Alongside print management software providers United Carlton, Education for Everybody explores how technology is improving education and where edtech is heading in the future…
Technology has had its fair share of nay-sayers, with worries that the new digital age would cause robots to take over the world. But what about all the positives of technology?
Nearly every sector has seen a boost thanks to new technological advances, and that includes education. From ditching chalk for whiteboard pens, then from that to digital boards to bring all manner of visuals and interactives to presentations and lessons, the classroom has definitely had a technological makeover!
Technology’s place in the classroom
We’ve already bid a bond farewell to blackboards and chalk. Universities, colleges, high schools, primary schools and even nurseries have adopted technology into their classrooms to deliver a better learning experience for all – not only does this provide young people with a better education, it gives them the preparation they need for what has now become a tech-savvy working world.
According to figures from the Family, Kids and Youth research group, 68% of primary schools in the UK are using tablet devices in the classroom. 9% of these schools said that there was a tablet device for every pupil studying at their establishment. For the remaining schools that do not have tablet devices in place, 45% of them said that it was something they were looking at introducing in the future. In 2014, it was reported that there were 430,000 tablets in education establishments and this figure was expected to rise to over 900,000 by 2016 – however, no confirmation result has been released.
How is this technology being used? Tablets and other gadgets are making lessons more interactive regardless of the subject, encouraging more pupil participation. It can also improve the retention rate of learners. By catering to different types of learners, pupils are more likely to retain the information over a teacher simply reading from a textbook. Lessons can also be personalised to the learners needs, whether this is teaching through the use of games, music and even e-books. Another benefit is that teachers now have the ability to search for materials they need online, allowing them to access additional resources where required.
Technology can also be used for ‘webinars’, which are online lessons. Teachers are able to connect with a group of students remotely. This is most prominent in university and colleges, although it can also be used for younger children to teach them a specific subject or module. Exams can also be taken online which has shown a huge shift in the traditional methods.
Where the education sector is heading
Where technology is currently assisting and supporting in the classroom, Sir Anthony Seldon from the University of Buckingham reckons that in the next 10 years, artificial intelligence will usurp the teacher’s role. Although teachers will still have a job in the classroom, they will act as assistants only while letting the AI device teach the lesson. Essentially, teachers will control classroom behaviour rather than actually teach.
Seldon noted that: “It will open up the possibility of an Eton or Wellington education for all.”
Such technology will open up an avenue of personalised lessons, allowing students to learn they way they find easiest. It will be able to work with the pace of the students, setting tasks accordingly.
Only time will tell just how much technology will mould the classrooms of the future