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Pearson Labs Shares Tips for Using EdTech to Meet Academic Goals

With faster Internet than ever and technology in the hands of more users at younger ages, the proper incorporation and implementation of EdTech has become a new standard for the K-12 school of today and tomorrow. 

A new blog post by Pearson Labs “Tech in Classroom: Tools Vs. Gimmicks” questions whether or not students are able to focus on learning objectives despite the vast distraction of the Internet, which is now utilized for the majority of schoolwork for many students. 

With an emphasis on more efficient learning processes, EdTech has offered some seriously compelling results, ranging from lifting the standard of individual learning to better retention of knowledge and use of skill sets. That means that maintaining meaningful learning within the use of these tools is paramount. 

According to the post, there are three factors that teachers needs to remain clear of when introducing EdTech in the classroom. 

The first, “lacking clear goals,” represents a need to separate  EdTech as a tool for learning, with specific purposes for the tool laid out within the learning objectives. 

“It’s important not to let technology take over classroom the same way you would never put a television on in front of classroom and walk away,” said former elementary school teacher turned education consultant Susanna Williams in the post. 

The second, “lacking appropriate features,” offers that EdTech isn’t an instant fix that will sweep over all of your school’s problems.

“The teacher’s role is to facilitate learning and student engagement, so it’s important they stop the students periodically to ask them questions and engage them in thoughtful dialogue,” Williams said.

This means seeking out all of the right technological tools in order to optimize a specific lesson’s effectiveness. 

“Teachers really need to determine when [technology] adds value,” said journalist Sophie Curtis in the post, who followed two English classes in the United Kingdom to see how iPads changed the learning process versus using traditional methods, such as handwritten notes. 

The final avoidance highlighted is “lacking proper training,” The post notes that, according to a study from YouGov, only 15 percent of teachers in the UK believe that they are technologically literate. 

“Without proper planning or educator training, districts will spend a bunch of money only to realize the devices aren’t being used the right way,” said Robert Kaspari, director of the EdTech consultancy firm EduTech in the post. 

Beyond avoiding the EdTech no-no list, Pearson Labs also includes some advice on proper technology adaption in the classroom. This includes seeking out peer-to-peer training, professional development, and feedback; using the appropriate technology for the right lessons; and experimenting with approaches until one sticks.

For more information, you can read the full blog post here

Article by Jason Papallo, Education World Social Media Editor

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