Technology has become a mainstay of the educational community. Many districts have made the development of 21st Century skills a priority for students and staff alike. Certainly we can see the ways technology has impacted society and the economy, but how has technology impacted and education and how can we best utilize our tech resources? Alaa Sultan recently posted this video to youtube outlining five ways technology is improving education. What do you think about his ideas?
Five Ways Technology is Improving Education
- Global Learning– Our students can gain a new perspective on learning and education by interacting with students from around the world. Students studying a foreign language can Skype or face time with a student who natively speaks that language. Technology allows students’ access to experiences that used to be limited to students will to spend a semester abroad.
- Games Based Learning– Games motivate and engage players. Why shouldn’t we use that to our advantage and encourage the use of tech based learning games. Students can work competitively or collaboratively to reinforce learner concepts.
- Virtual Models– Computers allow us to simulate events and occurrences that we would never be able to replicate in the real world. How many science experiments would you love to run, only to be told no because of cost or space? Computer simulations allow for that experiment to take place. Computers also allow us to change the scale of an object. Things that are too big or too small can be made manageable through technology simulations.
- Mobile Media Learning– So long computer labs. Mobile devices turn every classroom into a computer lab. As the cost of mobile devices and laptops become more affordable, technology in the classroom becomes more of a reality. A grant that would have previously paid for one or two computers can now buy ten chrome books. Think about all the improvements to cell phones. Many of my students’ cell phones are more powerful than the computer I had in college.
- Database Decision Making– The rise in technology has also brought an increase in data. Today we have data on everything from test scores to student attendance, though the two are correlated. We can build lessons based around what works and what doesn’t, and we can have the data to support those decisions.