Using NQTs to drive effective edtech use

Naimish Gohil

Naimish Gohil is a former assistant headteacher turned edtech entrepreneur. He is CEO and founder of Satchel whose flagship software, Show My Homework, makes teachers’ lives easier by reclaiming their teaching time so they can spend more time in the classroom. Naimish is a firm believer in raising the standard of teaching and learning across the globe and the impact technology can have in this.

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Technology and teaching are now a combination that is fast becoming the norm. We as teachers use technology so frequently that it has become routine without us even realising it. We are now dependent upon our VLE to take attendance and an interactive whiteboard is now more common than its predecessor - ‘the whiteboard’. However, despite these actions being considered the norm, there is still a stigma attached to using technology that means teachers and senior leaders are scared to bring it into the classroom or integrate it into school.

Although, as with VLEs and interactive whiteboards, it’s clear that the benefits that technology can have within school in terms of making processes quicker and lessons more engaging. But just because we’re used to these technologies, doesn’t mean that we should become complacent. As the tech world evolves and the edtech industry grows, we as schools should adopt these softwares so that we can improve and offer our students and staff the best resources possible to improve teaching and learning.

"We should utilise our tech-savvy NQTs, help them use technology to help make their job more engaging."

Students nowadays grow up with technology, so using technology in the classroom and within school makes for a seamless transition from home to school. This can often captivate their imagination and engage them more than traditional teaching methods are able to.

BYOD opens lessons up to an array of software than can help teachers track what work is being completed and provide instant breakdowns for class tests, immediately providing them with insight into whether or not any learning gaps have occurred. Gamification, Augmented Reality and in-class blogs are all examples of how technology is being used more commonly in the classroom and helping to create exciting lessons.

There has been a huge push from the government recently as they try to accelerate the growth of edtech in the UK and London especially. To help drive this initiative we should utilise our tech-savvy NQTs, help them use technology to help make their job more engaging and efficient from the get go. If our schools and leaders who support NQTs promote the use of technology in the classroom, this will become second nature to our new wave of teachers. It will make lessons more exciting, lessen their workload and they’ll continue to use technology throughout their career.

These NQTs are young teachers coming into the profession who most probably already have a better grasp of technology and the possibilities it offers than many SLT in the school in which they’re teaching - who better to help drive edtech than these new teachers? These educators will know how to use such technologies, and may even be able to convey them to students in a way that doesn’t appear alien, but natural and, dare I say, ‘cool’.

From my time scouring the internet for NQT survival guides and tips and tricks, not one guide I came across offered teachers an insight into how they can save time and make their lives easier through the many apps and websites that help to do this. Nor were they offered hacks into how to help engage their students with in-class apps and websites. Of the other advice and hacks they offered they were most definitely worthwhile, but surely we should be including these apps and websites in such survival guides to not only help make their lives easier, but to drive edtech.

If we really want to drive the edtech sector, we need to push these companies that are making tools that enhance learning and teaching to NQTs so they can use them inherently throughout their career and we can work to raise the overall standard of teaching and learning.

How do you tackle edtech in your school? Let us know below.

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