Technology is no longer an optional add-on for classroom learning; it’s part of the lesson plan. More schools are adopting Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programs over time, allowing students to bring their own mobile devices to school for learning purposes. Parents now expect timely electronic communications with instructors as the norm, not the exception. And an increasingly tech-savvy workforce means it’s the job of educational institutions to prepare students for the “real world” filled with online processes and skills.
Like everything, there are upsides and downsides to the implementation of tech in schools. But for now, let’s focus on these five problems technology tools can solve in the classroom.
In scenario A, a teacher informs a student they currently hold a C- average due primarily to a missing assignment. The student avoids telling their parent until the quarterly grading period has passed. The parent calls the teacher after receiving a report card, upset they did not know about the below-average mark until official grades came out. The teacher must talk to the parent, then talk to the student. The parent must talk to the teacher, then to their child. The student is caught in the middle of a communication triangle that eats up time and fuels anxiety.
Now, various communication applications and portals for the classroom allow for streamlined communication between all parties. Teachers can post grades in centralized online grade books, clearing up ambiguity about due dates and marks before miscommunication occurs. Instructors can also send out group or individual messages to parents as needed.
Short Attention Span Of Students
Students who feel they’re in over their heads will typically fail to engage with course material, falling farther behind over time. On the flip side, students who feel the coursework lags their level of comprehension will also tune out. How can teachers set an efficient pace without leaving any learners in the dust? Tech tools like a classroom response system allow educators to gauge their students’ retention and comprehension levels as they go. Inserting interactive polls into the learning material also helps students re-focus at key points so they don’t miss any critical points.
Slim Budgets For Supplies
One of the primary challenges associated with implementing technology tools is the cost. It’s true; some programs do require a significant investment in equipment or licensing to get off the ground. But that’s far from true across the board. For example, open-source technology is often budget- and user-friendly. As Brookings writes, “Many mistakenly believe that education technologies are expensive and complicated to use. Open-source technologies are stable, secure, and compatible with other platforms.”
Difficulty Turning In Assignments
In the past, teachers could expect a sky-high stack of papers or projects teetering on the edge of their desk come due date. They had to devise a system for collecting, marking, transporting, filing and returning physical assignments. Now, students can utilize organizational technology to turn assignments in online. For instance, a cloud-based system would allow students to securely submit assignments into a classroom portal from any device, provided they had the necessary sign-in credentials. Bonus: This method is eco-friendlier.
Challenges For Students With Disabilities
Students learn in different ways. The rise of assistive technology makes many lessons more accessible for a wider range of learners. According to The Edvocate, examples include alternative input devices, sensory enhancers and more. The key here is that technology can supply a more customized learning experience for each student based on their unique needs.
Technology tools have the potential to solve these five problems in the classroom and many more—if teachers prioritize accessibility, usability and transparency.