Educational technology is a systematic application of relevant technological processes and resources in teaching, with a goal to improve students’ performance. It involves a disciplined approach to identifying the needs of students, applying technology in instructions, and tracking their performance.
Many people are wondering: what do you mean by educational technology? There are many definitions of the concept, mainly because every educator implements technology in a unique way. If we tried to come up with a simple definition, the one we presented above would be it.
First of all, EdTech is a systematic approach. What does this mean? An educator cannot pick random tools and use them with random goals in the classroom. There still is a curriculum to follow.
Relevant technological processes and resources. This means that the processes and resources must be relevant to the curriculum goals and milestones. EdTech also has a purpose: to improve the performance of the students. Every tool and method that’s being introduced in the classroom should be driven by that goal.
Finally, EdTech also requires the educator to have a disciplined approach to revealing the needs of the students. Those needs will help them determine the relevant technology to apply in the classroom. All results must be tracked, so the teacher will know how effective their methods are. If the students are not achieving good results after implementing a specific tool, the teacher should search for a better one.
Not every teacher is ready to start using EdTech in their teaching methods. That’s exactly why universities are offering programs related to educational technology, so the upcoming generations of teachers will be ready to meet all needs of modern students. As for the current generations of teachers, they have a responsibility to upgrade their skills.
Why Is Technology Important in Education?
Now that we got a clear definition of the concept, let’s focus on another angle: what is the importance of technology in education? There are multiple reasons why all teachers should start introducing tech tools into their classrooms. Let’s list few of them.
The Students Demand It
These students NEED technology in the classroom. Just like previous generations of students needed colorful textbooks and we provided that for them, we have to respect the needs of modern students, too.
They are engaging with technology outside the classroom on a daily basis. They want to use their parents’ smartphones and tablets. They know how to play their favorite songs on YouTube. Technology is part of their lifestyle and they love it. As teachers, we have to respect that inclination. In fact, we can use it to our advantage.
When we introduce technology in the classroom, we’re using something they like. They will easily get engaged in the learning process. Technology is making learning more fun and accessible for today’s students.
New Teachers Are Demanding It, Too
The education of the latest generations of teachers has one significant twist: they are being taught how to use EdTech in their classrooms. They know how to use technology in many useful ways. Technology is making their jobs easier. It helps them assess the knowledge of their students as objectively as possible. It also helps them keep the entire class engaged.
New teachers know how to use technology to their advantage. They want to use it. The rest of us have to follow the trends. Since EdTech is now considered a necessity, we have to implement it.
They Have to Learn How to Use It
Technology is everywhere. High-school, college and university students have to know how to use the Internet to complete projects. When they hit the job market, the employers will demand these skills.
As a teacher, you have a responsibility to make your students responsible digital citizens. Responsible use of technology starts in the classroom.
Technology Improves the Learning Experience
What are the roles of educational technology in learning? This would be the clearest answer: it improves the learning experience. Stanford researchers found that when teachers implement technology properly, they can improve the learning processes and close the achievement gaps between the students. The same report showed that replacing teachers with technology is not a successful method. The students still need their teachers. However, pairing teachers with technology is currently the best method of providing high-quality education for students.
One of the biggest reasons to start using technology in the classroom is as simple as it gets: it will improve the learning experience for the students. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Testing Went Online
It’s a protocol that you, as a teacher, can’t control. Your students will take standardized tests that demand proper computer skills. Online testing has tons of advantages. The students can see their scores in real-time, and it’s easier for the teachers to track their performance.
When you start introducing fun online tests in the classroom, you’ll be preparing your students for the standardized tests. They will get used to the environment, so they won’t be overwhelmed by the big tests when it’s time for them.
So how does technology help education? Simple; it makes it better. When the teachers introduce EdTech through proper methods, it keeps the students engaged. It makes the evaluation easier. It prepares the students for the future.
Now that we understand the importance of EdTech, we have no other choice but to start using it in the best ways possible. Our students expect that from us. Both teachers and students are the driving force of the educational system. The students tell us what they need, and we find the best ways to provide such knowledge for them.
What do you think? Does technology help education? How? Do you think we’re still not ready for it? Maybe you’re one of the teachers who think technology imposes a huge risk of making students distracted? Share your opinions!
Originally written by ProWritingPartner