Technology has drastically transformed the way we live, the way we do things, and the way we learn. Gone are the days when students were handed a large pile of textbooks, which were to be completed by the end of the school year. Today, students are much more likely to rely on electronic devices for their learning. They use a laptop or tablet rather than a textbook or Encyclopedia.
Since all kinds of information are easily accessible at the touch of a finger, then who would want to go through pages of text trying to find the information they need?
There is always the argument that technology has its downfalls in terms of increasing distractions for students and reducing their attention spans. But there are plenty of ways in which technology has improved learning in the classroom and helped students succeed. It is all a matter of how it is used: you can either let it hinder your learning experience or use it to gain in-depth knowledge and stand out.
In this article, we discuss the various ways in which technology has improved the process of learning in classrooms:
- VARIETY OF CONTENT TO LEARN
If we go back a decade in time, it was only possible for a student to learn in a classroom setting, and the educational tools would be limited to books or any other learning material provided by the teacher. The curriculum was based on the STEM approach, which emphasized the importance of studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for personal and professional success.
However, there has been a lot of debate on whether a stem vs steam approach leads to success in today’s world. The acronym STEAM includes the addition of ‘arts’ to the STEM equation. It is built on the idea that students need to have a well-rounded knowledge base, and this is only possible if they are presented with a variety of learning content covering different subjects, including arts, music, literature, and such.
Technology helps make this possible. Today, students can learn from an app, e-books, educational blogs, and YouTube videos, whichever medium they are most comfortable with. Most schools focus on teaching a variety of subjects through different mediums so that learning remains a fun and engaging experience, instead of a tedious one.
- INCREASED CONNECTIVITY WITH TEACHERS AND PEERS
As technology makes it possible to communicate with others at all times easily, students can interact with their teachers and classmates whenever they wish to, instead of having to wait for the next class. They can use emails or text messages to discuss any topics that they get stuck on immediately with either a teacher or a friend.
Technology has also made it possible to have virtual study groups where the entire class can stay connected outside the classroom. It allows them to study together even when they are not physically present at school, and consequently, helps improve everyone’s understanding of the course material.
Moreover, technology allows students to learn from teachers and other students from all over the world. Their learning is not limited to their classroom walls.
- AVAILABILITY OF ONLINE TOOLS TO FACILITATE TEACHERS
Technology has helped reduce the workload of teachers in several ways. Various online tools are being used by teachers to make their job easier. Lesson preparation is one area where online tools can provide substantial support. For instance, there are different software to help teachers come up with engaging and interactive lesson plans. They also offer assignments and assessments to cater to a wide range of student skills and capabilities.
Furthermore, technology allows teachers to use different types of online tools and activities to explain topics that may otherwise be difficult to explain through a textbook.
- EASE OF ONLINE ASSESSMENT
Technology has made it possible for teachers to use online assessment as a means of testing their student’s knowledge. Not only does online testing save time as the teacher no longer has to mark each student’s test, but it is also fair and free from any bias. When a computer is grading a test, it is bound to produce fair results without favoring one student over the other.
- ENCOURAGES SELF-PACED LEARNING
In the traditional classroom setting, students who struggle to develop an understanding of certain tricky topics may find themselves struggling to keep up with the rest of the class. The emergence of technology allows such students to make use of various online tools to learn at their own pace. They can take more time and get extra practice outside the classroom with online exercises and additional study materials to improve their understanding of a difficult topic. Teachers can help them by suggesting the most suitable online resources that will assist them in learning more efficiently.
- GREATER INTERACTIVITY
The traditional approach to learning often involved little participation from the students; the teacher would talk and explain concepts or read from a textbook while the students sat and listened. It meant that there wasn’t much engagement or interaction on the part of the students.
Technology has changed this completely. It has made the classroom so much more interactive than it used to be. Today, a variety of interactive models and videos are used in the school, with students navigating through educational websites and doing their research online. Interactive tools help spark the student’s interest and encourage them to study the subjects in greater depth on their own.
THE FINAL VERDICT
To sum up, it would not be wrong to say that technology has improved the learning process in more ways than we realize, providing students with an incredible range of new learning opportunities. Students are blessed to have a wealth of information available to them at their fingertips. No longer is the classroom the only way for students to learn; technology allows students to discover knowledge that is being shared by anyone, anywhere in the world. In today’s digitized world, there are no limits to learning.