Schools are coming under greater pressure to incorporate the technology their pupils are most familiar with into the classroom. When this is embedded seamlessly into a clear pedagogy, technology can undoubtedly have a considerable impact.
But amidst that pressure, they are also in danger of investing too quickly in familiar technology without having a coherent plan for how it will support teaching and learning within their unique learning environment, leading to significant time and cost implications.
Unfortunately, we come across this a lot. When you have a great experience at home using a tablet device, it’s easy to think of ways it could be used in the classroom. But a classroom is a very different environment and careful thought should be given to how they’ll be used and integrated into the school’s current technology.
We also see parents, pupils and teachers demanding certain technology because other schools in the area have it, and that can lead to very hasty decisions being made. But without a proper strategy, these devices end up not being used or worse – being disruptive in lessons.
Issues like these often occur when schools do not have the infrastructure to support the devices they have purchased, or when money isn’t invested in training teachers on how to effectively use this equipment within the classroom. And whilst many schools are realising their pedagogy should be at the heart of the technology they use, for some it still leaves thousands of pounds of investment sitting in store cupboards gathering dust.
Everything should lead back to what the school are trying to achieve - every school is different and will have different strengths and areas that they want to develop; so by understanding the vision of the school, a strategy can be created to ensure that technology helps to achieve these goals in an integrated way, as opposed to being an afterthought or something that is implemented separately.
When technology is truly embedded, it helps to extend teaching and learning from being something that just happens within four walls to something that can be done anywhere – on the bus, at home, in the library – pupils can log onto a platform to share their work with other pupils and teachers and get feedback in real time, while teachers can really bring lessons to life.
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