New Strategies and Role of Educational Technologies
In the modern era, technology is integrated into our daily lives. By the time children enter the educational system, they are often already using technology on a daily basis; from computers and televisions to smartphones and GPS systems. It follows that the technology of the modern era can be used as a strong tool to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom setting. As education shifts from a lecture-centric, uniform learning to a more individualized experience, the role of educational technologies shift as well.
All forms of educational technology are based in major part on the benefit to the student. Does the program have educational value? Does it engage the child in learning? Is the program easy to use? Does it interact with the student? These questions must be answered positively before moving forward with any educational technology implementation. Fortunately in the modern era, new and engaging software is created at a rapid pace. Every day, more is learned about ways to use educational technology to engage the brain and stimulate multiple forms of learning at once. An example of modern strategies in educational technology is smart tablets, given to each student, which allow access to various educational applications. The strategy taps into a habit already in place (tablet use), engaging students in a familiar way to encourage personal and individualized learning.
The current educational system is still mainly dominated by non-computerized learning. Teachers are required to educate a group of students-each with a different level of understanding- to meet common levels of desired knowledge. Should the teacher cater lessons to students with a limited understanding of the topic, the students with above average understanding become bored and lack the chance for advancement to still further levels of knowledge. Should the teacher cater the lessons to the students who have an above average understanding of subject matter, those students who have a lesser understanding find the lesson inapplicable to them, falling still further behind. All too often in these situations, students are not given the opportunity to reach their full potential for learning.
A modern implementation of educational technology in this instance is to add computer software to the teaching programs, with which students can learn various subjects according to their individual level of understanding. By introducing an engaging program to the classroom which allows students to get familiar with the material at their own pace, the entire group of students can make progress towards the desired level of knowledge. This technology also frees up the teacher to properly engage the students on a personal level.
New technologies also allow for collaboration between teachers and students. With the advent of social media, students and teachers alike are accustomed to sharing news, events, and research with their social network. This social setting can be duplicated in the educational setting; allowing students to voice questions and concerns in a familiar format, such as an educational web board. Creative collaboration such as this engages students to share strengths and pool their knowledge towards a common goal. It also gives students the opportunity to handle constructive criticism from their peers.
Like any other area of our lives, education must stay relevant. To do so, the strategies of educational technology must shift to meet the changing needs of our time. Modern educational technology has the ability to bridge the gap between students and their highest potential for learning. At LiasonUSA, we believe empowering the next generation of learners is of the highest priority.