The educational world does not stand still and undergoes constant changes. In the informatization era, young people can use digital tools, bringing the learning experience to a new qualitative level. At the same time, not all schools and universities are equipped well enough to teach students in a progressive way. Some of them experience financial problems, shortage of tech-savvy professors, and continue using obsolete approaches.
Importance of introducing technology in a class provokes burning debates and attracts academic community’s lively attention. This article prepared by Pro-Papers experts shows how innovations can benefit the educational process.
With the Internet and computers, everyone receives the opportunity to study at one’s own pace and choose the most suitable information channels. There are countless scientific websites with useful articles which may complement course materials from textbooks and concepts considered in lecture halls. If a person does not like to read, one may listen to audio-books or watch educational videos. There are many time management and learning apps helping students to schedule their actions, memorize important rules and facts through playing exciting games.
Remote education gains popularity. Learners may study wherever and whenever they want, which is beneficial for working people and those who do not want education to hinder family affairs. Innovations make it possible for everyone to satisfy one’s academic needs without sacrificing other life areas.
Instant access to information
You know how it happened before. A person had to buy books, visit a library or consult an expert to conduct research or find an answer to a certain question. Today, all necessary data is on students’ fingertips. Several mouse clicks are enough to find studies of the most prominent world scientists. Just say “Okay, Google”, and boundless universe of knowledge will open in front of you.
Using the Internet in class allows professors to teach students searching and sorting information, analyzing different facts and events comprehensively, distinguishing between credible and unreliable sources, skipping useless details and focusing on the most important ones.
Comfortable learning environment
Polls show that students like the idea of having more technology in a class. Gadgets have become an indispensable part of their lives. Young people walk, play, sleep with them. Everyone has a personal computer at home. It is quite reasonable to use innovations for educational purposes.
Textbooks and chalk blackboards are usually associated with boredom, the heavy burden of academic responsibilities, unpleasant work that should be done to avoid punishment. At the same time, gadgets are perceived as students’ friends, tools for entertainment, and communication. Professors may take advantage of this positive image and make learning comfortable for young people.
People supporting on-campus and online education argue which format is better. But is it worth dwelling on only one of these options if they may be combined? For example, practical lessons may be held in a class, while theoretical lectures – remotely. It is clear that students should receive hands-on experience conducting experiments in labs. But it does not make sense to travel to the other end of a city to listen to professors’ explanations and take notes. This well may be done via Skype.
Blended learning will help educational institutions save money, which is naturally spent on maintaining lecture halls and libraries in a good state, issuing paper textbooks. Learners will be able to stay at home, download all course materials in an electronic format and submit ready assignments via e-mail, which will cut paper costs.
Taking into account on-campus practical classes, young people will not be deprived of live communication, the opportunity to share their emotions and hang out with classmates.
Preparing for adult life
As technology development is not going to stop, learners are sure to use digital resources at the workplace after graduation. All employers require applicants for vacancies to have experience in using office programs, searching for information via browsers, sending emails. Also, companies have internal electronic tools (specialized programs, accounting systems, databases) which young people should master quickly.
It is professors’ responsibility to prepare students for living in a modern world full of different textual, audio and video content. Tech-savvy students can count on good job offers and rapid career growth. Using computers and gadgets in a class, they may prepare for competition on the labor market, increase not only digital literacy level but also develop soft skills, learn to approach information critically and find necessary data independently.
In the past, it was impossible to ask for help after a bell rang and a lecturer left a classroom. A student had to wait for the next lesson to clarify all questions which emerged while doing homework. This stretched educational process in time and made it less effective.
Modern teachers are active users of social networks and instant messengers. Even old-school professors have emails, can communicate with learners and give recommendations online. Some educators prepare video lectures, upload additional learning materials to university databases, publish electronic curricula.
Smart-boards and desks help to ensure collaborative work of the whole class, track each learner’s activity, notice and correct mistakes right away and not after young people submit their control paper.
More freedom for creativity
Teachers spend much energy on checking students’ homework and control papers. If a test was passed by one class, a teacher has to read 20-30 papers. If there are several classes, such work becomes very exhaustive. Without routine and monotonous operations, educators will have more time to study educational trends, develop individualized curricula, invent creative teaching approaches.
That is why many exams are taken on computers today. Also, there is an essay checking software. Of course, the electronic program cannot assess the beauty of narration or relevance of ideas described in a text, but it can find grammar and punctuation mistakes, determine whether formatting rules were met.
Experts claim that virtual reality headsets will be used in all educational institutions soon. These devices provide hands-on experience without risks, spending money on purchasing lab equipment and traveling to distant places.