By Amber Muenzenberger
There is growing support for education technology (edtech), and surprisingly, it’s not just coming from digital native students. Teachers, too, are realizing the benefits of educational technologies both in and out of the classroom. Teachers are beginning to echo the need for educational technologies and are asking for more.
Edtech is changing the way teachers and students interact with course content. However, it’s important to note that the relationship between teachers and students remains as critical as ever. Access to edtech can increase collaboration and communication, as well as engagement and exploration in the teaching and learning process.
It was recently reported that 62 percent of faculty highly support having more edtech, while 30 percent report medium support. The top two reasons educators are pushing for more edtech include a desire to experiment with new teaching methods or tools (68 percent agree) and already having succeeded with edtech previously (66 percent agree).
In the Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students report, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, teachers reported increased student motivation and self esteem as a primary result of using technology in the classroom. The report noted that that “most common–and in fact, nearly universal–teacher-reported effect on students was an increase in motivation, including student satisfaction with the immediate feedback provided by the computer and the sense of accomplishment and power gained in working with technology.”
Less surprising in all of this is the fact that students want more edtech in the learning experience too. Most students today have grown up with technology at their fingertips. It’s how they get things done–socially, academically and professionally. According to EDUCAUSE, 79 percent of undergraduate students surveyed prefer courses that incorporate online components for some, half or most of their courses, an increase of five percentage points since last year.
Among the classroom technologies that students want most, lecture capture came in a number one. Also on the edtech list, educational games and simulations were highly desired, with more than 50% of student respondents wishing instructors used them more.
While there are plenty of pros and cons up for debate when it comes to more technology in the classroom, “technology in education can open doors to new experiences, new discoveries, and new ways of learning and collaborating.” Education technology has become an integral part of the teaching and learning process now and for the future.