March 2022

In the current issue of ELT NEWS we focus on the use of technology in education.

Technology has introduced revolutionary changes in all areas of life, from interpersonal communication, economy, and entertainment industry to education to name just a few. It seems that today, more than ever, students are faced with changes that not only fundamentally alter the way they learn, but they also alter their everyday life. It is simply impossible to ignore the tremendous impact that modern technologies have on the new generations of students. 

Text by: Anastasia Spyropoulou

Gone are the days where teachers were lecturing and students followed passively using only material from a prescribed textbook. A lot has changed in the last decade; technology has allowed teachers and students to have access to a plethora of resources. As far as teachers are concerned, the importance of using technology is obvious:

  • Easier communication with students 
  • Records of students and their progress are digitized
  • Testing can be done using different apps
  • Possibility of creating engaging, multimedia-assisted teaching sessions
  • More effective, and time-efficient work in the classroom

Technology is used by children and adults on a daily basis -web surfing, texting, social networking, interactive games etc. We are an evolving technological society and, in many ways, we have become dependent on its use. Technology is transforming education, changing how, when and where students learn, as well as empowering them at every stage of their journey.

With access to resources beyond classroom walls, students are inspired to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, collaborators, and creators. Where technology has been successfully integrated into classrooms, students develop a lifelong love for learning.

Educators are always striving to personalize student learning. Technology can help them reach new levels with access to real-time student data, longitudinal information, content, apps, and many more. They can create blended learning environments and leverage digital tools for formative and summative assessments, as well as bring new models of learning and teaching to classrooms.

Technology in education and the right devices in students’ hands equip them with the technical skills they need to be successful today and tomorrow, and prepare them for future career opportunities and jobs that haven’t even been created yet. Specific skills in coding, programming, physical computing, and computational thinking have become common requirements in the workforce.

The seeds of such a dramatic transformation have been planted. School systems have the hard decision of choosing devices and technology models that will help them achieve their visions for transforming learning. These decisions should be made by working with all the people involved –directors, head teachers, teachers and administrators. Evaluation is crucial. It should take into account appropriate grade/level curriculum, content needs, and how the devices have been used inside and outside of the classroom. It’s no easy task, but considerations such as compatible digital curriculum and content, assessment requirements, manageability options, security features, device functionality, and the overall cost of ownership are key to choosing the right device. A secure and robust IT infrastructure is the foundation of a learning experience that supports digital content, protects key student data, boosts operational efficiency, and provides privacy.

However the coin has two sides. With access to so much, it’s still important to remember that different approaches work for students at different levels of mastery. There is no one-size-fits all approach to teaching. In some cases, a combination of ‘old’ and ‘new’ methods could be the most effective way to plan and execute your lessons.

In this issue of ELT NEWS, apart from the regular contributors, we are hosting FLS owners, private and state school teachers, who share with colleagues their views on the use of technology in teaching and learning and evaluate the digital tools they use. Many of them are 2021 ELT Excellence Award winners. We heartily thank them for their time and effort.

Enjoy reading!