Schools are ever-changing. Your child’s classroom is probably nothing like the classroom you remember. Blackboards and blurry overhead projectors are long gone; now there are smart boards and class iPads, and many children are impressively internet-literate before they even start school. 

According to the Department of Education, technology can help to tackle some of the main challenges faced by the education sector, including reducing teacher workload, increasing efficiency, improving accessibility and inclusion, supporting excellent teaching and improving student outcomes. Fostering technology skills prepares pupils for the future, when an ability to adapt to a changing world will be crucial.

Many schools have switched to paperless homework, liberating students from the tyranny of lugging rucksacks full of exercise books to and from school along with their PE kits, dictionaries and possibly trombones. With online homework, children simply log in and pick up from where they left off. Increasing numbers of schools routinely use dedicated websites where parents and pupils can download revision materials, monitor classroom progress and learn in detail about curriculums. The days of losing crucial sheets are over. A paper-free policy is streamlined and sustainable, creating flexibility and convenience all round. 

New learning models are working alongside traditional educational methods. Technology allows work to be tailored to individual attainment levels and learning needs. Programmes such as Vocab Express, an online syllabus dedicated to language learning, provide bespoke programmes set to an individual’s personal targets, allowing for progression at a pupil’s own pace. Similar online resources span vocabulary-building exercises and maths aids, all enabling progress to be shared with teaching staff and incentivising learning by creating a clear and structured pathway with defined goals. Achieving required levels may be commended at school with certificates or rewards.

At Maida Vale School, which is set to open in September 2020, a digital curriculum will permeate almost every aspect of school life. The days of merely limiting the study of Information Technology to the computer room are over. Today’s pupils are the first generation to have been using technology since they were toddlers jabbing at touchscreens – they are digital natives, entirely comfortable with living parts of their lives online. Technology is an integral part of everyday life and the school’s new building will feature PCs, Apple Macs and interactive whiteboards throughout, as well as a full wireless infrastructure for people bringing their own devices. 

Using technology isn’t simply about preparing children for the future – technology is revolutionising the way we process information. While traditional teaching methods may have left some learners unfulfilled, technology provides the potential to cater for children of all abilities, in ways that suit them best. The possibilities are endless.

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