The current generation of children are raised with what seems like an innate ability to effectively use modern technology. All around us we can see the positive impact technology has on society, and education should be no different.
Classrooms should be a place where the important benefits of technology are embraced and it’s used to elevate the educational delivery of that school.
This article will discuss some real-world applications of technology in classrooms and the benefits they bring.
There are plenty of ways that technology can be applied in the modern classroom. Here are eight of the most common examples.
Textbooks and the trusty pen and paper have been a staple of the academic environment for many years – and long may this remain the case. However, tablets can offer a more engaging learning experience that takes advantage of new media. The ability to incorporate videos, interactive quizzes and links to additional resources into the classroom through tablets offers a deeper learning experience.
Tablets also present the information in a format that children respond better to. They use tablets at home to play games and access social media, and their innate ability to operate this technology can increase engagement academically.
Textbooks can also become outdated quickly as the curriculum changes and subject knowledge evolves. Digitally, the information used can be constantly updated.
The whole concept of the classroom has changed considerably in recent months. Remote video conferencing technology means students don’t need to be on campus to get a good education. This is especially useful in higher education, such as universities.
Lecture halls from across the globe can be connected in an instant, and experts on specialised topics can deliver a session to students around the world simultaneously – often without having to leave their home.
In the future, the amount of video conferencing we see in education is only going to increase, and not just for the purposes of teaching. Things like organising parent meetings, when they may be out of town or live a distance away, are all possible over the internet thanks to video conferencing.
Be it a documentary developed especially for schools or a Hollywood movie that covers an historic event, video has long been a staple of alternative forms of academic instruction.
Thanks to the rise of the internet and the instant access we have to detailed information online, the opportunities to include video in education have increased substantially. Again, this has the added bonus of engaging children via a medium they like and are familiar with. Many kids enjoy watching videos on YouTube or other online streaming services. This can be used to their educational advantage.
Aside from video, alternative media forms like eBooks and podcasts are other ways to incorporate digital resources into a lesson.
For older pupils or students at university, cloud computing has been one of the most helpful developments. Rather than taking home lots of papers that are difficult to organise and easily lost, cloud computing allows students to access all their course documents and information online at any time.
This can be particularly helpful when a student has been unable to make a session, or want to revisit a part of the syllabus when preparing for exams, as they can head onto their institution’s portal and catchup online.
Technology that uses alternative realities, like virtual and augmented, are not only growing in the entertainment and gaming industries, their application also stretches into education. With virtual reality, students can be taken to whole new worlds without leaving their seats, as virtual day trips to historical landmarks grow in popularity.
Augmented reality has many positive applications in engineering or science-based subjects. For example, medical students can get up close with a 3D model of the anatomy, while engineering students can take a closer look at a type of engine.
As the cost of the technology comes down further, we’ll no doubt see virtual and augmented reality play a larger role in modern education.
Feedback can be notoriously difficult to collect from children, especially if you’re asking for verbal feedback from a shy class. However, online forms, polls and surveys offer teachers a way to gain instant feedback in a way that students are comfortable with. Based on the results, teachers are better equipped to improve their lesson plans.
Another way to switch up learning and make it more exciting for younger children is through games or gamification. There are lots of game-based learning platforms for teachers who want to inject some fun into a lesson, but you could create your own too. A virtual scavenger hunt, where children work through a list of questions and find correct answers online, is a simple, effective way to introduce a game into learning.
Video games have also been shown to improve memory, problem-solving skills and coordination.
Another significant impact of our connected world is the voice it has given every individual with internet access. Through social media and online blogs, anyone can publish their creations and show them to the world. This can be a powerful tool for giving your students a platform to express themselves.
Be it a school newspaper or a blog dedicated to student art, it’s easy to publish student work online where it can proudly stay forever.
If you’re not convinced of the benefits that the technology above can bring, here are four of the most valued advantages.
This was touched on in the examples above, but technology can make the content of your curriculum more dynamic. Rather than focusing on the text in textbooks, modern, digital-based learning can introduce video, audio and interactive elements like quizzes.
It makes for a much more comprehensive learning experience that covers a wide range of learning styles.
These new content mediums such as podcasts and video, and general use of technologies like tablets and virtual reality, engage with children much more effectively than older methods. For teachers, the challenge is introducing the more engaging elements of technology without it taking away from the primary focus of learning.
It’s no secret that digital skills are of increasing importance in today’s professional environment. A significant part of a school’s responsibility is to prepare a child for success in the working world. Increasingly, that means being adept in a wide range of digital skills.
Teachers shouldn’t shy away from introducing technology into the classroom – it will be a huge part of every child’s life once they begin their careers.
For teachers, you can reduce some of your most time-intensive and administrative tasks using technology. Virtual lesson plans, grading software and online assessments are all widely available to teachers today. They can all help you save time and focus on delivering the best education you can.
Technology can be a tool for enhancing the academic experience for children. It’s the job of teachers and educational leaders to learn how best to introduce technology to positively influence educational outcomes, without it becoming an unwelcome distraction. Find your nearest Nord Anglia Education school and find out how we use technology in our classrooms.