Technology is rapidly expanding into every aspect of our lives, and the classroom is no different. Whether we like it or not, traditional methods of learning will inevitably become technology assisted or driven, and in some cases even replaced by machines.
So does technology actually improve the level of education that a child receives?
Is your child’s education being improved or hampered by the plethora of equipment now available to assist in his or her learning?
Here are some practical ways in which technology is helping to further children’s educational development:
It varies the ways of acquiring knowledge
Technology should in no way replace the teacher, but it is in a position to greatly assist in the presentation of learning materials. Before, demonstration would have involved the use of a whiteboard (non-interactive of course), a book, and a discussion. Perhaps then, if the students were lucky, there would have been a school trip to a museum, for example.
Now there are a multitude of ways in which kids can receive the information, be it through videos, interactive apps, and pretty soon, AI and VR. Imagine your child being able to walk through the streets of ancient Rome!
Of course, the best approach is blended, meaning that students can access learning materials through all of these tools, and more.
This is very much connected to the previous point. In the past it could sometimes be hard to relate to an old, dusty textbook. Good teachers were those who ‘brought the subject to life’.
Once more, teachers will not be replaced, and some teachers will still be better than others, but as for bringing the subject to life? How much more to life could it be than by utilizing technology to build vivid images and sounds of the subject at hand?
It allows teachers to be more efficient
Teachers are very often hamstrung by the amount of paperwork, lesson planning and evaluation they have to perform. More of evaluation later, but the administration side of proceedings can very easily be taken care of more quickly through the effective use of tech. After all, it has streamlined our workplaces – why not the school, too?
“Efficient administrative tech leaves teachers with more time to do what they are truly paid to do, and what they do best, which is teach”, says Lindsey Chamberlain, an educational blogger.
It provides skills for the future
In not only using technology, but by learning about it too, young learners are being prepared effectively for the workplace of the future. Even if they don’t work directly in tech, it is likely they will perform a job deeply influenced, assisted or set in technology. That will be true from doctors and engineers to the teachers of the future.
It’s great for evaluating
Previously, the normal way of tracking students’ progress was through the use of traditional testing systems, such as exams. For reasons of practicality, these could only be administered intermittently. Today, kids are able to access school syllabi from the comfort of their own home, and can participate in activities which log progress and can be fed back to the teacher in the form of statistical reports.
This form of measurement is very much of the moment, and gaps in knowledge can be immediately ascertained and rectified. It also allows students to repeat activities multiple times, as often as they choose, and with the help of parents at home, providing all the self-confidence that familiarity with a subject can bring.
Truly, technology can be sociable. Of course, too much of anything can be bad, and too much screen time detracts from physical human interaction capabilities. However, the fact is that controlled amounts of tech access can be great for kids who wish to collaborate – not to mention the fact that they can “bond over tech the way that previous generations bonded over other subjects”, as Cassandra Newheart, an edtech writer argues.
“Back in the day we bonded over movies, music or books. Indeed, those were all innovations at one time or another that probably caused as much consternation and anxiety among parents as modern technology does now.”
Technology should never, ultimately, replace traditional forms of learning – not to mention the teacher – but augment that experience into a more blended, and participatory activity. These are just some of the ways in which technology is already improving many children’s educational capacity. And like the technology itself, the possibilities are almost limitless.
Writer Martha Jameson is a web designer as well as a content editor and proofreader. She writes about her invaluable insights and experiences at PhDKingdom and Academicbrits and also on blogging sites such as Assignment Help website.
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