For years now, technology in the classroom has been the subject of many debates. Like most political discourses of the day, there are equally opposing factions offering strong contrasting views. Given the weights of the arguments raised, it’s not easy to distinguish who is in the right and who needs to drop the ball.
More than ever, the topic of technology in education is relevant. The great strides we’ve made in technology in recent times have seen the adoption of technology in learning institutions. A number of institutions have even gone ahead and incorporated such tech into their curriculum.
On one corner, proponents argue that technology allows tutors to experiment in pedagogy and learners to engage better. In the other end, critics believe that incorporating technology in the classroom is nothing more but a distraction which fosters cheating.
In contemporary times, the younger generation can safely be classed as digital natives. All through their lives, they’ve been brought up with technology. So much so that it’s become woven into their day-to-day lives.
Since machines are essential in making work easier, we can also classify all tools and facilities which ease student-teacher interaction to also be technological gadgets.
Given just how poor classroom engagement is these days, lecturers need all the help they can get from technology. Still, there are those who believe that technological items like laptops, tablets, smartphones make it harder for tutors to pass the message across.
As tech advocates, we believe that embracing technology in the classroom is the way to go. For us, it’s not a coin toss, rather, technology comes out on top. Indeed, as the stats published by researchers at the University of Oxford show, ours in more than just an assertion.
By making use of more than 350,000 adolescent respondents, they were able to ascertain that technology in the classroom has a diminished effect in affecting psychological well-being.
In the days to come, it’s going to become necessary for learners to become more than just thoughtful consumers of digital content. As such, students need to learn early how to be collaborative creators of digital content.
Having revealed all these, we’ll be diving at the pros and cons of using technology in the classroom. In our review, we’ll make sure to highlight how to deal with the challenges you’re likely to face as you embrace technology in education.
With technology by your side, you can foster more active learning. Tools like online polls and quiz questions during lectures can make for interesting learning sessions. The fact that the feedback is instantaneous further adds to the charm.
The dynamism of the topics allows you to respond in a timely manner thanks to the presence of embedded links. If you’re an educator, you can build a good rapport with your students by making small tweaks to how you present the course.
Thanks to technology, even the shy students can be part of the action. With online, polling, there’s some degree of anonymity offered and the tallying is done in real time.
Since most online engagement systems allow you to keep tabs of how students are faring, you can easily identify the weak points and come to the aid of struggling students. If you’re looking to get accurate data on students’ familiarity with a topic, you can offer them quizzes (not for credit).
With digital textbooks and course content, there’s also the added benefit of always being up to date with the times. If you want to, teachers can include new topics as suggested by their students. With this kind of collaborative working environment, it’s easy to share information, network, and interact.
With apps and e-textbooks to guide their learning curve, there’s plenty of weight lifted off instructors shoulders.
Remarkably, some tutors have taken it a notch higher by embracing gamification in the classroom. Through competitive scenarios, the entire classroom experience is transformed into a fun, engaging undertaking.
If you’re looking to tap into these kinds of methods, you need to carefully think about formulating concepts that support the course learning objectives.
Gone are the days when tasks like student attendance sheets would take all our time. With automation, you have access to better engagement tools which means that your grading efforts are better streamlined to ensure that there’s maximum participation.
One professor at Georgia Tech came up with an amazing AI-powered teaching assistant that could respond to a number of student queries. The coding done was simply amazing due to the fact that “she” could swiftly refer tricky questions to a human.
Given the wealth of information and resources available on the net, it’s very easy for students to switch off during a lecture and get engrossed with other activities. When this continually happens, their grades may take a hit and they may find themselves needing remedial classes to cope.
To counter this, educators need to take initiative and device a structure and culture of respect within the confines of the classroom. A great way to go about this is by identifying specific project and class times where the use of tech devices is permitted. Once the ground rules are established, collaboration is easier and boundaries become respected.
With technology, students can have so many online friends and few if any, in real life. As a teacher, you can foster a conducive learning environment by making use of technological tools in group settings. With this kind of set up, students learn how to be dynamic and interact.
Truthfully, students who want to cheat will always find a way to do so. Still, there’s no denying that the digital age has made things much easier.
Rather than being quick to punish offenders, as an educator, you can take the first step and structure assignments and exams in a manner that makes cheating close to impossible.
There is some software in the market that allows teachers to set slightly unique questions for each student. If you were to embrace such solutions, you’ll be enabling your students to put more emphasis on the technique instead of the answer. It’s a brilliant concept.
Having gone at great lengths discussing the pros and cons of technology, it’s quite evident that we have a winner. Technology in the classroom is an idea whose time has come, there’s no stopping it at this point. Instead of finding ways to blame technology for all the potential bad habits it might foster, it’s better to think positively and think of it as a great tool to facilitate good teacher-student relationships.
With a flexible learning environment, innovation becomes much easier to accomplish. While it may take time for technology in education to become widely accepted, the signs of promise are already there, it opens up the doors for exploration and discovery.
At AstroReality, we’ve invested heavily in Augmented Reality technology that can be put to good use in both home and school applications.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to acquaint themselves with our one-of-a-kind AR enhanced 3D printed models and notebooks. You can explore the cosmos with ease and learn about fantastic locations like Mars, the LUNAR Moon, and our Solar System. How’s that for a class session? Impressive right?