4 Ways Technology is Changing our Education System
Our grandparents would definitely feel disorientated in the modern classroom. The chalkboards and thick textbooks they knew are all but gone, replaced by a host of technological advancements designed to engage students, improve learning outcomes, and make education more accessible. These four developments are some of many that are changing the face of our education system for the better.
1. It’s Helping Students Learn Remotely
The shift toward online learning is one of the biggest educational developments of the 21st century. By 2023 year, the e-learning industry is expected to be worth $65.41 billion, and it’s growing at such a rapid rate that it’s expected to double in the near future. Four out of five e-learners are employed people who enjoy the flexibility that an online learning environment gives them. They can enroll in anything from software development training to nurse practitioner classes online, and complete the courses when it suits them, from the comfort of their own homes. E-learning is also ideal for people living in remote communities who do not have easy access to traditional educational facilities. Online learning has also improved the classroom for teachers. It has taken more students off campus, so teachers can focus on fewer students in the physical classroom. The development of e-learning has also increased the earning power of teachers and created more work-at-home positions.
2. It’s Made Learning More Interactive
Textbooks are no longer the dry masses of words that our grandparents knew. Instead of flat text and pictures, contemporary e-textbooks for tablets and smartphones often have companion websites with assessments, videos, animations, and other supplementary materials designed to engage students with active learning. The classic chalkboard has also been given a modern makeover. New interactive whiteboards allow teachers to display and manipulate computer images and videos onto a board using a digital projector. The teacher can also handwrite notes on the board which can then be converted into text files for distribution. Studies have found interactive whiteboards make it easier for teachers to prepare comprehensive lessons to reduce their stress in the classroom. They also improve student test scores, particularly in English, math, and science.
3. It’s Lightening the Load for Students
Back in 2018, researchers from Cereus Inc. found two-thirds of middle school students had back pain from time to time. Ten years later, our students aren’t under as much strain as technology has helped them consolidate their learning tools. Tablets and lightweight laptops allow students to take notes during class, and store digital handouts and e-textbooks, so there’s no need to transport three-ring binders and bulky textbooks.
4. It’s Improving Learning Outcomes for Students with Special Needs
A host of technological developments are also improving the learning outcomes of students with special needs. Assistive computer technology is making technology accessible for students with special needs. For example, visually impaired learners use screen reader programs like JAWS and HAL, which convert the text on the screen to speech. Students with mobility issues are assisted by electronic pointing devices, which help them control the cursor with eye movements or brain waves rather than their hands.
Games-based learning technologies are also helping students with autism, dyspraxia, and ADHD improve their concentration, fluid intelligence, and hand-eye coordination.
These technological advancements are working together to improve learning outcomes for students of all ages.