Classroom technology is a contentious topic, even in 2019. While many believe that advanced tech like tablets and computers have no place in the classroom, others still point to the many benefits technology in the classroom has for students and teachers.
The idea of technology in the classroom seems relatively new, and it’s a hot button topic as the world races towards an increasingly digital future. However, it’s been known by education researchers since 1994 that technology empowers students to engage with teaching materials on deeper levels. According to research, it is also well-established that computers improve collaborative learning among students.
Technology not only revolutionizes education, but also inspires sustainability, both from an environmental and business perspective. Read on to discover exactly how it accomplishes that.
5 Reasons to Bring Technology into the Classroom
The rise of education technology, or EdTech, is fundamentally changing the landscape of the classroom and the campus. Technology brings many opportunities to change the way students learn and prepare for the future while improving campus sustainability.
Digital classroom technology:
1. Improves Access to Learning Materials
Just like technology improves accessibility in the office, it also makes learning materials more accessible as well. Teachers already frequently leverage digital tools such as email and cloud storage/file sharing (Google Drive, DropBox, et al.). By integrating technology into lessons, they can also access better digital media and interactive software to more easily provide resources for students.
Likewise, digital tools make it easier to provide learning materials in a variety of formats. From text-to-speech technology to visual teaching techniques, digital technology helps meet the needs of a wider variety of learning styles.
2. Results in Less Printing
According to Edutopia, a site run by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, the average school uses about 250,000 pieces of paper per year. In the 2015-2016 school year, there were 98,277 public schools in the United States. Together, that equals an average of 24.5 billion sheets of computer paper used by the public school system alone.
Leveraging digital technology is one of the easiest ways to reduce printing in a school. Homework and essays can be transmitted easily through many tools such as TurnItIn and DropBox or even email. Likewise, it’s much easier to disseminate digital copies of required readings and lecture notes.
Less printing means more than just less paper. It also means less electricity use, fewer carbon emissions put into the air from the creation of toner cartridges , and reduced waste in schools.
3. Makes Teaching and Classroom Management More Efficient
Classroom sizes have been increasing over the past ten years, putting greater burdens on teachers to keep everything organized. Technology improves classroom sustainability by giving teachers the tools they need for effective classroom management. With student tracking apps such as seat assignments and digital grading books, teachers can spend less time focusing on their own paperwork and more time doing what they do best: teaching.
Using technology for classroom management also goes beyond tools for teachers. An increasing number of schools are implementing software to improve the resource efficiency of buildings. For instance, many schools use software to automatically turn off lights, HVAC systems or computers which aren’t being used.
4. Keeps School Relevant for Students
At its core, school is designed to do much more than simply pass on critical abilities like reading and writing. School is also meant to help students prepare for the future—and that future is digital.
Nearly every job requires some level of digital literacy, defined as the ability to acquire, evaluate, and utilize digital tools or platforms. Students and parents recognize this. They’re increasingly demanding a greater presence of technology in the classroom. Schools which fail to meet this expectation may soon find their enrollment rates dropping as future students drift towards institutions which do.
5. Embraces a New Paradigm for Education
The nature of education is changing, and a paperless classroom is one sign of that. Technology is ushering in new ways of teaching and learning, inspiring things like collaboration via Google Docs or encouraging connection with lessons through unusual avenues like social media. Where education was once a static concept full of rote exercises, classroom technology is encouraging a more dynamic and holistic approach to education.
Embrace the Future with Classroom Technology
Classroom technology brings many opportunities to improve school sustainability and change the way education is conducted. By transitioning to paperless classrooms, schools can reduce their carbon footprint and help transition to an educational model which recognizes the reality of a digital world.
CDS helps educational institutions prepare for the future with the right technology solutions. Start a conversation with us today about how your campus is evolving.