The Teaching Evolution – Digital vs Traditional

January 28, 2020

The digital age has introduced revolutionary tools to teaching, and will doubtless continue to do so. We are excited by the innovations, but for some there remains a nagging concern: are we neglecting the traditional elements of education? The benefits of technology seem clear, but is there a risk that core skills are being overlooked?

It’s a complex question with no easy answers. At Matharoo we believe the solution lies in developing a selective and considered approach which identifies and uses the best of both digital and traditional teaching tools and methods.

The attractions of laptop computers, tablets and smart phones are both clear and seductive. Technology provides a seemingly limitless array of classroom uses. But what of the traditional skills such as handwriting, note-taking, or basic arithmetic? Are we at risk of neglecting creative skills such as painting and drawing? Is it better to draw that picture on an iPad or to use the oldest technology of them all – a sheet of paper?

Technology is clearly an essential component of a modern education. Children must develop the skills and techniques they will inevitably be using in later life.

However, we believe it will be detrimental if schools are focused on digital tools at the expense of traditional teaching practices and resources. Significantly, the technology companies themselves acknowledge the challenge. In 2018, Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice-president of worldwide education, shared his view that some schools are mistaking entertainment for student engagement when devices such as laptops and tablets are used.

In the end, we think it’s about finding the right balance. Easier said than done in most cases.  Matharoo maths worksheets are designed to help develop traditional skills and competencies. The paper-based worksheets provide supplementary maths work for students and encourage them to think about current events that help students to practice another skill threatened by digital learning tools – the art of conversation.  But that’s a topic for another day!

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