By Teachers, For Teachers
Technology in the classroom is developing with amazing speed, changing our lives in so many different ways. Knowing this, it isn’t surprising at all that more and more spheres of our lives become affected by technology one way or another. The only thing that bothers many of us is whether its impact is really positive or not. Such talks often start when it comes to education, which is without a doubt one of the most important things for many of us. For years, education hadn’t changed at all, but with the development of technology in the classroom, it has changed. However, it is still hard for some of us to accept the fact that one of the most traditional fields isn’t that traditional any more. Despite that, now we can safely say that technology in the classroom definitely affects education in a good way, encouraging it to develop even more. I understand that that has to be proved: that’s why in this article I want to tell you about four the most crucial technology impacts on education.
Today it can be hard to believe that only a few decades ago students struggled to find all the necessary learning materials. They had to spend hours in libraries, go to the other side of the town in order to find a certain book, and spend so many hours on searching for information needed to write a certain essay or a research paper.
Today libraries still exist and are used by many students. But the good thing is that many students are able to study successfully even without going to them. Some might say that this makes them lazy, but I think otherwise: students actually have more options to study this way. Back then, when a student was ill or had to miss a class because of something, they could fall back easily. Nowadays, everyone is able to learn and do their home assignments even if they aren’t able to leave their home for some reason. Such change not only allows students with disabilities to be more effective in their learning – it also opens many new opportunities for homeschooling, and allows people from all over the world to get access to high-quality education provided by the world’s biggest and best universities. Various online platforms like Coursera allow for learning a number of things, starting from arts and ending with programming, and one doesn’t need to pay big money or to go through a hard application process in order to receive the knowledge they need.
Many of us probably remember the days when students used to carry all the necessary books with them to school or college. Yes, this wasn’t convenient at all, especially for young children (it could even affect their health if the bags or backpacks were too heavy), but there was no other way to carry information with you. However, nowadays, one is able to store a whole library inside of her iPad. This way it is easier not only for students to carry books to school or college but also to study from everywhere they want, starting from buses and ending with other countries.
Moreover, technologies affect the classrooms too. Big bookcases can be easily replaced with computers and interactive boards, and so on. Technologies also allow sharing knowledge with other people: For example, teachers from different-world countries can easily access a certain digital library (if this library has free access, of course) or share their knowledge and tips on different educational forums.
Sometimes the presentation of the information is just as important as the information itself. This is especially true if we’re talking about younger children, who pay more attention to bright and interesting things than to complex and boring ones. But when it comes to older students this is important too: the Better you present information, the better the students will understand and remember it.
Technology allows turning lectures and lessons into something more than just talks. You are able to illustrate your lectures with images and videos, to play some music or some speech (if you are teaching a language class, for example), and so on. It works the other way around too: Students can use technologies to make their home assignments more interesting, create different presentations, conduct research, and so on.
For example, some college specializations require students to conduct surveys. For many of students, going out there and asking people to answer their questions is a tough challenge; for the others, it is still a very time-consuming task. However, when you have technologies, you can do this much easier: For example, asking your online friends to pass a survey for you is relatively simple.
It’s hard to find a student who likes every subject taught to them in school. At the same time, it’s important for students to study different subjects in order to understand what they want to learn after they finish high school and go to college. Technology makes this choice a lot easier, as it allows learning different subjects and gaining new knowledge.
For example, when a student decides they want to study design, it can be hard for them to prepare for the whole application process: Not all schools offer enough related subjects needed to gain the necessary knowledge and pass the entrance exam. Technology, however, allows learning more about a certain field of knowledge before even finishing high school. This way, students are able to understand whether this field is something they want to study further during the next few years or not. They are also able to prepare themselves for any entrance exam even if their school program doesn’t offer such opportunity.
Moreover, technology allows students to focus on the subjects that interest them the most and deepen their knowledge any time they want. They are able to pick the subjects they want to learn and spend more time on studying them – and that increases their motivation greatly. When students understand they have more choice and different options, they become more motivated.
Self-esteem is another important thing for students, and technology is able to affect it in a positive way too. Students start feeling better about themselves when they realize they are successful in a certain area of their life – for example, in their studies. However, that can be hard to realize if we’re talking about traditional education: Even if a student is an incredibly talented artist, they can still feel bad about themselves because they are unable to handle the main school program well, for example.
Technology allows students to explore many fields of knowledge, to demonstrate and develop their talents, therefore helping them to build a strong and healthy self-esteem as well as understand their strong sides better.
As you see, technology is able to affect education in so many ways, changing lives of both students and teachers. Another good thing here is that technology rather assists the whole educational process than changes it completely. The main principles of education remain the same while tools and ways to learn become different.
That’s why I hope you’ll be able to see the positive impact of technologies on education just as clearly as I do.
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed the sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Except writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin.