Advances in technology are changing education day by day, making teachers’ lives easier and students’ learning process much more engaging, interactive and fun. With all of these benefits, though, some confusion around Edtech implementation still exists. Is technology distracting for learning? Will teachers lose their jobs? Is it real learning anyway? - these are one of many questions usually brought up over the Edtech debate. To shed some light on this issue, let’s explore the most common myths about using educational technology, and how to use it to get the most benefits instead.
Myth #1: Educational technology will replace teachers in the long run
Let’s face it: no robot or a machine can replace a real educator with a genuine passion for teaching. It’s not the tools that make learning experience unforgettable, it’s the teacher’s dedication and enthusiasm that keep students engaged and will be remembered by them for years and years. True, machines can be entertaining and definitely memorable too, but human aspect is the cornerstone of successful learning.
Alternative perspective: rather than having to choose between teachers and machines, it’s better to think of technology as a great supplement and assistance to the teaching process. Technology is only a valuable tool, which, in hands of a great educator, can revolutionize a classroom and enhance the learning, but replacing the real teaching with it just doesn’t work.
Myth #2: We won’t need face-to-face teaching anymore
Firstly, the role of the instructor in face-to-face teaching is not exactly the same as in the online teaching. In a real classroom, teacher’s main goal is to transfer the actual knowledge, whereas digital classroom is more for facilitating discussion and helping to use the acquired knowledge. Besides, each classroom’s needs are different, so it’s just unreasonable to say that all teaching will be done via screens only. Think, for instance, of science classes: all children are always beyond excited about different experiments they can make together with their teachers, and this is where the real classroom undoubtedly wins over the digital one.
Alternative perspective: face-to-face teaching is not disappearing anywhere because teachers can support children in a way that machines will never be able to. However, these two ways of teaching can work together too in a blended learning. Again, technology is just a tool, which can improve learning experience if there’s a need for it.
Myth #3: Technology is the answer for everything
Conversely to the skeptical views, some praise technology as an ultimate panacea for all learning goals. Sure, technology is the future, but neither it will help to solve all the world’s problems, nor will it be useful in each and every classroom.
Alternative perspective: before adding a technological element into a curriculum, teachers should think of a real value it provides. Sometimes it can be distracting or be just a waste of time and resources, so educational technology should ideally be used very wisely and strategically.
Myth #4: Learning with technology doesn’t bring any value
If poorly planned and stuffed with the meaningless use of technology, learning can indeed yield no results and be extremely ineffective. That said, technology is not the one to blame - it’s rather a lack of teacher’s competence and experience with it.
Alternative perspective: it’s very important to remember that technology can create limitless opportunities to learn and create, but in order to get the most out of these opportunities, teachers need to create an engaging environment, which inspires to discover and share. It’s not enough to recognize the amazing potential of using technology in the classroom: teachers need to leverage their own skills in it and foster the students’ interest in tech appropriately.
Technology alone won’t transform education overnight, but it can (and should) be your secret sauce to enriching the learning experience of students. The most important thing to remember: it’s just a tool, which, combined with a high level of an educator’s expertise and passion, can create excitement about learning and many opportunities for it.