Chalkboard to smartboard - how does technology impact the classroom? By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education
The age of the chalkboards and whiteboards have long since passed, their position usurped by their higher-tech counterparts, the smartboard. Technology is increasingly becoming a fixture in schools. But this digital transformation is not just constrained to the classroom. Over the course of my career at Hays, I have seen significant changes to how the education sector has adapted around technology. Things like the introduction of the DBS update service mean it’s easier than ever for employers to complete checks, whilst the evolution of social media has completely altered the means and scope of education recruitment.
So, as we become ever more sophisticated in the digital world, here are three ways that technology is impacting the classroom and transforming the teaching and student experience:
It all starts in the classroom
It’s become a reality that the majority of students prefer to learn through technology as it’s a means to making the lesson, and therefore the learning itself is more engaging and interesting. We’re dealing with Generation Z, those who have never known a world without the Internet and technology at their fingertips.
This has meant that it’s now increasingly essential for teachers to embrace and showcase their technological skills in the classroom. It’s expected for students to ‘start in the classroom’ with new forms of technology. Promisingly, many schools are recognising the kind of digital future they need to prepare their students for by introducing lessons in computer coding. Ultimately, because of the impact of technology’s dominance upon the workplace, it is teachers that are being tasked with equipping their students with the skills they’ll need to manage in their future lives and working roles.
Learning continues outside the classroom
However, there shouldn’t be too much focus on the potential use of technology for teachers in the classroom, as it’s also an instrument to help in many ways. The influx of tablets, iPads, and smartboards into schools have provided an interactive classroom learning experience wherein the students themselves have to become more actively involved in their own education. Technology has assisted in providing a sense of autonomy for students; they are responsible for following along with a task or researching a topic in a classroom activity and whilst they’re free to learn at their own pace and style, you as an educator are still in control by freely monitoring and tracking activity and learning.
Teachers and support staff too are benefiting from new technology. Our Hays Education Training platform is just one example of how training requirements and development opportunities for education professionals are being met through new technology. As well as CPD, teachers can also use technology to better their work-life balance and manage stress, as demonstrated in our free Wellbeing First training package.
An instrument to help
Further, with the advent of social media it’s never been easier to get ideas to plan and create resources and lessons; storing and sharing content across platforms just makes the classroom and education experience that much better and smoother all round. From my experience in the education sector I’m sure many teachers could lament that it can be hard to excite students with subjects that have a stereotypical reputation of being hard or boring, such as the sciences or languages. But the burgeoning technology in schools has allowed teachers to ‘jazz up’ lessons and diversify their teaching styles. So even at a time where constraints on teachers and schools are more challenging than ever, this ever-increasing culture of technology has opened a huge window of opportunity for a teacher’s skills as a practitioner and how effectively they can educate their students.
Whilst there are always possible negative implications to utilising technology, whether in education or the workplace, the positive implications far outweigh the potential negatives. As such, technology should be viewed as having a constructive impact on education and learning – and really, who better to inspire and educate through the tools of technology than the future generations of society?
For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.