Tech Innovation in the Classroom
By: Ricky Brown, Apple Professional Learning Specialist at Sync
The continued rollout of technology in education is already well underway in classrooms across the country, and for many, the benefits have already been made evident.
Ricky Brown, Apple Professional Learning Specialist at Sync, discusses how tech innovation in the classroom, coupled with the right device training, will continue to revolutionise the future of education by always putting students and teacher’s interactions first.
Supporting the learning of pupils
By providing students with technology, especially tablet devices, teachers are empowering students to become both self-directed and collaborative learners, fostering better communication pupil to pupil. A study by Apple reveals that 96% of teachers reported that the introduction of iPad has proven an indispensable tool in their teaching , offering students new, better ways of learning. The interactive devices and apps available help motivate and engage struggling students to find alternative, improved ways of working together both in the classroom and at home where necessary. This ensures learning does not stop as a result of challenges being faced, and offers a unique learning environment when traditional ways of teaching perhaps aren’t working, especially in a group setting. The array of these learning apps that are included on the device mean students of all ages can collaborate with classmates in today’s hybrid environment both at home or in school, as well as continuing to revise and learn maths, English and other core lessons independently.
The versatility of tablet devices, such as iPad, is what makes them perfect for enhancing the learning of students of any age. The user-friendly design and portability make it functional for almost all students, whether they use it in the classroom, in breakout rooms or in peer groups. The versatility of the device also proves appealing to students, as it offers an easier and more enjoyable user experience that proves indispensable to their school week and offers a way to engage in day-to-day activities with their friends and classmates.
A truly equitable learning environment allows students to access and engage with their education in a way that suits them, and the integration of technology allows schools to do just that. Apple devices allow students and staff to personalise their learning experience in the classroom and at home. The devices give end users the option to tailor their experience to how they learn best. For many students, this allows them to more effectively contribute to discussions and group activity. Tech enables groups of students to experience learning in a modern, accessible format.
The introduction of AI in education supplements this even further, as AI has the potential to quickly assess a child’s learning ability and adapt accordingly. With the rapid advancements in machine learning in recent years, there is no telling how far AI can go in education, but Apple will be at the forefront.
The increased use of technology in schools is fundamentally important in raising attainment among students. When teachers are also supported in using the devices successfully, the benefits to the students learning experience will prove even clearer from early on.
Supporting the duty of teachers
Tech gives educators an added ‘tool’, to engage schoolchildren using new methods and applications, as well as supporting traditional learning with apps that support revision and note taking. Tablet devices complement existing teaching approaches, rather than replace them, ensuring they can continue with widely accepted ‘ways’ of working alongside the introduction of technology in the classroom. The proven foundations of teaching schoolchildren are still there, but with innovative tech teaching is being enhanced and modernised.
The use of technology in the classroom has seen the introduction of hybrid working platforms, designed to enhance interaction not only between students and their teacher, but teacher to teacher both in the classroom and outside. One example is the Sync-partnered Showbie, an easy-to-use hybrid learning platform made for saving teachers time and effort. The app allows educators to manage their classroom and workflow, allowing teachers to communicate effortlessly with colleagues on joint-tasks and activities, saving them time for what matters most – teaching students and learning from senior colleagues. Showbie, among many other teaching applications purchasable in the app store, are being used by millions of educators to manage their time, organise the classroom and ultimately deliver improved collaborative work between teaching staff. IT Specialists Sync are on-hand to support educators to not only roll out the devices necessary, but to ‘teach the teachers’ how to utilise the tech and supportive apps successfully.
Teachers, working in schools across the country, have seen how using iPad in the classroom has opened so many doors in terms of how to communicate and engage with students in improved ways, as well as strengthening connections teacher to teacher when unable to teach from the classroom. In the aftermath of COVID-19 and hybrid working, if technology wasn’t considered fundamental to education, then it certainly is now. No longer are these devices out of reach for many schools and where possible, they should be deployed to support teachers in their communication with fellow staff and students.
The benefits of computer assisted learning for teachers, alongside adequate training to use such devices, is backed with undeniable evidence. A substantial 93% of schools reported that teachers save time on administration and assessment tasks following the integration of iPad in their workflows . By utilising technology in classrooms, teachers are also able to digitally mark and hand out assignments, removing the need to take home physical student workbooks. Staff can also easily access both their own lesson plans and content, as well as other teacher’s resources, saving time and simplifying the planning process lesson-by-lesson.
Ultimately, collaboration between teachers is the cornerstone of a successful learning environment and with the proper training, teachers can master using the devices as well as instilling that training in their pupils. The right devices for students are only the beginning, implementing the processes to enhance user experience involves the combination of hardware, software and training to drive real innovation across education. Sync believes that further introducing iPad in the classroom nationwide is only the first step, the next is technical training and support across schools to ensure both teachers and students are getting the maximum out of their Monday to Friday lessons. The right tech must be combined with professional training and support to ensure both students and teachers thrive in a post-covid classroom.