In order for an individual to properly learn anything it has to be taught in a fashion commensurate with how he/she will use it in everyday life. For two decades schools, because of a myriad of factors, have been lagging behind society with the integration of technology. Nowadays, with four-of-five high school students coming to school with their own smartphone, it’s imperative that educators make adjustments to their curricula that sufficiently integrates the technologies and practices that people of the present utilize in practical life.
Budgetary considerations have been a major factor to why educators seem to be lagging behind. Of course there is a balancing act between what a board of education suggests for the students of a school district and what the residents of that system are willing to pay, but if a school lags behind in technology, it makes a big difference in the way they are taught; and, ultimately, in the development of practical skills that will help students advance into further education, or more frequently, into the workforce. Today, we will take a look at some technologies that are must-haves for any contemporary school system and some that are innovating the way students learn.
Staples, Glue, and Paperclips
In terms of technology that most classrooms have nowadays, it is mostly there to facilitate the different strategies bandying about. One newer strategy that has been an option since computers ownership has been largely ubiquitous is classroom flipping. This strategy is to provide lessons to students online and use class time to do the bookwork that was traditionally done at home - effectively flipping the traditional teaching method of assigning homework. In order for this to work properly all students need access to an Internet-connected computer; and since there are always a few students that don’t have access to technology at home, many schools have been able to provide students with laptops so they at least have access to the software they need to take advantage of that strategy.
Other technologies used in class include designed-for-education social media platforms that function much like a Facebook feed or SharePoint project, but is run by educators for students. This not only provides a central hub for educators to provide all the necessary information, assignments, and schedules, it allows for communication and collaboration between groups of students. This type of platform is in use in many post-scholastic online programs, so getting younger students used to communicating in this fashion can prepare them for any future education they choose to undertake.
Innovations Significantly Affect Education
Beyond the use of personal computers, mobile devices, and Internet-based resources, the modern school could choose to integrate some technologies that produce a more interactive and social strategy to education. Like the rest of society, many other forms of smart devices can be found making their way into modern schools. The Internet of Things, which is debated endlessly as a result of some problems with security, is nonetheless growing rapidly. Education is one industry where you see this technology growing with serious function.
The development of the smartboard, which is a whiteboard with built-in computing and multi-touch features is seemingly a major step forward from the whiteboards/blackboards that were a major part of the classroom for decades. Smartboards have now proven to enhance students’ ability to learn by letting educators shift teaching methods to meet individual students’ learning abilities. It’s proven that there are different types of learners. Some people are visual learners, while others are tactile learners. With a smartboard, both types can get the most out of a lesson plan. Best yet, with each student’s computer able to integrate with the software that runs the smartboard, it provides the interactive experience all educators benefit from.
Further Innovations and the Lifelong Student
For educators, nothing is as fulfilling as that moment where a student “gets it”. The problem is that because there is so much information being covered in such a relatively short period of time, very few students actually do. New technologies are primed to change the face of education forever and produce more “eureka” moments than at any time in history.
The first one is virtual reality. Now virtual reality has been around for decades, but today there are products on the market (or coming to market soon) that will be able to change the way students understand complex subjects. By being able to provide interactive virtual tours of places that are unable to be discovered by modern day humans, students of tomorrow will experience history, science, culture, and more with the clarity that simply wasn’t possible in the past.
Another innovation is the use of augmented reality. Since augmented reality is the act of overlaying text, graphics, and information over actual images, it can present educators with the tools they need to provide more in-depth platforms in which to teach their students. An example would be utilizing interactive name cards over pictures of the human body to properly teach anatomy. The applications are almost limitless.
Education is extremely important, and with most people relying on technology to get the most out of their lives, their job, and their leisure, technology is going to be a big part of education going forward. If you are interested in learning more about the technology that helps businesses run efficiently, and the people behind the technology helping it run efficiently, subscribe to our newsletter.