Technology has successfully paved its way into the domain of education and has proved to be a godsend for it. It all began with the professional universities and higher education institutes adopting technological aids to refine their educational practices and soon it spread to the schools too. I don’t see why it wouldn’t have, when technology makes lives so much easier for everyone, be it professionals or amateur young students.
A learning environment of a school comprises of its entire atmosphere including its teachers, students, practices of teaching and learning employed, study resources and their availability and accessibility, it even makes its presence to be felt on the broader community of parents. Now, when technology is introduced to this environment, it revolutionizes itself to a great extent. Manual tasks are now automated; resources, time, cost and efforts are optimized and the effect of teaching is increased more than ever. To be precise, the learning environment becomes active and more effective in enhancing the teaching and learning outcomes.
Let’s also talk a little about the traditional classroom environments of schools and why they need a technological rejuvenation. It is widely felt that the traditional classroom has to evolve from simply meeting the instructive teaching methods which predominated prior to the emergence of significant educational technology. The closed classroom represents a physically outdated teaching model which does not match the inter-connected virtual world we now live in. Students are learning collaboratively through a vast array of informal learning spaces both on and off campus, yet are still stuck into the outdated traditional environment. The ‘knowledge age’ is rapidly morphing into a ‘creative age’ yet classrooms, are the least creative space that students can learn in. These learning spaces need to adapt to meet the emerging needs of a wide range of pedagogies.
With the introduction of digital technology, the K-12 classroom environment is gradually being transformed. Wish to know how? Go through this list:
- Student and teacher roles are in flux, with students now taking an active part in their own learning.
- Common use of new technologies like interactive whiteboards and networked learning environments, teachers are also becoming learners as they shift into new styles of information sharing.
- Classrooms are also undergoing physical changes to accommodate the structural needs of a technology-dependent curriculum. The classroom of the 21st century reaches out beyond its four walls, bringing in external resources with digital tools.
- The advent of technological tools like wireless Internet access, mobile communication devices and more has led to the onset of 21st century Blended Learning approaches of learning.
- Technology in schools has also encouraged our focus on engaging and interactive learning, which is achieved through social forms of student interaction. This allows students to learn off-campus, online.
- There is enhanced student involvement so that students don’t get bored or become inactive.
- Students are now prepared for the working environment where technology skills are imperative for job searching and training.
The benefits of using technology in the classroom are many. To summarize a few, it improves student curricular achievement, improves school efficiency, productivity and decision-making, helps teachers meet professional requirements, improves learning skills, helps schools meet the needs of all students and also improves equity and access in education.
Technology integration into classrooms across the world has taken on a new urgency and has turned out to be a huge success for students and educators. For schools adopting classroom technology, it requires knowing innovative uses of new technologies and understanding how it will shape the future of education. Integrating technology in the classroom with an instructor-led setting in a blended learning context could result in dramatically improved education outcomes.
If we embrace the technology in the classroom, and use it to its full potential, there’s no reason to believe that we can’t transform education with the tools we have at hand. And that’s when we can begin celebrating educational success.
I encourage everyone, especially schools to readily embrace the fact that the future of learning has arrived, and it’s fully interactive, and they need to get over their practices of imparting education in orthodox ways to the ones which are technology enabled. You’re invited to share your views, knowledge or clarify doubts you may have on using technology for the classroom. The Comment Box awaits you.