The textbook-flooded classroom many of us remember is now filled with tablets, computers and interactive whiteboards. For many of today’s youngsters, this is only normal, but for veteran teachers this change might seem a bit overwhelming at first, as the role of the teacher evolves. The change to digital also impacts parents — 43 percent of parents help their children with homework, according to the blog Mommyish.
When technology is used in conjunction with proper training and support, there lies the potential for much more productive classrooms, more engaged children and the ability to properly monitor — and even personalize – homework.
From Pens and Paper to Tablets and Touchscreens
The way we learn is already changing rapidly, even in the workplace, and with many forward-thinking professors, parents, and students already on board, it’s likely future kids won’t even need to complete homework for us to monitor their dedication, skills and learning abilities.
For hundreds of years, the teacher and the textbook have been our only sources of knowledge in the classroom, so is it so far-fetched that this will all change in just a few years?
In short, the answer is a resounding yes. Not only has the Internet already found its way into schools worldwide, it has proven itself to be highly useful and is now one of the most reliable sources of information we have access to. A move away from the reliance on textbooks to the use of multimedia, particularly in the form of digital content, offers an array of advantages including cost savings, increased efficiency and improved accessibility.
Does Social Media Have A Place In Our Education System?
We are now seeing social media being used by students to educate communities on educational and institutional related issues and vice versa. A full 100 percent of surveyed universities have a Facebook account, 80 percent have a Twitter account, and 70 percent have a YouTube or Vimeo channel, according to OnlineColleges.net.
Another already-popular technology includes SMS marketing and text messages that connect with students via the tools and channels they use most. This type of mobile marketing tool is used by companies, hospitals and now schools across the globe to communicate deadlines, coursework briefs, schedule changes and emergency closures.
Homework will likely not vanish, but it will be replaced. Much like adults who choose to work remotely, children may have the opportunity to learn when and where they want to. Plenty of schools, mainly in higher education, have adopted this way of thinking and, in turn, we can participate in free educational courses, also known as OpenCourseWare. Universities such as Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are currently introducing and promoting free non-credit online courses. One Stanford University online course has already welcomed over 160,000 participants and registrations from over 190 countries.
DIY degrees aren’t new, but they’re ready to take over. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be subscription-based, content-driven, interactive or video focused. The greatest thing of all is that one curriculum can be taught in several different ways, enabling users to pick and choose the methods that work best for them.
Get the Balance Right
Unlike a teacher looking after a classroom of 20 or 30 students, technology has the capability to provide a personalized educational experience to each and every child. While this is revolutionary in terms of enlightening today’s youth, we must understand the importance of maintaining face-to-face communication and good social skills.
Much like anything, the trick is to get the balance right. We don’t want to separate children from each other and the outside world, but we do want to give them the opportunity to learn in the best possible way, and if that means using unconventional tools such as e-books, 3D printers and augmented reality, then so be it.