Technology is a fundamental part of everyday life. It has transformed the way we approach activities, engage with services and consume content. 78% of people own a smartphone, and 46% of 5-15-year olds have their own smartphone, and 49% have their own tablet. We check them on average every 12 minutes, according to Ofcom. The internet is an essential part of life, and there is even talk of making it free for everyone to access. Yet the use of technology in education is highly variable and is rarely fully integrated – something the government’s report Realising the potential of technology in education: A strategy for education providers and the technology industry seeks to address.
But it’s not always used to its best potential in the classroom. Whilst we no longer expect to see chalkboards, and interactive screens are a feature of many classrooms, its not always being used to its best. Students are digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology. And their future lives will be tech heavy. To really prepare them for the workplace we need to equip them to use technology in a way that enhances their lives.
Digital skills and capability will be crucial for today’s young people as they move into the workforce. 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don't yet exist. Getting them used to using technology in an empowered and informed way is fundamental to developing their skillsets for the future.
There are numerous benefits of embedding technology in the classroom, in ways that set students up for life. Here’s five:
- Students can learn at their own speed, getting real time feedback and engaging at a pace that suits them. Clevertouch's IMPACT Plus allows up to fifty devices to be connected at once, so everyone is getting a degree of personalised learning, and a level of individualised instruction. IMPACT Plus supports collaboration with the inclusion of instant messaging, video, voice, and desktop sharing.
- Resources are readily available and accessible from anywhere, which makes taking learning out of the classroom to the home or library environment much easier. Teachers can share resources with students when they are ready, and allow students to go back and refresh their learning if they need to. Cleverstore is home to apps, resources, plans and content that can be accessed wherever teachers may be, and made available to their students. Knowing that they can access resources when they need to helps make students more responsible for their own learning.
- It teaches young people to be thoughtful consumers of content. In a world saturated with digital content, they need to know how to understand what is worth reading, and what should be approached with caution. Teaching them this in the classroom and is a great place for children to learn how to behave responsibly when it comes to the internet.
- Students can be always learning and get the newest and most up to date knowledge. Rather than text books that go out of date or worksheets that need refreshing, technology offers instant access to fresh information that can supplement the learning experience.
- Research skills are built. Technology gives students immediate access to an abundance of information so they can learn at quicker rates. They learn how to access information in various different formats and styles, finding out what they need.
Technology in students’ hands gives them the technical skills they need to be successful in the classroom and in tomorrow’s workforce. It’s an ongoing journey that will see them evolving their skills and continuously learning. Rather than learning stopping when the leave school, they will recognise how the skills they have acquired have relevance to their lives going forward. Technology will enable teachers to help prepare students for their lives ahead – lives in which technology will play a crucial part.