The Imperative of Educational Technology: Why Teachers Must Embrace it in 2023
In today’s classroom, the integration of technology has become more than just a trend; it's an imperative. As we step into a new year in 2023, the role of educational technologies in the classroom has never been more prominent or vital. Teachers today are not just educators; they are facilitators of learning in a digital age. To effectively prepare students for the future, educators must understand why using educational technologies appropriately is not a choice but a necessity. In this blog, we'll delve into six reasons why teachers need to embrace educational technologies.
1. Preparing Students for the Real World
In the digital age, technology is ubiquitous. From smartphones to smart homes, the modern world relies heavily on technology, and this trend is only going to intensify. Therefore, teachers must equip their students with the digital skills and literacies necessary to thrive in the real world. Knowing how to navigate and use educational technologies is a fundamental part of this preparation. Students who are proficient in using digital tools are better positioned to excel in their future careers and personal lives. This includes everything from knowing how to take a screenshot or save to the cloud, to knowing how to protect one’s privacy online.
2. Enhanced Engagement and Learning
Educational technologies have the power to transform the learning experience. They make it possible for teachers to create interactive and immersive lessons that cater to different learning styles. From interactive simulations to multimedia presentations, technology can engage students in ways that traditional methods cannot. When used appropriately, educational technologies can spark curiosity, facilitate critical thinking, enhance communication, and promote a deeper understanding of complex concepts. A few of our favorites this year are perplexity.ai (a chatbot that provides sources), thejuice (five standards-aligned articles on a daily topic with lots of cool extras), and talkingpoints (a free app that allows teachers to message parents in any language).
3. Personalized Learning Opportunities
No two students are exactly alike. Educational technologies allow teachers to tailor their instruction to meet the individual needs of each student. Adaptive learning platforms, for example, can adjust the difficulty of assignments based on a student's performance, ensuring that they are challenged but not overwhelmed. This level of personalization can lead to improved individual learning outcomes and a more inclusive classroom environment. Our learners love Kahoot!, Knewton, and DreamBox.
4. Access to a Wealth of Information
The internet is a treasure trove of information, and educational technologies provide students with direct access to this vast knowledge repository. Teachers can guide students in using technology to conduct research, explore diverse perspectives, and access up-to-date information. In a world where information is constantly evolving, teaching students how to find, evaluate, and use information effectively is a crucial skill. And with the growing popularity of artificial intelligence platforms like ChatGPT, we must learn how to navigate this wealth of information efficiently and effectively.
5. Fostering 21st Century Skills
In addition to subject-specific knowledge, students need to develop a set of skills often referred to as "21st-century skills." These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, and digital literacy. Educational technologies can be instrumental in honing these skills. For example, collaborative online tools can enable students to work together on projects, simulating real-world teamwork scenarios. Want more specifics? Take a look at the International Society for Technology Education’s (ISTE) Standards for Students.
6. Keeping Pace with Change
The pace of technological change is relentless. Teachers who remain stagnant risk falling behind and failing to meet the evolving needs of their students. By embracing educational technologies and staying current with digital trends, educators can adapt their teaching methods to align with the changing landscape of education. Stay relevant!
The year 2023 demands that teachers not only understand educational technologies but also use them effectively in their classrooms. By doing so, educators can prepare their students for the real world, enhance engagement and learning, provide personalized learning opportunities, offer access to a wealth of information, foster essential 21st-century skills, and keep pace with the ever-evolving educational environment. Embracing educational technologies is not just a choice; it's an educational imperative. It's a commitment to providing the best possible learning experiences for our students in a digital age. To learn more, visit Loyola’s Educational Technology M.Ed. Program.
About the Author
Dr. Kelly Keane is Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Director of the Educational Technology Program at Loyola University Maryland.
Want to know more about the online Loyola Educational Technology program? Find more information on the program at https://loyola.edu/edtech and follow the Loyola Ed Tech program on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok - @LoyolaET
Published: September 14, 2023