COVID-19 has had a significant impact on education and in this article, we’re examining the ways in which COVID-19 has changed the use of technology in schools.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe in 2020, we were forced to adapt to new ways of working, socialisng and learning – and technology played a huge role in this.
As we move into a post-covid world, education law solicitors are helping concerned parents make sense of any changes they feel disbenefit their children within schools. Despite their being little evidence that technology use in schools will hold children back, it can still be a daunting feeling some changes are not for your child.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the ways technology may have changed a child’s experience in schools.
The biggest and most obvious use of technology during the pandemic and beyond is that of virtual lessons. When schools were closed in order to slow the spreading of the virus, video learning became an invaluable tool which allowed teachers to remain connected to students while staying safe.
Screens are used as a learning tool in a number of ways, including recorded video for students to use and for communication with teachers and other students. Many educational institutions are making the choice to switch to blended learning and video calling technology helps students and teachers to stay connected.
Diverse Use of Educational Apps
Educational apps are extremely popular in the modern world and some apps such as Google Workspace for Education have allowed schools and institutions to create consistency in terms of software and approach, allowing for much more streamlined learning.
Those clever folk at Google have also introduced Google Classroom, an app which makes light work of class organisation, including:
- Creating classes
- Starting video meetings
- Adding materials to assignments
- Providing feedback in real time
- Question and answer sessions
- Inviting parents to sign up for email summaries
- Student tracking of assignments
This is very much a case where advanced technology is helping to reinstate good old-fashioned teaching by freeing up a teacher’s time so that he or she can concentrate on creating activities and helping those students who need a little extra attention.
Teachers of younger students can also use apps such as Kahoot which allow them to create fun games for learning. These have become increasingly popular as awareness has grown regarding the strong link between gaming and increased learning for students.
Data is something which continues to become more and more important in almost every aspect of our lives and schools are no exception. Many schools are investing in big data early warning systems which use artificial intelligence in order to monitor student performance.
These systems are able to more effectively track and monitor performance and to therefore identify any students who may be struggling or may need additional help.
Very few teachers will tell you that they enjoy grading papers and books, this can be particularly frustrating and time consuming when a school is engaged in blended learning.
Tools such as Bakpax provide automatic grading of work using artificial intelligence. The benefits of these tools are that teachers are able to focus on student learning and for students, receiving instant grades and feedback can help them to learn faster.
The use of technology in schools has very much helped to level the playing field for students with special needs. Assistive technologies can be used in schools to help special needs students in a number of ways, including:
- Text to speech tools
- Graphic organisers
- Spelling assistants
- Assistive listening systems
This technology is helping a great number of special needs students who may otherwise struggle to keep up in class, leading to frustration and a sense of isolation.
As technology takes a larger and more important role in education, a lot of schools, colleges and universities are introducing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). While there may be some security concerns surrounding this practice, many schools feel that allowing students to use their own laptops or tablets will help to free up budgets to provide devices to those students who do not own one.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was revealed that between 1.14 million and 1.78 million had no access to a laptop, tablet or other device – a situation which severely hampered learning for many children. While most schools cannot afford to provide devices for every student, introducing BYOD means that they can focus on those children who have no access at all.
As we head into a (hopefully) COVID-19 free future, there’s no doubt that technology has changed the way we approach education.
While many schools have returned to classroom learning, many more are choosing blended learning – a model similar to hybrid working in which students spend some time in the classroom as well as some time learning from home.
This simply would not be possible without technology and as more and more educational institutions switch to this model, technology companies are rising to the challenge.
As well as providing more effective methods of learning, technology for home learning may just become even more essential during the current cost of living crisis as many schools are despairing over the rising cost of lighting and heating their buildings.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on educational law and the use of technology within schools. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.