The globalisation of digital technology means that more and more children are gaining access to digital mediums and the internet year by year. According to a recent study by The Guardian, a major 97% of young people between 15-24 years understand basic digital skills, a statistic that has been consistently increasing over the past few years. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the digital evolution has begun to take over the classroom. Schools across the UK are spending approximately £900 million a year on modernising their digital sector and classroom design. With the estimated global market of £129 billion by the year 2020, the expense for schools is only looking to increase. Furthermore, as each new techno-gadget that is manufactured has a heftier cost than the last, it leads to question how essential these technologies are for teaching purposes and whether or not the pros weigh out the price tag.
Flipped Classroom Learning
To look at some of the benefits and negatives or digital education it’s important to look at what learning styles are being implemented in the classroom to analyse whether or not they successfully go hand in hand. ‘Flipped Classroom’ learning requires students to research their lesson plan outside the classroom, and more often than not this requires access to online resources. The benefits of the flipped approach aims to make students more pro-active and steps away from the traditional set up of teachers being stuck at the front of the classroom. However, this technique often relies on internet access to research the lesson ahead. Statistics from 2017, from the Office for National Statistics, showed that 90% of households in Great Britain had access to the internet. Although this is a 1% increase from 2016, this could still affect student access in Great Britain. It could be argued that the students affected by this may be overlooked due to internet access being a common denominator amongst most households in the UK.
Gamification is another education trend that often relies on a digital approach. You can read more about the benefits of Gamification on one of previous TeacherBoards Community articles here. Although having internet access at home can be a possible red flag for some students, gamification techniques can be implemented in the classroom and don’t always rely on a homework approach.
BETT – British Educational Training and Technology
The BETT is an annual trading show that aims to provide the education sector with the most up to date and effective educational technologies. Major education lead companies such as Frog Education, Clevertouch, Microsoft and SAM Learning are amongst some of the exhibitors at this show. According to BETT, their role is to bring people, ideas, practices and technologies together and help educators fulfil their full potential in the classroom through the modern digital era. One of the argued advantages that modern education and technology brings is that implementing digital training in the classroom can prepare young people for an unpredictable future, helping them understand the intricacies of contemporary society. Technology can help transform teaching for good, using practical tools to help inspire children, help lessons become more time efficient, and also help teachers explore innovative inventions such as augmented reality and AI learning.
Distraction or Motivation?
Any classroom feature that diverts away from the habitual lesson plan usually gets a warm welcome from students. However, if students lose focus during the lesson the technology they’re using can become a distraction. It’s important to secure the right measures before the lesson begins. Website blockers, timed tasks, and close supervision can avoid these digital disruptions. Digital applications can also motivate students to research and learn new things in their own way and at their own pace. Some students may prefer online articles and others may thrive better listening to podcasts and watching educational videos.