Many schools have wonderful teachers and a welcoming staff who’d do anything to make children and parents feel comfortable. Those teachers spend the last atoms of their energy to spread the knowledge and share the wisdom, and kids love them. Same goes to people who work at schools — they are kind towards parents and students alike. But, there’s a tiny issue plaguing most of these schools: the lack of IT literacy or not enough money invested in IT sector. That should definitely be changed, considering how much we use technology in every aspect of our lives. In case you’re working in a school, or your child is of school-age, here are some ideas on how improving the IT sector in schools can also help education:
1. There’s more transparency
Having a great system that connects everybody means more transparency for everyone involved. Parents can check their children’s grades while other school employees can be connected in a useful and meaningful way. Sending emails has surpassed the paper correspondence, and unfortunately, some older members of the staff tend to find it difficult to grasp. The thing is, they need to be shown the benefits of learning more about technology, otherwise, they’ll be reluctant, no matter what you do. Explaining to them that transparency means better visibility of all things achieved and planned, can help them be better at their job. Instead of spending time filling different paperwork and dealing with countless forms and other documents, teachers can focus on teaching, while management can instead concentrate on planning and developing the school.
2. Better organization for teachers
Using various tools and resources, teachers can become better and efficient in their job. Having access to a Google Drive or Dropbox can give them easy access to any lesson plan, without worrying if it gets lost or damaged. The fact that everything is safely stored in a cloud can make teachers less worried and more productive. Being well-organized is the key to being a good teacher, and if there’s too much on their plate, teachers can’t be focused on teaching. Having some technological resources at their disposal can greatly benefit teachers and students alike. For some teachers, staying organized can be a challenge, therefore there are useful apps that can help them stay on track. Apps such as TeacherKit can help teachers organize classes, while Remind can be used for safe classroom communication between teachers, students, parents and administration.
3. More efficiency
School administration can benefit a lot from implementing technology such as various cloud options and joining teaching and learning networks. The latter can be useful as there are too many seminars, webinars, blog posts and articles that can help all the school employees improve and learn something new. Also, going digital can help teachers and school administration focus on what matters — teaching kids and making sure that everything’s running smoothly. Using aschool management solutioncan enhance productivity and responsibility among the staff and also provide students with the best education. Also, teachers can use different programs such as Courseware which offers various tutorials they can use as teaching materials. Implementing the software can make teachers feel less stressed while also helping them be more efficient and knowledgeable.
4. It can get parents involved
Some parents are too busy to personally show up at school and get all the information, and in that case, adopting technology can ensure they stay updated regarding everything that’s happening at school. Using various software and tools can help parents know what their children are learning and keeping up with upcoming exams and quizzes. If each child has their own profile, parents can closely watch their progress and see if there’s anything wrong with their learning and behavior. If there are certain issues, parents can go to school and have a conversation with the teacher or the staff. There are apps such as School Plus, Hello Parent or Myly, where parents can upload all the necessary information such as a home address, or use them to check and mark the attendance. The best feature though is the ability to pay school fees. Also, through certain apps, parents can be notified about homework which can improve the organization at home as well.
5. Better communication
Teachers also need to be up to date with any changes regarding the new teaching methods and lesson plans. Attending various professional meetings, conferences, webinars and seminars can help them network with other teachers and also swap tips and new ideas. That’s why investing in freemium communication apps such as Skype, Zoom or Join.me can make sure that teachers and administrators are attending various courses and webinars without actually leaving the school. They can still learn while still being in the building in case they’re needed. Also, that can help the school save money on travel expenses which means more money in the budget for the actual school supplies or maybe helping disadvantaged children.
6. Access to information
Being a teacher also requires remembering a lot of information, especially if the subject is history or biology. But thanks to technology and the Internet, every information is easy to check and download. For some, it might seem unprofessional, but teachers should actually teach and be nurturing with children. Making kids reproduce the information can only lead to anxiety and fear of learning. Instead of remembering the exact dates of events, teachers can actually focus on preparing the lesson that is interactive and informative. Thanks to the vast information online, there’s no need to stick to the books that much anymore. Still, using physical books can have its benefits, but if you incorporate technology, children can also learn to search for information, while teachers can sort out what should decide on what’s relevant for them.
7. More fun
Kids nowadays are more used to screens than books, so it’s only logical to implement technology into the curriculum. Instead of banning phones and tablets, schools should be focused on helping kids utilize their favorite gadgets and turn them into learning tools instead of something that’s purely entertainment-related. Also, using video and virtual reality could be invaluable when it comes to learning history since then students can learn from a more personal and interesting angle. History is considered a boring subject, which is a shame, so instead of making kids learn dates and numbers by heart, schools can encourage them to learn and get invested through the use of technology. Since learning through technology can be more engaging, it makes perfect sense that it can also improve retention among students. Doing a variety of interesting tasks can help children stay more focused and start viewing technology as screens as a learning tool, rather than an entertainment option.
8. Technology is more motivating than books and papers
Using tablets for learning can help kids be more focused since they’re used to spending time online anyway. So, instead of forcing children to do quizzes and tests, teachers can create online games and tests where kids can collect various points and rewards that can later be turned to grades. That way, children will be more motivated to learn and compete. Of course, that doesn’t mean less learning, since children use technology way differently than their parents and older relatives, using technology for teaching and learning this way is a great opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. So, instead of banning phones, tablets and Youtube, teachers should find a creative way to use them as learning tools.
9. It can prepare them for the future
Learning about technology and innovation can help children be better prepared for life after school. If they’re regularly exposed to adapting to what’s new in the world of science, technology and IT, they’ll be well-ready to fast learners in the college and at the workplace. Technology shouldn’t be the only focus of their education, but it should definitely be highlighted and emphasized as important. If they’re taught to be flexible and welcoming of changes, only then they can be expected to do great things once they grow up. The way kids see technology nowadays is much more different than what their parents had, so if they’re already glued to their screens, it is expected that they’ll be more aware and better prepared for anything that’s coming next.
10. Boosting creativity
Kids should also learn about art, design and various aesthetical aspect of life. If some kids show a natural talent for sculpting and other types of artistic work, they should definitely be encouraged to pursue this and hone their craft. But, if they like designing and drawing, technology can be very useful. Many designers nowadays use technology to efficiently work on their art. Using Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator can help children open their mind toward artistic expression and creativity. It’s a fact that not all children are inclined towards exact sciences and computer programming. In that case, using technology to draw and design can help them stay inventive and still creative beautiful things through learning and navigating various technological tools and software. Same goes for creating music and filmmaking. Some school subjects should be oriented towards creativity and self-expression, and some apps and software can be greatly beneficial for that.
11. Learning to solve problems
Unfortunately, helicopter parenting has created children that expect things to be handed to them, which is a shame, since every child is capable of many great things, but in order to achieve greatness, they also need to embrace and strengthen their problem-solving skills. It’s only natural that parents and other family members want to protect children from the evils of this world, both real and imagined, but at the same time, kids need to know how to deal with unexpected problems. That’s why technology can be crucial as through virtual and simulated situations, children can learn how to overcome hardships and think outside of the box. Those situations can range from potential conflicts, future job interviews and learning about various mental health conditions and ways to treat them. Being exposed to technology can help children adopt a problem-solving mindset since they have to search for different information online through Google and other search engines.
12. It’s more accommodating
Every child is different, which means that there’s no single recipe for success. Each child copes differently with pressure and school assignments. That’s why implementing technology can be of great help. Each child can learn at their own pace without worrying about comparing themselves to others. With cloud-based computers, kids can have full access to all learning materials and determine their own pace, while the teacher can monitor their progress without overwhelming them. Teaching kids to be independent and set their own goals can be more useful than giving them tasks and homework with strict deadlines which they must meet. And instead of simply grading papers and making sure that kids are paying attention, teachers can actually be more concentrated on creating a fun atmosphere in the classroom where each kid can achieve their maximum.
To sum up, improving the IT sector and introducing various software can immensely help everyone be more productive and motivated. Besides, staying transparent is important so that parents and everyone else can stay informed about everything that’s happening at school. Using project management tools, accounting software and cloud-based solutions can reduce the stress among teachers, parents and administration, while shortening the time spent on paperwork. Additionally, parents can also be better informed about courses, exams and school events without needing to check their emails or contact school every time. Instead, they can focus on helping children accomplish school tasks and do homework. Technology usage by kids should be introduced gradually, while also being monitored by school staff and administration. Using various tools can surely enhance teaching, learning and managerial experiences, and schools should definitely be focused on helping kids grow and learn without imposing unnecessary rules on teachers, so they can spend their working hours being good teachers.
- 12 Ways Improving Technology in Schools Improves Education - August 25, 2019