In this day and age, the range of what passes for educational technology ranges wildly. It is easy to assume that technology equals getting a cutting-edge education in private schools in Miami. But how does all this EdTech really affect learning? How can you be sure the devices and apps your child’s school is using are actually helping your child learn? There are simple ways to figure out whether or not using technology is effective for your child’s learning process.

The use of devices

Alison Carr-Chellman, a professor of learning, design, and technology at Penn State University’s College of Education states that the presence of technology is less about the media and more about the approach. Therefore, whether your child is learning or not depends vastly upon the teacher. Schools with the best modern or tech approach are those where teachers think creatively about how they use technology to engage students. Technology should support kids in useful ways and not be the center of attention. Students should be able to also use and work with tangible materials like crayons, glue, scissors, and construction paper.

Smartboards and apps

Research shows that smartboards can increase both student interest and participation. This is a great resource used in some of the best private schools in Miami to enliven students’ interaction by adding colors, streaming videos, and letting kids physically interact with the Smartboard. However, teachers should not turn smartboards into fancy sheet projectors. Research shows it can take a few years for teachers to get comfortable incorporating new tech tools into their lessons. Data also shows that many Ed-focused apps and video games have the ability to improve cognition, and — online or not — gamification is a proven learning technique. But apps are still not the number one effective tool as real person interaction with the student. If you are wondering if the apps your child is using are doing any good, it is best to ask your teacher how it reinforces learning goals.

Questions to ask about tech in a school

Some questions that will help you get insight into how technology can benefit your child’s education include; how many hours a week will my child have access to the media lab? what access will my child have to technology in the classroom? how does using this technology reinforce learning goals? does the teacher or school use email, a portal, Facebook, Twitter, or other online systems to communicate with parents and students? what professional training do teachers receive to help them incorporate technology into lesson plans?

In this technology-driven society, it is important to consider how incorporating modern tools and digital platforms can actually benefit education. If you are looking for private schools in Miami it is important to ask questions about technology. You will encounter various schools that rely on technology as well as those who rely on a more traditional approach.