As discussed in “Educational technologies pros and cons, Part 1,” educational technologies (EdTech) are empowering schools to maximize their capability to offer blended or hybrid learning arrangements. But the use of EdTech is not only facilitating the new normal way of learning — it's also improving student engagement and more.
How does using EdTech positively impact classroom flexibility and productivity?
Classroom flexibility and productivity are key to educational success, moreso in the digital era of education. Here are some ways using EdTech benefits classroom flexibility and productivity:
- Tedious tasks can be automated
Tedious, repetitive tasks limit classroom productivity because they take time to accomplish. Tasks like taking attendance and grading test papers are necessary, but the effort put into doing these tasks isn’t always commensurate with their true impact. EdTech tools like test scanners and automation software can drastically cut the time and effort spent on routine tasks so teachers can focus on making connections with and passing on knowledge to students.
- Fresh information is easily accessible
What better way is there to raise the productivity profile of any school than by ensuring fresh, reliable information is easily accessible at all times? Digital courseware can be easily updated to improve accuracy, and teachers can post on their school’s learning management system (LMS) a list of whitelisted sites that students can refer to for reliable, truthful, and trustworthy information.
- Students can learn at their own pace
One of the draws of EdTech-powered blended learning is that it allows students to progress at their own pace. It’s great for high school and college students who have extracurricular activities or have part-time jobs.
- Universal Design for Learning can be maximized
Thoughtful deployment of EdTech is conducive to the successful implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL ensures that course deliveries meet the various needs of diverse learners, and is the ultimate way of providing flexibility in how, when, and where learning is delivered.
What are the disadvantages of EdTech in terms of classroom flexibility and productivity?
While the benefits of EdTech to classroom flexibility and productivity are clear, some issues may still arise when using these technologies. Here are some examples:
- Adapting to new tech makes lesson planning laborious
While automation can take away the laboriousness of grading papers and taking attendance, the learning process for new technologies can be a cause for difficulty. Even worse, if a teacher fails to adapt, they may continue having difficulties for a long time ahead. This is why it’s important to give staff as much time and support as possible for them to learn the ropes when deploying new EdTech.
- Students don’t have equal access to technological resources
EdTech tools have different hardware, software, and operating system requirements, and students using older devices and/or those with no high-speed internet access may suffer. As administrators, you should strive to make your EdTech tools accessible to all students and teachers by choosing the least resource-intensive tools available.
- Some privacy concerns may arise
Any system that connects to the internet inevitably faces privacy protection scrutiny, as cybercriminals may attempt to exploit any source of private information for financial gain. Ensure you nip this issue in the bud by using reputable EdTech tools and implementing strong cybersecurity policies for all users.
What are the pros of using EdTech to aid instruction?
The most significant instructional benefits of EdTech-powered blended learning are as follows:
- It improves technological nativity
Both students and teachers can expect to improve their aptitude for technology by constantly using EdTech tools. With digital nativity an essential component of practically all workplaces today, it’s good for all users to get comfortable with the nuances of computer-based work.
- Digital classrooms tend to be more cost-effective than traditional ones
Digital classrooms require lower overhead and staffing costs, helping you lower your overall operational expenditure. These savings can help you concentrate your spending on improving the quality of your teachers’ teaching content and methods.
What are the cons of using EdTech to aid instruction?
Expect some birthing pains when deploying EdTech to aid instruction; the following difficulties are quite common with any technological integration, so don’t be too surprised if they arise.
- Students will likely encounter a lot of questionable information sources and research online
False news and fake information are all too common these days, so expect to encounter these on your digital classroom journey. Teachers should take it as an opportunity to teach students how to parse information sources and assess whether they should be trusted or not.
- Existing IT infrastructure may not meet technological needs
This is an issue in any organization trying out new technology, as technology only moves forward in time. Your school’s current IT infrastructure will inevitably face obsolescence as newer technologies emerge. The best way to address this is by constantly updating and upgrading your infrastructure so that it stays abreast of technologies as they come.
With EdTech being seen as the future of education, it’s a good idea to ensure that your school is prepared to take the leap. Online Computers provides IT consulting services for schools, colleges, and universities of all sizes. Contact us today to learn more about our services.