As we have discussed before, the role of educational technology, or EdTech, changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the pre-pandemic years, EdTech was more of a “nice-to-have” in the classroom; it became a “must-have” that made teaching possible outside of the classroom.
Now that students and teachers have been back in brick-and-mortar classrooms for a couple of years, ESSER funds are being spent (even though concerns linger about rising costs and supply chain issues), and schools have returned to some semblance of normalcy, districts must continue to think about how EdTech can help support our educators…especially since they are still dealing with the learning impacts of COVID-19.
From innovative tools that streamline lesson planning to interactive platforms that promote student engagement and collaboration, teachers have a wealth of resources to enhance their classroom experience. What are some key ways EdTech continues transforming teaching practices and empowering educators to inspire students like never before? A recent K-12 Dive Trendline examined this same question.
We tend now to apply the term EdTech to more complex tools like learning management systems and virtual reality headsets. EdTech can be used by teachers to support their instruction in various ways and can be a valuable asset in the classroom, providing educators with new ways to engage students and support their learning.
EdTech can provide teachers with tools to organize better and manage their classrooms, track student progress and communicate with parents and guardians. It can also help teachers keep up with current educational research and trends.
Incorporating EdTech into the classroom
The best EdTech for your district will depend on a number of factors, including the age and ability level of students, the subjects EdTEch will be used in, and the individual teachers’ personal teaching styles. However, there are a few general tips that can help your district choose the right EdTech for your classrooms:
- Start by evaluating your students’ needs. What are their specific learning goals? What kinds of technology do they already use outside of school? Do they need more support with organization or managing their time? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the options and choose EdTech to benefit your students.
- Consider how your teachers want to use technology in their teaching. Are they looking for ways to supplement traditional instruction, or do they want to use technology to transform the way they teach completely? The former will likely require less investment and infrastructure, so knowing what kind of commitment you’re willing to make upfront is important.
- Consider out-of-the-box – and out-of-the-classroom – possibilities. For example, Skooli can support your district’s teachers by helping improve student learning and retention while reducing teacher workload. Skooli offers schools, districts, and organizations an equitable and affordable online tutoring platform to provide academic support across all subjects, K-12.
- Research different EdTech options and read reviews from other teachers. Once you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start researching specific products or platforms. Be sure to listen to the input of your teachers before making any decisions. They will provide insights about what works well (and doesn’t) in a real classroom setting.
EdTech can offer various benefits for teachers, such as reducing manual tasks associated with teaching and providing personalized learning experiences for students. EdTech also has the potential to reduce teacher workloads by automating some of their routine duties. For all these reasons, it is essential that teachers are aware of the range of EdTech solutions available and how they can use them in creative ways to improve teaching practice.