The second contributor to this series of posts is Matt Britland.
Matt is Director of ICT at The Lady Eleanor Holles School and Director of Realise Learning (www.realiselearning.co.uk) which is a education consultancy specialising in technology.
1. What place, if any, has technology got in education?
Technology has a massive place in education. Anything that impacts our lives so much outside of school should be embraced. Technology is being used to improve peoples lives across the world. It is used by businesses to improve productivity and training. It’s being used to improve communication and relationships. Educational institutions should be embracing technology as it has the ability to bring all these advantages to them. When used effectively and with thought it can support both teaching and learning.
Students interact with technology every day and schools can help improve the way students learn by showing them how it can be used productively and with purpose. The world is changing and teaching and learning needs to change with it.
It is our responsibility as educators to prepare students for the future in the ‘real world’. How can we prepare them for this without engaging with technology?
Technology should be used across the curriculum and not just in one or two subjects. It should be invisible, accessible and effective.
In my opinion education cannot move forward without technology. We should not try and pretend technology doesn’t exist and carry on as normal.
Technology has a place across all sectors of education and across all age groups to improve the learning experience of students and helps put learning in their hands for a more personal experience. It also gives power to teachers to teach in different ways and give their students access to resources and interactive content not possible before.
2. What’s your favourite edtech tool for learning and why?
This is a tough question, my first thought was the iPad. However, when I really thought about it the answer is easy. The Internet.
Why? I don’t remember the last time I learnt anything without some use of the Internet. When I want to learn a new software package, I look for tutorials on YouTube. If I want to do some research I can do a search for it on the Internet. My students do the same thing.
The Internet has enabled myself and others to put learning into the hands of students. They can learn from anywhere with an Internet connection and a device of some sort. When I wanted to polish up my HTML/CSS skills I used a website – for free.
We can teach a lesson to students when they are not in the room thanks to services like Skype or Google Hangouts. Add this to the use of social networks for collaboration and communication and it’s clear there are tools on the Internet which can be used across the education landscape.
Even when we use mobile technology, the majority of the time we are connected to wifi and accessing the net. Without the Internet learning would be a lot different and certainly not as accessible or as exciting.
3. What are your thoughts on students using mobile devices in the classroom?
I am 100% for students using mobile devices in the classroom. Over the last few years I have personally seen and evaluated the use of mobile technology and it is a powerful tool. The majority of students engage with mobile technology every day, whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet. It’s something personal they can interact with and use as a learning tool. They can be used for not only consuming information but for creating content as well as by teachers for assessing students progress.
Rather than running away from mobile technology and banning them across a school, use them to the advantage of students and teachers.
We all get bored of having to uproot our students to take across to a computer room. With the increase use of mobile technology it will mean that technology can be integrated into every classroom. Technology can be used as and when we need it rather than booking a computer room for a whole lesson.
Mobile technology also means we can rethink what makes a traditional classroom. We can use them anywhere, even without a wifi connection if content is available on the devices. Lessons can be in the schoolyard, the sports field or on a field trip.
I’m looking forward to publishing the next #threequestions responses tomorrow. If you have any comments for Matt, both he and I would love to hear from you below.
Thanks for reading!