In the 21st century, technology has dramatically changed the way in which we go about our daily lives, from communication to shopping, entertainment, and education and learning. Education in particular has been massively impacted by advancements in technology, which has made it easier for students to learn in every different type of setting, both in the classroom and at home. Students from pre-school right through to college and university can benefit from modern technology advancements when it comes to improving learning. Here are some of the main ways in which technology has changed the classroom.
1. More online learning opportunities
Today, more and more students are choosing to study online, rather than attending traditional campus-based classes. There are many benefits of choosing an online program for students, with options available at all levels from high school diplomas right through to masters and doctorate degrees, along with a wide range of vocational programs to choose from. Online study has made it easier for students to reach their academic goals while saving money, and has helped many people facilitate career changes that would have otherwise been difficult or even impossible if they had no other option than to attend on-campus lectures. Today, students can choose from a wide range of programs, from a bachelor’s in nursing to an online masters in statistics from several well-respected colleges and schools.
2. Improved communication:
Developments in technology have also improved the way in which students communicate not only with their teachers and professors, but also with each other. Students now have several great tools available to them which can improve communication and help them learn from both their teachers and their peers. For example, cloud software programs such as Google Drive have made it easier than ever for students to work on projects together and communicate with each other in real-time online, even if they are on in different places, towns or even countries. As a result, students can enjoy easier and more convenient collaboration on group projects. And when it comes to online learning, there are several tools which can be used to create a more team-based, immersive experience, such as video conference calling and group web chats.
3. No more heavy bags
In addition to the larger changes that technological developments have made to the education industry, there have been plenty of small changes that have made a bigger impact than students may have realized. One of the smaller yet hugely welcomed advantages of technological advancements is that for most students, there’s no need to carry around large bags filled with books and bulky three-ring binders. Today your computer, tablet, e-reader or even your smartphone can easily fill everything that you need and much more including all your textbooks, notes, articles and anything else you need to study. There are even handy apps that you can download for easy note taking or scanning paper files so that they can all be stored easily on your device in one place.
4. Save on textbooks:
On the subject of textbooks, this is another area where technological advancements have made life easier – and cheaper – for students. Today, e-books are certainly on the rise and they’re not just great for downloading interesting mystery novels to your smartphone to read when you’re commuting. More and more students are getting their textbooks in e-book format these days, not only because they tend to be cheaper than buying hardbacks or paperbacks, but also because they certainly don’t take up as much room in a small student apartment or shared room in halls of residence. And if you are studying for your degree online, an e-textbook makes more sense when the rest of your program is in electronic format, too.
5. More web-based research
Before the internet, research meant hours and hours of poring over books in the library. But today, the growing prevalence of the internet means that web-based research is no longer a luxury for students; it’s an absolute necessity, regardless of the degree program that you are studying for. And, researching online is much easier for students, regular search engines such as Google can be used to find plenty of information at the click of a few buttons, and there are many academic research websites dedicated to help students and professionals find past research, studies and much more. As a result, students are able to find what they need much faster than in the past, and often have access to information in much more depth.
6. Needs met for all learners
Thanks to the rise of technology and the internet, more and more learners are having their individual needs met. Special needs students are able to have a much better experience with learning and improving their knowledge through the use of technology, including apps that make reading easier for students with dyslexia, or audio textbooks which can be extremely useful for the visually impaired, for example. Students from all walks of life can find a program that is more tailored to fit their needs with adjustments made that only technology can achieve. In addition, it has also improved the learning experience for students from a wide range of demographics and backgrounds. Students who would otherwise struggle financially when gaining a degree are able to benefit from the option to work an online program flexibility around full-time work, while parents who are looking to go back to school or even earn a degree for the first time can study from home, making it easier to reach their goals while still being able to continue with their family commitments as usual.
Today, technology has significantly changed the way in which we go about our day to day lives. Whether you are communicating with friends on social media, controlling your home utilities from your smartphone, shopping online, or studying online, there’s no denying the impact that technology has had. Education is one industry in particular that it has had a huge positive effect on. How has technology affected your studies for the better?
Photograph by Hans