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How important is it that Schools teach Using Smart Devices , social media, and other new technologies?

There has always been a need for standard education from time past, more intensely now, modern society requires high-quality teaching and learning from teachers. Learning institutions have upheld the significance of teaching and teaching methods, to ensure that they impact knowledge as intended. With regard to both teaching and assessment practices,  Teachers have to possess a great deal of knowledge and skills in order to meet those demands and standards of quality education. Teaching methods are part of classroom management which is essential to both teachers’ education and teachers’ professional development, it is crucial to keep teachers knowledge up to date, so they can deliver high-quality teaching. In keeping up to date, technological evolution has offered schools and teachers its own tools to boost teaching methods and learning result. After all, when you think school, you think learning or Education, and that, of course, would be an important need to use Smart devices, Social Media and other new technologies when you consider the possibilities. Improved learning from effective teaching should really be any teacher's goal and technology has so far been promising to enable that goal.

In order to paint a clearer picture of what teaching methods have usually been like,  we would categorize the different traditional teaching methods into:

Teacher-centred or Lecture methods - this is the familiar setting of a teacher being the superior, providing all knowledge based on expertise and in this case, there is not so much participation of learners.  Picture the scenario of a teacher in the front of a class full of students, just talking and talking and the students almost endlessly taking notes; this is very Teacher-centred.

Another is the Learner-centered methods that involve more of putting the learners above, using ways that will task learners to generate the most original ideas about things of the subject in line with what they are about. Here, the teacher is more of a guide to understanding something than an imposing of knowledge. This method has aided many to be smarter than they knew they could be and can be related to activities that will involve discussions amongst learners. Activities like brainstorming characterize this method as it requires learners to generate original ideas concerning new information they are being taught about.

Interactive/participative methods is the final category which involves mutual involvement from both learner and teachers. Examples include demonstrations as part of the process, role plays, experiments or research. This method consequently reflects a little bit of the other ways to teach. 

In the end, no single method herein or mentioned elsewhere has proven to be the ultimate one that produces effectiveness at optimality. This is most likely because different learners adapt to different methods and no method is really complete without the touch of another. In other words, putting all together as needed will produce the best possible results.

How technology has affected Teaching in schools.

Technology has seamlessly seeped into every nook and cranny possible. it has evidently taken its place for a long time in the entertainment industry, and as much as it has blended into the finance sector forming many 'Fin-tech companies, technology has just as much been infused into the education sector as well. It is very important to teach but one must consider the teaching methods, as they affect the ability and pace of learners to grasp knowledge as well as the quality of knowledge they are availed.

Regarding the use of smart devices and the likes in schools for teaching, the principles and methods used by teachers to enable student learning is the choice of the schools and teachers. From time past we have used available methods from chalkboards and pencils to charts and diagrammatic illustrations even abstract methods. All these were manually done and most definitely void of technology's touch. Now, the presence of technology in teaching has inevitably made its mark.

Presently the state of the education system in many countries is not at par with global exemplary standard. Quality education and access to quality institutions is lacking in many sections of society. As people have now become aware of the importance of education it still cannot be overemphasized. The wide reach of technology to various parts and various strata of the society has been a major sponsor of enlightening the world. Technology has really aided the education sector as a whole as the world is embracing urban classroom dealings so much that 'we' now call a classroom equipped with tech devices for learning; smart classroom. Smart classrooms are becoming a norm and teachers at the same time are considering more tech inclined ways to improve the teaching methods and make it more interactive.

Schools teach with the use of various technologies via these ways: podcasting, interactive whiteboards, social networking, speech recognition, online teaching, class blogs and wikis, and mobile devices amongst others. These various technologies could be a tremeduously beneficiary but we'd first clarify that negativity abounds like how they can be damaging both to the attention spans of students and their retention of information. Or even how it's often harder to take the attractive and user friendly technologies away from learners as most of them want to use it beyond the time that's allotted in school. Students, however, really enjoy the tech and have had an improvement in their level of understanding and interest in different subjects. 


How important is Technology in schools regarding teaching?

Change is constant as they say. If teaching methods are important and the world has found a way to make them possibly better by the existence of tech-related approaches then yes, Schools teaching with the use of Smart Devices, social media, and other new technologies has gained my vote of high relevance or importance. Stating the level of importance technology has in teaching will be easily done by stating what benefits there are in using them.

In elementary schools, the use of iPads and/or Chromebooks is very helpful. Kids growing up today are extremely tech-savvy and literate. And really enjoy using technology in the classroom. Plus, a lot of the apps, software, etc makes the material they're learning quite fun. For example, building in games if they reach a certain level of mastery or get a certain score or above on an assessment. Thus, the visual, auditory, and interactive nature of technologies helps hold student interest and makes them want to use it more and more. 

Smartboards are pretty helpful, they are similar to phones or tablets that enable writing on the screen with a digital pen. It avoids our having to stack a whole bunch of markers that might dry out, have their tips broken, etc. So being able to use digital markets to write on board has its advantages. Notably, some smart boards allow for printing out of their writings. That allows teachers to make posters of what they and/or students had written on the smart board. 

Using things like Google Docs, online chat or discussion boards, and online whiteboards are also helpful in classrooms. And students today are very comfortable and used to using tablets or laptops to take notes, send emails, conduct research, etc. 

Speech recognition is extremely beneficial for students with physical limitations and language-based processing differences however it has been inconsistently implemented in the classroom over the years. The latest speech technology has improved by leaps and bounds in regards to ease of training and use. It is now surpassing human accuracy rates. We are seeing a dramatic increase in educators embracing this technology in the classroom. Students with physical impairments and learning disorders can now freely and confidently complete their notes, projects, and exams alongside their classmates thus giving them a leg up as speech recognition dramatically improves productivity and engagement. 

Another key benefit is the error correction process. This is from speech recognition technology: As the text is recorded it requires the user to check the accuracy of each word uttered as sentences are being dictated. When an error is made the student must find the correct word among a list of similar words and select it. This process necessitates that the user examines the word list closely, compare words that look or sound alike and make decisions about the best word for the specific situation. This can give kids a boost in reading and spelling as they learn to discriminate between similar words. 

Summarily, through the tech mediums, personalized learning and access to a global perspective on all subjects is enabled and they allow for real-time interaction during the class. Teaching with computers and projectors get rid of constraints of textbooks. Via e-learning platforms on mobile devices learners can interact directly with study material and can be provided with a library's worth of resources in a heartbeat by way of the internet. New technologies make distance learning easier like in the case of Students with physical limitations and language-based processing differences can now freely and confidently complete their notes, projects and exams alongside their classmates with tools borne from technology.

In today’s day and age, technology runs the world. Since devices such as iPads allow us to connect to a world of information that is open 24/7, these devices and technology naturally grab user attention. If the educators do not grasp the importance and embrace these technologies, other people (non-educators) will. It is becoming critical for schools to incorporate new technologies into their methodology for a few, important reasons. First, by providing students the opportunity to work with new tech like school districts begin ingraining the importance of digital literacy and competence as early as possible and appropriate. As technology continues to rapidly accelerate, children and other categories of learners need to develop basic skills with these new tools, in order to not develop deficiencies that will affect them later life. Second, with technology infused in teaching, learners can see how this technology can enrich their lives and minds, rather than being viewed simply as a means for entertainment. Third, incorporating this level of technology reduces the need for printed materials, which is both environmentally sound and fiscally responsible. All in all, while the level of usage should always be monitored, incorporating new tech into schools helps people today get a jump start on how the world moves forward tomorrow.

Can we teach without these technologies? Absolutely! So the old-fashioned way of writing on the board, using handouts, lecturing, etc can be just as effective. But can these technologies make our lives easier and/or supplement the learning process? You bet! 


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Credits- Dary Merckens, Donald Aueberch, Damon Webb, Teachanology,  Charlotte Pezaro, Trainer, Digital Learning, Del artikkel, Karla Campos

Anita O.

Lover of tech and blockchain.

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