Am I Using Too Much Edtech?

Education technology has been a significant boon to educators and learners in recent years. 

Advances in tech make it possible to customize instruction in the classroom for every kid, regardless of differences in learning. It also frees up educator time by taking care of some of the more mundane tasks necessary for accountability.

What the Education Technology-Rich Classroom Resembles

Classrooms of the future are buzzing hives of activity. In the contemporary classroom, you’ll find some characteristics like these:

  • Tech-induced smart spaces: Systems operate more efficiently than their predecessors, thanks to smart tech embedded in building designs. Contemporary classrooms include multiple charging ports so learners can recharge their devices’ batteries. 
  • Transformative roles: Thanks to simulations and VR, teaching has finally become less lecture and more hands-on for learners. Learners can obtain foundational knowledge from a variety of resources, including explainer videos and live streaming.
  • Personalized learning: Education is no longer one-size-fits-all. The integration of tech in the classroom has allowed educators to customize instruction based on learner needs. Learners can work at their own pace.

Your colleagues may want to immerse you in even more education technology in the classroom, but how can you tell when you and your learners have reached the point of saturation?

Excessive Education Technology Engagement

Most educators have expressed concern about the pervasiveness of tech in their learners’ lives. Although tech can’t be avoided completely, educators can advocate for sensible education technology use. 

Look for these warning signs of education technology excessiveness:

  • Hyperadoption – If your classroom has more tech devices than learners, your instruction may be on education technology overload. 
  • Tech tools first – Do your learners write reminders on their smartphones without considering writing themselves a handwritten note? Do they check an easy calculation on a calculator instead of calculating it in their heads? If so, you may be seeing an over-reliance on education technology. 
  • Ignoring reality – Social media has created a charlatan state for most learners, often blurring the lines of perception. When learners cannot distinguish between reality and a made-up world, it’s time to cut back on tech.

If you feel like education technology consumes all of your instructional time, you can still take charge of your classroom. 

Take Control of Class Time

Your classroom may run on tech, but that doesn’t mean you have to let tech permeate every aspect of instruction. Monitor screen time these ways:

  • If your learners can bring smartphones to school, have a phone-free activity that encourages socialization without tech. Face-to-face conversations are more meaningful than interacting with social media.
  • Establish procedures for letting learners earn tech time. Your school may require that learners spend time in reading and math programs, but other more engaging education technology initiatives are not needed.
  • Incorporate a “try before turning to tech” practice.  Encourage learners to try to solve problems without accessing tech. 

Education technology solutions have been a boon for educators and learners alike. But when they permeate every minute of the day, it’s time to reduce our reliance on tech.

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