What are the major benefits of technological advancements in the Classroom?
Sometimes the companies providing technology to schools focus on the extraordinary in terms of what their gadget, widget or product can do. If I/we buy a new chainsaw, TV, pressure washer or anything else as a consumer, what we’re invariably doing is purchasing and investing in something to allow us to carry out that routine task with greater efficiency and with greater ease resulting in an improved end result. Teachers using new technology in the classroom should expect the same. The fact that the new technology can also carry out a particular task over and above its competitors is all very impressive, as long as someone a) cares b) gets an improved end result.
It’s our job as partners to schools to show how the technology solutions we provide demonstrate an improvement in what’s already being carried out, what can be done more efficiently and with greater ease. The creation of lesson plans, the sourcing of digital content for those plans, the engagement of the pupils in those lessons, the speed of reinforcement of key points in a lesson, the analysis of student capability, marking and lesson sharing are all measurable in terms of efficiency and improvement so that’s what we should be focusing on showing via our touchscreen technology. We shouldn’t be showing off some ‘hardly to be used’ exceptional function demonstrated by many but used by few.
Technological advancements mean transition to teachers. Therefore, if measurable improvements are to be made to some of their processes and teaching techniques, they need to be allowed the time to be systematically trained to improve each part of the teaching process. At Proactive we focus on outcome improvement. Of course, our new touchscreens are brighter and clearer than your old projector and whiteboards but so what? Buy a new bulb for the projector and shut the blinds because unless there’s infinitely more measurable advantages than that in terms of efficiency improvements spend your budget on something else. An old chainsaw cuts wood the same as a new one, just not quite as quickly.
Our job and our responsibility is to show schools (that’s all stakeholders not just teachers) that a £500 per annum investment per class can be quantifiably justifiable through demonstrating and delivering methodical and tangible improvements through the technology we recommend. The technological benefits are there, the key is partnering with a company who can show you, train you and support you to uncover them.
Failing that buy online on the cheap and get one of your Year 7’s to show you! I’m off to buy a pressure washer.