The Importance of Technology in Society

Technology has become an integral part of modern society. While technology has been utilized by educators as long as it has existed, it is even more prevalent in today's highest achieving classrooms. From the original chalk and blackboards to smart boards and laptops, today's technology can be the perfect sidekick or assistant to a busy teacher.

Technology has reached a point that enables students and educators to surpass the boundaries of both physical distance and time. For example, teachers can record a video or audio lesson and post it onto the school's website or onto the Internet. The lesson then becomes available for students to use regardless of where they are at or when the lesson occurred.

The uploaded files can be viewed at any time, making them into flexible tools that can be accessed whenever needed. The lessons also become permanent, as they do not suddenly vanish after the student watches them one time.

For students, having access to this kind of technology allows them to continue with their studies under all sorts of circumstances. From a personal illness requiring them to stay out of the classroom for a few days to doing a tour of duty for the National Reserves, students will not have to deal with any disruptions to their education.

Different online tools and devices allow educators to reach and even advance their goals. A student who was confused or missed a lesson could go back and review the segment countless times until it begins to make sense. Many of these technologies allow for real time interactions through video and audio streams

Better Time Management

One of the main concerns brought up by teachers through a survey of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the issue of time management. Currently, teachers use antiquated systems that involve spending hours of time grading homework and entering scores and test results into spreadsheets. Even after all of this effort, the time does not provide a good insight into a student's learning process or the progress that they have made.

EdTech allows teachers to have better time management by allowing for direct interactions with every student. This provides educators a clear overview of each person's progress at any point in time and over the course of a semester. Teachers will not even have to spend so much time grading tests, homework and essays, because there are highly developed EdTech tools that will do it for them.

Performance Measurement

Digital systems can also provide clearer and more in-depth reports about a student's activities. Grading diagnostics can look at a student's progress in one subject as well as over many subjects so that educators can get a better idea of overall performance. A student's progress is measured in real time so that teachers can see which students are falling behind and provide them with extra tutoring or feedback to improve their performances. At the same time, teachers can see which students are coming out ahead and get information from them about which tools and technologies have contributed to their success in the physical or virtual classroom.

More Resources

Traditionally, teachers were limited in their networking opportunities to perhaps a few of their colleagues within the school or at other schools of the same level in their same city or region. Today, teachers can save time and gain more resources because EdTech allows for easy sharing of ideas and curricula between teachers anywhere.

It no longer matters whether a teacher is across the building or across the world, because ideas, lesson plans and curricula can be shared at any time, nearly instantaneously. Teachers can have access to more lesson plans and teaching resources to help them go more in-depth about a subject that students are showing a great level of interest in learning.

By posting their lesson plans and recordings of their visual and audio teaching techniques, teachers can get feedback from other educators. This can help a teacher to improve their style and communication skills for even greater levels of student success. By enabling teachers to collaborate with others in their branch and receive personalized coaching and constructive criticism, EdTech is a great tool for an educator's personal development. that make it seem as if the educator and student were in the same classroom learning together at the same time.

Enhanced Collaboration with Students and the Community

Today's online tools allow teachers to achieve greater levels of collaboration with their students and the community. Hands-on experience and learning about how things really work is of increasing importance to a student's education. For example, rather than trying to find a local physician who can lecture to high school students about the importance of regular physical activity and its benefits on the body, teachers can conduct a digital collaboration and use interactive tools so that a doctor from anywhere in the world can show students real time electrocardiograms, images of blood flow through the body and increased athletic performance.

Teachers can collaborate with nature experts to give students an interactive tour of a protected wildlife area or a bird's eye view of nature at work. Most of these experiences are impossible to fund or organize under traditional means, but they can be done with great speed and minimal cost when using the tools provided by EdTech.

Diagnosing the Learning Needs of Each Student

One of the greatest benefits of EdTech for today's educators is its ability to diagnose the learning needs of each student. Rather than making a one-size-fits-all lesson plan and hoping that all the audio and hands-on learners can figure out what is going on through a visual demonstration or drawing of a concept, teachers can incorporate all of these needs into the same lesson plan.
The analytic tools of EdTech allow teachers to quickly determine a student's preferred and most successful learning style by using actual impartial data rather than trying to guess or make assumptions about what looks like it works.

Keeping the Lessons Interesting

No matter what the age of the student is, being exposed to the same type of instructional method class after class and day after day can quickly lead to boredom and disinterest. This is where the benefits of EdTech for educators and students intersect. EdTech allows teachers to vary their methods of instruction. In a chemistry class, students can be shown what happens when potassium and water are mixed, without the teacher actually having to put anyone in harm's way.

Then, a digital simulation of the movement of electrons between the elements can be shown as a visual display, while the teacher's words in the background break down in audio terms what is going on during the chemical reaction.

This sort of learning not only keeps students awake after the lunch hour, but it also helps educators to spark their students' interest in concepts that were traditionally difficult to explain using only diagrams, printed books or words.

Fostering Interactive Learning Experiences

Interactive learning allows a student to fully participate in their education. Rather than justsitting in a chair and listening to their teacher talk or lecture about the day's lessons, interactive learning brings the abstract into real life.

For example, EdTech allows for an interactive collaboration so that music students can see how striking a certain key on a piano or strumming a string on an acoustic guitar results in the production of waves of energy, and how those waves dissipate.

A music student might not have had any idea of how feedback differs under different humidity or air pressure levels, while a physics student might not have realized that melodies have mathematical and physical properties.

EdTech can bring together these seemingly unrelated subjects and increase a student's understanding and interest in both of them. This interactivity helps educators to create multidisciplinary lessons that make the world really come together for their students.

Meeting Student Needs

With EdTech, teachers can offer students a dynamic learning environment and challenge them to a greater level. Educators can deliver content and lessons directly to their students not only in the classroom, but anywhere and at any time. Online tools are having an even greater impact in higher education in order to meet the schedule needs of modern students who also hold other responsibilities, such as part-time or full-time jobs. The increased use of technology in higher education also helps student attain familiarity with the tools they will need to use on a daily basis in their future careers.

In using the appropriate tools, teachers can diagnose a student's learning needs and spot gaps in a student's understanding of the material. Instead of only discovering this at the end of a term, the real-time application of EdTech allows a teacher to act accordingly so that the student can get back on track. Teachers can adapt their instructional methods by incorporating more visual aids or audio tools to help with the learning process. EdTech can also help teachers adjust the pace and content of their courses in order to further maximize every student's needs in real time. Instead of lingering on a topic or breezing past a confusing issues, teachers will be able to speed ahead or slam on the brakes as needed. This entire process is a significant improvement over the past one-size-fits-all approach utilized in traditional classrooms.

Meeting Student Needs

With many schools using different curricula, testing standards and learning goals, meeting a city's, state's or federal educational objective or goal can be a challenge in a traditional classroom based upon pencils, paper and books.

EdTech offers educators the opportunity to work together at aligning educational objectives so that students are prepared for the next level and more advanced lessons. One of the greatest gaps in alignment of educational objectives comes in the language arts.

Elementary school level educators have reported significant gaps when it comes to a student's ability to attain goals from year to year. High school math educators have reported the same problems. With EdTech, educators can work together to align their instructional objectives based upon each grade level and the school district's or state's standards for understanding of the subject material.

EdTech can be especially helpful to teachers and students who are transferring from one school to another so that the learning process is not derailed due to different learning expectations.

When it comes to the bottom line, teachers using EdTech get more time, information and options for doing their essential jobs. Teachers are always on the lookout for tools that are more functional and that assist with the learning process, rather than tools that are just entertaining or fun.

Currently, there are many products out there, but not all of them have been tested by teachers and developers. Mutual feedback is critical for the creation of better digital tools for use in the classroom.

In embracing technology, teachers are not only helping themselves to be better at their jobs, but they are also learning and speaking in a language that their students can understand, as today's newest generations tend to have a high level of digital literacy.