02 June, 2022

Technology in the classroom

From Floppy Discs to the Cloud, Classrooms to the Virtual Learning Environment – how do you feel about it?

Many of us growing up will be able to track the changes in technology in our homes: the bulky PC which sat on the desk, connecting to the internet through the dial up tone of the AOL router, the familiar logo of Windows 95 appearing on the screen, the email page opening, only to be cut off by a sibling or parent using the landline phone. This transformed to PCs with faster processing speeds, Microsoft Office packages, wireless routers, and mobile devices. Nowadays we have iPhones, Bluetooth, the Cloud, thousands of apps; however, these will be old news in a couple of years. Sitting in a classroom in 1995, who would have thought that from 2020 onwards, we would be globally developing a virtual learning environment for immediate use, whilst we were in lockdown in our houses? Whilst technology is and will always be developing, it is important that we are ensuring children have the critical thinking skills to access evolving technology.

Integrating technology into the classroom is where technology is used to enhance student learning. The use of technology during teaching can foster student engagement for auditory and visual learners. Power points, Kahoots, Apps, Spheros, Beebots and the use of search engines are just a few of the technologies which the students experience here in TBS Warsaw.

One of the fastest growing industries is coding and programming and is a skill that is taught in basic form from Early Years through simple coding of Beebot programmable toys or the Code and Go mouse. This develops into coding on computers and apps such as Scratch where students learn to program characters to move, or through the use of Spheros where students can make their models move. The complexities involved in working in the ever-evolving gaming industry requires coding, critical thinking, collaboration, and much more.

All future industries will require research skills, which are developed regularly through our IPC units in TBS Warsaw. Research at greater depth involves analysing sources, be it through the internet or through books and original artefacts. However, through the internet students are taught to identify a reliable website, ensuring the author is trustworthy. This links closely to our internet safety awareness, which is discussed with children in all year groups, age and stage appropriate, as this is crucial in the ever-developing technological world.

The topic of technology in the classroom is so wide; we could use technology in every element of every lesson; but the key is for it to be purposeful and for it to develop knowledge, skill and understanding as we endeavour to enhance our students’ learning.

Technology will always have an increasingly growing place in education, and it is important that we, as supporters and facilitators of students move with these times. Even if we are nervous about the future, it is important that we embrace change and instill confidence in our students.

Sheree Hay

Assistant Head Early Years and Primary (Creativity)

Reception Class Teacher