Opinion: How Edutech Can Benefit Your School
by Alex Mason
Technology has been disrupting industries for the better part of the 21st century. With the technological strides in communications made in the past few years, the education industry has found itself increasingly open to its opportunities.
New methods, broadly named edutech, are being implemented in schools and classrooms enabling the learning process, teaching practices and modes of communication to evolve.
There are now a growing number of technological solutions available to facilitate swifter communication within the school and its community. These platforms help streamline internal processes, enrich learning and better connect with families. Here are some key ways that implementing new ways to communicate can benefit your school:
Streamline internal processes
As the education sector shifts its focus towards shared planning and collaboration between teaching staff, peer to peer communication tools have never been more important. G Suite (or Google Docs) for education, is being trialled by schools throughout Australia. The platform streamlines teacher to teacher interactions, allowing staff to plan curriculum, assess student data, as well as share and evaluate teaching methods.
Enrich the learning experience
When examining the relationship between students and teachers, it is vital that the pathways are aided by edutech platforms, not obstructed by them. In the classroom for example, the use of iPads, laptops and YouTube serve to bolster the educator’s teaching methods and enrich the learning experience. The limit is not in the technology itself, but rather in how the educator chooses to use it, as can be seen in the case of Cherrybrook Technology High School teacher Eddie Woo. As their potential in edutech evolves, areas such as VR and AI could also be used in a similar fashion.
Better connect with families
Parental engagement and communication has always been a challenging, yet essential, part of being an educator. Recently, it has become a key focus for developers, with innovative platforms offering solutions which streamline the way school’s keep the community up to date. These include paid for options such as Skool Bag and free to use alternatives such as The Skool Loop App. These platforms include features such as a school calendar, absentee messaging, school contacts, permission slips, newsletters and push notifications.
Making it work: Implementation is key
Before putting any new digital platforms into practice, make sure you have clear idea of what you want to achieve and be sure to gain feedback from your staff throughout the process. Make your edutech training as accessible as possible to help those with tight schedules take part. Finally, expect the process to evolve and change as the needs of your students and teachers do. Communication is the key for both successful implementation and to create a long term solution for your school community.
Alex Mason is a Digital Consultant at Web Profits. He consults primarily with education providers to help them get the most out of new digital strategies.