Categories : Weekly Blog
When talking about educational needs, the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching has never been more outdated. Thanks to technology, learning has become something that can be customized and personalized to suit every student’s needs. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project in 2014 found that teachers are adopting new technologies at a rapid rate and such technologies increase student performance dramatically.
Read on for our thoughts on how to best apply these findings to your own teaching.
Camille Bautista of Mashable writes that “[the study] delves into teachers' increasing technology use, but also expresses educators' concerns about the digital divide.” The study found that teachers are true innovators, utilizing new devices and technologies (such as smartphones and the Internet) at a significantly greater rate than the general population.
According to Linda Burch, a co-founder of Common Sense Media, teachers are the kind of professionals that are always in the position of sharing, accounting for their higher use of new technology. This means that successful educational innovations tend to spread like wildfire, only limited by the resources that an individual school may possess.
Even low-income low-budget schools can benefit from technological innovation. A superintendent in Mooresville, N.C. utilized technology initiatives to improve his schools’ performance levels. Bautista writes: “After a five-year period of incorporating digital resources, Mark Edwards witnessed a large jump in graduation rates, with an increase from 52% to 95% among African-American students.” Edwards’ district ranked only 108 out of 115 in funding.
Even enthusiastic innovators can face challenges when adopting new technologies. Where to begin? Which innovations are truly helpful and not a time-consuming hindrance? Bautista expresses these same doubts based on the study:
“Schools embracing tech changes the learning landscape for students of all ages. While it allows teachers to personalize lessons to individual students, letting them to learn at their own pace, it poses challenges to teachers and parents. How can both group [sic] gauge what apps, sites and devices are beneficial for children?”
The answer consists of both good and bad news. The bad news is that some extra work is essential when adopting something new. Luckily, teachers are experts in learning and are clearly suited for trailblazing. The good news is that these innovations spread, making it easier for future adopters to embrace the technology.
Video Games in Education
Smartphones and phones have already arrived and firmly settled in education, with Kahoot probably being the most prominent example of phones in education. The next big thing is going to be video games in education: with their versatility, universal appeal and individualized approach to students, video games will become one of the mediums utilized in teaching.
Our contribution to the game-based learning medium is the TeacherGaming Desk, a one-stop solution for using games in the classroom. When using games in your teaching, you not only need to find the right game, install it to students’ devices and then plan lessons that take advantage of the game. With the Desk, most of all that extra effort is never required.
With a subscription to the Desk, you gain access to dozens of curated games, guaranteed to be suitable to a classroom environment. The games also come with ready-to-go lesson plans created by teachers, simplified installation and real-time analytics that let you know what your students are doing in-game. Take a look at our service here!