With So Many Ed Tech Choices, Here’s What Schools Should Be Investing In — THE Journal
Expert point of view
With so many options for educational technology, here’s what schools should invest in
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of educational technology grew dramatically to facilitate distance learning, and this change led to a boom in the educational technology sector, with a large amount of new software. mobile applications and physical technologies that entered the market to meet the growing growth. demand and need.
The rapid shift to online education platforms has opened the door to more interactive learning approaches: educators had no choice but to be creative in keeping children engaged from the comfort of their own home. This is good news for those looking for a renewal of the education system: Ed technology allows educators to address children’s diverse learning approaches with specifically tailored learning programs.
The challenge for schools now, it seems, is that they have many options. With so many programs, devices, and technologies to choose from, educators and procurement managers can quickly be overwhelmed. In addition, these technologies often have high prices, so it is important that schools choose wisely.
For students: invest in interaction
One way to start is to focus on technologies that can make learning more appealing to students. A relatively recent trend here is “gamification,” which takes elements of play and applies them to occupational or educational activities.
Multisensory educational games, such as those involving touch, move, talk, or even tasting, can help students develop a positive relationship with education. By increasing tandem cognitive and sensorimotor performance, these games can increase motivation while improving academic performance. They also allow everyone to learn at their own pace, helping students with cognitive impairments or learning disabilities to flourish.
In an age of social distancing, technologies that promote socioemotional learning can also be especially helpful. SEL can help students who have suffered a lack of social contact and who struggle to understand and express emotions, especially now that the world is reopening.
In a physical classroom, SEL may involve adapting traditional games to connect students with their feelings, such as Jenga blogs with written emotions, where students are challenged to describe scenarios that make them feel that emotion. In a remote classroom, students can play games in which they have to relate a feeling to an animal face or an emoji.
Web-based question platforms like Kahoot are another great resource for educators to foster these connections. At Kahoot, teachers design games and tests for their students based on multiple-choice questions. The games feature colorful graphics and catchy music and can be played anonymously so that students can participate without their performance affecting their grades. Students can also play collectively with their peers while working from home.
As the pandemic draws to a close, public schools are at a crossroads, with an ideal opportunity to invest in technologies that promote experiential learning, a learning process by doing so, albeit digitally. These technologies encourage students to look at and participate in the world around them, either by observing plants by photosynthesis or by hunting carrion.
For teachers: invest in learning analysis
Ed tech is not just about improving the experiences and lives of students; it also opens the door to significantly help educators as well. Learning analysis can facilitate the work of educators through the use of software applications or solutions to analyze data to discern learning patterns both individually and in the classroom. Analysis also helps teachers monitor the progress of individual students over time through evidence-based practices.
Some learning analysis software programs can automatically rate student tests and then identify where students have collectively performed lowest, for example, by identifying gaps in knowledge or confusion about a topic. determined.
Other software programs can analyze visualizations of body performance, monitoring students’ movements using a webcam to help teachers determine if students are engaged, distracted, or scared, using measures such as whether students avoid eye contact with the instructor. .
These analysis programs are also great for promoting movement-based learning, which can be as simple as getting students to jump on the correct answer marked on the ground. Some programs may incorporate virtual reality software to encourage physical play i link kinesthetics with educational outcomes to create active and more complete students.
When used in conjunction with more interactive educational processes, the analysis of learning can facilitate the transition from distance learning to face-to-face schooling and make the educational process more effective during these unprecedented times.
Regardless of the method or location of student schooling, the highest priority for schools should be to invest in diverse technologies that meet a variety of student needs.
Symeon Retalis, Ph.D., is a Professor of Technology Design Models for Technology-Enhanced Lifelong Learning Environments at the University of Piraeus, Greece. Retalis was the co-founder and scientific director of Kinems Inc., an emerging New York-based company. academic learning with occupational therapy tasks.