In the most recent years, education technology has established a prominent presence in classrooms and continues to be at the forefront of learning. It is transforming learning as we know it today and offers many benefits to both students and educators. Here are five of our favorite ways EdTech can benefit students:
1. Personalized Learning Opportunities
It is well known that students learn at different levels and speeds and often need scaffolds and/or accommodations to aid them in mastering a topic. For educators, it can be both time-consuming and difficult to ensure that student needs are met given their class size and other factors. Luckily, education technology offers tools to ensure students are getting what they need.
On many EdTech platforms, students can work at their own pace helping to ensure they are given the adequate time necessary to finish a task. Some EdTech platforms provide read aloud materials or additional multimedia resources. Other platforms translate content into various languages and allow students to control the way in which information is presented to better meet their visual preferences. Additionally, many EdTech platforms allow educators to easily customize and adapt materials based on specific students’ academic needs. Who doesn’t love equitable learning?
2. Gamified & Playful Approach to Learning
According to The University of Waterloo Centre for Teaching Excellence, gamification is the integration of game elements into “conventional” learning activities (Gamification and game-based learning 2022). The process of gamification can even be traced back to the 19th century when Dimitri Mendeleev used card games to aid him in creating a version of the Periodic Table of Elements (5 benefits of Gamification 2016). With gaming being as popular as it is today in the 21st century, educators have been adding gamification to their lessons to help facilitate learning.
The process of “gamifying” a lesson is quite simple and is often made even easier by EdTech platforms. For example, with EdTech platforms, educators can offer student badges as incentives to complete tasks and reach milestones. Educators can also assign pre-made educational games, puzzles, and trivia questions to students as a task to complete once they finish reading. So, as it was stated above, gamifying a lesson is relatively easy. Of course, a gamified lesson can be made much more intricate than the examples provided, however, these are just a few simple ways to get started today!
3. Digital Literacy
Digital literacy is the ability to use technology to find information, evaluate sources, create content, and communicate with others (Digital Literacy & Online Learning Resources 2021). In our current society, we use technology daily to work, play, and learn. It is not only necessary to have access to the internet, but it is also important to know how the internet works. That said, students need to learn how to safely navigate the technological playing field to establish their place in our modern world.
While there is a safety concern when using technology and the internet, many EdTech platforms offer extensive monitoring capabilities to educators, parents, and other stakeholders helping to create a safer environment for students. For example, platforms commonly provide families and educators with data on login frequency, usage rates, and more giving stakeholders transparency on how students are navigating the respective platform. By allowing students access to EdTech platforms at all ages, students can gradually improve their digital literacy and compile the necessary skills for future grade levels, and even careers in safe and monitored environments.
4. Increased Engagement
Education technology allows for content to be introduced in non-traditional ways which, more often than not, makes learning enjoyable for students. Through EdTech platforms, students can contribute to a lesson in ways that make them feel comfortable. For example, with EdTech platforms, students are not put on the spot to contribute before an entire class. Most times, students can contribute anonymously which may make them feel more comfortable and therefore increase their likelihood of contributing.
Do you want to know one of the best parts about EdTech platforms? They can increase student engagement at all levels. Of course, some platforms are designed for specific age groups, however, there is technology available for students of all ages. In addition, EdTech platforms allow students to take control of their learning and explore new people, topics, and ideas in ways that they prefer. If a student enjoys what they are learning and how they absorb the information, they are bound to engage with the material more frequently.
5. Access to More Learning Resources
It goes without saying that educators are the core of classrooms and are invaluable to student learning. EdTech platforms should not replace educators in the classroom, instead they should serve as a supplement. As a supplement, EdTech can offer students access to a multitude of resources that can enhance their learning of topics already taught by their classroom teacher.
The assortment of EdTech platforms available today provides students with access to a wide variety of resources from which they can choose the best platforms for their learning needs. In a similar sense, students are also able to choose the best platforms based on their likes and interests. The resources available relate to an array of subjects from reading/ language arts to geometry, chemistry and beyond. With access to tailored resources relating to different subjects, students are likely to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to supplement their classroom learning.
5 benefits of Gamification. Smithsonian Science Education Center. (2016, March 10). Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://ssec.si.edu/stemvisions-blog/5-benefits-gamification
Digital Literacy & Online Learning Resources. Maryville Online. (2021, April 9). Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://online.maryville.edu/blog/digital-literacy-a-comprehensive-guide-to-modern-education-technology/
Gamification and game-based learning. Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2022, April 4). Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/gamification-and-game-based-learning