How can schools get the most out of technology?

Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

How can schools get the most out of technology?

A new report by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) reveals how schools can get the most out of technology in education.

‘Evaluating the evidence for educational technology: Part 2 – enabling learning’ explores the impacts of edtech in Australia. It also examines the state of digital literacy in Australian schools, how edtech can support diverse learners, what promotes effective use of edtech, and possible drawbacks including distraction and the potential for bullying.

The report found that a teacher’s confidence and ability to use edtech can have a significant impact on student outcomes. Not only that, but despite the increase in the availability of edtech, Australian students’ digital literacy skills have decreased over time.

“Our Spotlight shows that edtech can enhance student outcomes when used by a skilled teacher,” said Edmund Misson, Acting CEO.

“To effectively embed technology, teachers need ongoing professional learning and support — both technical and administrative — and sufficient time to plan for its integration in their teaching.”

Other key findings include the following:

  • Students need to be taught the skills relevant to acquiring digital literacy: practising digital safety and wellbeing, investigation, creating and exchanging, and managing and operating content.
  • Implemented well, edtech has the potential to deliver greater benefits to several student cohorts, including those with disabilities, those learning remotely, and students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Despite the likely benefits, there are potential drawbacks associated with the overuse of technology, including the negative effects of screen time on student learning, as well as indirect effects (such as impacts on anxiety and social relationships).

This report aims to keep Australia’s teachers and leaders informed about technologies that may impact their profession. As well as the latest evidence and research, it also offers a handy resource lists for teachers and leaders to use in their daily practice.

Image credit: Daly

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