With our ever-advancing world, which is full of new and exciting technological inventions, where does education fit?
It seems like schools are already realising the benefits of technology in the classroom and are already implementing online textbooks and are still using interactive whiteboards. Students are encouraged to get to grips with the online world at school from early on and the skills they learn never leave them.
I came across the term ‘educational technology’ recently, but what exactly is it? Well, it is the use of digital technology to help aid learning. It is a whole field of technology devoted to the development and application of these educational tools. Its core areas include software, hardware and other IT processes which are there to help encourage and facilitate the learning process.
Awareness and implementation have already begun around the world, with the USA taking the lead. The UK is also incorporating some of these new tools. Some examples of this innovative technology include Cloud computing, which is now taking on an essential role in both schools and the workplace. Other educational areas being transformed by technology include Language, Science and Social Studies.
Mobile learning is becoming increasingly more popular due to its convenience and accessibility. Tablet based learning is on the rise and it is something that we have considered here at the Academy for a while. I would also personally recommend students in sixth form and university to purchase a tablet, as they are far more portable and can be fairly cheap. Students can easily build a virtual learning environment through the use of apps. You can easily access online textbooks and papers, which may especially be useful for degree level students.
With so many young people who buy into the virtual world, one wonders whether games will be big in the realm of education. This may help get students engaged and properly absorb what they are learning. I believe some corporations have now clocked onto this. Something which has always fascinated me and something that may develop many uses in a learning environment is 3D printing. This is done through computer software and an image or object is created using this design and a very high-tech bit of machinery. Another area that particularly fascinates me is that of wearable technology, which is basically technology that you can wear on or even in your body. These include Smart watches and Occulus virtual reality headsets and microchips.
So, with all that being said, how does this affect the Academy? We have thought of incorporating interactive whiteboards, but as I and countless other students have seen, they are costly and breakdown easily. Our trusty standard whiteboards never break down! So, I believe it is all about balance. Like many businesses, we must try and keep up with the current. The main thing I think technology can help us with is the variation of activities we can do in the classroom. We can further open up the world of learning to every single student, and that is a wonderful thing.
We may increase our use of technology in the classroom in the future, although we still firmly believe that you cannot beat the traditional book! That won’t stop us from trying to improve our services and improve the experience our students have with us.