technology

How Technology Can Assist In UK Schools

The traditional chalk and blackboard approach is long gone from classrooms across the nation, as education continues to evolve in line with new technologies. In fact, the UK government has recently confirmed an investment of £10m to advance upon existing technology measures in our schools. So, how will this change the nature of education, and what kind of new innovations will become commonplace in the classroom? With the help of print management software specialists, United Carlton, we look at what the future may hold for learning.

Learning uploaded to the cloud

The government strategy will essentially develop a technological infrastructure for schools to absorb into their own settings, with ideas such as the encouragement for schools to adopt a ‘cloud’ approach. This will help to make learning materials readily available to students through a connected network of computer systems and creating ‘testbeds’, whereby schools can trial new innovations before they are rolled out on a wider scale. The teaching profession is notorious for having a heavy workload, and the government has identified technology as a potential avenue for removing five hours of workload per term, supported by an improvement in parental engagement. When these systems are fully embedded, part time or flexible working contracts could become a reality for teachers.

These advances could reshape the entire structure of schooling, as teachers’ schedules decrease and learning becomes increasingly digitised. The possibilities would shape a new kind of classroom, which benefits from a less rigid learning structure with teachers who are not struggling to contend with excessive working hours. Building upon existing initiatives such as the use of Sprograms such as Skype and FaceTime, teaching on the go will be given a whole new dimension. One key introduction will be artificial intelligence- known commonly as AI, as it enables for the automation of many daily processes within schools. Over time, it will become increasingly personalised, meaning it could be a vital tool in grading and providing feedback for students. A further branch of this is machine learning, which will adapt to the individual requirements of students, and it could even go on to provide AI tutors. These forms of AI have already been developed on a small scale, and they can teach subjects such as mathematics and writing. As their use increases, they could also help to alleviate the workload of human teachers.

Virtual reality

Another technology which could benefit students and teachers by simulating reality is VR systems and these are already being trialed in some schools. In the past, teachers would take days away from the classroom to attend courses, but this can be avoided with VR. These simulations can replicate the setting by providing a sense of online community, where ideas and concepts are shared. The nature of these as an alternative to conventional courses can be more engaging, as they can be freely interacted with. The VR technology could also spell extinction for the traditional text book, with the opportunity to use it to revisit points in history or to take field trips without leaving the classroom. Learning has transformed into an immersive experience, with the development of programs such as Google Expeditions, students enjoy deep sea excursions or visit the International Space Station. The simulation allows students to embrace their curiosity and ask more questions, from a first-hand perspective.

Biometrics

Perhaps much to students’ dismay, areas in education such as discipline and truancy have also benefited from technological advances. Biometric technology is most commonly used in activity trackers, but they can also prove valuable in getting the most out of the school day. Facilities such as fingerprint recognition and facial recognition scanners can help to cut down the time-consuming administrative processes, for example taking the class register and recording absences. There are also important safety requirements which can be enhanced using biometric data, by storing information on individuals who are allowed into the building and preventing anyone who is not recorded from entering.

Undoubtedly, technology is proving to be a major asset for our children’s education, both in terms of creating clarity in information and efficiency in teaching.

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications.

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learned his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky.

He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs.

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