Technology is an ever-present element of our lives, surrounding us in everything we do from the moment we open our eyes in the morning up to the point when we fall asleep at night. Interestingly, up until recently, technology has been mostly absent from one of our society’s core sectors – education, which is highly surprising, considering the fact that the main role of education is to prepare young generations to face today’s technology-driven world.Luckily, technology is slowly making its way into education. Here are 5 ways in which technology is used to support educational goals and improve education.
One of the main downsides of old teaching methods was the fact that the system was very rigid, following the “one-size-fits-all” model. Given the fact that we live in a society that puts a lot of emphasis on individualization, it is easy to understand how that model became obsolete, and needed a suitable replacement that is fit for today’s requirements. With the help of technology, professors are now able to greatly diversify the curriculums and the channels via which the information is transmitted to the students, making the content significantly easier to grasp. Thanks to technology, information is now being transmitted in written form, video form or audio form, catering to students’ needs and desires.
Another downside of the old teaching models was the fact that it was mostly based on old textbooks and materials, which often contained outdated information. While some information is constant in time, such as historic facts and dates, there is also information that is time-sensitive, such as economic information. Technology makes it possible for teachers and students to easily gain access to updated information on any topic of interest in a matter of moments. Massive Open Online Courses platforms, or MOOCs for short, are digital platforms that hold tremendous amounts of valuable data, neatly arranged to meet the needs of students and professors, and to integrate seamlessly with the curriculums. Additional information on subjects of interest is also available, as well as recommendations for best books to read and tons of valuable resources that can greatly improve the learning process.
While a lot of people think that kids should enter in contact with technology as late as possible, so as to not get sucked into the digital universe and become addicted, that is not a very productive approach given the state of the world we live in. By denying access to technology, the corner stone of the future, the child will be unable to fit in or get used to technology at the same rate as others, and thus become less effective in using it, which will have a negative impact on his future performance. By integrating modern technology in schools, the educational system is allowing students to familiarize and adjust to technology they will be using once they finish studying and join the work force.
An aspect that schools have always had a difficult time with is connecting with students at a level that’s both efficient in supporting the educational goals, yet comfortable. While in the past the institution aimed to establish itself as firm and imposable, that is an attitude that students will not be very willing to connect with. Also, the channels used for doing so were usually one-way channels, allowing information to pass from the school to the student, but not the other way around as well. Once more, technology allowed for a change by making communication a two-way street. It is not uncommon for institutions to have a social media presence and approach the students at a level they are comfortable to be approached at, while still maintaining their authority.
In the era of technology, everything is designed to be fast, efficient and convenient, so it was only logical that technology made this possible in education as well. One of the elements of education that was lagging behind in this sector was teacher-parent communication. Thanks to technology, this communication can take place online in a fast, secure and convenient manner. Most institutions have set up complex platforms that allow for facile communication, among other things. Professors can easily get in touch with students or parents, students can quickly check their grades and courses, and some institutions have even went as far as creating their own social platforms where students can also spend their free time, get to know each other, share tips about hobbies or best books to read, or simply hang out.