Last Updated on March 7, 2018
What is edtech and how can you determine what sorts of technology are right for your students? This is a question we receive often from educators and parents looking to determine what sorts of modern and digital resources are available to them to enhance their students’ learning.
Our latest series, #edtech101, answers this question and more. This post is part of a five-post series in partnership with exploring the fundamentals of edtech.
First, we discussed the benefits that edtech can bring to your classroom. Benefits such as:
- Interactive education
- Classroom engagement
- Dynamic progress tracking
- Detailed student data
- Improved collaboration
- Paperless grading
- Performance measurement
- Efficient learning processes
- Save time
- Improved communication (in and outside of classroom)
Now, we take a deep dive into five of the top benefits to explore exactly how the right education technology can transform the entire teaching and learning journey.
1. Ramp up student engagement.
Students not paying attention in class is an old problem. According to a recent survey by Professor Pulse, the biggest teaching challenge for university professors is low student engagement (meaning students are not paying attention or participating in class).
By incorporating technology into the teaching routine, instructors put the power of learning straight into the student’s’ hands. With effective technology, students can tap into now have everything they need right in their hands, whether it is a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone! With options such as game-based learning apps, students are able to learn valuable skills while they play. Not only does engagement improve, but more and more students become excited about learning. For example, teachers and parents using iBrain are able to engage their K-5 student by using a game-based digital abacus that trains the brain by way of educational games such mazes, “spot the difference” challenges, and more
Another important factor to consider is incorporating technology will likely increase the engagement rate of the students in your class who may be more introverted. For many students, especially ones who are more reserved and less willing to raise their hands, using technology gives them the perfect opportunity for them to get involved as well. For example, before and during every mentor session on 100mentors, students have the opportunity to ask questions by submitting them virtually through the platform. Not only is this a nice way to collect questions without disrupting the flow of the mentor’s presentation, but we’ve found that in many cases, students actually prefer to type and send their questions. Without this option, many of them may have missed out on a great learning opportunity!
2. Track progress dynamically.
No two students are alike. Big data and analytics techniques give teachers access to more specific and extensive insights into the achievements and progress of individual students. With today’s educational tools, teachers are able to retrieve real-time data on student engagement and performance, enabling them to identify the students who are ready to move onto the next step and those who may need a bit of extra attention.
By leveraging technology to discover and understand student learning patterns, you can make more data-driven teaching decisions … because if you can measure it, you can manage it. Edtech unlocks the ability for teachers customize lesson plans to each student’s specific interests and needs. When students are able to learn material that is curated to their interests, and work at their own pace, they take ownership of their learning and have the best chance to succeed.
3. Go paperless.
Imagine a classroom with no books, paper, or pencils. While we don’t necessarily recommend the shift to a completely paperless classroom, there are some clear benefits to going paperless.
First off, it is a way for schools to save money. As mentioned in the previous article, etextbooks on average cost 33-35% less than hard copies. Apart from the price, textbooks are usually on the heavier side, and sometimes a hassle for students to carry around. Entry into the digital world allows students to have all of their books on one device.
Another important gain from going paperless is the ability to save time. Teachers spend countless hours hauling home huge stacks of paper and grading them. Tech enables tasks such as grading and keeping attendance can be smooth and easy.
4. Collaborate with ease.
Edtech makes it easier for students to collaborate with one another. Whether at home or in the classroom, they can work on projects together and communicate effortlessly. For example, give and take feedback, brainstorm, make media, or simply hang out.
It is a great method to encourage students to work together, especially from a young age because teamwork is such an important skill. Additionally, collaboration leads to better knowledge building. With education technology, some schools are even enabling their students to meet and collaborate with mentors from across the world.
5. Improve digital literacy.
The American Library Association defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information.” With the majority of jobs of the future being in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), it’s no question that digital literacy is a must-have skill for students.
Listen, we know that it can be a bit extreme to start planning future jobs for students especially younger ones. But of course, we are not saying that students should have to know what they want to know when they grow up (in fact, it’s valuable for them to learn the importance of keeping their horizons open!). Rather, improving digital literacy for students across the board will without a doubt better prepare students everywhere for more opportunities to succeed in the future.
Drive Student Success with Education Technology
With all the benefits that come from using education technology in your classroom, are you ready to give it a shot? We have just the tools for you. For educators looking to inspire their students and prepare them for the workplace of the future, 100mentors is here to connect your students to 2000+ mentors from across the world. Unlock the power of education technology to engage, inspire, and prepare students for true success.