We consider that technology should not be used for technology’s sake as this is proven not to improve outcomes. It should only be used when it frees teachers and learners to be more effective in what they do best and that is to teach and to learn.
Think not what technology can do for learner outcomes but what you can do for learner outcomes with technology
Research shows, that in school, the teacher is the most important factor on student achievement. Teachers spend their careers developing how they teach though their initial teacher training and ongoing professional development. It is critical therefore that they should only use technology if it frees and supports them to teach as well as they can.
Unfortunately, well designed technology is not as common place as it should be. Teachers are all too familiar cumbersome and antiquated systems not originally designed for the classroom or software built by people who don’t understand what teachers and learners need.
Well designed technology is different. It can free teachers from the numerous burdens of being a teacher leaving them to focus on teaching. Detailed lesson and weekly planning was identified by 38% of teachers in the Teacher Workload Challenge as an unnecessary burden. Leading to it being the focus of a 2016 government white paper, Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources, March 2016.
The white paper makes various recommendations, namely that education institutions should make it easier for teachers to plan collaboratively, share their planning, be able to adapt other teacher’s plans and have access to high quality resources.
Technology that enables teachers to do these things, not only frees them to focus on their teaching but it develops them professionally as they collaborate with others.
With teacher recruitment and retention reportedly at an all time crisis, surely it is the role of technology to make teachers’ lives easier. This will encourage them to join and remain in the profession as they are free to do what they do best and what has the biggest impact on student outcomes.
And that is teach.
Author: Atif Mahmood
Founder and Managing Director of Lumici Slate