Technology Is Changing Education
Technology has changed our world and almost every aspect of our lives. It has changed our work, our homes, and our schools. From new challenges to new opportunities, technology is changing education in so many different ways. If implemented correctly, technology can enhance the learning environment.
One of the new challenges that technology brings to education is the technological resources that it requires. Schools in lower income areas might have a harder time keeping up with technological advancements. Students may need an Internet connection at home to complete homework, and this may be a problem for some families. Other challenges include a lack of professional development for teachers and student distraction.
Although technology comes with new challenges, it has provided many new opportunities in education. It has expanded people’s access to information and education. With so much information at students’ fingertips and the ability to communicate with anyone across the world, technology is helping students achieve deeper levels of understanding.
With the advancement of technology and online classes, education is now more accessible to people, plus students are no longer limited to schools in their area. Online classes allow students to attend school from across the world. People who work a full-time job during the day can take classes and do homework at night thanks to technology that allows them to log in wherever, whenever.
How the Classroom Is Changing
One way that technology is changing the classroom is in the role of the teacher. Instead of the teacher being the main source of information, the teacher is now becoming a guide as students use technology to gather information. Students are actively engaged in learning and taking more responsibility for their own learning.
In addition, the physical classroom is changing as well. Instead of chalkboards and overhead projectors, many classrooms now have Smart Boards. In addition, most students now have their own laptop or iPad in class. With all of this new technology, the classroom layout is being rethought. Instead of the traditional classroom layout with the teacher in front and rows of students, classrooms need to support varying activities, collaboration, and types of learning. Educators may find it is more beneficial for students to sit in small groups for easier collaboration.
How Learning Is Changing
Learning is definitely changing within the classroom. Thanks to technology, students can now actively engage in the learning material. Instead of looking at pictures in a textbook, students learn by doing. Virtual reality and augmented reality allow students to have experiences that weren’t possible before. For example, zSpace allows students to examine the human heart and layers of the earth’s atmosphere. It makes learning come alive and engages students in new, exciting ways.
Technology can also be used to personalize learning and differentiate lessons for different types of learning. With education software that adapts to each student’s skill level, students are able to learn at their own pace. These types of software are also beneficial for the teacher as the software provides data on how students are learning and progressing. This allows educators to focus on problems areas where students need the most help.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) says, “When used purposefully, computers allow teachers to differentiate instruction by providing a wider variety of avenues for learning that reach students of divergent readiness levels, interests, and learning styles.” Technology can be useful by assisting teachers in meeting the needs of all students.
Finding the Right Balance
While technology has the potential to enhance learning in many ways, it’s important for educators to find the right balance of technology in their own classrooms. If used properly, technology can be an incredible asset in education.