Over the years technology has increasingly become a larger part of the schooling system, and the last 12 months has consolidated its existence within the future of education. School closures due to Covid, and the dependency on homeschooling in its place, have introduced teachers to a wealth of technological innovations to use within the classroom, many of which are here to stay.
Here are some of the features that have changed:
- Homework and Revision
One of the key areas within the classroom that teachers feel technology has improved is homework and revision. Some online learning platforms that teachers have found to be particularly useful are Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, and CoreSciences. As one teacher remarked about Teams and Classroom: “with both platforms you can add parental/guardian emails so that they can receive a weekly digest of the assignments that their son/daughter received, whether they have been completed or not, and any grades associated with it”. As for CoreSciences: “my students have told me that they really enjoy using CoreSciences. They also comment on how quick and easy it is to learn what they need to know about each required practical. It’s such a useful learning tool that it’s become an essential part of my students’ learning experience. I can’t imagine replacing it with anything else.” These remote learning tools not only help teachers but they also help parents keep track of their child’s work.
- Interactive Classroom Displays
Another useful feature has been interactive classroom displays. Interactive image editing platforms, such as Thinglink, enable interactive images to be made by embedding images, videos and songs. Teachers can then create virtual classrooms that their students can interact with at home, by clicking on various links on the display, as if they were at school.
- Parents’ Evenings
The future of parents’ evenings are also set to change. Both teachers and parents feel that virtual meetings are far more effective and time efficient than having to physically meet in person. It also gives working parents more flexibility to catch-up with teachers rather than having to rush to an appointment, making it an overall smoother and more positive experience.
- Audio Feedback
How feedback is delivered to students has also evolved. Some teachers have been using audio feedback as a way of offering advice. Both students and staff have found listening to constructive feedback via recordings to be particularly useful as it feels more personal and students can pause the recording to reflect on any important points that are made. It also saves teachers from extensive marking.
- Pre-recorded Video Lessons
Finally, pre-recorded video lessons have been an important remote learning feature that will be here to stay. Teachers have accumulated a large bank of videos over the homeschooling period that can be reused for revision. They can also be used to help students who may have missed a lesson, or taken some time out of school, and help them catch up.
It seems that many aspects of remote teaching will be here to stay, and that a blended learning approach will remain as part of the new normal within the classroom. Technological advancements will inevitably grow over the years and we will see how they continue to improve the future of education.