Modern society is completely and utterly hooked on technology. But, as always, it’s a learning process.
Tech innovations permeate every conceivable industry. Some spaces evolve at light speed, and others are slow to adopt the advancements.
Education is an industry that is normally methodical and selective about integrating new technologies, but this doesn’t mean tech isn’t dramatically changing the way we teach.
Technology’s impact in the educational realm continues to be legitimately profound. Today, it is nearly impossible for students to excel in their studies without a myriad of devices and applications; a smartphone for connecting with peers and performing complex mathematic calculations, a laptop for researching and writing papers, various apps for reminders, notes, material organization, and lots of related innovations.
Technology is redefining educational systems across the world on a progressive, daily basis. Keep reading for some significant and modern applications.
Webinars are Helping Students Keep Up
Basic class structures are beginning to shift from the standard model of a teacher standing in front of students to a more contemporary classroom design of open floorplans with learners moving into modular groups while a teacher moves about the room. Despite the fact that this approach has proven fruitful, it still hasn’t eliminated the age old problem of certain students falling behind.
No matter how far technology evolves, it is likely that there will always be quick learners and those who grasp concepts more slowly than their peers.
Up until recently, these students were at a significant disadvantage. Thankfully, technology has changed this dynamic.
Through the use of webinar platforms like ClickMeeting, educators are able to build a repository of lessons and courses that students can review and study at their convenience, at their own pace, and as many times as they need.
Additionally, since many of these platforms tout group chat features for live broadcasts, less confident students can ask pressing questions through this medium to avoid embarrassment; raising a hand in front of all of one’s peers and asking a question can be an intimidating experience for a self-conscious young student.
Both of these aspects help many obtain a greater degree of understanding.
But it isn’t just the students who benefit from webinar lessons; Montessori teachers are a specialized group of educators who require extra training hours to preserve their credentials. The problem is that many of these learning sessions can be relatively costly.
One Montessori teacher named Matthew decided to fill a much needed service for these instructors by providing affordable training sessions.
In order to achieve this in a way that wouldn’t bankrupt Matthew, he partnered with ClickMeeting to provide Montessori webinars at an economical price for himself and his students. His results were beneficial for his pocketbook, his ability to reach more students, and the depth of the lesson materials themselves, creating a significant win-win.
Computers Provide a Better Education
As of 2015, studies revealed that half of America’s classrooms were 1-to-1, meaning that each student has their own computing device.
In 2016, the purchase of such devices to use in U.S. K-12 classrooms increased by 18% from the previous year.
If this pace continues, by 2020 all classrooms in the U.S. will be 1-to-1.
Why is this important?
Because a recent meta-study (a study consolidating of 15 years of research) from Michigan State University researchers provided concrete evidence showing that 1-to-1 learning has significant benefits for overall education and student performance.
In the future, there are hopes of making all classrooms 1-to-1 and then evolving those models into 1-to-many (1 student having access to many devices) so as to continue boosting the educational significance in a student’s life.
Technology Makes Education Flexible
As long as we’ve had educational institutions, they have followed a strict and rigorous model for a student to receive the lessons and protocols.
Technological innovation, however, has enabled schools, universities, and other learning facilities to become more flexible and accommodating to the increasingly diverse needs of the public.
As the corporate landscape continues to outpace the educational sector in terms of technological adoption and implementation, more companies are providing their workers with non-traditional endorsements such as online certifications, specializations, and digital badges.
The programs in which these honors are received are normally shorter than degree programs, and not as in-depth, but they do provide professionals with a flexible education option to update or obtain new skills, no matter where they are in their career.
The most common form of this digital classroom is massive open online courses (MOOCs). These allow for people to obtain part of a university-sponsored graduate degree online, which they will eventual finish out on-campus for a reduced price.
These types of courses have become so popular that the U.S. Department of Education is developing financial aid for MOOCs.
The Future of Learning is Intelligent
One of today’s hottest topics worldwide is the prospect and potential capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI).
Since AI technology has clear applications for making humans more intelligent beings, its integration into the educational field seems inevitable.
For instance, AI may one day have the ability to analyze a school’s student body performance data, determine underwhelming initiatives, and make suggestions to improve processes and strategies to better serve the institution.
As it currently stands, technology companies are already hard at work developing education-geared AI applications, and some AI is already infiltrating educational facilities.
Recently, a Georgia Tech Professor leveraged a virtual teaching assistant to “communicate” with students. According to the professor, many students were not aware that they were chatting with a bot.
The implications of this technology are far reaching. In a not-too-distant future, there is a possibility of AI writing lesson plans for teachers or even entire textbooks, students touting personal AI mentors that provide them with constant educationally-focused feedback, and other applications that haven’t even yet been conceived.
High tech advancements are creating profound improvements in the education sector. Teachers are seeing burdens lifted and are granted more opportunities to go deeper with their lessons, plus they can reach a limitless number of eager learners. Likewise, students now employ technologies to become more effective and efficient, allowing a more expanded experience of education. We’ve only just begun to see the potential of this partnership, but technology and education are now forever linked.