Whether for convenience, quality of interaction, or just to stay abreast with current trends, teachers are slowly becoming inseparable from EdTech.
However, there are concerns over whether EdTech is a distraction or an opportunity for teachers and students to unlock their true capacity. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of EdTech looking at both teachers and students.
What is EdTech?
First of all, EdTech is a common term for education technology. While education has remained largely the same for decades, technology appears to be changing the face of both teaching and learning.
The technological invasion taking place in classrooms involves the integration of smart devices such as personal computers, tablets and smartphones. These have become the new normal. Simply, EdTech is any technology that helps support education. It has been described as study and ethical practice which improves teachers and students’ experiences.
In summary, EdTech can be described as having the following features:
- Teaching using technology
- The sole aim is to enhance both teaching and learning
- Technology is considered a catalyst to boost education
- A primary objective is to promote efficiency and effectiveness in teaching
- Aims at revolutionising both teaching and learning
What are the Benefits of EdTech?
The benefits of EdTech are divided between teachers and students. While education technology focuses on improving teacher instruction, it also seeks to revamp students’ learning experiences.
Modern technology has led to the profusion of new content, centricity of data as well as audience fragmentation and convergence of content and platform layers. Like any other industry, the field of education is looking at a raft of opportunities which should be manipulated with haste.
Here is a list of the benefits of EdTech for both teachers and students:
EdTech Benefits for Teachers
- Automated grading
Teachers no longer have to spend hours looking through piles of sheets of paper for grading. They can now enjoy their weekends spending time with family and friends. EdTech tools have made their work easy through automated grading and measuring student progress.
- Easy access to student data
Through measuring a student’s progress, EdTech allows teachers access to student data. The teacher will know a student’s classroom attendance, academic progress, reasons for missing school, etc. This data is useful for an overall assessment of a student’s performance.
- Effective classroom management
Teachers are able to keep track of students while keeping their parents and caregivers informed. There are specific EdTech tools that are designed to allow such kind of capabilities.
Teaching with EdTech can be fun. It allows teachers the possibility of using simulations which can be intriguing. Educational games and apps make teaching and learning fun.
- Saves time
For teachers, they no longer have to bear the burden of creating lesson plans and grading papers. With EdTech, they can find lesson plans, apps, and programs they can use to grade students’ assignments which saves time.
EdTech Benefits for Students
- Personalises the education experience
Students learn at their own pace. They have control over their learning experience. Digital media gives students various opportunities such as individualized research, video creation, and website creation. Through such media, students learn freely and at a speed that they are comfortable with.
- Makes learning fun
EdTech has provisions for educational apps, games, and programs that can make learning fun. Computer simulation exposes students to real-life situations prompting them to show their ability to solve problems through critical thinking. Such experiences make learning enjoyable which keeps students engaged.
- Instant access to knowledge
Since EdTech is powered by the internet, students are privileged to have instant access to any information that they need. Whenever they are given an assignment or for personal educational purposes, they can access whatever information they want freely and with ease. EdTech reinforces students’ capacity to do research.
- Promotes collaboration among peers
Whether at home or in the classroom, students can interact with each other freely. EdTech allows for effortless communication especially when students are working on projects together. There is timely feedback alongside opportunities to make media, brainstorm, or simply to hang out.
EdTech in Practice: EduTech ND
The practical application of EdTech is gaining momentum every year. For example, the state of North Dakota publicly funds the EduTech ND Program. The aim of the program is to enhance educational opportunities for all students. A wide range of online learning solutions, collaborating tools, and Edusocial initiatives benefit K12 students across the state. The EduTech program encompasses the following services:
- Office 365 – A collaborative package for remote learning.
- Edusocial – is a full-fledged blogging and podcast platform that allows North Dacota K12 students to access social networks safely.
- INSTEP – prepares both students and teachers to integrate and use technology in educational settings.
Worries and potential negative effects of EdTech
As much as there are benefits for EdTech, there should be an appreciation for the various worries and potential negative effects of this technology. As EdTech takes the world by storm, there is little concern regarding student data privacy protections.
The Facebook scandal is a good example of how third parties can have access to student data once allowed to integrate their services with educational platforms. Apart from privacy concerns, EdTech tools might promote cheating and inauthenticity among students.
EdTech is a revolutionary phenomenon that looks to change the quality of both teaching and learning. For both teachers and students, teaching and learning have become fun, enjoyable, seamless, convenient, collaborative, among other benefits.
Despite the various worries and potential negative effects of EdTech, these can be bypassed by simply using the same technology to mitigate their impact. Although challenges cannot be avoided, EdTech tools should be integrated in schools for their various benefits.