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Making Edtech More Effective

Posted on 12/11/2018

two women at a computer pointing

In our push to add more and more technology into our classrooms and schools, we should always be mindful of how to make the most effective use of the technology. It isn’t just having technology for technology’s sake; according to Jack Lynch, the CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, edtech should be purposeful. It should free up the teacher to do more important work with students, not take over and replace the teacher with a nameless, faceless experience.

In HMH’s fourth annual Educator Confidence Report, 94% of more than 1,200 teachers either agreed or strongly agreed that the most important quality of the learning landscape is the human connection that a teacher makes with a student. In the report, 96% of respondents said that they have seen benefits from the use of educational technology, but 53% also said that they worry that a focus on using technology for learning is coming at the expense of personal connections between teachers and students. So, how do we use edtech effectively in the service of supporting relationships between teachers and students? Lynch sees at least three ways:

  • Building teacher capacity – using technology to mechanize certain instructional and administrative tasks, improving workflow and freeing up a teacher to focus on things like providing more feedback on student work.
  • Deep insights into learning – using data to inform and improve instruction, not just collecting it for the sake of collecting it, to match activities and resources to student needs and provide more differentiated, individualized instruction.
  • Targeting instruction – using technology to address the differences in learning styles and levels among students, in order to refocus teacher time on intervention or one-on-one work that targets these differences.

Lynch points out that the most effective learning solution already exists – the ability to develop a connection between teacher and student. We need to remember the place of edtech in that connection to use it most effectively and not compromise the relationship.

Source: How Do We Make Edtech More Effective? (Hint: It Has Nothing to Do With Technology) External link opens in new window or tab

Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Educator Confidence Report External link opens in new window or tab