Take your kids to the cinema and you will be surprised at how adept and familiar they are with tools that you are just seeing for the first time. it’s a common sight to see kids teaching their parents how to use tools, devices, and other digital equipment, but when a student shows or teaches the teacher how a particular digital tool works in class, then it becomes embarrassing to the teacher and even worse especially for the parent who can’t understand why they have to pay school fees to a school where their kids know more than the teacher.
The greatest educational asset a country has isn’t computers or mobile devices, or whiteboards or even education apps….NO! The greatest asset is – its TEACHERS! Through this wonderful creed and unique individuals, we have the chance to make a genuine impact in the lives of the future generation of leaders and citizens and rewrite stories and histories. Just one teacher can influence and affect thousands of lives simply by teaching one student, now imagine a classroom full of students. Teachers indeed can change the world.
But to achieve this, they need to know how the world works and the world today has gone digital, education critics most times perceive technology as a superfluous break to a curriculum that has existed and thrived for decades bit in reality, technology is revamping and rebranding a dying culture slowly going extinct because it is unable to evolve with the times.
Innovations and creativity are the order of the day, transforming the classroom experience between teachers and students, students and materials, parents and teachers and teachers and parents. Centuries and decades ago, the blackboard was the greatest education tool discovered but times have evolved, nowadays chalk and talk method is no match for a tablet a day style of teaching, the use of whiteboards, mobile devices, Edu-apps, tablets and virtual reality headsets have made education a pleasurable experience much more enjoyable and engaging.
Teachers today need to rise up to the occasion and be prepared to use the available tools and the futuristic ones that haven’t been invented yet, because the tidal wave of Edtech is coming and it’s not just an upgraded version of an existing version it is a transition to a new standard that wasn’t thought feasible years ago.
Stakeholders like Passnownow.com has started making use of technology to digitally democratize and distribute access to quality education by using systems like standard curriculum based secondary school class notes for JSS1 to SSS3 with assessments, super simple self-studying frameworks, Past Questions of JSCE, WAEC, NECO & JAMB Exams for practice and preparation and Peer to Peer Collaborative Learning for underserved Students and Teachers, interactive forums and video recordings to support instructional methods with the digital skills needed to enhance learning and pedagogical excellence in Schools and generally raise the standard of education in Nigeria to meet and surpass global standards.
Teachers must accept all digital discoveries and realize that each varies in its impact on each student and try to embrace the potentials in order to fully leverage its wealth of expertise in the tech space to reach beyond the spheres of traditional influence.
The first rule of this principle is SUBSTITUTION. A Word Processor for an assignment or project might look better to the eyes but it has similar functions as a Pen/Pencil and eraser that teachers and students have used in the past.
The second method is AUGMENTATION. Here technology substitutes as an improved and upgraded version, for example, a Word Processor and text-to-speech function are used to improve the writing process but doesn’t necessarily lead to new horizons.
The third way to adapt and adjust to new technology is MODIFICATION. Projects and assignments are redesigned and shared on frameworks like Word processor and text-to-speech function providing students and teachers with feedback creating an engaging and improving quality of learning.
Lastly, REDEFINITION which is also the highest level of impact as results and solutions are creatively achieved and conveyed analytically by students using frameworks like multimedia tools or an interactive digital timeline instead of the traditional written assignments or hand reports.
The SAMR Model – Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, for integrating technology into classroom style, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, provides educators a unique simple style of technological adaptation in education that is both beneficial and meaningful in determining how efficient each tool is in relation to its use and to the users.
Teachers can leverage on this wealth of experience and expertise in the tech space to expand beyond their traditional sphere of influence without fear of making errors or failing because they know that making mistakes isn’t the end but a stepping stone to success in an ever-evolving word of trial and error in technological advancements.