Since its inception, educational technology (EdTech) proved itself to be a handy way to help students learn remotely. As time goes on, EdTech just keeps getting better. We can now enhance lessons with virtual and augmented reality, while tailoring lessons to student needs with Big Data. More streamlined EdTech platforms mean that students can better keep up with lessons at their own pace. It’s therefore no surprise that more people are using EdTech to their advantage — and that it’s now deemed a $300 billion global industry, according to a SkyQuest write-up on the EdTech market.
Yet it’s also true that though EdTech is a highly useful and versatile tool, it can only perform at its fullest when combined with the human touch. Below we dive deeper into why communication is key to effective EdTech use.
Being mindful of emotions
As educators continue to adapt to various EdTech platforms and tools, it’s easy for students to get lost in an increasingly digital and virtual learning space. A huge part of keeping the human aspect of education, even as we depend more and more on tech, is to practice authenticity. It’s up to educators to be mindful of their emotions, and how they communicate them, to ensure the right messages are relayed to our students. To optimize the use of educational technology, EdTech Magazine highlights the need for a social and emotional awareness of educators towards their students. This means guiding students to better communicate their feelings and thoughts, as well as mediating a safe learning environment, even when it’s virtual.
Meeting students’ needs
Traditional means of education came with its own limitations. Teachers often have too many students to manage and keep track of at a time, which inhibits a more personalized approach to students’ specific needs. Maryville University’s feature on investing in online education highlights how EdTech can support students with written, video, and audio opportunities to gain new information. Providing options through different mediums gives students a chance to approach learning differently. Reading-and-writing learners can learn more efficiently through the written medium, for example, while visual learners may benefit more from video resources such as YouTube. As different students have different learning approaches, educators can ensure that each student feels included in the learning process.
Keeping parents in the loop
According to an educational psychology study from the University of Bath, the relationship between parental engagement and EdTech is critical for optimizing a student’s education. Results from the study indicate that parents who don’t completely understand educational technology are more prone to being dismissive of it, therefore impeding their children’s learning. With an array of EdTech tools available today, it’s easy for parents to get confused on what will aid in their children’s education. Maintaining open communication with parents can help eliminate technological barriers, allowing them to be more engaged with their children’s education.
In our previous post on the different ways EdTech is making life easier for educators, we talk about the shift towards cloud-based products such as Google Workspace. Aside from steering towards a paperless learning process for students and educators, cloud tech was also found to reduce energy use and carbon emissions by up to 87%. While more a lesson in sustainable tech practices, it’s also a way of showing students more practical and real-world examples of subjects they learn in the classroom. A deeper understanding of EdTech and the possibilities that it holds for both students and educators can help cultivate a culture of teaching by example.
Article written by Renee Jaime