Challenges and Opportunities in Edtech - Let’s get real
During the ongoing global pandemic, edtech has been touted as a saviour that would allow education to continue. This spans virtual, blended and in-person teaching settings. Educators have been forced to adapt and improvise in the face of changing times, often choosing edtech solutions to help them connect with students.
But, the big question is...has edtech lived up to its full potential?
The results of using edtech have been a mixed bag so far. In certain scenarios products have been a massive failure. In others they have been a success. Overall though edtech has failed to live up to its potential.
By November of 2020, the average student was 2 months behind, meaning significant learning losses. In developing countries, the statistics were far worse. Edtech has helped reduce the learning gap and provide continuity of education, however edtech platforms must continue to adapt to provide the best learning opportunities for students while also supporting teachers. On the other hand, teachers must be smart about choosing the edtech products they use and how they implement their use.
Edtech Goals Must Align with Teacher Goals
Edtech resources must focus on aligning their goals with teacher goals to better serve students. What would this look like? Digital learning platforms should:
- Aim to automate tedious tasks so teachers can maximise the time they spend in the classroom and spend more time with students.
- Help teachers become better teachers by providing them with better content, tips, and tricks.
- Provide intervention and alerts that let teachers know when students need help. This ultimately makes teachers more effective. These alerts must be in real-time so that teachers can help students in a timely manner.
- Reduce learning anxiety. Edtech platforms have the potential to provide engagement and fun that traditional teaching methods, such as worksheets, can’t achieve. This new context and approach to maths learning helps anxious students reconnect.
- Prioritize pedagogical rigour over engagement to give students a deep conceptual understanding of concepts.
- Be a tool that teachers can trust. Teachers should feel that their edtech platforms are partners in the classroom, not burdens, or another requirement to tick off. Many edtech platforms are too complicated to implement effectively, resulting in teachers giving up or not using the tool to its full potential.
- Create intrinsic motivation. In other words, edtech platforms should make children excited about learning.
Yet, the majority of edtech products on the market today fall short in achieving these goals. Of these goals, the most important is achieving pedagogical excellence.
Edtech also has the potential to marry AI with excellence in pedagogy to create a personalised learning path for each student. For example, Matific’s unique algorithm follows students' progress through various activities. When students hit a roadblock or challenging area, the algorithm reroutes students to prerequisites that support learning and mastery. Matific also lets teachers know so they can intervene and support students.
Making the Most of Edtech: 3 Steps Teachers Can Take
Teachers have a lot of influence in choosing quality edtech platforms and how these tools get used in the classroom. Here are some tips for making the most of what edtech has to offer:
- Choose Wisely: Choose tools that meet as many of the above goals as possible. Most importantly, the platform should have excellent pedagogy.
- Use in Moderation: Technology is a tool in the classroom, not a replacement for learning experiences.
- Embrace It!: Once you’ve chosen your edtech tool, embrace it! Learn all about it so that you can reap the most benefits from using it.
In 2004, Rod Paige said, “Education is the only business still debating the usefulness of technology.” It’s time to end that debate. Edtech is here to stay, and has tremendous potential to transform every classroom for the better. It’s each teacher’s job to make smart decisions about how to use it.
Are you looking for a maths edtech platform that will help your students achieve their full potential? Try Matific today!