As technology continues to become increasingly pervasive in everyday life, it is starting to find its way into schools, much to the excitement of teachers and students alike. According to a survey conducted by nonprofit trade association CompTIA, 58 percent of schools with 1,000 or more students use some form of education technology, and 45 percent of smaller schools have adopted some amount of tech as well.
The survey went on to reveal that three-quarters of teachers believe the education process ispositively impacted by technology and many view it as a way to help improve student achievement and hit goals related to test scores. Perhaps the most revealing statistic found in the study is that 90 percent of students believe using technology in the classroom is important and plays a crucial role in helping them to get jobs in the future.
While it is clear that both teachers and students are interested in the growing use of education technology, some administrators are still hesitant to implement full scale technology deployments in their classrooms. Numerous benefits have been cited by proponents of education technology, but with so much discussion surrounding the subject it can be difficult to narrow down the true advantages. In order to wade through all of the noise, Sal Khan, founder of educational resource Khan Academy, created a list of the top four ways technology empowers teachers and helps propel educators to be their best.
1) Enabling teachers to provide more personalized instruction
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of introducing technology into the classroom is the ability to broaden students’ horizons with all of the information available on the Internet. The amount of unlimited knowledge online allows students to continue their education at home and expand their horizons without having to wait for someone to offer them a textbook or share resources. This wealth of information also allows teachers to spend more time creating innovative learning experiences tailored to each student’s needs rather than being constrained by the limitations of traditional resources.
2) Encouraging social and emotional learning
With so much emphasis currently being put on standardized tests and meeting academic goals, many education experts have begun to worry about the ability of today’s students to gain the social and emotional skills necessary to succeed in life. Classroom technology can help to integrate academic and emotional learning, creating more well-rounded students. The computer programs themselves can help with this by providing encouraging and motivational messages to students as they complete problem sets. They can also help teachers to spend more time on social and emotional skills by freeing up time they would otherwise have spent completing administrative tasks.
3) Helping teachers know what works – and what doesn’t
Test results and grades on homework can produce a lot of data for teachers, but it often goes to waste because there is no easy way to make sense of it all. With tech-based assessments, teachers can analyze data and identify patterns that help them pinpoint which students are struggling with specific topics and provide them with targeted instruction as soon as possible, as well as revise their lesson plan or teach approach to spend more time on topics the whole class is having trouble with.
4) Reaching a higher number of students in a wider variety of places
Providing access to quality education to students in remote, rural areas has been a struggle for centuries. Now, with the emergence of new technological solutions, students in under-served areas can experience the same level of education as their peers in more affluent cities. Whether it’s sharing lessons from classrooms to students who are unable to leave their homes for class via video chat or having access to expert guest speakers through Web conferencing, the Internet and classroom technology are helping to democratize education.
All of the benefits of classroom technology will be lost without an effective management solution that ensures security and reliability. Faronics Insight classroom management software offers teachers a program through which they can establish device settings, access software upgrades and maintain control over what students are looking at online during class time.05