Teachers and Technology
“Teachers matter the most in a student’s life because they deliver academic knowledge. Good teachers can inspire and great teachers boost long-term life outcomes.”
A few years ago, my colleague passed away. She taught history and geography, which is not sufficient to describe her. Even though I was a colleague, I found her classes very captivating. She put all her efforts into engaging and capturing the imagination of students. The students who were not interested in history also did not complain about her class because she made the lectures very interesting and engaging. From the Pyramids to the Incas, she used technology to tour them Worldwide and summarize the lessons with simple projects. She conducted debates, took them on virtual tours, and transported them to the era.
I also recall her discussing leadership and social responsibility in that context and adding value to students’ thought processes.
Teachers matter enormously. Research shows that the quality of teachers is one of the principal determinants of student success. I could never excel in math because my math teacher made the lectures incredibly dull. Hence, in my opinion, going from a poor-performing teacher to a great teacher can increase a student’s learning by multiple years. Good teachers boost their students’ long-term life outcomes, and poor teachers are responsible for their failure. Teachers know how critical their day-to-day actions and behaviors shape their students’ futures.
Education systems across the globe are focusing and investing in technology to help teachers become more effective in teaching. In many cases, the results of the impact of technology are very encouraging, and in a few, technology remains underutilized, hence undervalued.
Teachers, Technology and Learning –
The closing down of the schools worldwide has highlighted the inescapable importance of technology and how to leverage it for desired outcomes. Let us see how investing in technology can augment compelling learning outcomes in remote and classroom learning.
Evidence suggests that technology-savvy teachers are more productive and maintain compelling learning outcomes by using technology to power their classrooms. Many may think technology is a distraction, but evidence suggests it encourages active participation in the school. Using devices like a computer, tablet, or other types of technology in the classroom help turn traditionally dull subjects into interactive and fun activities. One of the teachers in our school avoided using technology. But she was delighted when she learned to use Appleworks templates, make PowerPoint presentations, and use multimedia in the classroom. She admitted that technology increased her efficiency and that her relationship with students changed positively.
I have been a teacher for a decade, and I have been using technology. It has certainly made my life easy! I have been using technology for almost everything – from maintaining rosters, using multimedia channels for preparing my lessons, video editing, and scanning pictures. I use Chronicle Cloud for taking formative assessments on the app. You can write descriptive notes on the child with multimedia attachments- audio, video, and images. Chronicle Cloud makes note-taking extremely easy. You can confer Notes on the students’ progress to refer to it in the future.
Technology and self-directed learning-
Self-directed learning is a psychological process that purposely drives students to learn how to solve problems. Self-directed learners usually actively participate in learning tasks such as completing classroom tasks, planning, and evaluating. Self-directed learners tend to search the online learning platforms for resources.
I realized the following must be present for a transformation to occur –
- a clear emphasis on self-directed learning
- the use of the latest technology methods
- the incorporation of critical thinking skills, and
- the use of problem-based learning that aligns with the times we are living in
With technology in every field, teachers should also consider using technology and become active participants to make their teaching effective and stress-free.
A Note for the Management and the Government-
Make the teaching profession more attractive: Teachers enter the teaching profession for various reasons. They have their own families to take care of, and – like most professionals – they respond to incentives, support, accountability, and the quality of the management around them. The management and the government should care for the teachers because they are at the center of education and learning.
The school management should provide continuous support and motivation and high-quality, in-service professional development so that teachers continue to improve their skills. Many teachers find technology cumbersome. These teachers need to be coached and mentored to use technology as a tool. Teachers must be constantly coached and mentored to incorporate technology in the classroom.
Management matters. Better managed schools deliver better results. The school management should create virtual learning environments so that teachers can optimize pedagogical skills with technology. iPads and tablets are effective instruments for sharing lesson plans, notes on individual students, assessments, feedback, and grades. For instance, Chronicle Cloud has reduced my time on a particular task to almost half! Virtual environments enhance interactions with different schools across the district, and this has proven to be an excellent tool to motivate teachers to give more to their professional commitments.
Over the past couple of years, technology has entered every aspect of our lives. Technology endows us with enough resources to reach out to every individual student to factor in their areas of strengths and their areas of development. After the technology boom, personalized learning and feedback have become almost a routine task for teachers. Chronicle Cloud acts as an instant recording and feedback mechanism for me.
Education at its heart is about human interactions between student teachers, parents, principals, and the broader community, and teachers remain at the heart of learning.