The classroom has always been a place of changing ideas and shifting priorities, with technology evolving alongside it. This evolution is especially true in the 21st Century.
We’re starting to see an ever-increasing number of teacher and student devices and applications emerging. We’re looking to technology to both engage and educate children, whilst making the teacher’s job that little bit easier.
On the whole, a more technological classroom has been praised by experts as having a positive effect on pupils. More attention than ever is being given to emerging innovations and their classroom applications. This article will highlight a few of the technology trends changing how pupils learn, but there are new ideas and innovations popping up constantly – events such as the Bett Show are a good showcase of this.
It wasn’t so long ago that you could walk into a classroom and expect to be greeted by a chalkboard, and then after that, a standard whiteboard. But over the last fifteen or so years, the likes of ‘smartboards’ and interactive polling devices have exploded in popularity. Now, it’s not unusual for pupils to have regular access to laptops and in tablets their lessons.
One major benefit to these particular devices is increasing engagement and interactivity. Collaborative problem solving, multimedia presentations and virtual field trips are all possible through interactive whiteboards. The tablets provide multiple uses from live polls and interactive notes to making music and maths with Angry Birds.
There have also been a number of studies that show the use of technology in the classroom helps to promote an inclusive environment.
“While technology cannot eliminate every obstacle, it can make differentiation easier for teachers and more engaging for students. Teachers who invest the time and effort to integrate technology into their differentiation practice can reap enormous benefits in classroom management, student engagement, and the pacing of instruction.” Inclusion in the 21st Century Classroom – Bobby Hobgood & Lauren Ormsby
The use of technology to create an inclusive classroom has been the subject of numerous papers, with many educational experts arguing that technology can highly benefit children with special needs, putting them on a level playing field with their peers.
Virtual classrooms allow long distance learners to experience a collaborative classroom environment without leaving the house. For those caught in the midst of a conflict, this is an invaluable tool for building an ordinary life.
Robots have been a popular tool for teachers for over twenty years now, and over time they have been improved to the point where robots can be used to teach whole lessons, as opposed to computer skills or engineering. Unsurprisingly, drones have now been factored into equation, and together with programming and coding skills, the applications for this technology are almost unlimited. As these technologies evolve, their application in schools will continue to develop.
Addressing the Skills Gap
Technology has already been used to tackle the growing skills gaps in industries such as construction. The digital industries face a similar issue. Even here at Kaleida, at times we’ve struggled to find the highly skilled and experienced developers we need to expand our team. Programming will be an important skill in a growing number of roles in the next few decades.
To that end, in 2014 the government introduced coding lessons for children across the curriculum, with a greater focus on developing programming skills for future careers. Although criticised by some parents, there are actually a number of benefits to learning these skills so early on, beyond future job opportunities.
Kaleida Helping Teachers
Kaleida has been working alongside teachers, developing a bespoke software application that will identify gaps in students’ learning. Over the last few years, educational reform has seen teachers working longer hours, with a growing importance on testing and tracking of a student’s progress. The result has meant teachers working overtime just to meet minimum expectations set out by the government. Our hope is that our new bespoke application will go some way to alleviate that pressure. More details will follow soon.
If you’re a teacher who would be interested to share details of your day to day processes or the obstacles you face, with our development team, please get in touch.
Kaleida are a bespoke software development house, addressing the needs of clients in education, construction, insurance and many other sectors. Talk to us to find out how Kaleida can help build a tailored solution to fit your teaching or organisational needs and long-term goals.