Technology has infiltrated our lives from just about every angle, revolutionizing how we live, the way we work and now, how we learn. As advances continue in personal computing, both in terms of software applications and general hardware, more educators are beginning to see the value in leveraging tech to improve student learning outcomes. Let’s take a look at a few of the most significant ways that technology is disrupting the education industry (and how it can best be optimized).
The Rise of Online Education Platforms
More and more people are getting in on the variety of online educational platforms that are available today, such as Udacity, Coursera and Khan Academy. This trend is expected to continue, with some of the most reputable universities around the world beginning to offer real degrees for online courses.
Global Access to Information
The ability to learn from anywhere is breaking down barriers to education that once held people back. Now, students have instant, easy access to information on a global scale. It’s important to note, however, that with this access also comes great responsibility, particularly for younger students. Parents should commit to ongoing monitoring of the technologies their children are interacting with.
Gamification for Education
Video games can provide more than just entertainment. They can also be a powerful tool for motivating people to learn. As of the time of this posting, not much investment has been made into the development of options that are high-tech enough to meet gamers’ standards, but this may change as people begin to recognize the value.
Empowering Learners to Become Educators
It seems that kids in today’s day and age are inherently capable of adapting to technology. As they grow, they teach themselves how to leverage the tech tools that are at their disposal. Students can put this ability to good use by teaching their fellow classmates and demonstrating how they’ve assimilated to new lessons and concepts.
Mobile Device Adoption
More schools today are making the switch to tablet learning and electronic coursework submission in all grade levels. Most of today’s younger students already have plenty of experience navigating mobile devices, such as tablets, which makes using them in the classroom easy and seamless. Add gamification and virtual reality into the mix and you’ll have a winning combination to make learning interactive, impactful and fun.
Importance of IT Investment
One of the biggest challenges educational institutions face when it comes to IT is a lack of adequate resources. The keys to success in leveraging technology lie in strong security postures, ongoing remote monitoring and management and automation of manual tasks. This will inevitably require more of a financial investment, but the outcome will be well worth it in the end.
Using Tech Wisely
Incorporating tech into the learning environment isn’t always appropriate, nor will it always improve the education process. In fact, in some instances, technology can become more of a distraction than a tool for learning. In other cases, it may simply not be a better alternative to traditional methods. The goal is to use tech to complement and enable better learning, not replace it.
What do you think? Does technology have a place in the future of education? What role do you think that will be? Let’s discuss in the comments below!