Technology is such an integral part of our success these days that if you are not utilizing it in one way or another to get ahead, you are left behind, and quickly. However, in education, one issue is that a lot of schools may be rolling out technology with a little too much haste. The reason I say that is because technology itself will not solve any problems. To make success more likely in education, what’s needed is a strategy for how it will be used. Let’s take a closer look…
Teachers will always be the focal point for students
Back in 2003 John Hattie did a meta-analysis looking at the factors affecting student achievement.
- There are two things that stand out when looking at the top five factors influencing student achievement.
- The first is that none of the factors depend on technology; they all rely on pedagogy.
The second is that four out of the top five factors affecting student achievement come from the teacher.
The results speak for themselves – whether technology is used or not, the teacher will always be of central importance for students, as it is their guidance that can lift students to new levels, not the simple inclusion of a device.
Why technology can make all the difference
Technology offers a way to enhance the pedagogy and help teachers influence student achievement. The tasks required to fulfil the factors above are time consuming for teachers and ultimately bring them more administrative work, which gives them less time with students. Technology can help to make these processes more efficient, allowing teachers to spend more time where they’re needed.
For example, formative assessment can be simplified in two ways:
- Have automatically marked tests to ease the workload and free up time for individual feedback.
- Track student progress and performance, which will give teachers real-time information to take action on.
Technology can also help by improving both direct instruction and instructional quality. By having access to different mediums, students can choose a method that fits their learning style, improving the overall quality of their education.
Teachers can in both examples utilize technology to enhance pedagogy. They can more easily cater to individual student needs and at the same time ease the administrative and mechanical work needed to boost student achievement.
Striking a delicate balance
Technology has changed everything and will continue to do so, but there are some things that we will always have to take responsibility for. We must still learn and figure out ways to communicate and process information efficiently and correctly to students. Relying on a machine or computer to do this will lead to missed learning opportunities; guidance from teachers, as shown above, will always bring better results.
Having said that, when you implement technology alongside the correct pedagogy, it can take both teachers and students to new levels. The teachers who are most successful with Kognity have a very clear idea of how to implement our technology, which, in the right hands, saves time and enables them to cater to individual student needs in a way that they previously couldn’t.
The mix of pedagogy and technology is the healthiest method and by far the most effective. Teachers using technology to complement their ideas are able to address the different learning styles of students and give them targeted feedback, ultimately improving the learning experience and outcomes of the whole class.
Author: Abigail Bryant
Abi is Head of Support at Kognity, where she works closely with teachers and students getting them set up and ensuring their experience with Kognity is a great one. Previously she worked as an English teacher working with International Schools in South East Asia.