Technology Enhanced Learning, in short, is any technology that enhances the learning experience. The term can be used to describe both analog and digital technologies, but more recently, we see that digital TEL is taking over education in the form of different types of educational software.
TEL is transforming and enhancing education and educational institutions beyond recognition. Therefore, it is impossible to be ignored! This is especially true given the growing prevalence of education apps, software for teachers, and e-learning services. We are entering a phase of education where technology isn’t just a valuable resource, but an essential tool helping to improve the experience for both students and educators.
Let’s explore why TEL is important for educators.
Technology Enhanced Learning is important for many reasons. It is not only important because it is the standard of education that is expected today, but it can also improve education. We have mentioned that apps, software, and e-learning tools are some of the most useful and, indeed, irreplaceable tools available to many educators.
Students have become more tech-savvy than ever before and much of their day is spent interacting with some form of technology. Thus, the ease and at which they navigate technology and their comfort level mean that in a society more and more dominated by ever-developing smartphones, tablets, computers, and more, children today expect and indeed thrive when interacting with technology.
Educators can, thus, make use of this burgeoning tech-savviness by using technology to improve interaction, engagement, and understanding within their classrooms and lecture theatres.
While hybrid, HyFlex, and remote learning were all concepts many in the education sector were aware of before March of 2020, parents, students, and educators around the globe are more familiar with than ever before. Having been thrust into the arms of remote and hybrid learning, students and teachers have become dependent on technology to help bridge the physical distance than ever before.
No matter if a teacher is teaching to a fully or partially remote class, a series of tools such as video conferencing software, learning management systems, and collaboration tools, mean that classes can run as smooth as is possible and that no student, regardless of where they happen to be, is at a disadvantage in comparison to their in-person peers. These types of teaching systems are more dependent on technology and thus require adaptiveness on the part of both educator and student.
As hybrid and HyFlex models may become more prevalent going forward, it is very possible that Technology Enhanced Learning will be the main driving force behind improving these ways of teaching.
We know that kids learn at their own pace, and sometimes the traditional classroom makes it difficult to do so. Technology in education enables children to adjust to their own pace of learning. Students who need extra time can spend more time going over exercises until they understand, whilst students who need less support can continue ahead. It also frees up the teacher to help kids who need more support on an individual level.
Many online and offline tools and software will eliminate the need for children to signal their difficulties in keeping up with their fellow students, something many may find embarrassing - especially if this involves the traditional hand-raising method. Likewise, those students who are in need of a more advanced challenge can continue to push themselves and make more efficient use of the time.
With TEL, educators are no longer limited to the textbooks that their institutions provide. By using other resources such as video, audio, and interactive learning, students have many different ways to learn. Teachers can find creative ways to teach their students in an engaging way. Technology has changed the learning environment so that learning is more hands-on.
Online resources for subject experts and fellow teachers mean that an ever deeper pool of resources is available everywhere on the internet. Added to this is the fact that many online forums and discussion boards will also discuss how best to leverage individual tools and software in the classroom so there are fewer technical difficulties and long break-in periods.
Children often struggle to stay on task or interested, particularly if it is not interactive. TEL can make even the most mundane school tasks more engaging, which will help your students to stay focused. This is particularly poignant when we consider the earlier point of just how comfortable and normalized technology has become for young kids nowadays. Children are raised around technology and feel most at ease when using it.
By providing students with tools and platforms they are familiar with they are more likely to be engaged and get more out of the learning experience. The ideas of gamification and interactivity are just two ideas many ed-tech companies are focusing on as a way to keep students engaged. When students are more engaged they are all the more likely to enjoy the experience and to retain the information that is being imparted.
We here at Mentimeter have seen just how strong the link between engagement and enjoyment there is for students. We also have plenty of templates you can use as a class quiz or as your next lesson.
The reality is that it is almost impossible to survive the working world without technology. Therefore, it is better if children learn how to use tech sooner rather than later. Arguably, being computer literate is more important than some of the more traditional skills that are taught in schools.
We have mentioned on numerous occasions now just how adept children are with technology and this is setting them up for a lifetime of success down the road. As businesses and economies in general, become tech-centric those who are tech-savvy become all the more employable and valuable. If one subscribes to the 10,000 hours theory then today’s children will be masters of many forms of technology in a matter of years.
If you are ready to start exploring a new TEL solution, you can get started with Mentimeter for free. Mentimeter is the perfect solution for making lessons more fun and interactive. Add a series of fun or serious quizzes to your lesson plan or focus on asynchronous learning thanks to Mentimeter’s self-paced feature.
And if you want to know more about how Mentimeter can fit into a TEL system then read more here.