The pandemic changed the way we live our lives forever in many aspects, including education. Many schools have lower student turnouts and a good number of students could not go to school as complications of the crisis. With the help of education technology, educational institutions may alleviate this problem.
Tech-savvy students and educational technology
The Net Generation views technology as something more than just computers or the internet. These are the people who consistently were exposed to and grew up around computer-based technology.
In research done by the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown scholar Gregory Roberts, students of the Net Generation expect educational technology in a different standard.
“Technology is something that adapts to their needs, not something that requires them to change.” This meant that they view technology as something that can cater to their needs and lifestyle.
In transitioning to the New Normal, the ways and practices of educational institutions need to change. This way, they could quickly adapt to the remote setup for learning in the new school year. It’s important to meet the educational standards and expectations of students, but can educators and administrators justify the cost?
While it may come costly at first glance, including technology in education right now may save cost if implemented correctly.
Integrating educational technology properly can lead to:
- Better student performance
- More well-adjusted students
- Less administrative burdens on teachers
- Better student retention
How does educational technology play a critical role in online learning?
Even though the positive effects of educational technology usage has been proven by various scholars, some teachers and administrators could still be hesitant.
On one hand, teachers may already feel overworked and underpaid. Integrating technology requires additional time and effort for them to learn using them and include them in their lectures. The complications of the pandemic have forced them to adjust their teaching according to the current needs of their students.
On the other, when they have mastered using educational technology materials, features, and tools, they can lessen the hassle of their usual routine in teaching.
For those who are hesitating in using this technology, programs, or devices, here are some ways educational technology can help in online learning. Consider these as some of the reasons why you should invest in this venture.
Wider access to educational resources
Students mainly learn from books, printed worksheets, or their teacher in the usual classroom setup. However, when educational technology is implemented in classes, students can access computerized simulations, video lessons, interactive games and activities and adaptive learning modules.
Classrooms with internet access have limitless access to new information and resources available to assist them in learning. With educational tech in their grasp, they can further explore topics discussed in their lectures.
Increased student engagement
Many students in the 21st century grew up in a technological world. Smartphones, social media, videos, and the internet are deeply rooted in societal cultures, and educational institutions embracing this shift (instead of denying it) may lead to better student participation.
One example is using social media to drive awareness of lectures, or content creation as part of the learning process through graphics and videos. Gamification of classroom activities keeps students interested and motivated towards learning objectives. With the help of augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality, as well as makerspace and virtual simulations, teachers can retain the attention and interest of their students.
More accurate in skill assessments
Usually, teachers spend a huge portion of time to create, conduct, and check paper exams and quizzes that may or may not be reliable in reflecting the performance of students. Grading is also done manually, which also takes time from crafting lesson plans and other engagement activities.
Using technology, teachers can digitize and computerize testing. They can include multimedia resources, include intricate simulation assessments, and offer adaptive testing. Another advantage of using tech is the turn around time in providing feedback on students. Teachers can provide faster feedback in their students’ works online or through the school’s learning management system.
Not all students learn at the same pace. Students have their strengths and differences in learning lessons. Recognizing this, educational tech can help in addressing these challenges and help learners gain knowledge better through self-paced education.
Traditional classroom environments can cater to the average learning pace, styles, and abilities of students in the class. Because of this, some students may be left behind and some students may become stagnant in their learning.
Educational technology also encourages self-paced learning, where students can study at their own pace and abilities. It decreases the pressure of keeping up and lets students enjoy the learning process, instead of constantly being stressed about keeping up with their classmates. More advanced students can move ahead, and those who are struggling may work on their materials at their comfortable pace.
Lessons can also be customized to different learning schedules. For instance, students who aim to complete class in summer school can have a customized schedule that assists them through the course at a faster pace.
Remote learning opportunities
The pandemic drastically changed the way academic institutions operate. It raised the crucial role of remote learning opportunities for students, especially when physical attendance in schools is not feasible.
Students need the flexibility remote learning offers especially when reasons like health, inclement weather, and adaptive learning are concerned.
Technological infrastructure can help in catering to the rising number of students that need access to public education. It can help schools manage their students better. It is also environmentally sustainable when remote learning does not require to build physical spaces and infrastructure to provide quality education.
In online learning, implementing educational tech is necessary. So investing in proper technology can bridge the gap in learning in case of schedule interruptions occur.
Cloud access to resources
With learning resources available online, students can easily access their materials from anywhere. Cloud-based storage keeps information organized and easily available whenever teachers and students need them.
It also helps lower costs for educational systems because multiple academic partners can remotely access, upload, or download their needed resources using a single source. Having cloud-based resources encourages collaboration, and it minimizes storage needs. Plus, it also makes program updates and maintenance simpler for IT teams.
Encourage innovation from students
In a technology-driven world, we embrace innovation and integrate it into our daily lives. As students learn to use technology, it may encourage them to be more creative and motivate them to innovate, too. Instead of solely relying on teachers to answer questions, students may seek information on reliable resources online and become self-sufficient contributing members of society.
Choosing to integrate educational technology as an educational standard prepares academic institutions for the future of learning. Technology may lessen the workload for teachers, improve student performance, and encourage a more flexible and innovative way of learning.
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Tiffany Tolones is a content writer and a social media manager with experience in writing for media companies in the Philippines. She creates content for lifestyle, tech, and Korean-related niches.