EdTech Can Make Teachers’ Jobs Less Stressful
Educating students is no easy task, and the constantly growing demands of the education sector make teaching a high-pressure job. The accompanying stress is gradually taking a toll on teachers. A report by Education Support revealed that nearly 75% of teachers and 84% of school leaders admit they are stressed at their jobs . This report also showed that more than a third of educational professionals were experiencing mental health issues. At the same time, close to 50% believed their work negatively impacted their mental health. This leads us to an important question: what is driving these high stress levels?
Stress In The Education Sector
A careful look at the education sector will reveal that teachers typically handle high workloads, sit through long hours, and don’t get enough support and resources to do their jobs efficiently. All this affects their physical and mental health and often results in falling education standards. If teachers are stressed, they lack the time and energy required to ensure effective learning. A 2022 survey of 12,728 teachers worldwide revealed that more than 75% of the teachers complained of health problems often associated with high stress levels. These high stress levels are attributed to the exorbitant hours they work each week.
The problem is that prolonged high stress levels have far-reaching consequences, much beyond the teachers themselves. Research shows that if left unchecked, teacher stress can lead to poor academic outcomes for students and a higher cost of education for schools and school districts. Research also shows that teacher stress can lead to poor student discipline and higher dropout rates .
Thus, it is important to handle this issue effectively. This is where EdTech can play a crucial role. Technology tools can not only help reduce the workload, but they can also provide the necessary resources, promote productive communication, and boost the morale of teachers.
Some Pedagogical Benefits Of EdTech
- EdTech allows the use of interactive elements and provides instant feedback, which enhances students’ feeling of competence and keeps them actively engaged.
- When students get an opportunity to engage in creative activities, it promotes their need for self-expression and autonomy and increases happiness. With the right technology tools, they can complete creative projects without being restricted to specific subjects. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled solutions can assess each student’s specific requirements and customize the learning resources through interactive games, quizzes, software, and other adaptive learning programs.
- EdTech can provide data-driven insights, which can then improve student progress. It can guide teachers to modify their instruction for the best results. With technologies like MOOCs, course management systems, AI, and adaptive learning platforms, teachers can improve data quality and maximize the benefits of assessment findings .
- EdTech promotes an adaptive learning experience so that every student can access learning resources and tasks that suit their interests and strengths . It also facilitates social activities and sharing among students based on similar interests.
How EdTech Can Reduce Stress Levels For Teachers
Technology is rapidly becoming an integral part of the teaching process and can be used to support teachers and make their jobs less stressful. Here’s how EdTech tools can lower stress:
1. Reduce Administrative Workload
LTI or Learning Tools Interoperability has improved the effectiveness of EdTech tools. It allows easy integration with third-party resources, applications, and tools into a single Learning Management System (LMS) ecosystem while syncing results continuously. Students’ assignments and grade results are automatically synced to the grade book of record. Similarly, teachers can automate and streamline many other administrative tasks and lessen their workload.
2. Quickly Create Learning Resources
Teachers can create customized learning experiences for students with the help of EdTech tools. A significant advantage of learning in such an environment is that students need 40%–60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom .
Teachers can use digital learning tools to develop such learning materials and deliver engaging learning experiences to students. While the production process of a typical textbook may take up to 17 months, teachers can quickly create material using robust course authoring tools . These tools are typically equipped with themes, templates, and interactions, reducing content development time by up to 40%. Teachers can access a wide range of resources, including question banks and external resources (via in-text links in digital resources), to cut down their time creating learning materials for students.
3. Protect Sensitive Information
With modern communication platforms, teachers can quickly connect with parents and colleagues through phone or video calls, text, or email and not worry about sharing their personal contact information. Many of these platforms also maintain a record of communications and help prevent encroachment on teachers’ time and space while remediating compliance issues.
4. Eliminate Communication Barriers
Modern communication platforms also offer another crucial advantage. They allow teachers to use multiple modes of communication (even with translation) for families with different levels of access to technology. They can rely on technologies like email, texts, websites, and video conferencing applications and make the communication between parents and teachers more timely, efficient, productive, and satisfying .
Teachers had already put in a vast effort to balance their personal and professional lives even before the pandemic. But in the last two years, they have ensured that learning continued uninterrupted for students despite various hurdles. They have been coping with lost instructional time, preparing students for state exams, and engaging with their families to achieve this. It has further increased their stress levels.
According to the National Education Association, 55% of the teachers were thinking of leaving their teaching jobs sooner than they had initially planned. It also revealed that 90% believed being burnt out was a serious concern. Thus, reducing the pressure on the teachers and creating a collaborative and supportive environment is important.