Use technology as an enabler

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What is it?

Technology is central to STEM education. However, technology alone doesn’t guarantee an increase in STEM engagement or achievement. Effective STEM education uses technology as an enabler of high-quality teaching and learning, rather than a substitute for it — for example, programming a robot instead of watching someone use a robot. Technology covers a wide range of tools, and is not just about computers. For example, microscopes, scales, electronic components, chemistry equipment and cameras are all technologies that help deliver STEM education.

There are many models that can effectively support STEM education:

  • collaboration through technology
  • real-time formative assessment
  • skills-based curriculum alignment
  • gamification
  • virtual laboratories

How does it help?

Using technology as an enabler is important in STEM education because:

  • It reflects the changing world of work and prepares students for their future.
  • It can accelerate student learning in STEM disciplines.
  • It can facilitate individualised learning to ensure each student is experiencing the required level of challenge and support.
  • It can facilitate learning experiences that would otherwise be impossible — e.g. experimenting in virtual laboratories, collaborating with distant peers.
  • It connects regional communities.
  • It can increase students' confidence and competency in using technology.

How do you do it?

  • Where possible, allow students to use hands-on or interactive technologies e.g. robot kits.
  • Where possible, make sure there are enough computers or devices needed for some technologies e.g. using ‘collaboration platforms’.
  • Make sure technology serves educational goals and outcomes, rather than simply being engaging.

Want to know more?

Research Reports