We always hear about new technologies, they fascinate, frighten… but what place do they occupy in education? We talk about it in this article.
For the new generation, the guiding principles of education are the combination of digital and pedagogy.
Too often and wrongly, new technologies in the education sector are being simplified to e-learning. We have deliberately dismissed this theme in this article because for us, the ability to deliver distance education is the most natural (because it is the direct application of the benefits of the internet to education) but also the most complex to implement.
Those who monitor the quality of teaching understand that the dematerialization of the teacher-student relationship poses major challenges despite the undeniable benefits it provides. The decision to exclude this theme and make a separate analysis is symbolic: it carries the message that new technologies are, for us, much more than a modification or addition of a course distribution channel.
The benefits of new technologies are manifold, but the following best embody the reality on the ground:
Optimized administrative management.
This is particularly evident in small structures where teaching teams invest a lot of time in the management tasks of parents, students, course organization. The productivist optimizations provided by IT allow for more efficient management of all the tedious but necessary tasks of the daily life of an educational structure. The end result is an operational team that is much more involved in what is really important: the core business, namely how to provide a quality education to the child through appropriate content and individualized motivation and monitoring methods.
Technology is such a differentiating asset that schools and educational structures must consider investing sustainably in this asset. This investment must be both technological and organizational. The integration of integrated management systems, for example, leads to reflection on the profession of education and engineering methods to standardize, automate and industrialize the processes and activities of the educational value chain.
It is clear that education should not be about money. It makes sense that all support services (payment, course schedule monitoring, discussion with the administration, logistics) should be as fluid and professional as possible. This allows the child’s ecosystem, i.e. parents, teachers and educational structure, to focus on the main topic: the child and his or her academic success.
Data vision or the ability to measure what is measurable.
New technologies connect parents and teachers. To do this, having and sharing useful information to understand and accompany students is necessary.
- For the teaching profession, new technologies make it possible to get as close as possible to the level of students. Well controlled, they facilitate pedagogy and allow to have a good visibility on the actual level of the student. This will make the competency check, training plan, etc. more accurate and relevant.
- For parents, this means understanding their child’s strengths and weaknesses to help them thrive throughout their schooling.
- For adults, it is important to ensure that a vision of the current state of skills and the road ahead can enable the adult student to understand the remaining efforts and potential benefits. “If I take this course, I could have a conversation in English in two months.”
Potentially improved financial ratios.
The major indicator in the education sector is the number of pupils/nb teachers. This ratio corresponds to the average number of students per teacher, it corresponds to an income/cost logic, both in the private and public sectors (income can then be equated with value creation). The wish of any student or parent of students is the individualization of teaching; however, this individualization without technology is not scalable, i.e. the upscaling in a logic of volume is only possible thanks to the introduction of new technologies. Thus, at constant cost – i.e. by not mobilizing additional teachers – it would be possible to teach an increased number of students while maintaining the same level of differentiation of service.
The interactivity of course content and artifacts to improve student engagement and interest.
With the right tools and content, the learning experience can become more enjoyable and fun. We are currently witnessing the extrapolation of the principles of games, to which humans are naturally predisposed, in various processes and activities, such as teaching in our case. This phenomenon is called branching (or ludification in French). . For example, games include immediate feedback or scoring and competition mechanisms that can improve student motivation.
In conclusion, new technologies are an opportunity for education. A unique opportunity that refocuses education on its true mission. The mission to rethink the school with a service made for students. The benefits are a lot but the main beneficiary is and must remain the student.