Technology and pedagogy: powering 21st century learning
With the evolution of edtech, technology and pedagogy are now more closely aligned and offer a world of opportunities for both educators and learners, says Nicole Reid, higher education manager at Texthelp
Technology and pedagogy might seem like a mouthful together, but there’s a reason the two are often spoken in the same breath. Historically seen as two separate yet complementary strands in teaching, the evolution of tech – as well as how learning institutions have adapted to it – has allowed technology and pedagogy to become more closely aligned, ultimately offering greater possibilities for learning and academic outcomes.
We’re fortunate to live in an era when technology has swiftly evolved to enhance and achieve the foundations of education by providing dynamic opportunities for students to engage and interact with the learning process. Where traditional teaching relied on pen and paper methods, more often educators can now use edtech to expand and enrich instruction, allowing concepts to be brought to life through a wide variety of media.
Building on that train of thought (and practice), the capability to change things like pace, voice, language, and tone puts personal learning firmly in the hands of the student. Though guided by the educator, diverse outcomes are easily achieved when these tools are used – learners can access content at the appropriate level, disseminate information in their own chosen way, and begin to develop a way of thinking and working. These outcomes, of course, seem enormous, but in reality they’re obtained in small steps every day, and are so much more achievable when a learner grows confident in the knowledge that they have support tools at their fingertips.
With such a wide variety of tools available, and with a broad scope of functionality and design, edtech presents multiple ways to effectively engage with students in the lecture theatre. It supports and strengthens individual strategies of educators, and encourages students to enjoy subject exploration on their own. Take text-to-speech as an example. A simple concept, but one that allows students to identify problem words, hear them read aloud, and help them to build oral fluency and contextual understanding.
It goes without saying that confidence is a huge factor when it comes to student success with independent study. To be supported in adapting to the newfound independence experienced at university level, and feel in control of their learning experience ultimately boosts self-confidence in their abilities. The independent environment harnessed at university level exists to gradually prepare students for success in the world of work. Edtech empowers educators in doing so, by nurturing the growth of autonomous learners, able to personalise their experiences in a way that enables them to succeed and achieve their goals.
What’s more, in today’s rapidly advancing technological climate, students will no doubt be interacting daily with at least one piece of technology in their future careers. Students who come at technology with an open mind will excel through life, because we can be certain of one thing; the technological landscape is going to change unbelievably in the next 10 years.
The benefits of edtech can be used in every subject area. Our own Read&Write offers a comprehensive toolbar which can be used across various courses to aid vocabulary development, contextual comprehension, revision support and proofreading. Additionally our maths and STEM software tool EquatIO, offers an accessible, intuitive, and fun way of exploring these subjects beyond the restrictions of the blackboard. Students are given the ability to explore maths and scientific expressions in various ways, to aid understanding and demonstration of knowledge.
There is a world of different technologies out there that can support students in different ways, and they exist to bolster the excellent job that each and every educator does.
Texthelp’s Read&Write and EquatIO are absolutely free for educators. Visit: text.help/ub-aug to give them a go for yourself.