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Technology in education - my first impressions as a new employee

Being new to the company and the industry I knew I was in for a whirlwind few weeks trying to get up to speed! I didn’t really know what to expect in my first week apart from that it was already a jam-packed one, promo videos, trade shows and meetings to attend to. I’d better buckle up tight then, what a way to begin my new job!

As a newbie I was fascinated to find out just how much education technology really helps teaching and learning in schools. I was amazed when I returned from a day’s filming at a wonderful school in Stockport – Castle Hill High School.

Why was I amazed?

I was amazed because I saw some of the liveliest learning spaces that I have ever seen, who knew? The kids were having a blast trying out fun new equipment in their classrooms, no more pen to paper boredom! When I was at school learning was never this interactive, it was never this visual. I watched how the kid’s interest was sparked when playing with HD touchscreens inspiring lots of raised hands, the progression of all learning. Not only this but the chance for trial and error, learning through what they did first be it wrong or right. This kind of engaging classroom environment really adds to the way children learn and it’s easy to see just how much of a part the technology is really playing.

I was also surprised when I listened to some of the audio systems being used in lessons and just how normal the teachers sounded, not too loud nor too quiet. I guess sound is something I may have overlooked but it is now so obviously vital, a clear sound makes for more productive teaching. What a fantastic way to ensure inclusive teaching for everyone – but then I ventured into the school hall!

PE in the School Hall!

Watching pupils dance on mats linked to a screen alongside the latest high powered speakers took me back to my youth, although I was never lucky enough to have this kind of tech at my school, I had to go to the nearest arcade to have this much fun. All in all daily routines are being ever improved with this modern way of learning. What once was a wooden climbing frame is now a fantastic lesson in coordination and balance but with a bit of flair!

Meeting the team!

Whenever you meet new work colleagues it is always daunting…you never know who or what you are going to get! All you’re really hoping for is a few new faces who are like minded and passionate about what they do. I enjoyed my first meeting, I got to experience some good knowledge sharing sessions where best practices were traded along with good solid advice. It was clear that the team and the technology was in place to invest time and effort into supporting teachers and the education of today’s kids. The meeting led me on nicely to my first experience of an expo…

What about the EdTechExpo show?

Having never been to any form of expo let alone an EdTechExpo I wasn’t sure what was in store for me. I knew there was going to be a wide range of cutting-edge technology, sitting in front of amazing displays and I would be spending some time listening to the industry’s leading manufactures, learning from their experiences and really trying to understand what the next 5-10 years looks like. This got me thinking and helped round up my first week and my first impressions.

So in summary...

So what are my first impressions? And how much does AV technology really help? It is clear to me that local schools I have visited have the best of both worlds. Touchscreens bring a little more imagination to the classroom, spark more interest and in turn support teachers with their learning. I can’t wait to keep learning myself, looking forward to the coming months and picking up some more tips. As much as all of this seemed for my first week, I am still raring to go!

by Jennifer Drake

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