Children today are being introduced to technology at an increasingly early stage in their lives and, as such, are often fully accustomed to using digital solutions in their day-to-day lives by the time they reach school. Educators should be leveraging this trend to equip children with life skills such as communication, problem solving, and collaboration, which are all essential to students succeeding in the workplace of the future.
By bringing devices into the classroom and integrating them within the curriculum, teaching can become more interactive and engaging, delivering an enhanced learning experience to pupils. Schools must of course be confident that they are implementing the right device to meet their needs but, once that step is completed, it opens a host of new tools and techniques to better the classroom experience.
The key to maximising the potential of technology in the classroom comes in considering the types of devices educators want to use, and the benefits they’ll bring. Lightweight hybrid devices, such as the Toshiba Portégé X20W-D, which can operate in both laptop and tablet mode afford teachers the flexibility to move around the classroom and show different learning resources to different students – helping to personalise education with tailored support. And when it comes to planning, digital assets reduce the cost of printed handouts, while there is the option of quickly and easily providing more engaging resources such as videos, images and links. Similarly, the time taken to mark and provide feedback to students can be significantly reduced, meaning teachers have more time to dedicate directly to pupils.
Once the right device has been chosen, there are many ways in which educators can use it in the classroom to teach students not only soft skills, but also the technical skills they will need in the workplace of the future. Below are a three easy ways technology can be implemented in the classroom to facilitate teaching and pupil engagement.
Digital notebooks such as the Microsoft OneNote are a great tool that both drives collaborative working, and helps teachers to develop knowledge and experience of using apps in education. By asking questions in OneNote’s dedicated collaboration section for all class members to respond to, teachers can assess individual student’s knowledge and with the added benefit of being able to provide instant feedback.
Microsoft Teams enables teachers to set up student working groups, which foster teamwork, co-creation and literacy. For instance, within each team, students could work together to add to a story or document the teacher has provided. Teachers can then observe how work develops, and easily identify when and where guidance is needed.
Explore career paths of the future
Online communities such as Skype enable teachers to demonstrate real-world connections to subjects such as maths and science, by connecting with experts across the globe. Teachers can connect to a network of professionals to help their students explore various career paths, tell them about the skills and education they’ll need, and inspire them for the future.
With technology developing at an astronomical pace, it’s hard to say exactly what the future workplace will look like. But what we can be sure of is that digital skills will be inherent in almost every job. Adopting new technology may be a daunting task for schools, but the potential for it to simplify teaching, enhance the learning experience, and prepare students for future career opportunities is huge.