Effective technology in schools can help create the future citizens of the world.
Technology has been rapidly touching almost all sectors of our homes, communities and lives. Schools are slowly catching up when it comes to the integration of technology with learning in classrooms. Educational institutions have started exploring the potential of technology for the purpose of learning and teaching. If used appropriately, technology can help the students to acquire the right skills that are crucial for surviving in a highly technological and complex environment.
Integration of technology in classrooms so far has involved the teaching of software programs, basic computer skills and introduction of smart boards. Effective integration needs to offer a deeper and enhanced learning experience to the students. It should support the key learning components which include engagement, group participation, feedback, connection to the experts, learning analytics and frequent interaction. The following technologies have made a way into the classrooms in schools and also bear the potential to radically transform the entire learning process:
1.Use of web based resources
There are myriad resources that are available online that are used to make classroom teaching much more fun and interesting. Real experts in the world are connected to the students through the web offering them a plethora of opportunities to understanding any concept with the aid of text, sound and images. However, the challenge for educators is to sift through these resources to identify and save those that they can use for their students. A good learning platform will help teachers build such a repository of free content cataloged by topics so educators can reuse when required.
2.Online teaching tools
Classrooms today have incorporated latest technologies such as online teaching, social networking, wiki, class blogs, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices podcasting and learning analytics. Apart from taking learning and teaching outside of the classroom, these technologies aid in quick feedback and encouraging collaboration. Introducing concepts becomes a lot easier when done with the use of interactive whiteboards. Information can be delivered in a lightning fast manner with the use of mobile devices. Learning analytics can help pin point areas that are difficult for students which will help teachers to provide appropriate remedial measures.
3.Effective use of computer or laptops
Earlier, computers were just confined to labs. These days all modern educational institutions have computers in almost all classrooms. Students can easily complete their assignments, carry out research pertaining to homework and also network with their classmates with the use of computers. Teachers as well keep a tab on the students and monitor their assignments with the use of their personal computers. Grading system has become a lot more transparent with this as students can check their work online. Students and Teachers may use devices ranging from a desktops, laptops, chomebooks or tablets which makes it very important that any Learning platforms introduced in the classroom should be device independent.
4.E-books replacing traditional books
Traditional books are slowly disappearing with schools and universities stacking e-libraries with e-books. Most of the students make use of e-books instead of the traditional ones as these are easier to access anytime and from anywhere. E-books significantly reduce the load of school bags.
This kind of teaching combines both online and face-to-face learning. The degree of incorporation of these two methods varies from one school to the other. Few schools offer particular courses online and restrict other courses to classroom learning. This caters to the diverse learning styles of students. Online learning promotes acceleration of the learning rates, reduction of the cost of the materials of instruction and better use of teacher time. Blended learning can effectively introduced in a classroom setting only through the use of technology.
In this age of digital revolution, technology is changing at a rapid pace. Educational institutions should not lag behind in this rapidly progressing world. This would only result in the students lagging behind and not coping up with the transformation that is taking place in their daily lives. The use of 3D printing, MOOCs, open sources, tablet computing, mobile technology, learning analytics and much more will have a profound impact on the way education is delivered in classrooms in the future. Some educational institutions have already started experimenting with their teaching styles through the integration of tools that such technology has to offer. However, technology is only an enabler meant to make educators more effective, transforming them to become facilitators in the classroom and personalizing the learning experience for their students. If implemented right, this can totally revolutionize the education sector and equip it with the best tools to build a concrete base for the students, the future citizens of the world.