Technology that improves the learning experience and enhances teaching methods is already utilised widely across the UK and beyond.
However, technology isn’t solely confined to assisting academic achievement – it can also be used in various ways to improve behaviour.
A report commissioned by the Department of Education and published in 2017 highlighted that behaviour standards remain an issue in many schools.
It drew on the findings of Teacher Voice Omnibus surveys, noting that 25% of respondents thought that pupil behaviour was “acceptable”, “poor” or “very poor” in 2016.
There was also a gap between school leaders and teachers, with 23% of teachers highlighting the need for support from senior leadership, while only 8% of senior leaders identified this as an issue.
Another notable finding in this dataset was that 69% of all respondents believed that the consistent application of rules by all teachers would promote positive behaviour in classrooms.
It’s clear that negative behaviour still impacts teaching and learning. If technology can help address this, the results may be felt across schools in the UK. There are some tangible ways all teachers and school leaders can start to utilise technology in a manner that will positively impact behaviour.
Use technology to free up teacher time
Innovations in teaching methods mean that a teacher is no longer chained to the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. Instead, there are plenty of ways they use technology to free up their time.
For instance, instead of simply talking, allowing pupils to engage with activities on laptops or other devices enables the teacher to circulate and assess any issues students may be having with the material.
When presenting to the whole class it can be difficult to stop mid-flow if you see that a pupil is confused and may be indulging in negative behaviour as a mechanism to deal with that confusion. Moving amongst the pupils and assisting them in their learning means that it’s easier to stop at a desk and help a pupil through a problem.
Similarly, bad behaviour in classrooms can develop when some pupils are ahead of others and find themselves bored. Utilising technology in delivering lessons means that students who already understand the material can move on to the next level. Used correctly, technology can ensure that every student keeps moving forward.
This is, in fact, one the benefits of using our own EDLounge learning platform. It allows you to create individual learning pathways for your students to give them the opportunity to advance at their own pace, with assessment and monitoring tools for their teachers.
Promote collaboration across the school
As mentioned in the Teacher Voice Omnibus survey, lack of consistent application of the rules can lead to problematic behavioural issues.
Sharing digital resources, tools, and case studies about what works and what doesn’t in your school can have a positive impact on the ability of teachers to handle this behaviour.
In the best scenario, this would have full support from senior school leaders. However, if this isn’t the case in your school, consider implementing departmental collaboration or informal collaborations instead.
Compile and use data
Data is collected across schools for everything from academic attainment to absences to bad behaviour. The key to harnessing this data is to ask the right questions in the first instance and then to properly address them.
For instance, if a particular student is reported as exhibiting negative behaviour by several teachers, a system trigger could highlight that issue early and the school can address it. Similarly, if one teacher’s class is deemed to be unruly, that can be highlighted, and appropriate support given.
It would be understandable for teachers and school leaders to see this type of data usage as a threat when, really, it’s an opportunity to improve. As with all classroom protocols, it’s most effective if it’s implemented across the school and used to move forward rather than attribute blame.
Only by working together and using available technology to target bad behaviour will those 25% of teachers see an improvement in their classroom behaviour.