EdTech gets pretty bad press in education. Evidence from PISA consistently shows a negative or zero impact on learning. What the data does not show is what the Edtech was actually used for. I have been teaching long enough to remember that a trip to the computer room was like a free lesson. ‘Make me a presentation on the Solar System.’ An hour later and there were lots of pretty PowerPoints of copied and pasted information and virtually no learning had taken place.
Research into pedagogy has come a huge way in the last few years and there is some compelling evidence of strategies that lead to good learning and others that do not.
If we look at something like the Educational Endowment Foundation Toolkit it shows the cost, how strong the evidence is and the impact of the intervention
What is obvious is how difficult and time-consuming most of these interventions are in an analogue classroom ie one without Edtech.
Using Edtech to do what is hard or impossible to do without it.
Collaboration appears to be a very effective learning strategy, but organising it so students are physically able to work together and then trying to work out who contributed what to the final product is incredibly difficult to do. Edtech tears down the walls of your classroom allowing contributions from anywhere at any time to be amalgamated and the contributions of each person to be highlighted.
More Effective Feedback
Feedback needs to be fast, accessible and appropriate. This is possible with a small pupil-to-teacher ratio but nigh on impossible if you want to have a life with a large class. Tools like rubrics and comment banks in Google Classroom streamline this process and allow drafting and redrafting, whilst verbal recordings like Mote transform feedback to allow emotions and Ora y to be transmitted instantly to the student.
Reduce Student Stress and slash your marking.
Tests are stressful to many in a way that quizzes are not. Marking even short tests A digital pre-test informs what needs to be taught, and a post-test shows what still needs to be taught or retaught. Best of all no marking!! Kahoot is highly engaging and can be set for homework or carried out in class. What many teachers do not realise is the rich data that is contained in Kahoot reports breaking down the performance of every student and highlighting weak areas of the class.
Recording yourself explaining tricky concepts and making the recording available to those students who need the repetition frees you to give more personalised instruction.
As a science teacher, I would always prefer hands-on , but some simulations available give a level of information and clarity impossible in the real world.
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