Technology in Classrooms for Better Classroom Management
Content Head, DS Digital (S Chand Group), Noida, Delhi-NCR
In today’s fast-paced times, technology alone can make education affordable and accessible to billions and transform our education system into a more Information and Communication Technology, ICT, enabled system. To spearhead towards a digital future, technology not only facilitates but also creates a digital environment that is student-led, inquiry-based, collaborative, co-operative and above all blended that celebrates the process called ‘learning’.
To quote Jennifer Fleming- “Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” So, use of ICTs in schools can enhance the teaching-learning outcomes. Innovative digital learning products make the total learning experience stimulating, hands-on and intuitive. While traditional teaching methods have played an important role in our education system, with the advent of digitisation the prospects have changed entirely.
Using technology empowers teachers to prepare their academic plan, curriculum plan, time table and student data interface, assessments; in fact, the entire gamut is at the click of a button. They just need to choose the right tools and techniques to meet their requirements.
At the same time, technological invasion in classrooms is adventurous and fruitful as this has revolutionised the learning process by providing the students more personalised education. With technology, the classroom is a happier place. Students are excited about being able to use technology and therefore are more apt to learn. Students’ digital devises have become everyday handy gadgets and lifelines.In case of absenteeism, students canupdate their assignments complete their tutorials using online facilities provided by school such as repository of online courses.
The classic passive learning mould is passé.Digital textbooks are constantly updated and often more vivid. Hence, they become a stimulating learning tool. Technologyhelps students take more control over their own learning. They learn how to make their own decisions and think responsiblyfor themselves.
Digital alternatives like Classroom Management System, CMS, closely reproduceswhat happens in the class on a daily basis. It includes the videos of class, timetables, assignments, links to online materials, class calendar, and many more.
Interactive whiteboards, projectors empower teachers to facilitate learning in innovative ways. Earlier, teachers used to spend quite a number of their classes in drawing and explaining different concepts like electromagnets, animal or plant cell, but now a 3D model of the same can aid teachers in saving their number of classes spent over explanation. The same classes or lectures now can be better utilised in developing the conceptual clarity of the students.
Homework and projects are now submitted online. Grades and comments are posted online immediately. Thus, enabling students to transparently know where they stand in the class. Students become equal partners in their education journey.
Furthermore, students use technology to accomplish tasks at every opportunity–schedule presentations, take a survey, read, time an activity, get directions or check data. They are at liberty to decide how best to communicate their learning requirements through audio-visual mode. This will empower each ‘type of learner’ to present his best while being in a comfort zone.
Traditional lectures are fast being replaced by savvy multimedia presentations that integrateimages, diagrams, sounds or videos. These can be excellent review and evaluation tools too.
Additionally, the digital platform strategically deals with the problem of lack of teachers for specialised subjects through eLearning modules –giving students the best eLearning experience and also supporting independency in their learning styles.
Education management technologies
Apart from classroom technologies, Education Resource Planning, ERP, software enables proper resource utilisation in schools in terms of scheduling of classes, planned budget allocation and continuous communication with all stakeholders of the education system.
ERP can be used by the school administration to collect data related to exam scores, class participation, students’ and teachers’ attendance and fees collection.Alongside, administrators can use the assessment mechanism to evaluate students, manage assessments, create effective question papers and also print student scorecards.
Smart education tools
With the expansion of mobile technologies in every sphere of our life, mobile devices, tablets and apps have become impertinent tools for education delivery in our country. The biggest challenge in the education sector is to meaningfully engage the learners to enhance the learning outcomes.Lately, tablets have become quite phenomenal as they can be used for tasks, which were earlier performed on desktops or laptops. Tablets and iPads make learning easier and interactive through their eBooks, which are a perfect combination of images, audio and video. In addition to textbooks, students can use tablets for doing their assignments. Mobile apps such as Dictionary.com, mystudygear, Lumosityand so on make it possible for the teachers to involve and engage students more interactively in a classroom atmosphere. These apps not only increase the learners’ engagement but also reduce the drudgery of studying abstract concepts. Furthermore, they act as study aids and reference guides both for students and teachers respectively.
However, a school just cannot use technology randomly! All stakeholders of our education system–students, teachers, administrators, parents need to be involved for envisioning and creating a digital curriculum to enable life-long learning and teaching. So, ‘engaging young minds with technology’ is the way forward!
Vaishali Sharma has about 16 years of work experience in the education industry. She brings functional expertise in curriculum design, content development, instructional design and teacher training.