% of people around the world have a smartphone. That equates to nearly 7 billion smartphone users. Experts also project that this number will increase to at least 7.3 billion by 2025. Technology is an integral part of our daily lives. As a result, the importance of technology in education is increasing. Today, we want to help you understand how educational technology can impact your child.
Educational technology has some incredible benefits for learning. Yet, these products also have a few drawbacks that are crucial to understand. That is why we created this guide.
Are you curious about what kind of technology your child may encounter at a top international school in Coimbatore? Then you need to keep reading because this article is for parents like you.
What Is Educational Technology?
Educational technology (ed-tech) encompasses the devices and applications educators use in the classroom. These products enable streamlined information exchange and enhanced communication in and outside of class.
Back in our day, the only technology used at even the best schools was the humble desktop computer. Today, it is common for schools to give students dedicated tablets to use throughout the semester.
These tablets come pre-loaded with applications students can use to learn at school and at home. With ed-tech, students can learn wherever they are and complete schoolwork at their own unique pace.
What Is the Importance of Technology in Education?
Educational technology is important because it improves student performance and engagement. It also empowers educators to offer more unique learning experiences and better reach students who have distinct learning styles.
What is more, ed-tech can enable global collaboration. Students and teachers do not have to be in the same city or even country as their peers. Learning from across the globe can diffuse into even the most remote classrooms.
The importance of technology in the classroom will only increase with time. Students must get comfortable with these technology students to remain competitive once it is time for them to enter the working world.
How Do Teachers Use Technology in the Classroom?
Teachers use technology in the classroom in a variety of ways, including enabling distance learning and engaging lessons. Learn more about the top ways teachers incorporate ed-tech in modern learning strategies next.
Technology had already begun influencing classrooms before the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, schools were becoming more and more accustomed to the use of tablets in class.
Yet, technology use in educational settings has exploded since 2020. That is due, in part, to the need for remote learning during the pandemic. Video conference technology like Zoom became commonplace.
Today, teachers still use video conferencing applications in school. They offer benefits like the ability to connect with other classrooms around the globe. Plus, students can tune into class even when they are sick at home.
Chalkboards used to be the norm for classrooms. They eventually gave way to whiteboards, and whiteboards fell out of favor with the rise of slide projectors. Today, the smart board reigns supreme.
What are smartboards? Smartboards allow educators to project their computer screens onto a whiteboard. There, students and teachers can interact with the projection through writing and drag-and-drop features.
Smartboards save teachers countless dollars on EXPO markers and erasers. Plus, multiple students can engage with smartboards at once. This feature encourages engagement and student collaboration.
Augmented reality (AR) sits halfway between the real world and virtual reality (VR) experiences. AR overlays digital information onto the real world. The goal is to enhance the way we experience the world around us.
For example, the global phenomenon Pokemon Go uses AR. Players search for Pokemon characters in real-life settings. Once they locate a character in the real world, a digital Pokemon pops up on their smartphone or tablet.
Imagine the implications of AR in classes. Students learning about human anatomy can interact with a life-size version of the human body or its systems. This is a significantly better learning experience than using a textbook.
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated experience students can interact with. Unlike AR, VR does not incorporate aspects of the real world. Instead, it creates a whole new digital world students can see via VR headsets.
One exciting way educators are using VR headsets in the classroom is for virtual field trips. Students can visit virtual recreations of zoos and aquariums, art museums, and parks.
Plus, there are no limits to where students can go with virtual excursions. Your child can visit the world’s most famous and educational locations without ever having to leave the classroom.
Students have a lot of important dates to remember. But with declining uses of paper in the classroom, it can be easy to miss something. This can be frustrating not only for students and teachers but also parents like you.
Digital calendars eliminate this issue. Teachers can add events, field trips, and due dates to their virtual calendars. Then, they can share them with students and even parents.
The use of this type of technology in education can help you stay in the know better. Your child can also feel confident knowing that they will never miss an important due date or field trip ever again.
3D printing is similar to traditional printing. It transfers a digital image into the real world. The difference is that, unlike 2D printers, a 3D printer can create three-dimensional prototypes of objects.
There are countless ways to utilize this technology in educational settings, especially in STEM or STEAM subjects. For example, science students can create 3D models of microscopic cells and more.
STEM fields are not the only places where 3D printing can improve learning. Students can recreate artifacts when learning about certain periods in history. Or they can flex their creativity by producing 3D works of art.
Gamification refers to turning everyday activities into games. The educational sphere has used gamification in the classroom for decades. Today, technology is making this task easier than ever.
Technology providers in the education space have created educational games. Students can learn without even realizing it as they claim rewards and create their own characters.
Gamification particularly resonates with the modern student. Today’s children grow up playing games online. This learning format increases engagement and encourages children who may struggle with tasks like reading or listening.
Students need teachers to learn. Yet, an often overlooked fact is that educators can learn from their pupils, too. To do that, they need to be able to collect feedback from students in their classrooms.
Tablets and other devices can help teachers do just that. Educators can collect data from students, whether in real-time or via retrospective surveys. They can even analyze that data with specific applications.
Teachers can use this data to improve the classroom experience. This is also a valuable place to learn about students who may not speak up in class but feel confident giving feedback digitally.
What Are the Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom?
There are many benefits of using technology in the classroom, including increasing collaboration, communication, and engagement. Below, we discuss the advantages of ed-tech in full.
Boost Academic Performance
A 2018 study investigated the use of technology in 8th-grade classrooms. 75% of participating teachers reported that technology improved their students’ academic performance.
Today’s students are among the first generation to grow up in a digital-first world. Their learning styles have changed accordingly. Incorporating technology into education ensures modern students learn in a more intuitive way.
One of the primary goals of the gamification of learning is to boost student engagement. The idea is that if students enjoy the way they learn, they will also enjoy the process of gaining new knowledge.
However, this is only true if schools can overcome technology disparity (more on this later). There must be a 1:1 ratio of students to devices to harness this crucial benefit.
Promote Active Learning
Studies show that students who participate in active learning have better educational outcomes. What is active learning? Active learning is similar to hands-on learning, where students participate in the process.
Technology is one of the best ways to enable active learning. One of the main ways is through online discussion boards. Students can engage with the material through journalling or reflection.
Collaboration is another aspect of active learning. In active learning classrooms, educators encourage students to break off into small groups. There, they can discuss the lesson with their peers.
Products like Google Suite make it easier than ever to collaborate, whether at school or at home. Students can create drafts or draw together using the same application. They can even chat with each other on these apps.
Facilitate Distance Learning
One of the most obvious benefits of using technology in the classroom is the ability to do distance learning. The COVID-19 pandemic may have dissipated. But that is not to say other future events will not cause a similar predicament.
With access to technology, students and teachers are prepared for whatever life throws their way. Incorporating these products now ensures a more manageable learning curve if the need for distance learning does arise again.
Not all students enter the classroom with the same skills. Some may struggle with reading, while others may have more trouble with writing and spelling. Technology can put students on a more level playing field.
Modern word processors offer grammar tips and point out spelling mistakes for more seamless writing. Reading applications offer functions to help with reading. For instance, students can highlight a word and hear its pronunciation.
Preview the Workplace
99% of global workplaces use technology in some way, shape, or form. To keep up, students must enter the workplace with at least some experience with these mission-critical systems.
Learning with technology introduces students to these systems at an early age. They will understand how to navigate digital products. Their skills will advance as they use more and more applications during their educational careers.
Parents, students, and teachers alike know there is a lot to learn. Often, it can feel like learning must take place in too little time. With technology, students can learn more efficiently than ever before.
Students save countless minutes on sharping pencils, locating lost books, and keeping up with due dates. Devices keep all these tools and information in one convenient place, saving countless hours throughout the school week.
Support Learning Styles
Different students have distinct learning styles. Some may learn best from lectures and videos, while others must read and write to store knowledge. Still others are hands-on learners.
Without technology, it can be virtually impossible to meet all these learning styles where they are. Technology gives students the power to choose how they learn, whether it’s through a podcast, video, game, or digital textbook.
Technology opens up far more avenues for creativity than traditional learning formats. For instance, think of the opportunities students could have access to with a 3D printer or augmented reality platform.
Learning creativity at a young age encourages students to value innovation. And in today’s world, the most creative and innovative minds are also often the most successful.
Enhance Information Accessibility
Money, learning disabilities, and other factors outside students’ control can limit their access to information. These students end up facing disadvantages that keep them from competing with their peers.
Technology helps eliminate these accessibility gaps. For example, students who can’t afford tutoring can use free online resources to get the help they need. Search engines also offer a wealth of information at the click of a button.
This benefit is more for educators than students. Yet, it also indirectly impacts students. Teachers can automate tasks like grading, data collection, and contacting parents.
Over time, teachers will have fewer tasks on their plates. And that means they will have more time to plan engaging lessons, spend one-on-one time with students, and create closer relationships with parents like you.
Hone Technology Skills
One of the most intimidating tasks educators have on their plates is to prepare students for the future. Often, that means getting them ready for jobs and careers that do not even exist yet.
However, one thing about the future is sure: technology will play a role. Introducing students to technology will help them hone this critical skill. That way, they will feel confident entering the workplace of tomorrow.
Last but most importantly, ed-tech enables personalized learning. As we mentioned, not every student has the same learning style. Children also differ in their interests and unique emotional and physical needs.
Unfortunately, conventional teaching strategies fail to take all these differences into consideration. Adding technology into the mix gives all students the tools and resources they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Are There Downsides to Using Technology in the Classroom?
There are downsides to using technology in the classroom, though the pros far outweigh the cons. Below, we discuss some of the top challenges to using technology in education and how educators are trying to solve them.
Resistance to Change
First and foremost, many schools are resistant to adopting technology in the classroom at all. And even if they do, individual teachers may hinder progress because they are resistant to change.
Yet, this problem is nothing new. Educational institutions are progressive by nature. There are dozens of historical examples of schools and teachers trying to prevent innovation in the classroom.
Part of overcoming this challenge is sending your child to the right school. Schools like SSVM World School in Coimbatore value progress in the classroom. That’s why we encourage our educators to incorporate technology into lessons.
Potential for Distraction
One of the biggest concerns parents have about technology in the classroom is the potential for distraction. After all, some studies have shown that students spend 20% of their in-class time misusing technology.
Some schools have responded by banning smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, bans do not prevent students from misusing technology. They prevent students from profiting off the benefits of ed-tech.
The best solution is for educators to create more engaging lessons. Students will be too busy and excited about learning to misuse their devices.
The Learning Curve
Many students learn how to use educational technology quickly. This is especially true of children who use technology at home. However, other students may struggle to pick up these skills.
When this happens, technology can become a hindrance instead of a help to learning. The same is true when teachers struggle to learn how to use technology effectively.
Many schools are solving this problem by dedicating management and training courses to ed-tech. Students and teachers can attend seminars in person or virtually to learn how to use devices and applications more efficiently.
Technology Disparity Concerns
Technology disparity arises when not all students can access the same technology. Often, this occurs because of cost. Devices like tablets are expensive and may be cost-prohibitive for many.
The goal of using ed-tech is to improve engagement and collaboration in the classroom. But when not everyone can afford the same technology, it can stymie these goals.
A solution to this problem is for schools to provide students with the tech they need. Well-funded schools can provide devices for all students. Other institutions may choose to only cover technology for students in need.
Learning and Memory
Countless studies have shown that we remember things better when we write them down. Typing does not have the same impact on our learning and memory systems.
This is due, in part, to the fact that typing happens at lightning speed. On the other hand, handwritten notes force the writer to slow down. The brain processes information more thoroughly.
Yet, studies also show that typing is better in some situations. Handwritten notes benefit conceptual learning while typing better enables factual learning. Students can switch between the two accordingly for optimal learning.
The Top Ed-Tech Tools for the Classroom
Are you a parent or educator looking to incorporate more technology into the classroom? If so, you may wonder what tools and applications are best.
We scoured the web for the top ed-tech tools around today and curated them for you below. Keep reading to learn about teachers’ and students’ favorite classroom technology of 2023.
Text Blaze is a product for teachers to provide feedback to students. The main benefit of this platform is that teachers can create feedback templates, greatly speeding up the time it takes to leave traditional comments.
Teachers can leave more high-quality feedback to foster understanding. Plus, they will save countless hours on grading, leaving them more time to focus on students like your child.
Grammarly is a word-processing tool that provides spelling, grammar, and vocabulary feedback on pieces of writing. It is particularly helpful in drafting phases. Students can focus on their ideas rather than proofreading and editing.
Unlike traditional proofreading technologies, Grammarly does not let students click through mistakes without learning. They must choose the correct word or phrase, and the system lets them know why they made a mistake, too.
Kami is an application for students and teachers. It allows teachers to upload digital copies of student assignments. Then, they can annotate those documents with highlights, text boxes, and colorful drawings.
For students, Kami allows peers to collaborate better. They can share their assignments with their classmates and make changes in real time. Teachers can also track changes to monitor each student’s contribution to the project.
Quizlet is a digital flashcard platform. It also provides study materials and practice tests. Students can even create their own quizzes to test their understanding.
One of the coolest features of Quizlet is the ability to share quizzes and flashcards with others. Teachers can also view students’ profiles and offer feedback to improve their studying skills.
Nearpod is similar to Quizlet, but the makers of this product designed it with teachers in mind. Educators can create everything from presentations and quizzes to VR-enabled field trips with Nearpod.
Pair this product with a smartboard to project polls, open-ended question prompts, and VR experiences. This tool is incredibly flexible and can be configured in whatever format that best suits an individual classroom.
With Kahoot, teachers can make class time feel more like a fun and engaging game. Educators can create quizzes, surveys, and more with the option to assign students points when they get questions right.
Kahoot also allows students to create their own educational games. There are pre-made templates to try. Or, students can test their creativity by designing a brand-new game from scratch.
Formerly known as FlipGrid, Flip is one of the most commonly used platforms in education. It is a video platform designed for discussions. Its format resembles social media platforms.
Teachers post a video topic, and students record themselves responding to the topic. Instead of having to read through dozens of responses, students can watch videos and engage with each other in the comments.
Book Creator is an application allowing users to design and even print their own stories. There are even options to incorporate interactive elements. That way, students can engage with the content they create.
Teachers can also utilize Book Creator for in-class materials. Create digital worksheets filled with video and audio, GIFs, and more. Use the product’s built-in rating system to score worksheets and track students’ progress.
EdPuzzle is every visual and auditory learner’s dream. It enables teachers to create video and audio lessons to foster more engagement in the classroom. Teachers can produce quizzes and lessons for in-class or online use.
Plus, EdPuzzle offers an interactive feature. Educators can offer real-time feedback while students work independently. They can identify when students need more information before their grades are negatively impacted.
Wakelet is a storage system where teachers can create and share files with students and their parents. It is particularly helpful for sharing industry or school news.
This platform does not just help teachers share text files. They can also save and share audio, video, and PDF files. That way, they can reach students and parents with different learning styles.
PearDeck is a new function in Google Slides. Google Slides is a tool used to design online presentations. With PearDeck, teachers and students can add interactive elements to their presentations.
For example, this tool allows teachers to add quizzes and polls to presentations. They can check students’ understanding as they progress through a lesson instead of waiting until the end.
Quizizz is another invaluable quiz-creation platform. What differentiates it from other tools is that it is extremely easy to use. It also enables various quiz formats, from true-or-false and multiple-choice to short-answer questions.
Another exciting feature of Quizziz is that students can compare their quiz results with their peers. The system automatically grades students’ work. This also benefits teachers, saving countless hours on manual grading.
Prodigy is an educational platform with tons of games for students. It offers games for students of all ages, including puzzles and arcade-like activities.
Teachers can assign tasks through Prodigy. Students can work at their own pace to complete them. Meanwhile, teachers can track progress and assign new tasks to students who complete their work ahead of time.
Schoology is a classroom management application. It enables virtually any task educators may need, including task assignments, real-time progress tracking, and student collaboration features.
This one product can replace the need for many others on this list. It even offers built-in analytics to adjust lesson plans for optimal learning.
Headspace is unique in that it teaches something students do not typically learn in school: self-care. This application offers mindfulness and meditation exercises. The goal is to teach students coping mechanisms for stress.
Mental health issues are one of the biggest problems plaguing students today. Products like Headspace aim to address this problem head-on.
Minecraft Education Edition
53% of students between the ages of 6 and 8 and 68% of students between the ages of 9 and 12 play Minecraft. If you haven’t heard of it, Minecraft is an online game allowing players to construct and explore their own worlds.
With Minecraft Education Edition, students can learn even more STEM skills. Plus, they will love learning through one of their favorite online games.
Storybird is another platform allowing students to produce their own books. This product is especially awesome because it is suitable for children as young as 4–5 years of age.
Students can make their own picture books, poetry collections, or even full-length novels with the help of this app.
Google Expeditions and Virtual Tours
Google Expeditions and Virtual Tours is the technology teachers need to enable VR field trips. These products are expensive, especially when paired with VR headsets.
Yet, educators will save money in the long run. Students can travel to any destination in the world for a fraction of the actual cost to get there.
Tynker is a coding application. It teaches students the basics of computer science in a fun and engaging way.
Plus, Tynker has a module for every age group. It is never too early for your child to start learning the fundamentals of coding. After all, experts expect demand for coding experts to grow more than 8% between now and 2027.
Anchor is a free application allowing users to create their own podcasts. They can also browse podcasts created by other students in their own classrooms and around the world.
AllSides is a one-of-a-kind platform teaching students to identify bias in the media. It also helps students learn how to identify high-quality information online, one of the most crucial critical thinking skills to learn in modern times.
Looking for the Best School in Coimbatore?
Technology is no longer optional when it comes to student learning. Studies show that students perform better and are more engaged when educators incorporate applications like the ones mentioned above.
Are you searching for a school in Coimbatore that recognizes the importance of technology in education? The SSVM World School is often called the best school in Coimbatore for a reason.
Contact SSVM World School today to learn more about our values and start your child’s application.