What is education technology? What does it incorporate? Why is it important?
But before we touch any of these, let us start by understanding what is educational technology –
Education technology or EdTech refers to teaching and learning processes that make use of technology in any form. For example, learning on mobiles, tablets or computers using the latest technology like sensory touch keyboards or speech to text input.
These innovative educational technologies are changing the learning environment (including, traditional styles of teaching) dramatically and for the better. Did you know that –
“Worldwide, the combined education and training industries account for spending of more than $4 trillion, representing a huge 84% increase since 2000.”
That is crazy, right?
Many of these educational technologies empower a teacher and makes it easy for them to provide personalized training, instant feedback, detailed assessments of individual students progress etc. This, in turn, helps them teach in a proficient manner which is growth driven.
That said, in order to utilize technology to its full potential, teachers need to integrate them seamlessly into the curriculum instead of just viewing them as an “add on” or “extra help”.
And, hence, it is safe to say that, educational technology can significantly enhance the learning environment for students ONLY IF it is used correctly.
So, what are these technologies we have been refering to over and over again? How does it help?
In this post, we will touch upon 5 emerging technologies that every teacher and schools should know about and consider investing into.
This had to be the first!
Gamification is an exciting educational technology concept that makes learning fun. It helps developing an interest in a subject amongst the students. Not only does it motivate students to apply what has been learned, but it also helps develop problem solving skills.
There are truly endless benefits of gamification. You can read about them, here.
If you want to read more on the benefits of gamification and why you should use it, I highly recommend you to read these articles –
Did you know that –
Nearly 80% of learners said they would be more productive if their learning or job was more game-like. (Talent LMS)
K-5 teachers report using games more (57%) than middle school teachers (38%). (Online College Courses)
And, to fulfil this need, we built a learning and assessment app named Playablo for schools. Not only does it gamify learning with personalized quizzes, it uses game elements known to drive student engagement (for example, leaderboards, badges, and awards) and provide a detailed assessment on a single dashboard. You can read about it here.
A whopping 97% of kids play computer and video games, and hence, game based learning is a smart way to keep students engaged in the classroom. (Ry-Jenkins)
Before we talk about game based learning, let us first understand the difference between game based learning and gamification in short.
The main difference between the two is the integration of game mechanics with training content. Game based learning fully integrates the two, so the game is the training. On the other hand, gamification uses game elements as a reward for completing existing content modules.
Teachers and schools can use games to teach any concept. These are a few good reads on using games to teach students –
3 Assistive technologies
If your school is focusing on using educational technology, it is important that teachers identify and understand the requirements of students with special needs.
And, for this purpose, every teacher must know about assistive technologies. So, let us take a look at it
Assistive technology improves the functional capabilities of a child automatically. While you may think it covers high end technology, assistive technology is possible with just simple accommodations
- Alternative input tools: These tools help students with disabilities to use computers and related technology with ease. According to this, a few examples would be touch screens, modified keyboards, on screen keyboards, and joysticks that direct a cursor through use of body parts like chins, hands, or feet. Some up-and-coming technology in this area is sip-and-puff systems, developed by companies like Microsoft, to perform computer functions through the simple process of inhaling and exhaling.
- Text to speech options provides a learning advantage for students with mobility or dexterity problems as well as those who are blind. For those of you who do not know, text to speech tools allow you to express without typing and navigate the internet. This tool can potentially help talk back to students and let them know their mistakes or errors in work.
- Sensory enhancers, as the name suggests, provides you an alternative route to teach concepts. It includes voice analyzers, augmentative communication tools, or speech synthesizers.
- Screen readers helps students know what is on screen. A student who is blind or struggling to see what is on the screen can benefit a lot.
4. Collaboration tools
Collaboration is important. It helps students understand, question and analyze what they have learned. Not only do they develop real-life skills like problem-solving, and communication; it develops employable skills like teamwork and leadership which comes handy all throughout their lives.
There are many online tools which can be incorporated into the school curriculum to enhance collaboration and learning outcomes.
Google docs, Padlet and Twiddla are the most recommended ones.
5 Assessment softwares
Assessment software are designed to create tests or quizzes, record answers and score the result. Not only does it save 20-25% of a teachers time which goes into paperwork, but it also gives an overview of each student’s progress, which in turn guides teaching methodology.
Playablo for school has a single dashboard which can help you with all the required information. Our app provides teachers
- A dashboard view of the classrooms performance for each subject
- Trends in classroom performance and comparison with the performance of students across a section
- Unique breakdown of competency performance in every subject
- Insights into the students level of understanding of the Subject.
- Information to identify the students who are performing below the class average and whom the teacher can provide more attention to bring them on par.
86% of teachers think it is absolutely essential to use edtech. 92% of teachers would like to use edtech even more
Source: Harris Interactive & Online Universities.com
There you go.
It is clear that education technology plays a major role in the modern classroom and the edTech industry has developed so much that there are endless low-cost options to meet the needs of any school.
It is also important that teachers (and, schools) are aware of these technologies so as to use them to their advantage.
So, have you been using any of these educational technologies? What has been your experience? We would love to hear about it.
If you are interested in a demo of Playablo for Schools (a gamified learning and assessment app), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91-97408 78833