Education is one of the core elements of society, being the stage where new generations are prepared for adulthood. Considering the importance this stage plays in one’s life, you would think that the system would be tweaked and polished to the absolute maximum – offering students the best of the best, and ensuring that they are as ready as possible to live life and be successful. Unfortunately, the reality is a bit different; since the education system is rigid and outdated, students are coming out totally unprepared for the real world. The good news is that a change is finally happening, and that’s thanks to technology. Here’s how technology in the classroom provides richer learning opportunities for students.
Changing the Methods
The first thing that needs to change in the education system is the way teaching is approached. For quite a long while the typical image of a classroom was a room full of students, all sitting quietly at their desks, listening to a teacher, accepting everything as the absolute truth and never questioning anything. That approach might have worked in the past, when society needed drones to do work and not ask questions, but in today’s society that’s not the way to go. Today’s society requires the complete opposite – it needs people that are curious, daring, creative, ambitious, and those qualities cannot thrive in a rigid system.
Luckily, technology offers a different way, a better way. For starters, it gives instant access to unlimited information, which by itself is enough to change the way education works from the ground up. The teacher is no longer the all-knowing entity in the classroom, but an equal to the students, which changes the whole dynamic of the learning process. Teachers can and should be challenged and even contradicted, as long as it is done in a civilised and productive way, and that’s exactly what access to information allows students to do.
Instead of ruling the students, the teacher could become more of a guide – pointing them in the right direction, encouraging them to get there by themselves, and jumping in to assist when needed. Of course, this strategy cannot be applied at all times, so there are times when the teacher will need to take the lead and teach the old-fashioned way. Well, sort of.
Changing the Tools
“The old fashioned way” is not exactly as old fashioned as you may think – forget about textbooks and the blackboard, now it’s all about laptops and touchscreens. Instead of the dull “teacher dictates, students write” approach – which only leads to enormous quantities of notes – we now have interactive digital content. Whether it’s audio, video or text, today’s content is much better organised, more concise and, once more, interactive.
It’s important to highlight the significance of interaction, as it is a learning strategy that can have tremendous effect – it transforms the student from a passive element into an active one. Being directly involved in a lesson makes information much easier to understand and remember. Interactivity existed in a simpler form in the past as well, but emerging technologies such as virtual reality can take it to a whole new level, unlocking unprecedented opportunities and allowing teachers to get more creative as well, thus stimulating the students even more.
Changing the Results
Remember how we mentioned that, in the past, society needed drones, not people? That’s no longer the case, as today’s society needs people that can think and act independently, not ones that can only follow orders. Modern society is about challenging the status quo, about being innovative and creative, and these qualities cannot exist without a learning environment that adopts and encourages them from an early age. Technology allows the education system to do just that, thus correctly shaping the minds of the future.
Modern society also needs people that are familiar with technology, understand technology, and can unleash its potential. After all, most of today’s industries rely on technology in one way or another, so it’s only logical to get tech-savvy people to operate in tech-heavy fields. The good news is that that’s exactly what a technology-based education system is ready to deliver.
Overall, the education system may not be exactly at the top of its game just yet, but the fact that it has ditched rigidity and finally opted to embrace technology is a solid indicator that it is heading in the right direction.
Article provided by Alfred Stallion from Educator.