Is technology really welcome in today's classrooms?

Sophie Thomas

Is technology really welcome in today's classrooms?

As a technology company and a group of tech savvy people, it’s easy to get caught up and assume that everyone feels the same way about software, apps and cool new ways to use new technology as we do. We pride ourselves on making Meetoo as simple and straightforward as possible. However, a recent Facebook campaign we ran highlighted that for all those people that love classroom technology, there are still a cohort who aren’t fans.
 
We value all feedback and this campaign really showed us the huge divide in opinion that still exists and certainly got us talking in the office. In this blog, we discuss the fears and misconceptions that exist about technology in the classroom, as well as the huge benefits that we have seen realised through our customers’ use of Meetoo.

Distraction:

Looking at the response to our Facebook campaign, this seemed to be the main reason that people have a negative view of using tech in the classroom. Using mobile devices such as phones or tablets in the classroom are undoubtedly seen as the biggest items for distracting students’ attention, either through surfing the web or using messaging apps. Whilst we’re not trying to deny that these devices can be a distraction, we believe that by harnessing the inevitable draw of these devices, teaching staff can actively use them for participation in lectures or seminars using polling or discussion apps like Meetoo. Our feedback from lecturers tells us that the novelty factor of being able to use their phone to take part in the lesson actually increases engagement and participation.

High cost:

The education sector is always under pressure to achieve maximum results but with an increasingly economical budget. Here at Meetoo we have a special pricing structure that caters specifically for educators, giving them maximum accessibility to the tool at a cost that doesn’t make you wince. Depending on the environment or the specific interoperability with other LMS or institutional systems that is required by each university, the price of technology obviously differs quite dramatically, so a thorough audit of requirements is always recommended before committing to your platform of choice. We’d suggest reading our blog Tips for choosing the right tool to engage students as a good place to get started. Meetoo is more affordable by design as it is software based, so no need to purchase any additional hardware such as clickers.

Access for all:

With the use of flipped learning and student led learning in classrooms becoming more common, there is a concern that once the seminar or lecture is over, how do students access the technology platform ‘out of hours’ to complete assignments or group tasks? This is a well-founded fear, which is why it is vitally important that uni’s or colleges choose the right platform for their needs, something we also discuss in the Tips for choosing the right tool to engage students blog. Meetoo can be accessed from any laptop, computer or mobile device, making it available wherever there is internet connectivity.

Wasting valuable teaching time:

Lecturers have a packed scheme of work to get through each academic year and cannot afford to lose any precious teaching time. As with any skill, we all operate at different levels and not all lecturers will be as confident with technology. Teachers cannot afford to spend time trying to negotiate with complicated technology that could be temperamental or requires extensive training or diverts attention away from the heart of the lesson plan. Meetoo uses native Microsoft PowerPoint integration through a simple add-in, so the user interface is familiar and requires very little, if any training. No need to disrupt the lesson flow to switch gears, simply add the use of Meetoo into your existing teaching slides!

Technology diminishes the role of the teacher:

In many areas of employment, as technology adoption has grown, so has the fear that technology will make job roles redundant. As in centuries gone by, the physical teacher plays a pivotal role in shaping the student experience.  From our point of view, technology should never and will never replace the role of a teacher. The role of classroom technology is to support and enhance the teaching role and allow educators and their students to achieve their learning objectives together. To quote from another of our blogs on this topic, How technology ensures that the lecture remains at the core of education Bill Gates said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

Final thoughts:

Increasing student retention, participation and engagement is at the core of what Meetoo strives to achieve on a daily basis. We wholeheartedly believe that technology must have a place in the classroom, not just because it keeps us in our jobs but because we see the positive results it brings in real life every day. This feedback is what motivates us to constantly work to improve Meetoo for teachers and their students.
 
Find out how Meetoo has played a successful supporting role in classrooms take a look at our education case studies or read our TrustPilot reviews.

Want to use Meetoo in your classroom? Take me to Meetoo for Education