In this digital age, the influence of technology is everywhere – including in schools. From iPads to the latest coding robots, there is a wide range of tech available for the education sector. However, this type of equipment can be much more than a novelty if schools embrace its potential.
EdTech can actively enhance the experience of students and teachers alike. In 2021, the Department for Education’s EdTech Survey revealed that 88% of headteachers believed that the technology had (or soon would) improve student attainment. If that wasn’t enough, 74% of them suggested EdTech can help reduce staff’s workload – so teachers can benefit, too!
Beyond student achievement, tech has wider uses in schools. In this blog, we explore the many benefits of embracing technology in your school.
Online tests to cut marking times
For years, teachers have found themselves up to their eyes in books, worksheets or tests to mark. It’s common for teaching staff to spend many hours marking, even after the working day officially ends. In fact, teachers work more unpaid overtime than workers in any other profession. Collectively, teachers in the UK work 462 million hours of overtime each year. It’s a staggering statistic – but thankfully, EdTech can reduce their workloads considerably.
By switching printed tests and worksheets for digital, teaching staff can enjoy far less marking. Artificial intelligence can mark students’ work in many instances. This is especially useful for subjects with clear-cut ‘right and wrong’ answers, such as maths and science. What’s more, leaving this marking to AI ensures bias-free results, so the grades are as fair as possible.
Schools have been using this technology for a while, with MyMaths being an early example. However, emerging apps and websites make it easy to assign self-marking worksheets and homework tasks. For instance, Microsoft Teams lets teachers design their own questions which can be automatically marked.
Although subjects with a bit more nuance, such as English, are best marked by hand, online tests still reduce teachers’ workloads for many subjects. With the right apps and reliable IT equipment such as iPads, students can take regular online tests without overburdening teachers!
Create replayable tutorials for students
Teachers often struggle to provide one-to-one guidance to all their students – especially with growing class sizes. It can be time-consuming to explain concepts and methods to students individually – but luckily, there’s an alternative.
By using the right software and devices such as tablets, teachers can record their own tutorials for the class. They can do this with free screen-recording services, like Loom, which allow users to dub over their footage to explain their methods. This is perfect for talking through slideshows or explaining complex ideas.
Teachers can also simply use the cameras on their school’s EdTech devices to record video footage with audio. For instance, they can record themselves working through a tricky long division question while explaining each step to the class.
Step-by-step tutorial videos are a great solution for helping students when they’re stuck on something. For students, it’s as simple as finding the relevant video and following the process. They can even pause and rewind freely to practice at their own pace. This makes teachers’ lives much easier, as they don’t need to re-explain things to each student individually.
Streamline your staff meetings
Beyond teaching, technology can provide greater convenience for staff in many other ways. For example, holding online staff meetings through video calls.
Across sectors, one lesson the pandemic has taught all of us is that you can hold a productive meeting from just about anywhere! This is true for school staff, too. Whether it’s a quick catch-up between teachers in a department or a formal review with school governors, video conferences make attending meetings simple. Considering the busy schedules of teachers, these digital conferences are ideal, as there’s no need to travel to a designated meeting room or location.
With today’s schools already using video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, holding a staff meeting is easy. What’s more, if your school has iPads,you can use their high-quality, built-in cameras and microphones to attend. It’s really as easy as that, with no need for webcams or additional wires!
Provide recorded verbal feedback
Although teachers are used to providing written feedback for students, it’s important to remember that it won’t resonate with everyone. Some pupils may struggle to take handwritten comments on board, which can prevent them from improving for next time. This is especially true for children with special education needs (SEN).
To offer feedback in a more accessible way, teachers can record themselves giving their feedback aloud using EdTech. They can do this using built-in voice memos/recorder apps on their school tablets. There are also plenty of free apps designed specifically for teachers, such as Verbal Feedback – which does exactly what it says on the tin.
Teacher-parent communications go digital
The chaos of the pandemic made contact between teachers and parents or guardians more important than ever. Most schools heavily depended on digital communication to keep everyone in the loop amid lock-downs. As it turns out, it’s a much more efficient, reliable, and sustainable method than sending relentless paper letters home.
By using the likes of school tablets, it’s easy to establish regular contact with parents and guardians. There are multiple ways of doing this, such as using ClassDojo, a communication app for parents, teachers, and students. Alternatively, regular email exchanges can help teachers keep parents in the loop about their child’s learning.
There are many reasons for schools to maintain online communication with parents going forward, including:
- No more letters or permission slips getting lost or forgotten between school and home
- Improved transparency as parents are better informed about what’s going on in school
- Instant contact between teachers and parents thanks to the Internet
- All teacher-parent communications organised in one online location – making things easier to find and share
- A clear, documented record of parent engagement to show to Ofsted
Future-proof your school
The pandemic has reminded schools that they depend on technology now more than ever. When faced with sudden closures, the schools that were kitted out with modern EdTech made the smoothest transition to remote learning. Although we’re (hopefully) on the way out of the pandemic, it’s worth remembering that EdTech helps the education sector adapt to unforeseen events. Whatever lies ahead, having the right tech gives schools the best chance of keeping the learning going in turbulent times.
iPads for Education can help your school obtain Apple’s latest tablets at the lowest cost. With our fully compliant operating leases, you can rent all the equipment you need by making fixed payments over a time period that works for you.
What’s more, we make it easy (and affordable) to upgrade your devices when newer models come out. This means your staff and students can access the best EdTech available without breaking your budget.
iPads for Education from Utility Rentals helps schools, acadamies, colleges and universities across the UK to acquire Apple iPads through affordable and tailor made rental solutions.
Our team of tablet wizards are fully in tune with the requirements of the education sector and will work in partnership with you to make the process of getting and maintaining iPads for your pupils and staff refreshingly straightforward.
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