Technology has transformed the lives of people in different situations, and most classrooms look much different than they did 20—or even 10—years ago. The traditional chalkboard has been replaced with more digital and interactive whiteboards while instructors are increasingly using iPads and tablets.
Is the advancing classroom detrimental to the students, or are there benefits to the learning process? According to the Pew Research Center, more than 90% of instructors note that the internet has presented a significant impact on their capacity to access or present teaching material, resources, and content. Below we look at some of the ways technology has enhanced the classroom experience.
Increasing Collaboration and Communication
Learning technology fosters collaborative actions between different parties in the academic space. Not only can the instructors interact with the learners during a lesson, but the students can also engage with each other. For instance, through online lessons and learning activities, the learners get to team up to develop effective solutions. During the collaborative activities, the learners can share ideas and perspectives while also supporting each other. In addition, learning technology allows one-on-one interaction with the instructors. The learners can present topic-related questions and develop additional knowledge on technical aspects of the subject. While learning at home, technology allows the student to upload classwork while engaging with instructors regarding any learning material.
Integrating technology in the classroom allows 24/7 access to learning resources. Learning can occur entirely on an online platform through the use of computers or mobile devices. As the world changes due to technology, hybrid versions of learning are being implemented in classrooms, allowing students to learn from anywhere while also retaining the physical classroom activities. In both cases, using technology allows instructors to tailor the teaching process to the platform, with student-centered plans also possible. With learning technology, there is an added benefit as learners can receive information at their own pace. If a student needs to review learning material to gain a better understanding of course concepts, they can review the media provided in the lesson plans. Notably, educational technology provides data that can allow instructors to see learners who need assistance with specific concepts and provide help and support.
Before the advent of technology, students relied on local and school libraries and any printed reference materials to conduct research. Today, educational technology provides access to digital versions of textbooks and other learning material that are on databases worldwide. In addition, learners have access to encyclopedias on DVDs that include information, images, videos, and audio on course content. The disks also offer links to websites where the learners can access live webcams and other digital learning tools. Through the internet, students can get research information from various secondary sources including government websites, organizations, or scientific researchers. You can also ask for assignment help from online homework services who work with STEM academic experts.
Constructing New Knowledge
As technology is integrated into the classes and learning experiences, it is becoming evident that students benefit most when they grow from knowledge users to knowledge creators. The first step supported by technology involves becoming inquisitive. Technology aids inquiry by allowing learners to engage in real-world activities. For instance, science students can collect precise data and develop effective hypotheses. Learners have access to graphing calculators, spreadsheets, and analysis software that provides learners the ability to visualize technical concepts. The results of the inquiry can then be presented using various forms of technology including digital video, audio, presentation devices, and word processing programs.
Some learning institutions lack effective access to provide all the learning material that a learner needs or wants. This may be the case in courses that are expensive for the school system to provide because the student demand for the material is low. Various technologies including interactive television or internet videoconferencing allow learners to participate in a class located in a different physical area. Technology provides instructional tools that can achieve the learning needs of students who are unable to attend class physically. For whatever reason, if the student cannot attend the class by themselves, they can leverage coursework that is available over online platforms, such as virtual schools and companies that make such courses available.
Is Technology Effective in Education?
In various ways, educational technology facilitates the presentation of information to learners. Institutions are now replacing or paring down traditional lectures, allowing a more informal, interactive, and free-flowing learning process. The increased integration of technology means that effective technology can help instructors to develop an active learning experience that motivates learners and improves their learning outcomes. Notably, technology has been effective in reducing the amount of class time learners sit passively waiting for instructors.
Technology has also been effective in helping education become a more collaborative process. elements such as email, course-based sites, and online chat rooms are increasingly providing resources for learners and instructors to communicate and work together. The collaborative efforts have been shown to increase a student’s recall ability, understand concepts better, and solve critical problems. Through technology, learners can form collaborative groups to support each other, especially if they live in different areas.
The effectiveness of technology is also highlighted in the ability to personalize and individualize learning. Technology reduces the requirement to deliver huge amounts of information, allowing instructors to devote more time to each student. Instructors can use the additional time to engage and get acquainted with the learners, allowing the creation of an adaptable teaching strategy to align the coursework with the student’s needs. The ability of technology to share huge quantities of information over a network increases the potential for the instructor to tailor the learning process to each learner’s requirements.
To conclude, technology provides diverse benefits to the learning experience, allowing students to research more effectively, increase their inquiry skills, collaborate, and receive personalized lessons. These benefits are evident in different aspects of a student’s life including the development of critical skills and advancing their competencies regarding a subject. Technology will continue evolving, meaning that students and instructors must adjust the learning process according to the advancements.