The need to integrate technology in classrooms
Schools know why they do what they do. It’s the teachers and students who need inspiration and leadership. Why integrate technology in classrooms and schools? Why is it essential? These are relevant questions a lot of Indian schools fail to ask themselves before they decide on purchasing and integrating technology in classrooms.
We all know the story about the first controlled flight. The Wright brothers inventing the first controlled flying plane is not quite a complete picture. Nobody talks about all the others who were trying to do the same. Designing the first controlled plane wasn’t just a project the Wright brothers had taken up. It was a game-changing idea and everybody at that time wanted to do it. But what is it that made the difference? Why couldn’t Samuel Pierpont Langley achieve this before the Wright Brothers did? After all, he was the one with the right education and financial backing at that time. The Wright Brothers were just self-taught engineers from the suburbs. The difference is that they knew why they were doing it. They believed that controlled flight was possible and did all that they could to build one.
As an institution, you have to make sure that technology isn’t just a tool to maintain the status quo. But a tool to enhance your force of teachers and students. To take your enthusiasm in educational technology and turn it into results for your teachers and students is the true goal. You begin with
Why do I want my teachers and staff to learn this technology?
You aren’t asking what technology should I purchase to enhance my school. You already know the technology available, the school ERPs, the LMSs, studying guide apps the list is endless. The need for purchase must stem out of the why and not the what. For example, we develop a school ERP, Fedena, often we ask ourselves why we do what we do? Is it just because we live in a digital age and schools and institutions need a school management software? Fedena comes with 50+ essential modules. We are rolling out an automatic timetable generator as a new module this December. It keeps a record of every student, teacher, and staff. Helps you with finances, automates hostel allocations, and a whole lot of other stuff. Why do we want schools and Institutions to buy Fedena? Is it because Fedena is a better product?
We believe that every school and institution should have the power to lead and inspire generations of students. Give them the ability to think for themselves. In order for them to do that, the administration of their resources is paramount. Schools should be in a position to stop worrying about maintaining records. Start worrying about how better to connect with students to enhance their learning. We want to help schools understand the difference technology can make in the lives of admins, teachers, and students.
Once we pass the stage of the “Why”, only one question rises up from the teachers and staff,
Why do we need this change? Is this going to be a constant process, changing from one software to another? Why aren’t we just sticking to our traditional ways?
Reform or change is always an ongoing process. It is only with reform and change that anything becomes great. Helping them understand the results of adapting to technology in this digital age is just the first step. Schools will have to show them these results once the technology is successfully integrated in classrooms. Which brings us to the next question
How do I want my teachers and students to experience technology in the classroom?
In a diverse country like India, it is critical to understand the penetration technology has and how people experience it. In a study done by Gartner last year and insights provided by Huffingtonpost. There is a stark difference on how a PC is seen by students in Tier 1 cities and the rest of the country.
“PCs are a one-stop information source for 80 percent youth in Tier 1 cities. Students in Delhi (83 percent), Mumbai (70 percent) and Bengaluru (70 percent) are highly dependent on their personal computing devices, compared to the country average of 41 percent.(sic)”
Read more: Significance of IoT in education
The post also goes on to say that students in Tier 4 cities take the PC seriously and see it as an educational tool. The students in Tier 1 cities have a more relaxed approach to the PC. East Indians prefer to experience the internet as well as technology only via cybercafes rather than owning one of their own. This study provides us with a lot of insights on how teachers and students experience technology across India.
Teachers in Tier 1 are more likely to have access to PCs at home as well as schools. While teachers in Tier 4 are not likely to know how to operate a PC. This gives us a good idea of how students and teachers are experiencing technology. On the basis of this data, Indian schools and institutions can develop strategies to integrate technology in classrooms.
Once schools are done designing the right experience for teachers and students with technology, truly enhancing the learning process gets ever closer. This is also the time when teachers, staff, and students would be asking schools
What technology are you getting next? Is it really going to enhance learning? How is it going to make the process more efficient?
As the head of an institution or the principal of a school, it is important to ask yourself these questions. This exercise helps you reach answers to the problems and obstacles you are facing while integrating technology into your classrooms. Almost always you will realize the transformation you are looking for in your school. This is what we believe. We engage all our customers in a similar fashion helping them bring transformations and enhancements with ease.
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