Beware of Time-Wasting Low-Level Technology Learning
Technology is being pushed in the classrooms like never before. One of the musts of classroom instruction nowadays is the use of EdTech. In fact, principles walk through the classrooms to do their five-minute checks with a list, and one of the things they check is, “Is the teacher using technology?” However, many principles fail to check if the technology is being used correctly or if time is being wasted on low-level technology learning.
The Celebration of Technology
We understand what Education Technology (EdTech) is. It’s the use of technology to teach children. It spans everything from computers in the classroom to virtual reality (VR) to entire online degree platforms and everything in between.
The spending of education and training industries worldwide has increased by a stunning 84% since 2000. This represents a spending of over $4 trillion! Why? Because EdTech is that that celebrated.
Why is it that celebrated? Simple. Education technology improves user engagement and increases learning impact, raising fact recall, and improving grades. This is due to several factors. One reason is due to gamification, which motivates the students to keep trudging on through their courses. Another is the integration of multi-media. Research proves that we remember a much larger percentage of what we watch on a video than what we hear in a classroom. Yet another reason is the immersive nature of EdTech. When a child lives what they learn, they learn it better and remember it longer.
The Overlooked Flaw
However, there is one flaw to EdTech, outside of the four known EdTech issues, that many either turn a blind eye to or don’t know to look for. If you’re using education technology, but you’re not using it well, then you are wasting your time and the precious little bit of learning time your students have in the classroom each day with low-level learning.
So many schools hyper-focus on “it’s digital” when they should be focusing on instruction. If you’re not using the technology well—if you’re not using it to teach your students correctly, then why are you using it at all? You must focus on student learning!
Yes, EdTech is excellent when it is used correctly, but you must beware of time-wasting low-level technology learning. Spending thirty minutes using technology because it’s technology when it doesn’t fulfill a learning objective when you could have accomplished the same goal in fifteen minutes on paper is an example of time-wasting low-level technology learning.
Fixing the Flaw
There is no overnight fix to this mortal flaw that is killing education. It’s not that it’s a complicated fix. It’s just that it takes time to take hold. First, we must educate our administrators. Next, we must train our teachers.
What do I mean?
We Must Educate Our Administrators
Many of our administrators have the mindset that EdTech will fix the education system. This is simply not factual. The truth is that the correct implementation of EdTech will make a substantial difference. Notice the insertion of the little word, “correct.” If the EdTech is not used correctly in the classroom, it will not have the effect that the administrators are hoping for. This brings us to our second point.
We Must Train Our Teachers
Many teachers are technologically trained in using EdTech (if they’re trained at all). This is all good and well. However, if they are not pedologically trained on the same education technology, they won’t know how to apply it in the classroom. EdTech completely changes an educator’s way of teaching. Without the proper training, they are left to figure it out on their own, and that’s a difficult spot to be in. The sad part is that, at that point, the administrators, who are of the mindset that the EdTech will fix their school, think the failure of the EdTech lies with the teacher.
EdTech is an excellent addition to the modern-day classroom when it’s used correctly. However, correct usage takes pedological training. And this training shouldn’t be taken lightly. Otherwise, the school will be infected with time-wasting low-level technology learning.