The educational technology market is projected to expand to $342 billion by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. Clearly then, technology is on the rise in education.
This has been particularly influenced by the impact of the pandemic as schools were forced to adapt to remote and online learning models. Technology, essentially, enabled education to continue during that time.
But as the world moves away from the pandemic, the influence of technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Post-pandemic, we entered what was commonly termed the ‘new normal’, as industries across the board went somewhat back to normal, while retaining many of the new ways of working the pandemic produced. For instance, remote working.
Technology in education, however, has far more to offer than remote or online learning. Think virtual classrooms, video, augmented reality (AR), and robots. But these are not just classroom gimmicks. Technologies like these, in fact, have been shown to “create more inclusive learning environments that foster collaboration and inquisitiveness and enable teachers to collect data on student performance.”
How technology has changed education
Educational technology, or EdTech, has been on the rise for many years now despite the pandemic. As a result, the classrooms of today already look vastly different to what the classroom of five or ten years ago looked like. For instance, the use of tablets and laptops in classrooms.
But how else has technology influenced education so far?
- Improved accessibility
Technology has enabled students who struggled to make it into school in person to still be able to keep up with their education at home. For instance, disabled or chronically ill students. This is a huge change for these students and massively important to the process of equalising access to opportunities.
- Bringing subjects to life
The days of purely reading about subjects in textbooks are gone. Now, pupils can research topics online and watch interactive videos, follow scientists, archaeologists, or really almost anyone on social media, read their blogs, send them questions, and find a wealth of additional information on the internet.
- Introducing interactivity
On a similar note, lessons can now use the internet to become much more interactive as well. Students can see presentation slides and download materials on their own devices, and virtual reality can be used to allow students to really see, feel, and experience subjects rather than simply reading about them.
- Freeing up teachers’ time
While teaching can still involve a lot of admin, paperwork, and planning, educational software is now commonly used to automate and simplify processes that used to eat up teachers’ time. So, now teachers can focus on teaching, benefitting them and their pupils alike.
- Aiding collaboration
When students find useful or engaging information online, they can now easily share it with their peers. Plus, group projects become simpler and more dynamic when technology is involved. Now, groups can utilise Google docs to keep everyone on the same page, so that they can work together in real time when they’re not even in the same room.
Why is technology important in education?
For anyone who didn’t grow up with technology being used in their education, it’s easy to think that technology is a nice-to-have, rather than a must have. But the reality is, now that we understand the importance of technology in education, it would be negligent to carry on without it.
Alongside accessibility issues, technology is important in education because it empowers students to go away and do their own research. Being bombarded with information in a classroom isn’t actually an effective way to learn, but if their time in a classroom can be supported by online resources for students to go away and explore they are much more likely to retain what they’ve learned.
And for teachers, technology can be an invaluable aid to enabling them to get everything done. Not only can they now offload their admin tasks onto education software, but they can use it to create lesson plans, streamline communication, and improve relationships with parents.
What are the benefits of technology in education?
- Caters to different learning styles
Every child is different, and so are the ways in which they learn. While some might be visual learners, others will learn better through doing. While teachers have long tried to incorporate different methods of learning into their lessons, technology now makes it much easier for teachers to modify their lessons in different ways. For instance, using a mixture of videos, infographics, text, and presentations to deliver information. It also provides children with different methods for completing work, based on the ways that most engage them.
- Prepares children for the future
Jobs may be changing due to the role of technology in business, but as long as young people are technologically adept, they will be well equipped for the future workplace. From everything such as using the internet for research, to creating PowerPoints and spreadsheets, technology in schools can help students master vital skills for the future.
- Creates a more engaging environment
Interactive software, programmes, and games can all contribute to positive learning experiences by making learning fun and engaging. Games, for instance, can contribute to motivation with points and badges for learning new skills or becoming competent in certain areas.
- Promotes creativity
Students can find information about pretty much anything online. That means they can get creative with their own learning, whether it’s maths and science, or music, art, and drama. If they want to know how to do something, they can take their learning into their own hands and start learning, wherever, whenever.
- Supports staff to do their jobs
When teachers aren’t trying to do multiple things at once, they’re freed up to focus on teaching, ensuring each of their students is being paid attention to and catered for. Similarly, technology can enable the rest of a school to function optimally, making life easier for everyone from admin staff to finance staff and catering staff.
How could your school embrace technology?
- Reach out
The first step to embracing technology in your school is to reach out and speak to other schools and trusts who’ve made the leap. What changes have they made and what impacts have they seen as a result? The important thing to know is your school isn’t alone in this journey – plenty of others are on the same path and are also looking for reassurance.
- Do your research
Thankfully, now there are a wealth of tools available to support schools in doing everything from making their communications more efficient to supporting learning, simplifying admin and payments, promoting safeguarding and security, and even streamlining school mealtimes. So, whatever it is your school needs support with, no doubt there’s a technological solution available.
- Go for it
Even if your staff don’t feel particularly technologically adept, the great thing about technology itself is you can use it to upskill. So, the final step to enabling your school to embrace technology is to simply get started. Go for it and invest in the software that will make everyone’s lives easier in the long run. If there are a few teething problems, everyone can learn together. Ultimately, technology in education isn’t going anywhere, so there’s no time like the present to find out what the future will bring.
It's time to get off the ground and into the air
At Weduc, we know that embracing technology in your school or trust can be a frustrating process. That’s why we provide such a comprehensive support service, so that you can be sure your school is in safe hands when you decide to make the leap.
If you’re interested in any of our software or services, from the Weduc communications platform to our custom branded apps for schools and websites, click here to book an informal chat at a time that suits you.
Alternatively, drop us a line via our enquiry form, or give us a call on 01509 221 349.