Teachers are increasingly embracing technology in the classroom, and one platform is helping them do this.
“When you hear that the average textbook in an under-funded school in the US dates back to 1989 and still refers to the USSR, it really drives home the importance of teacher-created resources in the classroom,” Says Tom Glover, Communications Director at TES Global.
Founded in 1910, TES can hardly lay claim to being the new kids on the education block, but they are nevertheless taking the lead in some important innovations in that space. They are home to the world’s largest online community of teachers, with 8 million registered users, who collectively downloaded over 200 million classroom resources in 2015.The average textbook in an under-funded school in the US dates back to 1989 and still refers to the USSR Click To Tweet
This represents a significant shift, showing how teachers are embracing technology, specially when it comes to sourcing their lesson materials. TES conducted a survey amongst 3,000 teachers in 2015 found that 69% felt that those sort of community-curated resources were more relevant and useful than textbooks.Teachers are embracing technology, specially when it comes to sourcing their lesson materials Click To Tweet
Global engagement and demand for shared classroom resources is soaring, with the platform currently attracting around a million downloads per day. TES are now launching new services such as a blended teacher training service in the UK which also supports recruitment.Global engagement and demand for shared classroom resources is soaring Click To Tweet
The plan is to continue growing globally, specially in markets such as the US and Australia, where they already have about 75% of teachers signed up to the platform. As big as they are, however, Glover stresses that there is a lot of room left to grow, as there are around 70 million teachers worldwide that could benefit from access to such platforms.there are around 70 million teachers worldwide that could benefit from access to platforms such as TES Click To Tweet
Embracing digital technology is therefore crucial in remaining relevant to teachers, and he marvels at how much the landscape has changed since his own time as a student:
Education applications for virtual reality will have an extremely positive impact on classroom engagement Click To Tweet
“The technology I remember most clearly from my school days in the UK was the BBC Micro computer. It was built by Acorn for the BBC and was adopted by most schools in the UK during the 1980s which completely changed Acorn’s fortunes. Educational games like Granny’s Garden stick in the memory, and also Elite which had quite a cult following.”
“I think the education applications for virtual reality are hugely exciting and will have an extremely positive impact on engagement of students in the classroom all over the world, creating real and exciting learning experiences. The costs of something like Google Expeditions (A Virtual Reality education initiative running off Google Cardboard) shows that this doesn’t have to be reserved for the rich. Fundamentally though, I think that education in the future and the technology we use, should be teacher-led. They are the real experts in education and we should be led by them.”
Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.