There’s no two ways about it – Education Technology is brilliant for presenting remote concepts and simulating scenarios that you simply can’t do in the real world.
Recent software innovations let you turn off gravity and visualise the results, children can physically create and move angles around learning about their construct and limitations on a deep level, they can see how continents have shifted through watching them move to their current global positions. Presenting far-flung ideas like these in real time and letting students interact with them on a physical level is a great way of involving them in a subject and helping them to understand it.
However, schools and colleges need to integrate technology into the curriculum with great care and training is key to the process. Teachers must be able to use the technology in their schools confidently to deliver engaging lessons and maximise the benefits for their students.
It’s important to remember that software, tablets, interactive touchscreen displays and indeed any classroom technology, amplifies both good and bad teaching practices. Put educational technology into the hands of a confident teacher who has the appropriate support, training and policies in place and children will get the most out of it. By contrast, when the integration of classroom technology is in the hands of a teacher lacking in confidence and without the appropriate skills it becomes a distraction, which could have a negative effect.
A technology champion on the teaching staff and good training ensures the smooth integration of technology through the curriculum and it promotes adoption of the technology by teachers.
A great example of a technology champion is Stephen Hawke, ICT Coordinator and Deputy Head at Grafton Primary in Dagenham, who played an important role in the successful deployment of iPads and Clevertouch screens at his school. Providing support to his colleagues and helping them to integrate the technology into their classrooms and through the curriculum, has not only improved the learning experience for the children, it has encouraged adoption of the technology across the school.
And, students are also getting in on the act with many schools introducing digital leader programmes for students. A Digital Leaders programme gets students involved in supporting ICT in their schools either by providing technical help to pupils and staff in lessons, or helping to train their teachers. Two Clevertouch Schools, Denbigh High School in Luton and Elizabeth Woodville Primary School in Leicester, run successful Digital Leader programmes.
Most manufacturers and system integrators offer comprehensive training to schools. At BETT 2017, Clevertouch will be conducting regular tutorials for teachers and students on stand C288.
You can view our BETT highlights and see up to the minute information on our tutorials here.