Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Education has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with faster and more profound changes now than ever before. And advances in technology, the big availability of information, the need to connect and maximise global opportunities have made it difficult for schools not to be supportive.

Technology has always been a big part of our daily lives, and with it coming so far in the past decade, technology-enhanced learning is now becoming more common in schools. Educators all around the world are turning to technology to educate and engage students.

Let’s explore what Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning is, what educators can do with it, and why it’s important for education?

What is Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning?

Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning (TETL) is a concept that involves the use of educational technology to enhance the general school curricula.

With the rapid growth and advancement of information and communication technology, it has now become possible to conduct all types of education electronically from an individual student, school or college level.

The current form of education as we know it has been changed with the ease of acquiring knowledge through the World Wide Web.

Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning (TETL) is a bold claim. It requires an overhaul in how we think about education. TETL offers only one conclusion—that in the future, education will be done digitally, or it will not be done at all.

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Why Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning Important?

Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning is critical in today’s schools because it is how our students are used to learning. It is the standard of education in today’s world.

TETL’s benefits include engaging the student while providing both immediate and recorded feedback. It also aids teachers in collecting data for future analysis that can be used to make adjustments to both the classroom and curriculum. Let’s explore the importance of TETL’s in greater detail.

Learning can be done at a student’s pace

Several years ago if you wanted to learn something you either read a book or attended a training class. Today with technology you have the option of both with just about any subject there is by simply going online and “opening a book”.

As a result, students can now learn new things anytime they want, allowing them to go through learning material at their own pace rather than miss out on something because they didn’t catch it in class.

More teaching and learning resources

A technological-enhanced teaching and learning (TETL) class gather information from multiple content resources beyond textbooks to better educate students. TETL classes are often composed of a variety of instructional media, such as video, audio and interactive text, to facilitate learning.

TETL classes can be very effective in imparting knowledge on students because they employ a wide variety of content sources such as lecture videos, presentations and games. These multiple sources allow educators to present information that is interesting while offering multiple perspectives on the subject matter.

Students stay engaged with technology
With TETL, teachers can now engage students in learning through more creative teaching strategies. In summary, it allows for hands-on learning.

As an educator, you will be able to engage students with tasks and help them gain a deeper understanding of the topic or subject. It enhances the student experience with a combination of technology and classroom instruction.

Successfully navigating the real world requires technology

In the real world and post-classroom life, the students will be using computers. Technology is therefore necessary for students to succeed in the real workforce and can help improve their future job opportunities. This is especially the case for computing and engineering-related occupations where being tech-savvy is a prerequisite.

Nearly everyone uses technology in their daily lives. It is no longer optional, it is necessary in order to function within the working world. In fact, individuals that cannot speak English and those who do not have computer skills will have a difficult time finding work.

Using Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning in Schools and Online Course

To quote O’Reilly Media, Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning is characterised by the use of technology to support teaching and learning.

This definition is fairly ambiguous though, as any device or software that supports teaching and learning can be qualified as a Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning tool. It also lacks focus on specific uses of technology in relation to the different types of learners that educators teach.

But how is it transforming teaching and learning in the classroom? Let us try to offer an answer by discussing various types of educational Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning tools and software that are being used in educational settings today.

Podcasts

The use of podcasts in education has grown significantly in the last several years to include many classrooms, schools, and districts all over the world. It is one of the more popular teaching and learning methods that have exploded in recent years — recording a teacher speaking live as a podcast file that can be shared, downloaded, or streamed online.

Podcasts are not all about teachers informing, lecturing or explaining. Increasingly great podcasts also incorporate ideas from other areas of life: talk radio, comedy, drama, music.

Podcasts have grown in popularity because they are very easy to access by students. They can be used to let students access authentic recordings of what happens in the classroom or some of the most engaging activities they do in class.

Teachers around the world are increasingly using readily available podcasts to support their teaching, usually linked to from the students’ own course accounts, or if there are some external ones they then replace these with alternatives from online locations (typically YouTube) and offer a forum to post responses etc.

Rather than just listening passively to recordings teachers can make links to specific sections of podcasts in notes and encourage students to find relevant clips elsewhere on the web or on YouTube/Youku etc., embed in posts on e-portfolios, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Teaching with tablet and computers

If you’ve watched any science fiction movie, you will no doubt be aware that tablets are the future of education.

There are a great number of reasons why the use of technology is becoming more prominent in the classrooms. The most obvious is that the younger generations have grown up with an innate understanding of how to use tablets and computers to get the information they require—they don’t even need to open books.

Second, research has shown that technology-enhanced teaching and learning methods have many benefits for both teachers and students alike. It seems clear that schools around the world are going through a digital revolution, and as a result, teachers need to create awareness for parents and students alike on how better technology can improve education.

Presentation software

Presentation software is ubiquitous in business but sometimes neglected by educators. This can lead to missed opportunities to help students develop their presentation skills (whether formal or informal) and their critical and creative thinking abilities.

Presentation software isn’t just for making over-the-top presentations for sales pitches. Creative teachers and trainers can use presentation software to bring learning to life or make their material more interesting.

Good presentation software allows for rich content outside the confines of a static document and can support multiple views, annotations, visualizations, and collaboration.

Software that allows for programmable presentation formats such as PDF or HTML can extend the potential for presentation itself beyond a single view and can include multimedia such as video or sound. Presentation software also supports recording and playback functionality that can be used both in classroom presentations and for online education.

Converting physical learning to an online course

If you’ve ever taken a class at a traditional college or university, you’re probably familiar with the traditional teaching methods: PowerPoint lectures, note-taking using pen and paper, discussions with other students in person or via chat or email. But how does one convert these methods of physical learning to an online environment?

It often seems difficult and confusing to convert face-to-face courses into online ones, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if something works in a classroom context, then it will also work for online learning. Occasionally, this might be true (the way technology enhances online learning is probably far more subtle than we think), but more often than not, it isn’t.

When designing a course for online delivery, the learning objectives and topics must be attuned to the unique features and attributes of online learning.

With so many options available for online course delivery, there are significant design implications. If a course was designed with a traditional physical environment in mind, then it will need to be revised and reconceptualized.

There are a lot of tools that can allow you to use technology-enhanced methods of teaching and learning and conveniently convert a traditional face-to-face course to an online one. The key is to be strategic about how and when you utilize these tools.

There are three primary ways digital technology can be incorporated into instruction: Online collaboration, authentic assessment, and virtual student-teacher interaction. Any one of these 3 areas can significantly enhance your teaching. When combined, all three can really revolutionize the way your students learn.

Classroom response systems (“clickers”)

Classroom response systems (“clickers”) are small, portable devices that you hold in your hand that allow student answers to be recorded anonymously. Classroom response systems allow teachers to gauge whether students understand lesson material.

For better comprehension and attendance, clickers are the way to go. Students bring them to classrooms and use them in a variety of ways for class participation, quizzes, polls, etc.

Clickers can be used in any course from business skills to chemistry. They allow students to answer a short question or take a poll anonymously, which encourages participation and allows teachers to analyze class opinions.

This device is becoming more and more popular in high school and university classrooms. Although this technology is nothing new, these polling devices have come a long way since their early days.

Collaboration tools and online projects

There are so many areas in which technology can be used to support student engagement. Online tools, alongside mobile apps and other devices, make massive leaps in research to learning possible.

With online collaboration tools, students can create content together in a virtual classroom (or workplace) in ways they could never do so face-to-face. These online collaboration tools can help you focus student work on the process of learning rather than on the product, enhance the value of group projects, engage all students as critical learners and contributors to class discussions, and give instructors the opportunity to assess collaborative work.

Tools for visualizing information

Information visualization tools are computer programmes that help to make information, such as data, easier to read and understand. This is done by arranging the information into shapes and pictures, often called infographics.

For example, a pie chart can be used to convey market share information about car brands sold in the UK. A bar chart can be used to compare different aspects of two or more different businesses or topics. Some popular information visualization tools include Excel, Google Drive, Canva, Piktochart and Tineye.

Information visualization tools provide a structured way of representing data, such as tables, figures, infographics, diagrams, and maps. While this does not replace the spreadsheet or word processor, it can be used to show relationships among large amounts of data in a way that text cannot.

Ready to Start Exploring the World of Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning?

Using technology to enhance teaching and learning is becoming more and more prevalent. “BYOD” or having students bring their own devices to school opens the door for many possibilities.

One of the best things about software and technology-enhanced teaching and learning is that you learn by doing. And there are thousands of resources to help you learn or create.

Additional Information and FAQs

How can technology be used to engage students?

The right balance between teaching the lessons and using technology to engage students in the process can help teachers reach new heights of success. Educators need to empower students with skills that will enable them to become successful on their own and tools that allow them to be more creative and independent thinkers.

How can we use technology effectively in classrooms?

As the number of mobile devices in classrooms increases, it is increasingly important that teachers develop their knowledge of technology and understand how to use it effectively for teaching.

As teachers consider ways to best use classroom technology, they should consider the goals they wish to achieve, the methods that are needed in order to achieve those goals, and then decide whether current technologies are adequate or whether new technologies need to be integrated. There are currently a number of different types of tools available for use in the classroom depending upon the situation – software programs, learning management systems, and multimedia applications

Does technology in the classroom improve learning?

Yes, it does. This is a fact in classrooms today. A teacher incorporating technology in their curriculum will ensure a student’s ability to learn and develop skill sets that transfer to what we know as the real world.

What are the benefits of technology in education?
The most obvious benefit of technology in education is the fact that it can be an enormous help for students. One of the reasons why many individuals find it difficult to cope with education is because they have a hard time focusing for long periods of time. In some cases, even small distractions can throw students off their focus.

Fortunately, technology can significantly reduce the chances of students becoming distracted as they will only need to use computers or other media devices when needed and not every single moment in class.