Technology has transformed the classroom and brought enormous benefits – especially in this time of navigating remote and hybrid learning and being able to bridge the gap between the physical classroom and digital learning environment. Incredible classroom technology innovations such as tablets, laptops, and interactive whiteboards have opened up a new world of information for students of all ages. This classroom technology or education technology (EdTech) has launched digital transformation in the education sector, and though adapting to these changes can be challenging for both students and teachers, it brings with it many advantages to those that are able to truly embrace it.

The correct application of EdTech improves a wide range of learning outcomes and helps to prepare students for the future. Read on for our list of the top 5 benefits of technology in the classroom!

classroom technology benefits

Benefit #1: Improves Student Engagement & Retention

Picture an unengaged, distracted student – gazing out the window, recalling that movie or TV show from last night or perhaps fantasizing about fun afterschool plans with friends. Drumming fingers on the desk, the student tunes out the teacher’s words with more entertaining thoughts.

Now, take that same young learner or teen and plug them into a tablet or other device and watch the involvement in the learning process take flight. The interactivity excites, drawing the learner in. Not only do students feel motivated and energized by technology in the classroom, but they also participate in active learning, a most worthy educational goal.

And whether in an elementary classroom or a college lecture hall, with increased engagement comes improved retention, which is highlighted by a six-year study of students at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York State. In an attempt to reduce the number of students who failed or quit the institution’s engineering-technology program, more technology was introduced into the teaching process. The results? An astounding 90 percent of the students involved said that technology helped learning and retention.

Benefit #2: Accommodates Multiple Learning Styles

While it is tempting to use a one-size-fits-all approach with students, it’s not that effective. That’s because students – like the rest of society – are individuals with different strengths and respond differently to various teaching approaches. It’s useful to break learning styles into three broad categories and to see how technology can benefit each group:

Auditory learners respond best to spoken rather than written words. For these pupils, recorded lessons, audiobooks, and podcasts can effectively be woven into lessons.

Visual learners rely more on sight. They read faster than auditory learners and tend to pay more attention to details when reading. When it comes to integrating technology into the classroom for these types of students, eBooks and interactive whiteboards are good choices. In addition, PowerPoint lessons with graphs and other visually-oriented materials such as videos are beneficial.

Tactile learners find active learning best, so teachers can encourage them to use their sense of touch. This often presents a challenge, especially in the past, when traditional teaching was primarily thought of as a one-way street. Under that model, students were forced to sit in seats for a long time listening to the teacher or writing exercises and tactile learners are more likely to get bored and distracted under those conditions. Fortunately, this is where technology shines as it is very hands-on. Allowing students to hold devices, click through, and swipe screens is especially tactile. It helps these kinds of learners by appealing to their sense of touch.

To sum it up, using classroom technology to accommodate multiple learning styles allows education to be delivered in a more personalized way which brings tremendous benefits to students.

Benefit #3: Encourages Collaboration

Another top benefit technology brings to the classroom is that it promotes students working together. Through the Internet, ideas and opinions can be shared just as easily as files and images can be transported digitally. Outside the classroom, students love to share their experiences on social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. So, it is only natural that bringing technology into the classroom will lead to greater collaboration. Internet connectivity can join students from one class, an entire school or country, or even other cities from around the world. Imagine the excitement a kid from America would feel when collaborating on an assignment with someone from Peru or Italy.

The Net is filled with safe, education-focused apps and websites for encouraging students and teachers to work together. Here are just a few:

  • Twiducate is a free platform that teachers with classes from kindergarten to Grade 12 can use. It’s basically an educational social networking site that encourages collaboration
  • epals is a place for students to connect and have online pen pals.
  • myViewBoard is a collaborative software suite that includes powerful digital whiteboarding and sharing features for free.

There are two big advantages to using classroom technology to foster collaboration: 1) Collaboration can be tracked (i.e., who is doing what and how much), and 2) it encourages teamwork (a useful skill for the future, which we’ll cover in the last benefit).

Benefit #4: Instant Feedback for Teachers

When teachers can communicate and monitor students through EdTech, they obtain a lot of feedback. This information exchange can be a two-way, interactive process. On the one hand, teachers may write assessments, or give audio or visual files regarding student performances directly to them. On the other, students can discuss questions or concerns directly with the teacher in a similar manner. They could even be asked to respond to a poll in real-time.

These are timely and quite efficient methods that may also form a more permanent record for both students and teachers. In other words, teachers and students are able to look at the content of these messages at any time they want to refresh their memories. All in all, the feedback loop is enhanced and sped up through the benefits of technology. This makes the process that much meaningful and productive.

Benefit #5: Prepares Students for the Future

When it comes right down to it, the education system is all about preparing young people for the rest of their lives, and a big part of their future will be the working world. Increasingly, this means being comfortable with new technology, so schools and universities need to keep up to date with trends. Failing to incorporate and benefit from the technology available would do students – and everyone – a terrible disservice.

As the saying goes, “The future is now.” This has never been truer than it is today. What’s more, it will be even more accurate tomorrow. If the classrooms of tomorrow fail to keep pace with the forward march of technology, the future is destined to be problematic. If, however, schools can rise to the challenge presented by the ever-changing nature of technology, students will be able to discover their limitless potential and take advantage of the many opportunities that have yet to present themselves.

(From the editor: This article was originally published on ViewSonic Library.)