Technology has proven to be the best alliance with education in the recent years, thus leaving behind a conservative and static social education system and moving to a dynamic educational system where changes in the environment and technology require teachers and educators constantly acquire general and specific knowledge to prepare themselves for this new reality.
Society has gone through an important evolution from the Industrial and Mechanical Age to the digital era and then information. In the latter, which is characterized by being extraordinarily dynamic, knowledge is the most valued topic. The progressive practice of the applicability of technology has led to changes that involve the essential need for continuous learning, the identification of diversified forms of learning, specialization combined with pragmatism, the appreciation of the individual in all its aspects and the realization that power is in the hands of those who have greater knowledge. This series of events has stimulated a social change and a profound renewal of the human condition, where the future of man and his characterization are of an arduous character starting from the education established in the first years of life.
In the 21st century, technology in education and teaching tools are presented as facilitators of the education system, for learners who seem to be “born” with all the skills necessary for the success that comes from the use of new technologies and for trainers who have the responsibility of to be “strategists” and who are once again going through the process of self-learning supported by technological means with one end: to conduct content and information in the best way so that children and young people around the world are able to absorb and learn in a more dynamic and interactive.
The classroom of the traditional model no longer corresponds, in its fullness, to the expectations and yearnings of the new profile of students of this Digital Age. It creates the need to update and adapt to technology and hybrid teaching, that is, to combine the best of traditional techniques with the best of technology. There are several existing tools that enhance the learning process of children.
For example, the Portuguese company Famasete, which is characterized as a national manufacturer of interactive solutions for Education with more than 20 years of existence and experience, has several innovative technological products that help in the educational process and transform it into an interactive and diligent. If so, it is the “Classroom of the Future” Project implemented by the Municipal Council of Guimarães. The Municipality equipped and distributed computer equipment by the city’s school groups, which built the “Classrooms of the Future”. These spaces are now equipped with Wingsys technology, which includes access to interactive tables and educational softwares, tablets and energy loading and transport solutions that promote the method of learning of children in Vimaranenses classrooms. This is an action that is already being replicated by many other counties in the country.
To ensure the success of the combination of these two realities (tradition and innovation), there are some significant steps that can be taken as a trainer, educator or teacher, and which make technology truly an innovative instrument in order to amplify the connection of learners with educators:
1. Make an orderly list of goals you want to achieve, in order of importance.
The first action is to identify the gaps that they intend to fill with the technology, that is, this step must be done by the educational institutions. The goal is to facilitate teachers’ teaching methods and to attract students with these new tools. Ideally, a product that facilitates the job-correcting system and help you create reports on student performance will ideally be chosen. This is for teachers to use. If you want to encourage children to learn in a more educational and shared way, then you can choose multiple multi-touch solutions that allow the simultaneous use of various students, such as interactive tables with their own educational software for video / image sharing or with applications and instructional games and interactive whiteboards or screens that allow you to stream content and interact with them. Having access to information and downloading content quickly and automatically is also an important factor, which can be remedied by the presence of tablets and lockers and efficient Internet access.
2. Everyone should be part of the choice!
If you have noticed that in your educational establishment not everyone takes full advantage of the implemented technology, this is usually because the implemented solutions were chosen by administrative or others who do not use these products in classrooms. Thus, the research, selection and decision process and the purchase of equipment must be done with the knowledge of teachers and educators who will effectively make use of these technologies in their day-to-day life. His vision of what goes on in the classroom is decisive and his involvement in the procedure makes it much easier to stick to the chosen technology. If it turns out that some teachers still show some resistance to the changes that are implemented, schools can create discussion groups and opinion to feel involved in this process. Usually, these actions end up being quite successful with the educators.
3. The role of parents is also important.
The issue of privacy or the number of hours a day spent for the use of technology by children are factors that usually concern parents and may leave them somewhat apprehensive about the teaching methods applied by schools. Thus, the promotion of the debate between the educational institution and the responsible person becomes central in the way of clarification, where it is possible to elucidate parents about the realities of the Digital and Information Age and about the new technologies to be implemented. These are important elements and should also be part of the purchasing process.
4. Education for all, “anytime, anywhere”.
Nowadays, information is everywhere, on our smartphones, on laptops, on the neighbor’s computer, on the libraries, on the home TV, and on the radio station that you hear in your car while driving. Available anytime, anywhere in the world for all who have access. In the same way should be Education. It should be available to everyone, from urban centers to the periphery. Creating and implementing remote access platforms for educational content, through technology, is to create the opportunity to give less favored schools the opportunity to acquire new quality resources. This approach, fueled by online technology, can totally change the learning experience, and for the better.
5. Make a continuous assessment.
A continuous appreciation will exclude waste. Some educational institutions are unable to make an assessment of the return on investment obtained because of lack of time or other unknown reasons that could lead to the misconception that technology is a waste of money. It is important to recognize at what times the equipment is used or not and set performance goals for those same products that can be achieved and met.
If you do these steps, you will see that your school can also ensure that the value invested in the new technology tools will be a success for all involved.