Education is one of the slowest moving industries in regards to implementing change. Schools have yet to fully embrace teaching coding and technology as a type of literacy. It seems as soon as a school incorporates a new technology, it quickly becomes obsolete. The recent shift by tech companies to focus on educational software will help the education industry implement lasting and meaningful change.
Entrepreneurial teachers are changing education in big ways by implementing technology to meet the needs of more students. Instead of rote practice, teachers are teaching transferable skills that allow students to adapt to an ever-changing world. Sharing resources is easier through technology, which is increasing the tools at the disposal of teachers throughout the world.
Technology Will Make Differentiated Instruction Easier
A one size fits all approach to education is a losing venture. Students in entry-level classes at community colleges come in with vastly different educational experiences. At the associate degree level, an instructor can’t meet students at their current academic level in a lecture-style college algebra course. For more student success, instructors need to give students extra lessons that fill in any gaps they might have. Teachers can’t possibly meet the demands of every student. There are too few teachers and too many students to provide unique lessons to students based on their individual needs. Technology is helping teachers reach more students.
Learning companies like IXL have diagnostic tests to assess students’ level and identify areas of weakness. After the diagnostic testing, teachers can assign lessons to students for them to practice individual skills. This hyper-focused instruction allows students to learn the fundamentals of a topic. The process helps teachers by differentiating lessons to the whole class rather than using a generic approach.
Differentiation is also important for gifted learners. They can use learning programs to move onto more complicated tasks, preventing students from being bored while waiting for other students to catch up.
Teachers Will Focus on Transferable Skills
The world is changing so rapidly teachers can’t focus on certain skills in fear that they will be obsolete by the time students reach college. Instead, teachers are focusing on skills that enable students to be adaptable and agile while they learn new skills as technology develops. Creative and analytical thinking are being prioritized over repetition and a single approach to a problem. Transferable skills will give students a leg up on their competition because they are open to learning new skills.
Problem-solving and analytical skills need to be practiced, just like grammar or algebra. Technology gives students access to real-world problems where students can tap into their creativity to solve the problems in unique ways. Students in different college degree levels will be better served by solving current problems rather than reading about how historical figures solved their problems.
Students Have Access to More Practice
The Internet holds millions of hours of lessons, practice modules, and explanations for problems any student might face. A high schooler can’t rely on their parents for help with calculus but can use advanced problem-solving software and online tutorials to get help. Students can gain access to current pieces of literature in English class through the Internet rather than reading the same set of books students read a decade ago. More practice with relevant topics will increase students’ understanding of difficult topics.
Technology can reduce the cost of making a science lab, giving students access to experiments that require expensive material. Simulated experiments allow students to create and manipulate experiments they couldn’t perform in real life. Biology and physics experiments can be replicated and manipulated to increase students’ understanding of the scientific experiment.
Technology Increases Student Interaction
Online courses reduce the amount of time students spend with each other but provide ample opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate. Peer learning is a proven way for students to learn and retain more information versus the antiquated lecture model. Advanced messaging and web conferencing apps give students increased access to their peers. The best online colleges allow students to work with their peers and create a sense of community rather than feeling isolated.
Technology Will Keep Changing Education
In ten years, the education industry will look vastly different as new technology is implemented. It will continue to evolve together with technology, and teachers find new uses to improve their students’ learning outcomes.