If used correctly, ICT in schools can provide huge benefits for students, teachers and other members of staff. Yet despite the growing trends of technology within education over the past decade, it appears there is still a long way to go in terms of using technology to its full advantage within education. It is a given that the correct ICT support cannot solve every challenging issue, however, it can certainly take the pressure off staff members, have positive effects on student learning and help to create a positive and productive environment.
Here are four ways ICT can meet teacher demands and help to achieve a happy school:
Personalising the student experience
Classrooms usually consist of students of all abilities; therefore teaching in a traditional manner can often present challenges when it comes to student progression. With the correct ICT support however, websites, applications and virtual mentoring mean students can access online work geared towards their own abilities and at their own pace. ICT has also been proven to be of greater benefit to disadvantaged pupils and those with language barriers. A Reform study discovered that the use of correct technology within the classroom improved student progression by 18%, whereas those who stuck with traditional methods had advanced by just 5%.
Easing the workload
A recent National Education Union (NEU) survey found that 80% of teachers have considered leaving the profession over the past 12 months and a huge 50% believe they will no longer stay in the sector within the next 10 years. It appears that more needs to be done to ease the pressure on teachers and allow for a better work–life balance. The issue isn’t just within the classroom though, as research found that 17% of teachers spend around 11 hours each week marking in their own time. However, with the correct technology, teachers can access pupils’ work online to fit around their own schedules and give instant feedback that will reduce the amount of time spent manually marking. Virtual lesson plans and setting online assessments can also save a great deal of time which could be better spent elsewhere, such as working alongside students who may be struggling.
Blended learning can help to achieve huge cost savings within schools in comparison to traditional methods. Examples may include the use of e-textbooks which can be accessed from anywhere at any time by the student, while also being able to upload documents electronically for submission. The sharing of e-documents between students and teachers means there should be a huge reduction in the cost of paper and printing supplies, as well as being far more convenient than working manually.
Easy access to data
Your ICT provider should be in discussions with you about moving to the cloud if you haven’t already done so. This will enable you to easily access student information and keep up to date with targets, reporting and attainment. Data becomes more visible, allowing faster interventions to be made and any changes and tasks to be carried out quickly. Sharing files and lesson plans can also be achieved through the cloud, within and across schools.
The ripple effect of great ICT support can have a hugely positive impact on students and staff. Students demonstrate greater engagement and progress, and teachers can reduce workload and improve time management, creating a far more positive and happy environment.