Teaching is a primary act that differentiates us, humans, from all other animals because it allows us to manage information down through time and make advancements. They are no known teaching methods in non-human primates, beyond simple learning mechanisms such as imitation and emulation.
Currently, we live in the 21st century and technology continues to infiltrate every area of our lives, and we cannot ignore the benefits it has on education. Today, we see iPads and tablets replacing bulky textbooks, while smartphones allow for quick research and access to the educational apps. Technology also helps teachers by helping them collect student data that can have a positive impact on learning outcomes. In a study conducted by KIPP Academy in Houston, TX, it was seen that the overall rating of students who were proficient in studies was 49% higher in classrooms that use iPads compared to traditional classrooms with no iPads.
Technology in education is a debatable topic in society. There are a large number of positives and negatives to education technology. But, slowly as the technology was welcomed by the educational institutes, they understood the significance of technology in education. Its positives outnumbered the negatives and now, with technology, education has taken a whole new shape that it leaves us with no doubt that our educational system has been transformed owing to the ever-advancing technology.
As you can see, the impact that technology can have on student learning outcomes is quite significant. It has a unique opportunity to change the way that students learn. When technology is embraced in the classroom, students are better positioned to be successful in their lives outside of school.
Implementing technology in the classroom enhances student learning. However, it is also important to remember that it is not a complete replacement for traditional methods. Below, let us look at the various benefits technology has on learning.
Textbooks are loosing their relevance
A decade back, for most of us, one of the favourite back-to-school activities was making book covers for textbooks. This fun craft-filled ritual will soon be hushed because of the impending extinction of textbooks. Today, eBooks are more popular, which makes sense because they are cheaper, more interactive and more up-to-date.
Extending education beyond the four walls of classrooms
With the availability of portable devices like iPads, students are no longer restricted to a computer lab. As soon as an assignment is assigned, students can immediately work on it inside their classroom, at home or even while waiting for the bus. Technology has the potential to help fill in the gap between the classroom and home learning.
Classrooms are more collaborative
One of the characteristics of the modern classroom is collaboration. Students can collaborate in and outside of the school more effectively, with the help of technology.
Change in the relationship between Student and Teacher
Gone are the days when students used to wait for the teacher to come to class and pass on the information related to different concepts that were taught in class. These days students can update themselves with the help of technology. Also, all their doubts can be cleared at that very moment, and all these things are possible because of technology.
Customized learning means getting personalized notes and lessons, which are designed based on the student’s ability to study. This allows students to learn at their own pace. It is easier to excel at thermodynamics when a student learns at his/her own level and pace.
Increased Retention Rate
Students retain information better when technology is used as a learning tool. In a study, 20-second graders were asked to make a PowerPoint presentation about an animal of their choice. 18 out of the 20 students remembered more facts from their presentation than students who completed the project without using PowerPoint. This study clearly depicts how technology helps students retain what they learn better.
Technology makes learning fun
Technology can make a student’s least favourite subject interesting by incorporating virtual lessons, games and other interactive teaching methods into daily lessons. It is difficult to turn a boring subject into something that will capture a student’s attention with the help of a standard textbook.
Does Technology engage students in learning?
Prepares Students for a better future
Schools need to prepare students to engage in the new technological world successfully. Almost all jobs now include some form of interaction with technology. Besides, education is not just about memorizing facts or expanding vocabulary; it is primarily about learning skills that prepare students to better interact with the world and be successful in the workforce.
Ineffective communication among teachers and students can be a hindrance to learning and education. Technology can prevent this by turning the classroom into a network where teachers can post assignments online, and students can more readily ask teachers and their peers’ questions and document a record of past discussions and more.
It is now possible to obtain a degree Online
Online education provides a stunning arrangement for working professionals who can’t be present in a physical classroom. From the ivy leagues to junior colleges, many different types of institutions offer online courses, certifications, and degrees.
Digital Simulations and Models
Digital simulations and models help educators teach complex concepts and can help students who are visual or tactual learners better grasp the concepts.
Advanced Analytics is Re-shaping Curriculum
Educational scientists and curriculum designers can work with data analysts to assess academic shortcomings and track progress while implementing a new curriculum. After implementing the new curriculum, analysts can compare the student test results to those facilitated by the previous curriculum to see if the adjustment worked.
One of the most significant impacts that technology has on education is that it creates a paperless environment. Schools are taking the initiative of going paperless by introducing E-textbooks and E-notebooks. Few schools are even taking the initiative of introducing special tabs for writing exams.
These are only a couple of instances of how technology is improving education. The list will continue endlessly and will keep on developing. By 2050, there is no telling of how different the interiors of schools and classrooms will look and function.