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Originally published in 2015: Technology is often presented as something that is always a change for the better – if you make things more technologically advanced you’ll improve them. But is that always the case? Many schools that introduce the use of tablets into the classroom find that the students that were once very attentive are now distracted by the devices given to them and chaos begins to take over the learning process.
Just think back of when you were in class, let’s face it, it can be boring to listen to the teacher talk all day, and then imagine you were given a shiny, colorful, touchscreen device that even has internet access – how are you supposed to listen to the teacher now?! You can go on facebook, youtube, twitter, why should you go to the website or app your teacher is telling you to? So what have schools accomplished? They spent loads of money on buying devices for every student, and the learning process just became much more difficult and less productive, that’s where the trouble starts.
Saying that, technology isn’t all bad and we can’t ignore it altogether. The steadily increasing influx of technology into the education system offers unique pedagogic opportunities and not advancing with the technology of the world makes schools obsolete. In today’s world, if you’re not moving forwards – you’re moving backwards! Schools that will not introduce tablets into their education process will be left behind and will not do justice to their students by doing so.
In this modern learning environment, what schools need more than anything, is a first-rate classroom management software that will keep their students on-task at all times. This software must have several features that are essential in turning the chaotic classroom into a focused learning environment.
The first vital part is a locking feature, classroom management software must have an option to lock completely the screens of all the students in the class in order to get their eyes up and catch their attention.
Another important feature is having an annotation on the screens while they’re locked such as ‘Attention’ or ‘Eyes on me!’ etc.
The second feature is broadcasting the teacher’s screen onto all the students’ screens. This will allow the teacher to force any demonstration onto the devices of the entire class, allowing the teacher to control the lesson and explain complex ideas by using diagrams etc. which the students can watch closely on their own device.
The software must also have an option for the teacher to block any apps that are not relevant to the lesson, or instead choose that the students can open only certain apps during the lesson and all other apps will be locked.
Furthermore it’s necessary for the teacher to be able to block the use of internet during class time in order to stop students from going online and getting off task.
Lastly it’s crucial for the teacher to be able to see thumbnails of all the students’ screens in order to keep track of the entire class and make sure every student is focused on the lesson material.
So I’m saying yes, we do need technology in the education world, but it has to come hand by hand with a unique classroom management software that will guarantee the learning experience is empowered and enhanced and not devalued and reduced.