Technology and Education – It’s a Love Affair!August 14, 2018 No Comments
Featured article by Daniela McVicker , Independent technology Author
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning a long time ago. It was a love sonnet. But many of us could say the same about technology. It has disrupted so many parts of our lives, and in so many good ways.
And while the education sector is often slow to embrace change, it is definitely embracing technology. The results have changed delivery systems in some pretty amazing and wonderful ways.
Consider just these seven ways in which students’ and teachers’ lives have benefitted from technology:
1. Individualizing Instruction
Traditionally, the teacher was the giver of knowledge and skills to an entire classroom at the same time. Some students mastered content and skills quickly and were ready to move on. Others did not and needed additional instruction. Planning to accommodate all of these individual needs has always been a huge challenge for teachers. Now, however, a computer-assisted instruction can accommodate both those in need of enrichment and those who need remediation. Teachers can allocate their time to individual students far more efficiently.
Information is only a few keystrokes away. And it has opened up a whole world for students who have a basic curiosity about anything that interests them through locating resource materials for essays and papers they must write. Libraries at the secondary and university levels are now online, making research much more efficient.
And students can seek the help they need independently. Suppose a college student needs writing assistance (pretty common). He wants to find an online writing service for that purpose. He can access a reviews page that will point him in the direction of reputable services that can provide such help.
3. Teacher Sharing and Student Collaboration
Teachers from all over the country and globe can share their methodologies, their lesson plans, their successes, and their needs. Technology has brought a collaboration that would never have been possible without computers and the internet.
And student collaboration has benefitted as well. Students within the same classroom or school can use technology to work together on projects. Students throughout the world can form study groups and share their research, their cultures, and their ideas.
4. Online Education
This has been one of the biggest disruptors to traditional education but also one of the biggest benefits to both students and instructors. Tutors in America can provide English lesson to Chinese students; students around the globe, many who have not had access to higher education, can now enroll in online courses and degree programs; adult learners, busy with jobs and families, have access to educational opportunities that can result in degrees and career growth.
Colleges and universities can widen their student based through online coursework, meeting the needs of a huge number of non-traditional students.
5. Tablets vs. Textbooks
This may seem like a minor improvement to many adults; however, ask any student which he would prefer – all of his textbooks online and available via a single tablet, or lugging textbooks around in a heavy backpack. Not to mention the fact that textbook companies now offer far more than just their texts online. There are enrichment and remediation activities, links to valuable research resources, etc., all available to a student or a teacher.
6. Teacher/Student/Parent Relationships
now that schools and teachers have their own websites and dashboards, it is easy for parents to see all that is going on in classrooms, monitor assignments, and their students’ progress. Students who cannot remember assignments can access the site/dashboard and be reminded.
Email allows teachers, students and parents to keep in touch rather than have to wait to play phone tag or to schedule a meeting. When parents, teacher and students are all on the same page, achievement rates are higher.
For college students, staying in touch with professors is critical, not to mention the convenience of submitting assignments and taking tests online.
7. AR/VR Experiences
Imagine a student being able to take a virtual tour of an art museum in Paris or Florence, Italy. Imagine a student being able to “land” himself in a Chinese village and observe the daily routine and activities of his counterparts there. Imagine a student “visiting” the wall of China or floating down the Nile River, or walking through a tropical rain forest in South America. All of these things are now possible through the advanced technology of augmented and virtual reality, something that is now just making its way into classrooms. Students who may never have the opportunity to visit these places can not virtually experience them and have those rich experiences that were never before possible.
So, what has technology brought to education? Amazing things, that’s what. The opportunity for all students to achieve, the opportunity for teachers to collaborate with one another, the opportunity for students to locate the information they need and to experience their planet – all of these things are now possible.
Author Bio: Daniela McVicker is a former teacher and digital nomad who, among many freelance writing gigs, is also an editor for Top Writers Review, a site dedicated to evaluating online writing services. In her travels, she loves visiting schools around the globe and observing how classrooms are using technology.