Technology has developed incredibly quickly over a relatively short space of time. Rewind 10 years and the World we live in is a much different place. Technology has enabled us to remain connected to the World at all times. A vast amount of information at our finger tips whenever we need it. Yet look back in a classroom 10 years ago and in most cases there is very little change. Surely education should be at the forefront of technology, not left in its dust.
The impact technology has made in the classroom
Technology has come into classrooms in a variety of ways. Many students have access to Chromebooks or tablets. Lots of classrooms have fancy interactive whiteboards in their rooms. The provision of technology in classrooms is good, the problem is how they are being used. Schools across the country have spent a small fortune on putting technology into their classrooms but no time into rethinking strategies to make it as effective as possible. From experience interactive whiteboards are very rarely used properly and laptops/tablets are used only when the teacher has run out of ideas or is tired.
Teaching shaped around technology
The integration of technology into education has been done poorly. Rather than using it as an opportunity to reshape and improve our profession, it has been thrown in with little thought behind it. Most schools have brought into it to simply tick inspection boxes. Technology should have revolutionised the way that we work but instead it is used to do what we had been doing anyway.
I love sending emails home to parents, good or bad. I find a running communication between parents and myself vital for success. Technology allows for me to do this yet I am still expected to write reports at the end of every term. Being able to communicate quickly with anyone around the World instantly surely means that report writing has now lost a lot of its value. Technology should have reduced my work load. Instead it has just been an addition to work I already do.
The way we set work for students has also not changed despite students have constant access to information at the touch of a button. Around 80 percent of students are now using the internet to do homework which should surely have had an affect on the homework set. From my experience nothing has changed. The curriculum for which we use to educate our students goes through a lot of reviews but very rarely sees any major changes. With Google being so readily available do we really require students to be able to name the elements of the periodic table? Or memorise the capital cities of the World? I would argue this time would be better spent applying information rather than simple knowledge retrieval.
Changing the core of teaching to effectively use technology
Technology is being largely wasted within education. Yes, it has certainly had an effect on teaching and has helped greatly but it could do so much more. What if education as we know it didn’t exist. We were tasked with setting up a brand new educational system using the facilities we have around us. Would it look anything like it does currently? I highly doubt it. It is time to stop doing things because that is how they have always been done. Education should be at the forefront of research and innovation. We expect the very best from our students yet the system we put them in is far from it.
The World around us is constantly changing. Education now needs to stop living in the past and drive the future. The only way this will happen is if someone with much more influence than me steps up and makes changes to the core of the educational system. The first step is to question why we do the things we currently do.
How do you think education could better use technology? Let me know in the comments