Hays UK blog


Chalkboard to smartboard - how does technology impact the classroom?

By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education

It seems that in an age where chalkboards and white boards have long since departed the classroom in favour of their superior counterparts, the smart board, technology is increasingly becoming a fixture in the education workplace. But this digital transformation is not just constrained to the classroom. Over the course of my 19 year career at Hays, I have seen significant changes to how the education sector has adapted around technology. Things like the introduction of the DBS update service mean it’s easier than ever for us as employers to complete checks, whilst the evolution of social media has completely altered the means and scope of education recruitment.

So as we become ever more sophisticated in the digital world, here are three ways that technology is impacting the classroom and transforming the teaching and student experience:

It all starts in the classroom

It’s become a reality that the majority of students prefer to learn through technology as it’s a means to making the lesson, and therefore the learning itself, more engaging and interesting. We’re dealing with the Generation Z, those who have never known a world without the Internet and technology at their fingertips.

This has meant that it’s now increasingly essential for teachers to embrace and showcase their technological skills in the classroom. It’s expected for students to ‘start in the classroom’ with new forms of technology. Promisingly, many schools are recognising the kind of digital future they need to prepare their students for by introducing lessons in computer coding. As I see the workplace environment adapt with technology, so in turn are the lessons and the means of which education professionals are getting these across. Ultimately, because of the impact of technology’s dominance upon the workplace, it is teachers that are being tasked with equipping their students with the skills they’ll need to manage in their future lives and working roles.

Learning continues outside the classroom

However, there shouldn’t be too much focus on the potential use of technology for teachers in the classroom, as it’s also an instrument to help in many ways. The influx of tablets, iPads, and smart boards into schools have provided an interactive classroom learning experience wherein the students themselves have to become more actively involved in their own education. Technology has assisted in providing a sense of autonomy for students; they are responsible for following along with a task, or researching a topic in a classroom activity and whilst they’re free to learn at their own pace and style, you as an educator are still in control by freely monitoring and tracking activity and learning.

Technology doesn’t only have to assist your pupils either, courses such as online training in safeguarding certifies that you’re constantly up to date with the most relevant information to equip you with the skills for any situation, ensuring a positive classroom experience. It’s therefore this inescapable nature of technology which means learning is no longer restricted to the classroom. Your students now have the capability to broaden their own understanding and interests that have been evoked by you as the teacher, which can only be seen as a positive implication of technology.

An instrument to help

Further, with the advent of social media it’s never been easier to get ideas to plan and create resources and lessons; storing and sharing content across platforms just makes the classroom and education experience that much better and smoother all round. From my experience in the education sector I’m sure many teachers could lament that it can be hard to excite students with subjects that have a stereotypical reputation of being hard or boring, such as the sciences or languages. But the burgeoning technology in schools has allowed teachers to ‘jazz up’ lessons and diversify their teaching styles. So even at a time where constraints on teachers and schools are more challenging than ever, this ever-increasing culture of technology has opened a huge window of opportunity for a teacher’s skills as a practitioner and how effectively they can educate their students.

Whilst there are always possible negative implications to utilising technology, whether in education or the workplace, the positive implications far out way the potential negatives. As such, technology should be viewed as having a constructive impact on education and learning - and really, who better to inspire and educate through the tools of technology than the future generations of society?

Embrace technology and have fun with your pupils in digital design by entering our annual Christmas Card Competition where your school could win £250.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Paul has been with Hays since 1999 and the National Director of Hays Education since 2007. He is responsible for leading experts from 40 offices across the UK who specialise in recruiting for Early Years, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education and Leadership staff on a daily supply, long term supply or permanent basis. His extensive experience is invaluable to ensuring schools, colleges, nurseries, academies and MATs have access to the best possible candidates.


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