• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

The 21st century learning approach

The proliferation of social media and technology has changed the way educators teach, how students learn and the way teachers and students communicate. Technology has started to help teachers achieve the dream of providing individualised education for every student.

Technology can tailor classroom experience and lesson plans to individuals. Even in the largest schools, they can help make each student’s educational experience unique. Wisely used, technology can motivate the gifted and make sure that those who cannot use their gift find a way to be carried along, rather than left behind or ignored.

Parents and students today are excited by the prospect of getting tablets or laptops to replace textbooks and notepads. But the focus on the devices is a little like getting excited about the colourfulness of the television documentary rather than the historic contents.

The value of technology is that they are a delivery system for flexible curricula.  The important thing is the infrastructure behind the tablet or laptop screens that delivers the right lesson and keeps track of how each student is absorbing it.

Technology driven devices promise to give students a window into the entire world of education.  But they are only one piece of a smarter education approach that leverages flexible, personalised content, new classroom models, and integrated learning and data systems to improve outcomes.  Smart educators are starting to take advantage of these approaches to deliver learning in ways that really boost educational achievement.

Technology these days has been used so much in our lives apart from school and sometimes we fail to consider the impact it leaves on us, be it positive or negative. We keep relying on it so much that it becomes part of us and we ignore the direction of its impact.

Earlier, technology in education was a debatable topic amongst the society. Everyone had their own views on modernising education and making it technology aided. There were a huge number of positives and negatives to education technology.

But gradually as technology was embraced by the educational institutes, they realised the importance of technology in education. Its positives outnumbered the negatives and now, with technology, education has taken a whole new meaning that it leaves us with no doubt that our educational system has been transformed owing to the ever-advancing technology. Technology and education are a great combination if used together with a right reason and vision.

I am more than convinced that technology improves education to a great extent and has now become a need for revolutionising education for the better. With technology, educators, students and parents have a variety of learning tools at their fingertips. Here are some of the ways in which technology improves education over time:

Blended learning: Blended learning opportunities incorporate both face-to-face and online learning opportunities. These strategies can be particularly useful in rural areas where blended or online learning can help teachers and students in remote areas overcome distance.

Open educational resources: Open educational resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain and are freely available to anyone over the Web. They are an important element of an infrastructure for learning and range from podcasts to digital libraries to textbooks and games.

Use digital resources well: Schools can use digital resources in a variety of ways to support teaching and learning. Electronic grade books, digital portfolios, learning games, and real-time feedback on teacher and student performance, are a few ways that technology can be utilised to power learning.

The flipped classroom: Information about this popular technological approach has reached everybody by now. It is a practice in which students watch lecture videos as homework and discussion is carried on with them in the class-time by the teachers. It has resulted in a remarkably better student performance, with noticeable grade boost-up. Students can now learn at their own pace and save class-time for interaction.

Educational technology improves student learning outcomes: Evidence suggests that educational technologies can improve student achievement, so long as such tools are integrated thoughtfully into teaching and learning. When digital capabilities like, online environments are incorporated meaningfully into instruction, students have new opportunities to learn and achieve.

The effect of technology on education depends on the design of instruction: The design of the instruction accounts for more variance in how and why people learn than the technology used to deliver the instruction. Educators and educational researchers should be encouraged to focus on determining how to better integrate the use of a given technology to facilitate learning, rather than asking if it works or if one is more effective than another.

Teachers can collaborate to share their ideas and resources online: They can communicate with others across the world in an instant, meet the shortcomings of their work, refine it and provide their students with the best. This approach definitely enhances the practice of teaching.

Students can develop valuable research skills at a young age: Technology gives students immediate access to an abundance of quality information which leads to learning at much quicker rates than before.

Students and teachers have access to an expanse of material: There are plenty of resourceful, credible websites available on the Internet that both teachers and students can utilise. The Internet also provides a variety of knowledge and doesn’t limit students to one person’s opinion.

Online learning is now an equally credible option: Face-to-face interaction is huge, especially in the younger years, but some students work better when they can go at their own pace. Online education is now accredited and has changed the way we view education.

Mary Ochugbua