ICT Tools for Teaching: A Comprehensive Guide to Edtech Tools

May 23, 2024 | By: Extramarks

ICT Tools for Teaching

Modern education has moved leaps and bounds away from the traditional blackboard and textbook setup. The pandemic forced educators to adopt special ed-tech tools that helped facilitate student learning in a remote setting, and even after we came back from our ‘new normal’, teachers and administrators realised the value of using such technological aids to advance learning and take it into the future. Not only do these teaching aids help bring inclusivity into the school environment, but they also help make learning more fun and engaging for students and, in turn, have a positive impact on the levels of learner retention and knowledge absorption.

These ICT tools for teaching and learning have been specifically created to benefit both the teacher and the student. But what is ICT, how is it used in teaching, and why is it relevant in today’s educational landscape? Unique needs.

What is ICT?

In layman’s terms, Information Communication Technology (ICT) is an umbrella term used to cover anything and everything, from a range of software tools to learning interfaces to online management systems to even digital infrastructure and hardware like smart tablets, laptops, digital whiteboards, etc., that help make the educational process better, easier, and more engaging for both students and teachers.

ICT covers the broad spectrum of communication tools for teachers, collaboration tools for students, and online classroom and file-sharing setups that can aid a modern and high-tech education, accessible to anyone with a stable internet connection and a device to connect on.

What is ICT in Teaching?

ICT, or Information Communication Technology, refers to the new-age Edtech developments that give educators as well as learners access to a wide range of resource materials and immersive technology and tools that will help create an engaging and involved learning environment. ICT in education helps make the teaching-learning process more individualised, customisable, easier to use, accessible to all, and collaborative. Students have access to tools used for education beyond school hours for personal study and reference, as well as a library of online reference materials. ICT helps break the traditional boundaries and constrictions of traditional teaching methods, as well as overcome the limitations of physical access through diverse modes of communication and collaboration.

Different ICT Tools for Teaching

different ICT Tools for Teaching

When we look at the educational landscape in India in the past decade, it has altered considerably and evolved for the better. The larger number of private schools, high student-teacher ratios, and vast and diverse curricula call for resources that extend beyond the plain boring textbooks. Teachers need to constantly keep upskilling and training themselves to improve student retention and conceptual understanding levels, as the affinity towards rote learning information over actual understanding and analysing concepts is still very prevalent in the Indian student mindset.

To counter this, various institutes have begun to adopt ICT-based tools for teaching and the sector has boomed in recent years. This variety of tools used, which have become more prevalent post-COVID-19, can be broadly classified into 5 categories of ICT tools, each specialising in one key area of the teaching-learning process. These five sub-categorisations are as follows:

  1. Communication and Collaboration Tools

    • Learning Management Systems (LMS)

      A learning management system is software that helps you set up an online classroom. It functions like an online classroom where you can set the curriculum, share reference materials on the drive, upload assignments, conduct quizzes, provide feedback, etc. Platforms like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams are popular examples of cloud-based online classroom setups that allow for seamless remote or in-person learning across many apps and platforms, all under one OS, and are easy to navigate and configure to your unique classroom needs.

    • Video Conferencing Tools

      Zoom, Google Meet and other video conferencing applications enable real-time interaction between teachers, students, and even guest speakers from anywhere. This is particularly beneficial for virtual field trips, guest lectures by industry experts, and connecting with students who are unable to attend physical classes. These platforms can also be used to conduct online lectures and have the scope for breakout rooms for group discussions and collaborative projects.

    • Discussion Forums/Message Boards

      Online chat forums and message board servers like Slack provide a platform for asynchronous communication and student-to-student interaction. Students can ask questions, share ideas, and participate in discussions outside class time. This makes learning a bit more informal, where students can express their opinions more freely, and share any important information as they find it while researching or completing assignments. These tools are also useful for informal discussions while students are a part of group activities, projects, or presentations.

  2. Interactive Content Creation Tools

    • Presentation Tools

      Traditional static slideshows have now been replaced with dynamic and engaging presentations created using tools like Prezi, Canva, and PowerPoint. These applications allow for the incorporation of multimedia elements like images, videos, and interactive features to make learning more engaging. Additionally, the number of online templates and design options available make it easy for both teachers to design engaging reference materials and students to design innovative and interesting presentations and projects.

    • Interactive Whiteboards

      Digital smartboards and interactive whiteboards have revolutionised classroom technology for teachers. These tools allow teachers to collaborate with students in real time, brainstorm ideas visually, and use interactive digital elements to enhance understanding. Teachers can now highlight, screenshot, and manipulate reference information according to their teaching speed and students’ learning needs and even use online resources to explain concepts instantaneously by using several multimedia resources. Hardware tools provided by Extramarks not only provide the above-mentioned multimedia resources that allow for an interactive and engaging classroom experience, by also provide a high-tech whiteboard with geometric instruments, drawing and highlighting tools, and more.

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    • Quizzing/Game-based Learning Platforms

      Platforms like Kahoot! and Quizlet gamify the learning process by turning assessments and knowledge checks into fun and competitive activities. This can make learning more enjoyable and help students retain information better by instilling a sense of healthy competition in the classroom, as well as helping students develop their higher-order thinking skills.

  3. Tools for Personalized Learning

    • Adaptive Learning Platforms

      These AI-powered platforms tailor the learning content to each student’s needs and pace. By analysing student performance data and interaction levels, the platform can identify areas where a student needs more practice and provide targeted instruction and individualised solutions.

    • Differentiation Resources

      A wealth of websites and online tools are designed to provide teachers with specific content that can cater to students with different learning styles and abilities, helping make learning more inclusive and personalised.

    • Accessibility Features

      ICT tools for teaching can play a vital role in creating inclusive classrooms. Screen readers, text-to-speech software, multimedia resources and various testing patterns for conceptual assessment, along with other accessibility features, can help students with disabilities overcome learning barriers and participate fully in the classroom experience.

  4. Assessment Tools

    Assessment tools help streamline assessment processes and provide instant feedback, making the grading and feedback process very efficient and instantaneous. Assessment tools like Quizizz or Google Forms have an easy user interface and can be used to make customised templates for quizzes and other formative assessments, with caveats for students to get instant scores and feedback. Grading software like Gradescope helps streamline the grading process, helping alleviate some of the time the teachers spend on analysing results, which they can now dedicate to helping students clarify doubts about any problem areas. They can even use tools like Turnitin or Proquest to see if the content submitted in subjective questionnaires and tests has been plagiarised or not.

    Extramarks brings you all these features and more with our Assessment Centre, a scientifically designed platform specifically for automating the assessment process and making it easier, simpler, and hassle-free for both educator and learner! With dozens of test templates, tools for offline quizzes and grade offline answer sheets, question shuffling to prevent cheating, tailored feedback, and many other exciting features, Extramarks is the composite ICT tool for facilitating the assessment process.

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  5. Teacher Productivity Tools

    • Gradebook Software

      Digital gradebook applications streamline the process of managing student grades and providing feedback. These tools can save teachers time and allow them to focus on more important tasks, like providing individualised support to their students.

    • Lesson Planning Tools

      There are several online resources and templates available to help teachers design engaging and effective lesson plans to help them plan their curriculum and lesson plans according to classroom needs and student performance.

    • Classroom Management Tools

      Applications like ClassDojo can help teachers with classroom management by providing tools for tracking behaviour, communicating with parents, and creating a positive learning environment.

    By effectively integrating these ICT tools into their teaching practices, Indian educators can create more engaging, interactive, and personalised learning experiences for their students.

    Extramarks is a digital platform designed to improve the teaching experience and has features to aid classroom planning, classroom management, lecture delivery, assessment, grading procedures, and feedback processes and helps improve student engagement. Our holistic platform offers resources such as pre-made reference content, question banks, online multimedia resources, grading and classroom management features, and analytics tools. Teachers are also free to create content on their own and have multiple templates and references at their disposal. Extramarks is compatible with various curriculums and hence is the perfect holistic tool for your teaching needs!

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Considerations for Selecting ICT Tools

Now that we have explored the various benefits of ICT tools for teaching for Indian educators, let us consider some considerations while choosing an ICT tool for your classroom. Due to the vast range of options available, it can often be confusing and overwhelming to choose a program that is the right fit for your academic requirements and teaching model.

  1. Relevance

    One key factor when choosing an ICT tool for your classroom is its relevance to your curriculum. Are the features provided useful and would be engaging for your students? Is it necessary for your program, and why so? Is the tool helping you reach your learning goals as an educator, and will truly benefit your students and enrich their learning experience? These questions are necessary to determine whether the teaching aid is relevant and applicable to your course structure and needs.

  2. Ease of Use

    Ease of use is another important factor to consider. If you are investing time, energy and effort into subscribing to an ICT tool or program, the process of using it must be hassle-free. Teachers should be able to navigate through the tool’s various features easily, and there should be a low learning curve for students as well. If you have high-tech technology at your disposal, it must be easy to use and understand rather than proving to be a challenge. Edtech should make the teaching-learning process easier, not more difficult!

  3. Customisation

    Flexibility is an important aspect you must consider when choosing an ICT tool. The tool should allow you to customise learning materials and features according to your specific classroom and student needs, completely hassle-free. The user interface should be easily customisable, and ideally, the technology should have adaptive programs that allow you to restructure your lessons and curriculum according to your student performance levels.

  4. Interaction

    When students are actively engaged in learning, not only do they absorb the information imparted, but also show higher levels of long-term memory retention of lessons. The tools you use should ensure that students are actively interested and engaged in the materials they are accessing and derive meaning and value from the knowledge they are absorbing.

  5. Accessibility

    The most important of all considerations is whether the tool makes the teaching process accessible to all. Accessibility in education helps create a supportive and inclusive classroom environment, and the tools you employ during the teaching-learning process should facilitate flexible, customisable and personalised learning for all students, keeping in mind their various needs and special requirements. Education should have no barriers, and classroom technology for teachers to use should promote the same.

Final Words

ICT tools for teaching should offer you many benefits and, at the end of the day, help to make learning more engaging and interactive, improve the quality of the educational process and make it easier and more accessible. There are several choices when it comes to ICT tools, all with different features and functions to facilitate different learning outcomes and categories. Rather than look at different programs for different purposes, try integrating one singular comprehensive program that offers you a wide range of ICT tools under one roof, with a comprehensive program and easy user interface, like the Extramarks Smart School Solutions program.

Extramarks Smart School Solutions

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Last Updated on May 23, 2024

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