Although education may seem like the least likely sector to be impacted by revolutions in technology, with teachers using the same methods to help their students to learn as they have in the past, there are many ways in which technology is impacting upon education, and will continue to do so in the future. This guide will discuss the most common ways in which technology is changing education and how this will impact the way that you and your children learn.
Online Courses and Tutors
Online courses are one of the most prominent development in education over recent years. These courses are particularly good for people with extra responsibilities such as parents, carers, those that do not like to travel away from home, or those that are taking an extra qualification alongside a job role. The ability to enrol on courses from all around the world has made it even easier for students to have access to the qualifications and information that they need. Rather than move to a new location, students are able to study alongside their classmates from anywhere in the world.
Online courses are taken in the form of videos and text lectures which are sent to the student each week and which they are able to use to keep connected with the course. When it comes to exams, they are still taken on a specific date and are timed so that each student has an equal opportunity at completion. There are a wide range of subjects that potential students can opt for online that can help them to boost their careers, and this can be anything from teaching to working in the service sector. For instance, follow this link to find out more about Laurier’s degree in policing, which is completed wholly online even though they are a Canada based company, and which can help anyone excel in a career in the police.
Not only this, but education has also been changed by technology by the rise of online tutors. Online tutors are able to contact students in other countries to impact their lessons, usually in languages or as a supplement to high school level work. The only constraint around these rely on a good internet connection, communication software such as Skype, and the time zones in which they are working.
Technology has also given students the ability to control self-directed learning opportunities through research and home projects online. Rather than having to teach their students every single morsel of information, teachers and lecturers can now set self-directed projects in which the student can use online resources to find out the information that they will need. These opportunities are often in the format of informative and useful websites for learning, such as BBC Bitesize in the UK, and college life, through online videos and tutorials on Youtube, or by practising with free downloadable software from the internet.
With the announcement that Pearson was going to stop its production of physical textbooks in favour of digital formats recently, there has been some debate over the nature and success of digital textbooks. This could revolutionise the way that students, in particularly those at college, find information. Traditionally, physical copies of textbooks have been extremely expensive and hard to access, especially if they have been out of print for some time. They will also be able to be taken to many different locations with their easily transportable nature.
Aside from being able to keep up with the times, the use of digital textbooks also comes with several benefits. This innovation is actually very environment-friendly because no trees were cut during its production. Digital textbooks are also interactive, encourages on-the-go learning, and saves storage space.
With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder why digital textbooks are cost-effective investments for all learners in the world!
Smart Technology in Classrooms
Technology has changed the way that teachers teach their students, with many classrooms now being installed with the latest in smart technology and mobile applications for teachers, such as smart whiteboards and projectors. This can make classrooms more interactive for students, with smart boards allowing them to draw on the interface, play touch-reactive games and use the internet. These gadgets will also be able to make classrooms more media focused, allowing teachers to play videos and films, which are traditionally emerging for kids, more easily. In fact, many schools have now bought laptops, iPads and games consoles in order to teach kids in a fun and interactive way.
Smart technology in classrooms is actually very beneficial for both learners and teachers. For students, smart technology will make it easy for them to learn complex topics. There are countless apps and software that fall into smart technology, allowing students to learn based on their preferred medium.
For the teachers, on the other hand, smart technology can help them create lesson plans based on the unique needs of their students. This means that through smart technology, teachers can do more tasks in less time without compromising the efficacy of their outputs.
The way that exams are now marked has also been changed by technology. In recent years, exam papers have started to be scanned by machines which allow papers to be dispatched automatically to human markers without disruption. These machines can also scan papers for any forms of plagiarism, especially when marking online exams, as they will have access to a wide range of data from other students. In the future, it is likely that artificial intelligence will start to mark exam papers, although the technology for this is limited at present when it comes to written papers. However, for online examinations or those taken on a computer, artificial intelligence is already used, with many institutions using these to mark simple exam questions.
Access to Online Discussion
Technology can also aid education through its ability to allow students to access online discussion from any location. Communication apps such as Skype and the development of web chats and forums can help students learn how to communicate with others from all around the world, sharing exam tips and information. The access to online communication has also been a great aid to group projects. This has allowed students to communicate with the other members of their group even when they are not at school and college. They are now able to arrange meetings through text and even use resources such as the Cloud to share data and edit this live with their group members.
Online discussions can also encourage interaction between the learner and their teachers. Because there are many communication channels available today, students won’t have any problems reaching out to their teachers about their concerns on a specific topic or lesson. This will help the students learn and engage better with their teachers.
Development of Software
Software developments have also changed the way that students learn by allowing them to create models and designs, access simulations, and use industry or subject specific software which they will need to use during their career. Not only this, but the development of storage software such as the Cloud has limited the need for unreliable memory sticks, and has allowed students to store their essays and exams in a safe place online which they can access at any time. Teachers also use many different software applications to provide information and missed lectures as well as to provide online feedback and grades which they are able to check at any time.
Takeaway: Practice Balance
There are many technological advancements present in the education system today. Regardless if you’re learning or teaching, there will be innovations that can help you play your role easier.
However, keep in mind that technology can also pose health risks when not controlled. This is especially true for young learners.
Make the most out of technology by controlling your frequency of use. Only use technology when necessary and don’t forget to live life outside of the digital world. Your real-life experiences can surely supplement your learning using technology!