The technology industry is booming — increasing numbers of businesses and schools are incorporating it to streamline communication and work. Employees are cutting their office time in half by accomplishing more tasks in the comfort of their homes. Classrooms, however, are taking longer to catch up, although many teachers and college professors are steadily beginning the process of implementing digital tools.
Technology is a valuable tool within the classroom due to its numerous uses. Students can access coursework from anywhere, get quick responses to their questions and collaborate on digital projects. Though many academics are still reluctant about it, the educational sector is one of the best places for integrating technology. In a world where companies are automating tasks and requiring more technical knowledge of employees, learning how to handle the digital world before entering the workforce is an advantage.
Here are a few ways educators are utilizing technology to further education:
Adaptive learning adjusts to fit the student’s needs through algorithmic and designed adaptivity. Designed adaptivity gives educators the reigns for dictating what learners experience, while algorithm-based adaptivity creates a learning structure appropriate for the student’s pace. Adaptive apps and programs collect data on student performance and allow teachers to analyze this information. Through this function, they can provide their students with a customizable classroom experience and target specific areas for improvement.
Adaptive learning programs provide instant feedback on tests and assessments, which is helpful for learners who want to improve their scores. They get a detailed look at the information they missed while it’s still fresh in their minds. They can then study the correct concepts and absorb this information at quicker rates.
Open-source software is a free alternative to the more expensive apps and programs instructors must use. OSS comes with user communities — casual and professional alike — who provide advanced customer support. Teachers can avoid diving into a program with no idea of how it works. Emphasis on teacher training is essential for using OSS because there are no official support services from the companies who develop this software.
Using OSS cuts down on the amount of money schools spend on software, which they can allocate for other resources instead — such as upgraded computers and projectors. Administrators also have the choice of continuing with their current hardware because open-source programs require few resources to run correctly. Developers are always on hand to fix glitches in the source code, which provides smooth operation and few errors.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr allow students and professors to connect from anywhere and communicate more conveniently. Although Instagram is an image-based app, it also serves well for promoting unique learning experiences. It’s an ideal platform for visual learners who thrive best with educational elements they can observe up-close.
Twitter hashtags draw attention to topics by pushing them to broad audiences and connecting strangers who wouldn’t have met otherwise. Hashtags are incredibly useful features for furthering connections, but they work for smaller audiences too. Professors can create hashtags for their school or individual classrooms and have students use them to ask questions and share exciting finds.
Many educators solely use Twitter for professional development, such as collaborating and gathering resources. By reaching out to other academics, they create accessible pathways for dispensing knowledge.
Video conferencing supports flipped learning, which is another form of adaptive learning. With this method, teachers host videos online for students to watch ahead of class. These videos serve several functions, such as introducing a new subject for discussion or giving instructions for students to complete before — or during — class. Once the students arrive, they can ask questions they have about the material, which produces a learning session based on their educational needs.
Video usage also facilitates new methods of student engagement, such as virtual field trips and video calls with other lecturers and classrooms. Collaborating with classes from around the world promotes cultural diversity and understanding. Students get to interact with people from different parts of the globe and see firsthand how learning styles vary. They learn how to work respectfully with others and consider all viewpoints in a conversation.
Children Are the Future — So Is Technology
Educators across the globe are opening their eyes to the improvements technology brings in student engagement and learning. The world is transforming, and change isn’t always a bad thing — adaptation is necessary for success. Instructors on a vast scale have decided to embrace the digital age for the benefit of their students’ expanding minds.