How Technology is Turning Conventional Education on its Head
Classroom learning has evolved at a rate of knots in recent years. Gone are the days of conventional education where students received all of their information from textbooks, blackboards (or white boards) and word-of-mouth. Nowadays, the information superhighway known as the Internet of things facilitates up-to-the-minute learning, real-time information and a virtual multiverse of facts and figures at our fingertips 24/7/365. This has brought with it many opportunities and many challenges for educators around the world. Old forms of teaching have become redundant; full integration with all aspects of learning accessible through the Internet is an absolute necessity in order for educators to stay abreast of the latest developments, and to remain relevant in today’s times. Integrated technology takes on many forms, and the learning experience must be such that all aspects dovetail with one another to achieve the best possible outcomes. Nowadays, websites are loaded up with high-tech features that look like the sci-fi movies of yesteryear. Full integration with wearable technology, real-time stats, updates and feeds, multimedia compatibility, group access to educational forums, classrooms and lessons etc. These are but a few of the many specialized features that are readily available to today’s learner.
To Supplement Not to Supplant Educators
Websites catering to specialized learning activities are commonplace today. These didactic educational resources are not meant to supplant the teacher; they are meant to enrich the learning experience and to supplement the role of the educator. Student learning can continue in a much more interactive, immersive and engaging way thanks to these technological innovations. They are not separate or stand-alone experiences; they are parallel websites with a special focus on distinct aspects of the curriculum. Of course, for educators, schools and governing bodies the goal is to find the best possible way to include the available technology with the curriculum in a way that does not detract from the focus of the core subjects. Many teachers today – especially older teachers are somewhat out of touch with the available technology. This presents many challenges to innovative ways of learning, and retraining becomes paramount.
Technology-based learning through websites and in-class methodology needs to be fused in a manner that promotes seamless learning in the most efficient and effective way possible. The goal of course is the full participation of all vested interests – students and teachers alike. Teachers with a penchant for technology can certainly leverage this ability to maximum effect. Among others, teachers and students will be able to access all forms of educational information via websites such as online weather forecasts in multiple languages for geography, the creation of website calendars with accessible URLs that allow for links to be included for course material, dated material and other time-specific content. In terms of providing access in foreign languages, this bodes well for students who are learning foreign-languages like Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Cantonese etc. Websites that provide multilingual functionality certainly add value to language-specific courses.
There are other websites yet that provide a wealth of information in respect of mathematics and related disciplines. All manner of mathematics questions are readily available in the form of challenges. Students can gain credit from answering correctly, or for participating in the mathematics assignments. These take the form of extra credit mathematics activities, mathematics lessons or even mathematics assignments. All manner of puzzles, quizzes and challenges are available to students via educational websites that caters specifically to the cause. Nowadays, websites provide a hive of activity where archives of past data can easily be accessed at the click of a button.
Teachers can even go a step further by integrating technology in such a way that URLs are provided instead of quotes. Students can then access the full listing of URLs for individual courses, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the content matter at hand. The advancements in technology are such that there is no limit to what is available today. Google apps are now available for education in the form of the Google Apps for education suite. These include things like sites, slides, sheets, calendar, docs, drive, classroom in Gmail. The professionalism that is available with Google technology for classrooms is astounding. Better scheduling, a school domain, easier collaboration between educators and students, higher productivity and cloud functionality are but a few of the many real benefits that new-age technology brings to websites.
Educators have many tools available to them when it comes to website building. One way that you can learn how to create a website is by using professional website services. These vetted companies facilitate the process and will ensure that the strictest standards of compliance are in place. The presence of Google Classroom is yet another powerful technological advancement available so that teachers and students can stay abreast of due dates for assignments, course material and related work. Technology by way of smart websites ends up being a boon rather than a bane in terms of cost. Dramatic cost savings are available since Internet accessibility is widespread and most every student can easily access information without having to purchase textbooks, commute, or buy the software. And various studies have found that technology increases – not decreases – a student’s desire to learn the subject material. The engaging manner in which students learn online has proven to be much more effective than a traditional teacher standing in front of the class. Google Apps is but one of many ways that teachers and educational institutions are advancing their cause. And of course another benefit of using technology and websites for learning purposes comes in the form of rewards for work well done. Teachers can now give students several minutes’ worth of free time for a job well done so that they can access YouTube videos, play online games, watch TV shows, comment on celebrity news and so forth.