Is EdTech the Way Forward?

Aspirations and Future Planning / March 25th, 2020

Is EdTech the Way Forward?

With the prospect of social isolation, the traditional methods of teaching are no longer applicable. A new way of long distance learning needs to be swiftly incorporated to ensure all students get the very best support at this crucial time. The most obvious solution is educational technology – EdTech. Teachers have been left with a whole host of issues and at the centre of our concern is will our students be able to maintain their interest and their motivation to prepare for their GCSEs? Many teachers bear full responsibility for their students. Could we use this time of uncertainty to develop the true independence of our students? Let them revise for themselves, develop their own way of learning? What better way to do this than through digital technology?

Accept it – Students LOVE Technology

Society bemoans the mobile phones that are permanent attachments to teenage faces, along with the earphones that are firmly embedded in their ears. Why don’t we channel this into a force for good? Technology and social media get a bad press, but at times like this, they can provide young people with an emotional and educational lifeline. There are digital products on the market that will provide an outlet for learning that go beyond the classroom and allow young people to approach and develop their own studies, in their own time and in their own way. This is what will be expected of them in the workplace, and it should be encouraged. Through technology, students can create their own groups of leaners where they can share ideas and encourage positive learning in a digital community.

Revising Successfully

The key to successful revision is to identify what you don’t know and concentrate on that. Developing independence means that students can identify exactly what they need to work on and take some ownership over what they want to study. Technology allows them to do this. Having marked mocks and assessments, teachers can often recognise patterns of underachievement. Personalised targets can be noted and students can be directed to ensure such gaps are filled. Teachers can set remote learning tasks using short films to engage students. Young people can use their phones to access the learning – and in today’s technological world, this is often more straightforward than setting paper based tasks. Their intellectual growth is within their control. They can use technology to develop their ideas and their skills.

Developing at Their Own Pace

Most young people love watching short films, and this is where GCSE Pod can help. For example, the short films in English Literature focus on characters, themes and plot. They are a perfect way to remind students about key element of the texts. This can work by teachers setting tasks with some direction, or students can identify where they believe their personal weaknesses are and focus on the areas that they know they need to work on. Learning through technology allows students to revisit a digital source time and time again. This gives them the opportunity to learn and digest information at their own pace. Some students may need one go, some may need ten – but when each film is only a few minutes long, this is a worthwhile use of time to ensure a thorough understanding of a text. Additional features like Check and Challenge allow student to follow a quiz like approach to learning. The instant feedback is a great feature, it rewards them for their successes and if they are incorrect, they are reminded of what they need to know. A quick and efficient learning process.

Fate and the Digital World

What can we learn from the experience of social isolation? We can harness the ideas linked to what the students have discovered to be the positives about their isolation. In particular, how access to the digital world has supported their independent learning. This is our opportunity to see what works. Fate has played her hand and forced us into embrace the digital world – let’s make this the time for education to fully embrace this and move into a new wave of teaching through technology.

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