Mon | May 20, 2019

Five reasons students need tech in classrooms

Published:Sunday | February 17, 2019 | 12:17 AM

Technology is all around us, and when used properly, it has many positives. Although those positives are well documented, many people are not convinced that using technology in the classroom is a good thing. After all, many students, while at home, are surrounded by technology in the form of cell phones and tablets that sometimes do more harm than good. It’s extremely important to work closely with students while using technology to find ways to eliminate the negative impacts and bring out the positives. If implemented properly, technology will help tremendously.

The reasons why students need technology in the classroom are extensive, but here are the top five:

A different approach to learning: With technology, students can be shown personalised, data, driven content. We know both anecdotally and through research that we remember more of what we see than read, and education has largely been about reading to learn. However, visuals are extremely important for education. The ability to use visual aids and interactive tools gives students a different approach to learning.

Increased engagement: Another important thing that makes education technology stand out is a renewed focus on making the learning process more engaging. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to use technology in any class, and any course, because it helps students be more engaged. An increase in engagement generally leads to an increase in participation, which tends to stimulate learning. Engagement is better when students have something interactive to work with. The return on investment from using technology in the classroom, if used properly, is second to none.

Supporting their future careers: Many careers are focused on the use of technology. So it’s important to make students accustomed to technology from an early age. Bringing technology to the classroom will make it easier for students to understand the power of technology and how it can be used for good.

Making teaching easier: It’s a lot easier for teachers to keep their students focused on the job at hand when they include technology. The use of education technology allows teachers to take their current teaching style and amplify it to meet the needs of their students. We also know that students’ attention spans are very short, so technology allows a teacher to hold students’ attention longer than usual. Longer attention spans mean more information being processed, which leads to a job well done.

Cheaper than alternatives : Although many people see technology as a costly investment, it actually ends up being cheaper than purchasing textbooks on a yearly basis. With new editions of textbooks being introduced each year, schools must make the financial sacrifice. On the other hand, digital textbooks update automatically, and it will be many years before new databases will need to be bought. Students will also have access to an array of resources that they will not be able to get by purchasing books each year.

For the advancement of education in the Caribbean, technology needs to be integrated into classrooms. Let’s use the power of technology to enhance the learning process for our students while also making teaching easier for our teachers and saving schools time and money.

Theon O’Connor is a team member of SmartTerm, which is working to see how the education system in the Caribbean can be improved. The company is creating an open-concept environment, allowing a tailored solution to fulfilling the needs of schools. For more information on SmartTerm, visit www.artterm.io.