Technology gets plenty of attention when discussing topics like marketing and digital media, but it loses some of its appeal once it’s paired with education. Maybe that’s because not every school or classroom takes advantage of the same technology. There may be budget constraints or the choice not to embrace change. With varying opinions, budgets and circumstances, not all schools have the same technology, making it difficult to discuss it as a whole.
If your college or university hasn’t taken full advantage of the digital age, here are some benefits to consider about bringing more technology into your classrooms.
Support the student thinking process
Enhance problem-solving skills
Stimulate motivation and self-esteem
Prepare students for the future
Free up time for staff and faculty
Reduce boundaries between classrooms, professors, colleges, etc.
Create consistent, seamless learning environments
Appeal to a wide range of learning styles
As you prepare to implement more technology into your college or university, let’s take a look at some of the options available to you.
Before you bring technology into your classrooms, make sure that your school can handle the amount of activity that will be going on. Start by gathering quotes for setting up a wireless infrastructure based on your needs. Each wireless company is unique, so make sure that you compare the quotes accordingly. For instance, some wireless companies have distinct ways of sending signals that make their service more reliable and consistent. Also, more hotspots does not mean that you will get a better signal.
Flip teaching, or flipped classrooms, refers to a form of blended learning. Students learn new content online by watching video lectures. This part of the process is typically done at home and at a time that is convenient for the student. Instead of traditional homework, students complete assignments in class, while teachers offer more personalized guidance. This interaction takes the place of traditional lectures. Hence the name, a flipped classroom. What used to be done in class is now done at home, and vice versa.
The flipped classroom is a refreshing approach to traditional teaching because students need more help applying the information as opposed to hearing it. Plus, video lectures can be made to be most interesting and engaging for students. The fact that they can be watched over and over again is helpful for retaining information.
Students learn in all different ways, and while we’ve recognized this for quite some time, it hasn’t been until recently that various learning styles have been embraced. To help all students learn in the ways that come most natural to them, more schools have implemented personalized lessons into their classrooms.
New computer programs can be customized based on a student’s strengths and weaknesses. One student may be presented with one set of material, while another will be given a different set. The approach to teaching the material can also be customized. Some students learn better by reading and sorting through information, while others need a more hands-on approach.
Additionally, computer programs can score the student’s progress and present them with additional learning opportunities for information they are having trouble grasping.
Social Lesson Sharing
One of the nice things about technology is that it brings college professors closer together. Rather than having separate classrooms that operate individually, social media unites staff and faculty. The result is a more cohesive campus, too.
Social lesson sharing allows teachers to collaborate, explore, share perspectives and more. They can learn from each other, motivate each other and build on each other’s strengths.
There is benefit for students, too. Remember when you were in college and each professor decided to have a test on the same day? When teachers collaborate with one another, these types of situations can be avoided, and student work loads can be more spread out.
Also, teachers can present information that builds on each other. For example, psychology and sociology classes go hand-in-hand, so professors can teach material in a cohesive manner, allowing students to hear different perspectives on similar topics.
3D printers are no longer a far-fetched technology. They are used across the board, in four-year universities and elementary schools. Using a 3D printer, students can make any three-dimensional object from a digital model. Following an additive process, students lay down successive layers of materials in different shapes and sizes to complete their model. It’s a very cool process that can be used for teaching science, math, art and more.
Digital textbooks are so much better than traditional books. They’re a lot lighter, so students don’t need to worry about lugging them around campus, or forgetting them back in their dorm rooms. Digital books can be updated much easier than traditional textbooks, which means teachers don’t have to build their lesson plans around old, outdated information.
Additionally, digital books have a lot of neat features such as interactive functions, multimedia content and virtual reality. Hopefully in time, digital copies will become more affordable, too. It would be nice to have books that don’t cost half the price of the education.
There’s no doubt that technology is changing education as we know it. The modern classroom already looks far different than it did even a decade ago, and it will continue moving in this direction. More computers. More tablets. Reliable internet connections. Customized lesson plans. More collaboration among teachers. Enhanced instruction and hands-on learning. In order to be a part of this movement, you must be ready to implement more technology into your school. Are you ready?