Frankly, not every school or teacher is all about adopting the educational technology or apps that help with learning. In fact, there are many instances teachers are not willing to accept the change.
When I was in school, we had a chalk and a blackboard. By the time, I graduated college, we had interactive boards. We used Word for writing homework, powerpoint for presentations and Google Drive for collaboration.
Fast forward 10 years and nothing much have changed. The children, the ones who we call “digital native” today, are still having the same curriculum and are learning through the same traditional methods.
How is it possible that for so long there hasn’t been any change? We have been hearing about the educational technology boom for a couple of years now, but it is still lacking in most schools today.
What are some of the reasons that keep away teachers and schools from including or being comfortable with EdTech? What are the common challenges faced?
In this post, we will look into a few reasons why teachers and schools have not implemented Edtech to its full potential and then move on to see how edTech adds value.
#1 Discomfort with technology
Not all teachers are tech-savvy, believe or understand that technology adds value.
It is only natural that schools and teachers face resistance from their colleagues who are not keen on adopting new technologies. Human beings, by nature, resist change and denying a considerable change in teaching methods is natural.
According to Anne, because other educators don’t know or don’t want to understand the benefits or the possibilities of that particular type of tool, they down-vote it or simply reject investing in them.
#2 Lack of use and training
This is a big one.
While EdTech tools do add value to the learning environment, teachers are helpless if they do not know how to use it “to its full potential”.
Yes, we put that in a quote for a reason. Teachers may understand how to use a particular tool for a specific lesson for example, but they might not be able to use it after that lesson is over.
Similarly, the tool might have lessons and plans to go with part curriculum but after that, it is of no use if teachers have no idea on how to constantly use them.
Tools and hardware are just lying around gathering dust. These are are the most common challenges edTech industry faces today.
What do we do in such scenarios?
Focus on highlighting how educational technology and tools can add value to the teachers and school.
But, whose responsibility is it?
It is the responsibility of the schools and edTech startups to ensure teachers are aware of the benefits and how the tools add value for a long-term (not for one lesson or session). Detailed and gamified demos, 90-day trials, case studies, visiting a school where edTech tools are used in everyday classes etc can go a long way of establishing trust.
It is only natural that with lack of information teachers still have questions like
- What can I do with the tools and apps that I can’t already do now (with the existing system)
- Where can I read or listen to the case studies of other schools or experiences of other teachers?
- How will it solve the problems I am facing?
- Will it make a difference?
So, what are the benefits of using edTech that teachers should know about? How does it add value? If you are a school, what should you be looking for?
For the purpose of this section, we will focus on Playablo for Schools adds value.
#1 Helps reduce the workload
First off, technology-driven educational products take a lot off a teacher’s shoulders. Most importantly, the time taken by the teachers to do administrative tasks like setting up a quiz, correcting them, scoring them, and trying to find out what students are having a problem with, is cut down drastically.
Secondly, teachers have all the data. Not only are they burdened with it, but they also have the responsibility of assessing it and pointing out patterns to help students learn. This is time-consuming and difficult.
Playablo for school, an edTech tool we developed keeping in mind the needs of the teachers, include all these features that save you time
- Single Dashboard View: It provides you with a single dashboard view of the entire classrooms performance for individual subjects. This helps you understand which subjects need more attention in general.
- Learn from other sections: Every school has several sections with different teachers, right? Playablo for school allows you to find the trend in the overall classroom performance over a period and compare it across sections. If your classroom is doing better in one subject, other
- Breakdown of performance: Playablo shows a unique breakdown of competency performance in every subject and compares the same with students across the sections.
- Insights into understanding: This gives deep insights into the students level of understanding of the Subject.
- Identify pain points: Playablo assists the teacher in identifying the students who are performing below the class average and whom the teacher can provide more attention to bring them on par.
- Performance reports: The teacher can drill down into the performance reports of the student to find the areas which need improvement and focus working on it.
- Skill analysis: Playablo highlights the skill in which performance is below the overall classroom performance across all skills.
- Customized tests: The teacher can create unique assignments for each skill for the entire classroom or for individual students. It also allows the ability to dynamically create quizzes with varying complexities.
Besides this, it also auto corrects assignments and allow for instant feedback.
#2 Personalize assessments and enhance skills
While Playablo for schools focuses on teachers, it also targets what exactly a student would want from a school.
- Make it a fun-filled experience: Playablo combines the academic curriculum custom made for every school with gamified Quiz to make education a fun-filled experience.
- Practice: Students often lack confidence before tests due to lack of practice. Out app allows students to practice the skill before starting with the assignment thereby gaining experience on complexities in the skill and boosting their confidence in answering the assignment
- Review: Playablo allows the student to review the quizzes they have answered and track their usage, performance, and ranking over a period of time.
All this put together, edTech can help schools and teachers to design curriculums, quizzes, and assessment according to the understanding of individual kids. Not only will they be able to boost engagement, retention, and interest, but they will also help them learn, score and be bright individuals.
There is no doubt that technology can improve teaching. We need to remember that technology also changes with time and as educators, we need to keep up with the new developments and prepare our students for the challenging world outside.
With the use of different apps and online resources, teachers and schools can work on enhancing traditional ways of teaching and keeping the students engaged. Virtual assessments, practice tests, grading software etc can go a long way in helping teachers in saving time.
This time, which is utmost valuable, can be used for working with students who are struggling to keep up or having difficulties of any sort. Besides this, having learning tools also boost collaboration and knowledge sharing between teachers.
While we saw the benefits of including educational technology, it is also important to note that a few traditional practices are just as essential.
So, take the time to investigate, ask questions and learn about each element of the edTech you are looking to incorporate in your classrooms. When you do this, you will find something that truly enhances the experience and adds real value.
Over to you
Do you use technology in your classroom? What benefits do you think it can have or what value can it add to your classroom? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.