Earlier this week, we discussed the problems facing American teachers and students in today’s education system. Today we will discuss potential solutions emergent from tech enterprises, and how the industry helps to alleviate teacher and student stress.
TECHNOLOGY MAKES INROADS
Deliberation in Washington and on social media has little direct effect on the student-teacher relationship, or on the problems both groups face. “EdTech” companies are now stepping in to address some of the issues plaguing teachers, and the products they bring serve as a boots-on-the-ground remedy to a host of problems.
More and more, teachers are using technology to reduce the time they spend working outside the classroom, and for good reason: that time is typically unpaid, despite the fact that it accounts for nearly a quarter of their total work hours.
Learning Management System (LMS) platforms are usually the foundation of choice for Higher Ed. More recently, school districts have begun to provide access to such school-sanctioned LMS tools like Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Schoolagy, Notebowl; and many K-12 schools have adopted Google Classroom. These tools help to streamline the student-teacher relationship by conveniently managing homework, quizzes, discussions, and grading.
Video Capturing and recording tools like Collaaj easily integrate into LMS platforms and allow teachers and students to host lectures, personal instruction, and “how to’s” – or to tutor their students from home.
Teachers can also scan hundreds of pages of student work for plagiarism via web services like Turnitin – all with the objective of reducing stress and communicating with students more effectively.
Wedding Technology to Education Benefits Students as Well
Automated computational services like WolframAlpha instantly solve complex math problems and give step-by-step explanations to the user. Google Drive allows students to collaborate on group projects without ever leaving home, and phone apps like Tasker allow them to manage their workload priority and school schedules with ease. Even hardware like the Kindle and Nook alleviate the burden of carrying a half-dozen textbooks from the bus stop to class.
THE WAY FORWARD
Educational Institutions of any size that invest in technology are improving the learning experiences of students and streamlining the often-cumbersome task of teachers to build curricula. And the price that schools and taxpayers pay for this technology will always be preferable to the price our society pays for the ills of our education system.
Students today are at risk of falling behind in the globally competitive job market. We must equip teachers and students with the tools they need to develop employable skills. In many ways, there is no more important profession. The ability to supplement daily life with useful technology is rapidly becoming an imperative skill set for today’s job seeker.
Just as water takes the path of least resistance, students and teachers naturally seek ways to reduce their workloads. And with the advent of educationally friendly technology and digital services, the way forward seems clear: EdTech can play a critical role in improving the student-teacher dynamic, and potentially the entire educational system in our country.
In short, the problems of student burnout and teacher attrition are best approached from multiple angles. But while deliberation on how to fix robot culture takes time, some aspects of technology can provide relief now.
Written by: Troy Scott
Colab: Kati Mac