Edtech has brought a whole new dimension and so many new possibilities into my teaching. The students I teach all have special needs and most of them are very difficult to teach the traditional way because they lack motivation and often have bad experiences when it comes to analog teaching materials. When I use technology it really triggers their motivation and makes them feel confident because most of them already use technology in their spare time. As a teacher, the key is to use that motivation and confidence to reach the didactical goals.
Personally, I love when I can use everyday consumer technology in my teaching. Not only to reach the didactical goals but also help the students cope with their difficulties.
At the moment I see great possibilities in robotics and virtual reality
In Denmark, we are good at also focusing on soft values when it comes to the use of Edtech. The usage of Edtech is not just about the assessment and training the students’ coding skills etc.
It’s also about ethics, aesthetics and design processes. If we really want to succeed in using ed-tech, we need to involve the teachers, so we make sure that the technology provides a supplement to the academic subjects, instead of being its own subject.
Students with SEND all have difficulties and often experience failure in many aspects of their lives. But one thing most of them have in common is their passion and motivation for using technology. Both because they spend a great deal of their spare time gaming, chatting with their friends, etc. But more importantly, because technology is the one thing they have in common with their peers and the one thing that gives them a sense of being normal.
Furthermore, technology offers them so many tools that can help them in their everyday life.
It’s all about changing the mindset. As a teacher you need to have a growth mindset, so you see the possibilities technology brings, instead of focusing on the time burden it brings when you want to learn something new. Furthermore, it’s important that the school leaders acknowledge that it’s not enough to invest in technology. It’s also important that the teachers feel confident in using the technology and that they are able to get the support and help they need in order to succeed in using the technology with the students.
In the coming years, I think that we will see a shift in education. The students are all confident in using technology and as teachers, we shall embrace this fact. In the future, it’s not going to be the teacher’s technological skills that define the usage of technology. As teachers, we shall focus on the didactical goals and feel confident in the students’ technological skills. So why not let the students help each other and the teachers when it comes to technology. The best way to learn is to teach.
Morten Jacobsen will be speaking on both the 13th & 14th of November at the Schools & Academies Show. Join us to hear his thoughts on SEND and Ed-Tech.