The integration of technology in the classroom set-up is redefining the culture of education. The modern-day set-up will most likely include smart and artificial intelligence tools. For a sector that previously lagged in adopting technology, education is expanding its business models to unprecedented territories. Take, for instance:
- Services that provide academic assistance say formatting or proofreading papers.
- Online check tools.
- Online tutoring services.
Before we look at the expected benefits of technology reshaping our current education models, it would be prudent to address the inevitable downsides. Numerous educators have presented their arguments against tech in the classroom. They argue that it affects attention spans drastically, whereby students cannot concentrate over an extended duration.
More so, integrating tech in the classrooms creates a distraction-prone environment, which may not be conducive for learning. It is undoubtedly a considerable concern that needs immediate attention. Otherwise, it would be irredeemably counterproductive to enhance learning while at the same time, impairing the learners.
Proponents of technology in the classroom suggest that the remedy is a matter of policy. Whereby students are taught how to use technology responsibly beforehand. Furthermore, schools should also have inclusive responsible-use regulations. After all, we are looking at young minds that certainly need guidance.
Recent reports suggest that a significant percentage of educators believe that technology has improved the overall levels of engagement in class. It may not particularly come as a surprise. Not so long ago, the classroom was still a passive environment. It almost solely relied on the teacher to keep things going. More so, students lacked appropriate channels to participate in class.
With the advent of immersive learning, the classroom is witnessing considerable improvements in the levels of student participation. As opposed to a teacher standing in front of the class and talking on end, students can now learn through interactive models. The use of simulations and models in popular on this front. Concepts that could have otherwise been abstract are easily made more tangible.
Take, for instance, a lunar expedition through NASA’s Moon Toolkit. Furthermore, the application of tech is inclusive of different types of learners. Hence, a larger number of students can understand the concept at a relatively similar pace.
However, there still exists a gap that is rarely spoken about. Despite an increase in in-class engagement, technology seems to be gradually taking away the significance and relevance of teachers. More students are reaching out to online options, such as tutoring or essay writing service, farther away from in-class engagement.
Amongst the various elements of education, research is undoubtedly among the top beneficiaries. Research is indicative of a learner’s inclination to a particular subject as well as the motivation to pursue their interests. Now more than ever, technology has facilitated unprecedented access to information. Educational resources in the digital spaces are boundless. Gone are the days when you had to rummage through an entire section in the library to find a specific reference.
By expanding the horizons of our knowledge bases, technology has also managed to foster collaboration at a level never seen before. Students can connect to fellow students or professors from colleges on a different continent. These collaborations foster teamwork, feedback, criticisms as well as collective creativity. More so, it allows the participants to pick out and adopt the favorable aspects of other models.
The interconnectedness of the 21st century has unequivocally broken several barriers. In fact, it has almost created a new sector on its own. Nowadays, any willing student can take an online program from a foreign institution without ever stepping out of their home country. Distance learning is growing in popularity by the day. Massive Open Online Courses are on a rapid rise, as more and more institutions offer some of their programs over the internet.
This trend has also seen the rise of online tutoring. Teachers are also no longer confined to geographical location. A booming industry that also reflects the change in preference for students, who now seem to lean more towards virtual engagements.
In eliminating physical engagements, online learning is also changing how students interact. Digital simulations and models allow students to make any field trip of their desire without leaving the classroom. Some, then, would argue that the integration of tech should not be wholesome but rather necessary adjustments.
Whatever the case may be, there is enough reason to believe that technology is indeed making education more open, engaging, and accessible. Only time will tell the actual potential, but we have enough conviction to be optimistic.