How technology continues to transform the classroom
By guest writer
Everyone learns differently, but one thing that can be agreed is that technology has transformed the education sector. From schools and colleges to remote learners, technology has made learning more accessible than ever before, and changed how we communicate and take on knowledge.
The goal of a teacher or course leader is to improve student performance, and technology serves a core role in making that happen. It gives teachers a competitive edge and enhances the learning experience for students, while also making teaching easier and more efficient.
One of the main benefits of technology in education is that it makes information easier to access for students and accelerates their learning. Students can explore subjects and complex concepts in a fun and engaging way, while also gaining technological skills that will be advantageous in the future.
Improved efficiency and productivity for teachers and students
With technology, teachers can leverage a new level of productivity, efficiency and thoroughness. Automation tools are being adopted in schools and universities to enhance resources and drive forward efficient learning. Automation removes the need for manual labor, whether it’s grading and calculations or sourcing information and record-keeping, technology frees up a teacher’s time so they can focus more on supporting their students day to day.
Learning analytics, for example, enable educators to measure student learning and report on it, giving them the opportunity to optimize learning for future students. Educational technology also reduces the cost of physical instructional materials, such as textbooks, which minimizes waste and costs for the facility and students alike, without compromising on the standard of education the student receives.
Increased collaboration and peer to peer learning
Collaboration is something that can really enhance your learning experience, and educational technology can help students to communicate with one another – an especially useful aspect for remote learners who may otherwise miss out on this. From learning games and sharing ideas easily with cloud technology to video communication tools that make it easy for groups to chat and learn as a group, tech has transformed how students can collaborate during courses and training. But it also makes it easier for teachers to work closely with students too, from uploading work for feedback to viewing completed assignments remotely and supporting learners.
Education tech can also enable peer to peer learning, where a pupil leads the rest of the group through a task or a project. It’s a great way for people to cement their understanding of a concept while also boosting self esteem and confidence, both of which encourage a better learning experience.
With 24/7 access to resources, classes can be made to suit the needs of the learner. Classes can be entirely online or hybridized to take place remotely and in person. For example, electrical training course provider Trade Skills 4U provides blended learning opportunities that mix e-learning with in-person workshops, providing the best of both worlds for learners based on their learning requirements or location. The goal of their blended learning is to “help individuals and companies upskill in a flexible and easy way”, giving them the knowledge they need for the industry and hands-on experience when it’s best suited to the job.
In either scenario, technology can be used to tailor-make a learning experience that is based on the strengths and weaknesses of the student, as well as how much time they have to devote to the course.
While in-person learning requires everyone to work at the same speed and delve into the same topics, educational tech makes it easy for students to dip in and out of learning at their own pace and spend longer on the topics they’re enjoying or struggling with.
Engaging content that inspires
One of the drawbacks of traditional learning is that it can be less engaging. Tech changes that, gamifying the learning experience and boosting curiosity for all ages. Curiosity is a precursor to improving your academic performance, sparking innovation and inspiring creativity. The more engaging the content, the more interested students will be, which makes for a more interactive class and better performance when it comes to academic success.
From visual content and quizzes to games and videos, educational technology spans a broad range of options that can help to bring out the inquisitive nature of students, whatever their age and whatever the topic. Language learning app Duolingo is a perfect example of this, making the process of learning another language like a fun game where you can move up the leaderboard and compete against other learners, while also building your own knowledge.
Real-life experiences through VR
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are technologies that are advancing at a rapid rate. In education, they can be used to take students on trips to places that would otherwise be inaccessible, from visiting historical landmarks and architecture to exploring the bottom of the ocean.
These technologies are engaging and enable students to experience things that might be out of their budget, impossible or unsafe to visit in real life, or that would be impractical for a whole group to see, but that still benefits their learning. VR appeals to visual learners who get more out of seeing something rather than just reading about it, and, as discussed earlier, it makes education more engaging and fun.
Technology certainly isn’t going anywhere, and it’s only going to become a larger part of the education sector as advances in technology continue. Over the past couple of years, the need for digital tools for learning has been expedited because of the rise in remote working, but it actually offers many benefits for students and teachers alike, making learning more accessible for all ages and abilities, and improving the process of learning different subjects.
The notion that ‘education is for everyone’ is confirmed and celebrated with innovations in educational technology. And, that trend will only accelerate as more apps and tools come to fruition and continue to evolve.
Esignatures for education
With enrollment season looming, there’s no time like the present to streamline your operations. Schools and higher education institutions can save time, reduce waste and get organized through using eSignatures. To hear more, read our blog on the other major benefits of eSigning for education enrollment.