Advancements in technology have made and continue to make our lives easier, more productive, and more interconnected. In the simplest terms, technology is the way of the future and this is also true for education.
Technology is providing students with instant access to large amounts of research materials, information, and resources to complete their schooling work in a more timely and efficient manner. Where previously a student would need to go to their local library and spend the time looking for resource materials and finding the correct texts through the library dewey decimal classification system, there is now a much larger accessibility in education through the vast availability of enhancements in technology.
How Can Students Use Technology to Enhance their Learning?
Students now have access to a variety of platforms thanks to technology which can hugely enhance their learning experience such as digital libraries. More commonly known as an online database, this allows students to quickly and easily access various academic materials for their courses. This can include but is not limited to e-books, scholarly articles, and multimedia content. There are also online platforms created by the training providers such as Learning Management Systems which is designed to be a centralized location for teachers to provide resources, scheduling changes and access to information to the students. Also, Open Educational Resources (OER) which refers to freely available educational materials accessible online. This easily allows trainers to provide students with lesson plans, videos, textbooks online and other resources.
Technology allows students to connect with their fellow students from around the world instantaneously through video platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Both of these platforms have a recording function so students are able to view the material again at their convenience or view a class or lecture at a different time that better suits their schedule. These platforms allow trainers to additionally have collaboration through breakout rooms which allows the students to spend time with each other in smaller groups. Which in turn then allows students to create peer groups to support each other throughout the course from anywhere in the world.
The Fun Factor
Technology can also add a fun factor to learning through providing the students with educational games and quizzes that can be sourced online through resources or websites such as Mentimeter which allows the trainer to create the quiz or questionnaire for the learner. The creation of online polls through websites such as SurveyMonkey can be used for survey projects or can allow a teacher to garner opinions from students and facilitate discussions. There are also online educational games websites such as Kahoots which can foster a sense of fun whilst still enhancing engagement from the student by including them in the learning process rather than simply lecturing to them.
Benefits of technology for all
Technology continues to advance and is a way for teachers to fully prepare their students for the future outside of the classroom. Engagement can increase through digital learning tools including social media along with motivation. A theme teachers are constantly faced with, students not being motivated or losing interest. Introducing different ways to engage depending on the students needs, as no two students learn the same way.
Technology is the Future
Students are already using technology to make their lives easier and training providers are similarly finding ways to increase accessibility to students and ease the way in which learning takes place. Upcoming advancements that are already creating exciting new possibilities for education providers include tools such as ChatGPT and Grammarly to support with an ease of editing assignments. Another resource that is still seen to be emerging in educational institutions is virtual reality. This will mark a way for students to be immersed in a learning environment from the comfort of their own homes. This also means that students will be able to have a consistency in learning across the globe that hasn’t previously been seen as all students can learn their chosen field in the same way.
Education no matter where in the world has always focused on the same outcome, preparing students for their chosen profession. Technology is continually advancing and making delivering education more streamlined and efficient for both the students and the trainers. All the time new things are being tried and tested by training providers that may succeed or may not, but all with the knowledge that every advancement and trial makes accessibility in education for anybody, anywhere. Compared to even a few years ago, the evolution and application of technology in education is creating a whole new world of possibilities.