Technology. We see it every day in almost every facet of our lives. Form the way we communicate to the way we see and experience our world it influences our lives in almost every conceivable fashion. Today technology is making a big push into the lives of students everywhere as it’s introduced into our schools, making learning more interesting, more fun and more collaborative.
The truth is, education has long been an inefficient and static field, adverse to the technological changes that were going on in the ‘real’ world. Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, coined the term ‘disruptive technology’ and he believes that the schooling system we use is ripe for ‘disruption’ that will more than likely result in a revolution in the entire schooling system that we have used for decades. Education marketing Services from Grebot Donnelly suggest that technology should be encouraged far more in schools before they get left behind.
That revolution may not have arrived yet but by the looks of things it is coming. In classrooms around the country new technology is already being used that, only a few short years ago, would have conjured visions of science fiction movies like ‘Star Wars’.
Whiteboards for example have been springing up in classrooms around the country. A new, high-tech take on the traditional chalkboards of old whiteboards are incredibly interactive for both the teacher and the students. Like a giant tablet the images on the screen can be manipulated by both, bringing a type of interactivity to the learning experience that has never been seen before. They can take the student into the problems, questions and equations in a way that is almost unreal and the results have been fantastic.
The whiteboards are, like the chalkboard that we’ve used and seen for almost 2 centuries, basically large computer screens. They give the teacher and his or her students’ access to the internet as well as video presentations. They can be used for assessing students and for recording lessons that can be replayed at a later date too. Proponents of the whiteboards see them as an investment in the future of education, an investment that some teachers say is already paying off in a big way.
Of course the new tech has also allowed children that might not be able to get to a classroom for health reasons the ability to ‘attend’ classes from home and there is even a movement to home schooling directed by schools, where the student stays at home but gets lessons and instructions directly from the teacher using computers and communication technology like Skype.
Apple’s ubiquitous iPad is also changing the face of education and, just like the whiteboards mentioned above, has already started to dramatically change the way teachers teach and students learn. Again with the iPad interactivity is the key. The popular tablet can be used in a myriad of ways to help bring lessons to students on a level that’s never been seen before and gives teachers an almost unlimited amount of creativity to teach their lessons.
Technology is truly changing the world and, the way most teachers see it, where better to start those changes than right in the classroom. It’s a wonderful time to be a student and the changes coming will surely make the experience of going to school much more interesting, and fundamental, in the future.