Technology has transformed almost every industry in the world today ranging from gaming to marketing. As such, the use of educational technology in schools has become a crucial necessity in modern classrooms rather than a luxury. Thankfully, the technology in classrooms complements the teacher’s role instead of diluting it, helping the students to acquire higher-level skills necessary for the new job market.
Since the beginning of literacy when the famous philosopher, Socrates, was warned against the memory-diminishing practice of writing and reading, the fear of technology has been a recurring historical trend. With education technology, many parents have not fully embraced it due to concerns of its negative effects on children and worrying that it might dilute the quality of education. However, educational technology in modern classes complement’s the teacher’s role in several ways:
Supporting Personalized Instruction
Every student consumes content and acquires skills at different skills and often through varied mediums. That means the pace and style of instructions need to be aligned with every student’s particular needs to help them achieve great levels of educational success. However, delivering a personalized experience for each student using traditional means of teaching is statistically improbable.
For example, a high school teacher with a class of 40 students with several core subjects daily would need to create thousands of custom lesson plans to offer a truly personalized experience to each student. Thankfully, modern learning management systems like Canvas and Google Classroom provide a more reasonable alternative.
With the help of educational technology platforms , teachers can give their students preselected photos, videos, readings, and other activities for students to complete at a comfortable pace. That empowers the students to have better ownership of their learning process. Additionally, teachers can use automated assessments to provide instant feedback to their students, eliminating the time-consuming and tedious process of manual grading.
Improved Access to Resources
Several decades ago, the availability of educational information was limited to only books housed in the town library, at home, or in schools. However, the incredible expansion of the internet in the new millennium has created a virtually infinite supply of knowledge that anyone can access on different websites.
Among the many benefits that the internet has brought to the education system is the emergence of Open Educational Resources and digital libraries . Today, enterprises and universities alike have published lots of free materials online, including lesson plans, textbooks, demonstrations, lectures, and virtual field trips.
The growing availability of high-quality resources at low cost presents a unique opportunity for teachers and students, helping to equalize the educational field. That means that underfunded schools can now access supplemental learning materials and benefit from having the same information that well-funded schools have, regardless of their location. Open Educational Resources also give educators new ways to enhance the learning experiences when leveraged properly, all without increasing classroom expenses.
Increases engagement and motivation
While several experts have warned parents about the possible side effects of video games on the developing minds of children, research now shows that the opposite might be true. In fact, several neurological studies show a direct correlation between playing games and an improvement in brain connectivity.
By combining a person’s higher reasoning functions with muscle memory, games can offer a platform for enhancing learning capabilities. That’s especially true for brain regions associated with memory, special navigation, multitasking, and strategic planning.
The gamification of learning activities helps to significantly increase a student’s motivation by capitalizing on the natural reward response system of the brain. Using the structured play model helps to release dopamine, helping you to reinforce the learning process, increase engagement and boost a student’s interest in educational material.
This model’s effectiveness is evident in the Minecraft Education Edition by Microsoft, which has assisted many teachers to make complex concepts like chemistry more accessible to students through gamification. Besides basic motivation, education technology tools like online educational games offer a more friendly approach to failure, which inspires persistence among the students who rank lower in performance.
Building Computer Literacy
Social media skills and digitization have become crucial aspects of life today. However, navigating the complex nature of our modern technical world requires a great level of digital fluency, security best practices, and online etiquette. Fortunately, most children in today’s world are familiar with social media platforms and digital devices, but they often lack knowledge of the risks and nuances associated with technology.
Teachers can help students understand how to use these digital resources the right way, as some students might not have access to the devices and reliable internet connection at home . That makes the integration of technology in modern classrooms an excellent opportunity to help students develop digital citizenship skills.
A Shift in Thinking
Education and technology have long been seen as opposing forces in the battle for engaging the students. However, when technology is treated as a tool for complimenting education, study shows that it offers significant benefits in the process.