While technology has a solid reputation in the entertainment industry, one place it’s often disregarded is the classroom. Contrary to popular belief, technology doesn’t stand in the way of understanding new concepts and absorbing information. It can help improve your classroom’s overall productivity and efficiency. The benefits apply to students, teachers, and the rest of the school’s staff.
Do You Need an Upgrade?
Before jumping on board the technology-in-the-classroom trend and all the benefits it promises, you need to consider that every school and class environment is different. They have unique needs and specific challenges that technology might either solve or make worse. For example, does your school and students have the budget to upgrade devices and convert physical lesson materials into digital ones?
The same applies to your students and teachers. Do they have access to technology at home, enabling them to do their homework and prepare for class? If you find a few downsides or obstacles to using technology in the classroom, it’s best to write them down and devise a plan to work around them. When you do, there are several technologies to consider for your school.
Cloud technology, or cloud computing, allows you to access computing power systems from multiple, remote access points. That way, your teachers and students won’t have to manage devices on their own. Instead, the management and maintenance needs are outsourced off-premises.
When it comes to classrooms, cloud computing allows students direct access to their homework and lesson materials. Also, they can directly communicate with their classmates and teachers, asking for advice or additional study materials. Unlike traditional data storage, keeping your school’s data online guarantees both its safety and availability in case of a natural disaster or cybersecurity incident.
Whether you utilize technology in the classroom or not, you have a lot of physical assets to look after and manage. One easy way to do this is using quality CMMS software. CMMS stands for computerized maintenance management system and allows you to improve mandatory maintenance procedures at the school.
For example, CMMS allows you to track multiple assets in your educational facility, whether it’s water coolers and heaters or computers and tablets. CMMS software would alert you when a device or equipment requires routine maintenance and allows you to book services, avoiding appointment clashes and unexpected downtime.
Smart boards are a direct update to old-fashioned whiteboards and blackboards. They act as giant tablets, so teachers can increase student engagement by implementing graphic elements into their teaching strategy. Teachers can show students educational videos, track data online, access additional materials online, and allow students to participate by creating slideshow presentations for projects.
This point might seem controversial, as social media is the primary source of misinformation and distraction in many students’ and teachers’ lives. However, used correctly, social media can have great benefit to the classroom at no added cost. Social media platforms are free and global communication platforms. Teachers and students can use them to share information and insights with schools from all over the country.
Social media is also an excellent way for teachers to deliver information in a non-formal way. They can write blog posts that explain specific topics and let students share them and give feedback. Thus, creating a more enjoyable and interactive learning environment that stretches well beyond school hours.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is when machines and software show intelligence often displayed by humans or animals. AI can make decisions and predictions on its own, without needing human intervention. It can also detect patterns in student behavior, predicting which individuals are more likely to need additional help and support from their teachers and which ones are likely to excel.
AI can help teachers do their job efficiently. It allows them to detect plagiarism in student papers and essays automatically. Teachers can use specialized AI to create a study plan that works best for their students and can handle unexpected circumstances such as days off due to weather conditions.
Taking it One Step at a Time
Switching from a traditional learning environment to a tech-powered one overnight can have the opposite results. It could create a cultural and technological shock to the students and teachers, resulting in them falling behind instead of advancing.
The trick is introducing technology into the classroom one step at a time, ensuring the staff and students get used to its existence and learn how to use it before introducing the next upgrade. Not only is this budget-friendly, stretching the upgrade over multiple years, but it offers benefits that are hard to beat.