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14 Sep 2021 | 09:00

Using education technology to improve student learning

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When technology first entered the classroom setting, it was treated as an unwelcome distraction. Phones were banned from the classroom; technology was exiled to the teacher’s desk drawer. 

But now education providers are finding ways to harness these technological developments to instead accelerate student learning, and most importantly improve student outcomes. 

So, as we plunge into a new academic year, we take a look at strategies that both students and teachers can use to improve learning outcomes. 

1. Get organised

Start the year with a learning environment that is uncluttered and organised. This will help both teachers and students to waste less time trying to find academic resources, and help improve concentration levels with everything stored neatly and tidily. 

As the year progresses, students will naturally find it a challenge to keep up with all the different deadlines and exams they have coming up. To ensure they have easy access to these important dates, set up an online classroom calendar that students can access from their smart phone or device. Google Calendar, iCal and Samsung Calendar are frequently used (and free) calendar apps you could try. 

Backing up or storing all important documents in a shared cloud storage facility means there is less likelihood for important documents to go missing or get damaged, and keeps paperwork clutter to a minimum. 

2. Adapt learning styles to students' personality

The critical difference between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts gain energy from interacting with people, whereas introverts are left drained.  

In a learning environment, this presents a problem if teaching methods are skewed more towards group learning, where lots of social interaction is required, or towards individual research, where extroverted students could become disruptive as they seek interaction.

Providing students with a balance of group learning and individual learning is key to create a fair learning environment. Where possible, teachers should allow students to choose which approach would suit them best.

With the help of tablet computers, students can submit questions anonymously, allowing shyer pupils to be heard without having to speak in front of others, thus avoiding a group learning environment dominated by more confident students.  

3. Increase engagement with VR and 3D printing

In addition to differences in personality, not all students learn the same way. Traditionally, the emphasis has been on book learning along with teachers writing and drawing on a white board. But for some more complex topics this is rather limiting, and excludes those students who learn best in other ways.

Thankfully, there is a solution: technology. 3D printers, once prohibitively expensive, can now be picked up for under £100. They can be used by students to print out design prototypes before creating a final piece, or by teachers to print out a model of the human eye, for example.

VR takes this concept to another level. Imagine, instead of reading about the Colosseum, or a NASA spacecraft, or a blue whale in a book, students were able to walk around inside it using VR headsets. All without even leaving the school grounds. 

4. Save money and improve results with tablets and Chromebooks

Fast, lightweight and easy to use, tablets and Chromebooks make learning more engaging and improve student outcomes. 

At Fairfield County School District in South Carolina, introducing Chromebooks increased engagement and yielded double-digit improvements in test scores.

Meanwhile, research by the charity Tablets for Schools found that 72% of students reported their work improved when they used tablets, and 87% said they made learning easier.

Connecting these devices to cloud storage allows students to easily submit work for marking, access resources and collaborate with others, and offers opportunities for hybrid learning.

Instead of spending money on hundreds of copies of the same physical books, intuitions can save money by instead having just one PDF that is accessible to all in the cloud. 

5. Increase attendance with absence management software

As a teacher you can try all these methods to improve learning outcomes, but if the students are not showing up, they cannot learn.

That’s why simple technology solutions like apps that allow students to self-report their own absences are becoming increasingly popular.

Schools can use them to offer learners more support, and intervene before short-term absenteeism becomes long-term underachievement. It’s also a lot less stressful for a student to report an illness they feel uncomfortable sharing with others, or if they have experienced trauma or bereavement. 

6. Using tech to reduce stress

Finally, technology can offer support during stressful times for both student and teacher. The more stressed pupils are, the harder it becomes for them to retain information.

Apps for meditation, tracking exercise and healthy eating, sleep apps and so on can ensure that, come exam season, stress doesn’t get in the way of learning.  

Encourage their use on school devices and smartphones, and develop a culture of study breaks to allow space and time for self-care. 

Speak to The Barcode Warehouse

Learn more about how technology can help your institution improve academic outcomes and offer an even better standard of education to your students. 




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