Maximizing the ROI of EdTech in the Classroom

The world of EdTech is an enticing one that not only promises new ways of engaging students in the learning process but also enables teachers to track students' progress. Even so, when faced with the ever-changing array of innovative technologies, it's easy for school leaders to reach for the newest shiny "solution" and end up squandering money on tech that they don't really need. 

Investing in the wrong technology too quickly can not only impact the classroom negatively but can also result in financial losses. In fact, according to a recent survey, the hidden costs of implementing ineffective technologies can be as high as $220 per student. 

That said, while school districts, private schools, and universities have already invested in dozens of apps/learning tech solutions, if they want to maximize the ROI of EdTech, they need to channel their investment in technologies that optimize both the teaching and learning experience. 

One such technology is the screen mirroring solution. Besides allowing the entire class to engage with the app, screen mirroring technology also facilitates a more personalized teaching process –the teacher can use specific apps with some students and use different apps with other students for better engagement. 

In this post, we'll walk you through all you need to know about EdTech and how you can maximize the ROI of EdTech in the classroom. 

What Is EdTech?

The role of technology in personalized learning

EdTech is the practice of incorporating solutions into the classroom to create a more engaging, inclusive, and personalized learning experience. Today's classrooms have moved beyond the clunky desktop computers that were once the norm and are now infused with interactive online courses, tablets, and even robots that can record lectures and take notes for ill students. 

This influx of EdTech solutions is changing the classroom in different ways: IoT devices are creating a digital classroom experience for students, EdTech robots are enhancing student engagement by incorporating fun in the learning process, and blockchain tools are assisting educators with test grading and holding learners accountable for homework. 

The potential for scalable, personalized learning has played a significant role in EdTech's ascendance. The way students learn, how they interact with their teachers and classmates, and their overall enthusiasm for a given subject isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. 

Every student learns at their own pace and style. EdTech solutions make it easy for teachers to create personalized lesson plans and learning experiences that foster a sense of inclusivity and boost the learning capabilities of all students. 

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How Can EdTech Be Used in the Classroom?

EdTech is helping educational institutions streamline their classrooms by making them more inclusive and student-friendly. Here is an outline of some of the ways EdTech can be used in the classroom:

Full-Time Online Learning

Educational institutions can offer full-time online classes for students, so there is no need for the students to be physically present for learning or assessments. EdTech has brought forth a new trend where there's no need for physical classrooms at all. Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Teachable, and LearnWorlds operate solely on online learning and virtual classrooms.

Virtual Classrooms 

These classrooms are available for both part-time and full-time learning. Most educational institutions now provide dual enrollment options, advanced courses, and summer programs for students who wish to study online or want to supplement their classroom education with virtual learning. By offering virtual classrooms, educational institutions give students more options to choose from and find the most ideal way of learning. 

Access to Digital Resources 

Today, educational institutions provide free online resources such as podcasts, webinars, eBooks, and research papers for students to use in their projects and overall learning. 

Blended Learning 

This form of learning combines in-person and online learning to facilitate and accommodate various learning methods and assist students with different abilities and needs to prosper in their education. EdTech is revolutionizing the classroom experience by helping teachers and students optimize their time and efforts. With blended learning, education institutions can save resources and cut down on investment costs without compromising the quality of education. 

Gamification 

Gamification has become more prominent in recent times. It's being implemented in enterprises and classrooms alike. Gamification refers to the process of leveraging game-like simulation activities to make the learning process more interesting and competitive. 

It encourages students to put in more effort to win an award. The effectiveness of gamification has led to Tedx Talk shows such as The Power of Gamification in Education to advocate for the use of games to engage and motivate learners. 

Ways EdTech Is Transforming Teaching Methods

man pointing at display

Here are some of the ways education technology is making the teaching process more effective: 

Smart Classes 

Today's classrooms aren't limited to chalks and blackboards. Smart classroom infrastructure makes it possible for teachers to transform the classroom setting from traditional to digital with minor adjustments. As such, it empowers educators to choose and blend different teaching techniques as per a given topic, subject, and students' learning abilities. 

Digital Books 

With EdTech, textbooks aren't limited to physical copies that students have to carry to the classroom every other day. Syllabus books are converted to digital copies and shared as PDFs, and Kindle books, so that students can easily access and view them on their devices. Once a student has downloaded a PDF on their device, there is no need for an internet connection. This gives students the freedom to study whenever they want to. On a side note, digital books promote environmental sustainability since fewer papers are involved in the learning process. 

Online Research 

Nearly everything is available at our fingertips, thanks to the internet. By creating a dynamic classroom, teachers can encourage students to prepare well for the lessons and become active participants. Educators and students can discuss a given topic extensively by researching online material from various sources. 

Automated Question Generator 

With education technology, surprise assessment tests don't require too much time and energy. Various AI-based education platforms can generate questions from texts using NLP algorithms. Such platforms help teachers conduct random assessments to gauge how well their students have grasped a given topic or subject. 

Online Sessions and Webinars 

Teaching is no longer deemed to be a one-way communication where educators pass on knowledge, and all students have to do is listen. Online classes and webinars enable two-way communication by giving students a chance to actively participate in the learning process in different ways, including asking questions, commenting on different viewpoints, and filling out questionnaires, among other ways. 

Online Assessments 

These assessments are ideal for teachers, students, and education institutions. The assessments can be a combination of quizzes, descriptive, subjective, real-time problem solving, and so on. When assessments are conducted online: 

  • Teachers can use software to prepare, monitor, and grade the test papers. 
  • Students can take the tests from anywhere. 
  • Education institutions are saved from spending on resources such as printing papers for the assessments. 
  • Teachers can provide students with results faster, given that they don't have to engage in the tedious process of checking every student's test–the assessment software does most of the work. 

Communities Beyond the Classroom 

Education institutions can forge strong relationships that extend beyond the classroom. The educators and the students can interact with others using various apps and platforms. Simply put, communication and collaboration become more effective when technology is involved in teaching. 

Which EdTech Solutions Can Be Used in the Classroom?

Best Screen Mirroring Device for the Classroom

Over the years, we have seen technology increasingly becoming a part of the classroom. Whereas some institutions have been quick to adopt education technologies, others took their time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Some education institutions are still insistent on using outdated systems. Early adopters are faring well and are reaping the benefits of using EdTech in the classroom. Some of the technologies that they use in the classroom include: 

1. Screen Mirroring Technology 

Screen mirroring technology allows devices such as computers, phones, and tablets to wirelessly share their screens on the classroom display. With this technology, teachers can roam and engage with the display and the students from anywhere. 

Screen mirroring technology creates a more dynamic learning space such that teachers can involve students more in the classroom. Teachers can mirror various device screens to any display or multiple displays at any one time so that they can move freely and engage better with the students. 

Students benefit tremendously as well. They can share their work in real-time, take screenshots, annotate, collaborate, and provide feedback for a highly collaborative, social classroom experience. Additionally, multiple students can share their screens simultaneously, creating a productive two-way learning environment while the teacher remains in full control. 

2.  Smartboards and Interactive Flat Panels (IFP)

These tools allow images from a computer to be displayed onto the classroom board using a digital projector. The educator or the student can interact with the images directly. Teachers can write on the boards using real or digital markers to convert the text into a tangible element. Advanced smartboards offer touch screens such that educators or even students can customize the content that's displayed on the screen.

What's more, some screen mirroring platforms integrate with IFPs so that teachers can enjoy all the features of screen mirroring technology with their IFP in one place.

3. Cameras and Audio Equipment 

Camera and audio equipment are becoming more and more part of the classroom. Education institutions are taking the use of this equipment a step further by allowing students to record various activities. The use of audio equipment such as speakers and microphones makes the educator's voice audible in every inch of the classroom. That said, when the acoustics are good, students have an easier time concentrating and recording the lessons in the classroom. 

4. Smart Devices and Laptops 

Students can bring recording gadgets, laptops, and other smart devices to the classroom to make notes. Students with disabilities can use recording and translation software to understand the lessons. Technology enables educational institutions to make their classrooms conducive for all students. 

5. Google Classroom 

Teachers can use Google Classroom in different ways, including organizing assignments and creating a collaborative learning environment for the students. Google Classroom is a comprehensive solution where educators can create classes, connect with learners,  distribute and grade assignments, and provide feedback on the assignments. 

Educators can use Google Classroom together with screen mirroring technology to improve the learning experience. Screen mirroring technology allows teachers to share their Google Classroom screens with students wirelessly on a centralized classroom display.

6. Online Grading Systems 

Communication is a vital element in education. It helps administrators, teachers, parents, and students keep in touch and discuss issues such as students' strengths and areas for improvement. Online grading systems open and facilitate lines of communication where teachers can analyze a student's attendance patterns, post grades, and manage transcript data. 

While these technologies don't fundamentally change the way educators teach or how students learn, they enhance the current learning and teaching practices by making them more efficient. Education technology can also expand the capacity of teachers to implement new teaching practices that would otherwise be challenging to adopt had they been using traditional teaching methods and solutions.

How EdTech Can Maximize ROI in the Classroom

A question that always arises time and again is whether education-related technology can improve ROI in the classroom and the schools that invest in them. This is understandable given that investing in these technologies requires that these institutions adjust their budgets. What's more, there's also the issue of whether or not these technologies will improve the quality of education and the learning experience. 

Ultimately, when it comes to the question of whether or not EdTech can help maximize ROI in the classroom, the answer is a resounding yes, and for a myriad of reasons: 

1. It Saves Precious Time for Educators 

We might often think that the best way of assessing the quality of education is by looking at GPAs or standardized tests. However, the truth is that much of what students learn is dependent on the time allowed in the classroom. 

EdTech enables educators to have their time freed up. This can result in more personalized and focused attention on the students. For instance, suppose a teacher is constantly focused on administrative tasks, they can be distracted from the overall lesson they provide. 

The beauty of EdTech solutions is that they enhance the classroom experience. While in the past teachers had to walk around the classroom passing out assignments and explaining instructions; these days, students can access learning resources digitally whenever they want, from wherever they want. This can help with their overall understanding of the material. 

Also, while students and educators were initially relegated to the classroom for learning, education technology enables them to access learning materials and shared lesson plans at any time. As such, teachers don't have to come up with a fresh lesson plan every day for every subject - they can use technology to share their plans and access other teachers' plans, even from those outside of their own school. 

2. Increased Classroom Engagement 

It isn't easy to be passionate about something you can't truly engage and remain involved with. While technology may not necessarily ensure that a student becomes successful, it allows for more engagement than ever before. Educators can receive feedback from this engagement and adjust their teaching methods or lessons accordingly. 

Technology draws students deeper into a topic by allowing them to find more resources on it and work at their own pace. They can leverage the existing lessons and further research a topic to learn more about it. 

Today, thanks to education technology and the fact that many schools are allowing students to bring their own devices, students can easily collaborate at any time on topics that interest them and help each other have a better grasp of those topics. Whether students are working independently or as a team, collaborative EdTech solutions can enhance student engagement. 

3. Flexible Curriculum 

Education used to be rigid, with specific curricula and textbooks that had to be followed rigorously. Today, we understand that learning can be a more agile process where teachers can personalize their lessons and teaching techniques to meet every student's needs. Students can also interact with materials outside of the classroom and understand them in their own unique ways. 

Given that information is more available and diverse than ever, students can explore various digital resources to help them truly grasp a given subject instead of following a specific pre-made package. Additionally, education technology provides teachers with efficient channels where they can send learning resources to students easily. 

4. Helps Students With Different Learning Capabilities 

Not all students learn or retain information in the same way or at the same speed. Using the same teaching style for all students may be disadvantageous for some students who may need a different teaching approach. Education technology allows teachers to differentiate instructions and modify information to meet the appropriate learning capabilities of their students. Students can, therefore, learn at their own pace and in a way that best suits them for better outcomes.

In a nutshell, when technology is used in the classroom, there are higher chances for students to excel in their classroom, given that teachers can personalize the lessons to meet the learning capability of a student or a group of students. 

5. Easy Access to More Learning Resources 

Today's students have grown accustomed to searching for information online whenever they want to learn something new. By doing so, they have become used to interacting with eBooks, search engines, educational and how-to videos, and online forums and platforms. All these resources are available in today's classrooms and are easily sharable via screen mirroring technology.

Naturally, educators can use technology for other purposes other than learning. They can use online tools to allow remote access to students, leverage streaming to provide tutoring lessons, and even use gamification elements in a custom educational software to provide centralized education resources more efficiently and in a more engaging way. 

6. Tech Adds Fun to Learning 

It's not unheard of for students to get bored during a class, more so in classes that are more traditional. This is because they are used to technology being a big part of their everyday lives. As such, its absence immediately puts them off. Incorporating technology into the lessons can boost student interest in a class. Yet, technology can do more than that–it can add fun to the classroom. 

By using gamification, teachers can generate further engagement with their students. Games themselves are an excellent way of teaching specific concepts in various subjects such as Maths, Chemistry, and Physics. Of course, there are other ways of adding fun to the classroom—educational robots and interactive videos are other alternatives that can add excitement to the classroom while ensuring high educational value. 

7. It Prepares Students for Their Careers 

Traditional education might have been excellent at providing fundamental concepts pertaining to certain subjects, but it is getting further away from the prevailing workforce reality. Today, most jobs require tech knowledge. At the very least, today's jobs require that you have digital alphabetization, which most students today have to learn on their own. Educational institutions can help students acquire tech knowledge that may come in handy in the future. 

By encouraging the use of digital solutions such as mobile apps, electronic whiteboards, websites, video calling apps, and more, educators can help students learn how to work with these solutions. Naturally, all these solutions would be boosted by including tech-related subjects in the education program from an early age. 

Using technology in the classroom can definitely improve learning if properly implemented. It facilitates better engagement, inclusive learning, better collaboration between teachers and students, and also creates a holistic learning environment.

Choose a Screen Mirroring Technology for Your School

How to Get the Most out of the Education Technology Stack

It is essential to choose a wireless screen mirroring solution designed specifically for the education industry. It must work with any device, display, media type, number of classrooms or users, and learning styles. With this dynamic screen mirroring technology, educators can present any media –school app or YouTube video—to the classroom from their own devices wirelessly connected to the physical piece of screen mirroring technology. 

To foster a highly interactive and collaborative learning environment. Make sure students can annotate, share their work in real-time, take screenshots, and give feedback. 

As you evaluate solutions, look at Vivi, the only wireless screen mirroring and digital signage tool built for the education sector. Book a demo today to maximize the ROI of your school's district classroom using technology.