Contrary to popular belief, education technology is not a means for replacing traditional learning mediums, but for enhancing them. Textual learning alone often won’t accommodate students who tend to learn best through visual explanations and hands-on experiences to allow the information to truly sink in. On top of enhancing the educational experience within the classroom, technology extends the reach of education beyond the school day to offer students an effective learning tool from home as well. Although technology in American school systems hasn’t yet reached ubiquity, the integration of high-tech devices has proven itself as a valuable tool for learning in the following ways.
1. Improving the Flow of Communication
According to 1105 Media Incorporated’s The Journal, a high school in Carson, California has reported improvements in student performance attributed largely to the implementation of a new web-based communications management system called eChalk. After incorporating this system into the classroom, the school saw dramatic improvements with student-teacher communication, as well as parental involvement in student academic success. The school’s executive director Tony Kline emphasized that the program shows kids what is needed to succeed in college.
2. Increasing the Accessibility and Convenience of Reading Materials
Ebooks has changed the way students interact with reading materials, such as textbooks and literature, by making them easier to access and more engaging than traditional textual materials. These advancements are not merely digital versions of traditional reading materials, but come with a long list of learning-enhancing features, such as models, simulations and visualizations of the information to help students gain a better understanding of both the content and the context.
Introducing students to multimedia technology for animating educational concepts is one of the most effective ways technology is helping students become more involved in their schoolwork. By using these tools to creatively express their understanding of the subjects being taught in the classroom, students will not only become more personally involved in the lessons, but will simultaneously develop skills working with multimedia technological tools as well. This method also offers excellent preparation for the technology-focused professional world that students face in the future.
4. Speeding Up the Assessment Process
It’s every instructor’s responsibility to evaluate a student’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses in order to determine how to help him or her achieve better academic performance. Through tools such as online testing and step-by-step learning modules, teachers can gain a better understanding of where exactly students are struggling with the material to ensure a faster and more effective approach.
Young students have an affinity for playing technologically advanced games whether they’re part of the curriculum or not, so why not help them improve their skills through a medium they associate with fun? Epistemic games allow students to literally put themselves in the position of professional roles such as engineers, journalists, city planners, and other potential career choices to gain a firsthand understanding of how these professionals solve real-world problems. Through these learning media, students are able to more easily understand how their current education will apply to their future lives.5. Simulating Real-World Educational Experiences with Epistemic Games
The advent of modern technology in education has helped to bridge the gap between students and teachers in terms of communication, engagement, and general understanding of one another’s needs. With the tremendous improvements technology has made in education thus far, we should start to see it catching on in more schools across the country as we move on into an increasingly virtualized world.