Could Technology Make Education More Human?


Aug 10, 2021

If you’re of a certain age, you likely remember the first time you had to confiscate a mobile phone from one of your pupils. What a strange thing, we thought – a child with a mobile phone.

Cut to 2020, and you’re left longing for the days when taking away a Nokia 3310 or firing up a PowerPoint presentation was the extent of your day-to-day dealings with tech. In the last year, digital has well and truly colonised our classrooms, and for many of us, this raises profound questions about technology’s long-term role in education.

Our sector has a reputation for being set in its ways. And let’s be honest: it didn’t get that reputation by accident. While we’re surely grateful for the lifeline e-learning has given us during the pandemic, many education professional still have deep reservations about allowing tech to take over.

Are we losing touch?

The big fear educators have is that technology will get in the way of the human element of education: we fear kids becoming distracted, removed from reality. Or worse, only interested in engaging if there’s a screen in front of them. It gets pretty hard to engage emotionally with students who aren’t fully present, and it becomes harder for them to learn the vital social skills and empathy that will guide them through life.

This fear is totally reasonable: human interaction really is essential to effective learning. There’s tons of research demonstrating the power of human connection and a sense of community on our propensity to engage with information and truly flourish in an educational environment.

What’s not so clear, however, is whether technology necessarily has to get in the way of this. Let’s not forget: even writing was considered a dangerous technology when it first appeared – people thought it would ruin our memories. But that seems to have turned out fine. Because in reality, the danger of any technology is not inherent – it’s about how it gets used.

Let’s embrace change, so we can control it

The truth is, technology has radically improved education in all sorts of incredible ways - from the extraordinary access to knowledge that the internet and e-books have enabled to a variety of software solutions that can make lesson prep and work assessments quicker and easier for teachers.

It’s not only direct teaching duties that can be improved through technology, either: finding jobs, undertaking research, managing staff – all can be enhanced when the right technology is put in the right hands.

COVID-19 has shown us that introducing more technology to education is both vital and inevitable. And the more we resist it, the less influence we can exert on how it eventually reshapes education.

There are all kinds of ways technology will continue to change our classrooms – from interactive learning to virtual museum tours. Our job is not simply to dismiss or accept, but to interrogate and consider how these technologies might benefit our students and how we might better integrate them to ensure they make education more human, not less. 


At Front of Class, our technology connects schools directly with education professionals, to make hiring the right staff simple and cost-effective - request a demo today.


Contact Us

Related posts