For those who have been educators for any length of time, the many ways in which technology has infiltrated the classroom has been a journey all its own. However, for many parents who studied in a pre-Cloud era, technology in the classroom is something that leaves much to the imagination. While most who are reading this grew up in an age where every classroom had at least one computer and many classes were taught on an iPad instead of through a hardbound textbook, some of these changes may, instead, seem like the norm. Let’s explore a few of the innovations made possible in the classroom because of advances in technology.
No More Hard Copies!
To say that there is a greater emphasis on conservation would be the understatement of the year. The reason why most school districts have replaced textbooks with tablets isn’t to save the rain forests but for assorted other reasons. Consider the fact that one iPad can contain every textbook for every class for all four years of high school. When one textbook could cost more than $100 but an iPad can be bought discounted for less than that, schools are saving thousands of dollars per student over that four year time period.
Teaching Kids on Familiar Ground
Another way in which technology is impacting the way we educate our kids is by giving them a way to learn in an environment they are comfortable with. Most kids live and breathe their mobile phones, tablets and game systems, so why not use these as a tool? Instead of teaching an entire semester of Art History with a focus on the Medici family, why not develop an art history game set in the era where kids could ‘write the script’ of key players as they wander through 15th and 16th Century Italy during the Italian Renaissance? Important works of art and ‘technology’ of the era will be explored, but kids can get a hands on experience in an altered reality that is quite true to the time.
Distance Education Solves Overcrowding in Schools
Another way in which technology is changing the face of education is in providing a way for more students to be enrolled with fewer physical resources available. Distance education meets needs on various levels. Not only can school districts provide an education for larger numbers of students without building new schools, but kids who don’t do well in a classroom can gain an education from home. One teacher can double or triple the number of students enrolled because computer technology grades online tests and takes on a multitude of other tasks that once had teachers in the classroom long after the teaching day was over.
If you have any doubt whatsoever about just how much technology is impacting the way in which we now educate our children, it’s time to visit a school to see just what a big part it plays in every class throughout the day. From fitness wearables in P.E. that can monitor students’ heart and respiration rates to video conferencing with students in Israel, technology is bound to be a core component within any discipline and at every age level.