Technology in Education
Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand held devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning.
Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching. This model links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources, and systems to help them improve their own instruction and personalize learning.
Online learning opportunities and the use of open educational resources and other technologies can increase educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning; reducing costs associated with instructional materials or program delivery; and better utilizing teacher time.
Why Your Classroom Should Be Tech Savvy
- • Depth of Understanding – Interactive simulations and illustrations can produce a much greater depth of understanding of a concept. When virtual manipulatives are used in a classroom setting they can go far beyond chalk and talk. Using a projector, the teacher can conduct onscreen investigations and demonstrate concepts far more easily than with just words and arm-waving. Because the students have access to the same tools over the web, they can reinforce the ideas by experimenting with the simulations themselves, any time, any where.
- • Learning vs. Teaching – Technology allows the tables to be turned. Instead of teaching (push), students can be given projects that require them to learn (pull) the necessary material themselves. Key to this is the ability to get the information they need any time anywhere, without being in the physical presence of a teacher. This project-based pull approach makes learning far more interesting for the student. I have seen firsthand how students cannot wait to get out of regular classes to go to the after-school robotics project.
- • Collaboration – A vital skill in the new digital world is the ability to work collaboratively on projects with others who may not be physically close. This can best be done using modern computer tools such as the web, email, instant messaging and cell phone. Rather than laboring alone on homework, students can work in small groups wherever they happen to be and at any time. They are doing this already (it used to be called cheating) – it can now be formalized and taught as a vital skill. Many university projects are undertaken by teams spread around the world. Students need to be prepared for this.
- • Going Global – The worldview of the student can be expanded because of the zero cost of communicating with other people around the globe. The Internet permits free video conferencing which permits interaction in real time with sister schools in other countries. From an educational viewpoint, what could be more important than understanding other cultures through direct dialog and collaboration?
- • Individual pacing and sequence – Students are, of course, all different. Information technologies can permit them to break step with the class and go at a pace and order that suits that student better. Without disrupting the class, they can repeat difficult lessons and explore what they find interesting. With time, it will become more like having a private tutor rather than being lost in a large class.
- http://www.ed.gov/oii-news/use-technology-teaching-and-learning | http://www.mathopenref.com/site/techreasons.html