It’s easy to be swayed into thinking technology is about gadgets that are more flash than substance. But the reality is that tech has improved the area of education in a number of game-changing perspectives. We’ll look at 5 of the top ways that tech could be useful to you and/or your family members.
- Open Education – In our technologically-enabled world, there are numerous free options for university-level courses available even from very prestigious universities. So you are no longer restricted by your geography. Simply access the internet through your laptop or smartphone and choose the best option for you. Coursera and Udemy are examples of course aggregators that offer a wide selection from one place.
- Learning at your own Pace – Just as many online courses can be done remotely, they can also be completed asynchronistically… meaning you can devote as much or little time each week as you prefer and fit learning into your own schedule. Note some online courses have a total time limit to complete, but these are usually very generous like 6 months to complete a 16-hour course. And unlike structured classes, the new content is available 24/7.
- Improved Communication – Students often form chat groups using platforms like Whatsapp, where they can find almost immediate answers to their questions. This helps form a community as well vs the old style of one-way communication from teacher to students. At the same time tech has made it easier to get real-time input from the professor or teaching assistant, avoiding the risk of going off in the wrong direction.
- Time Saved in Advanced Research – Decades ago, the quality of information you’d find on a specialized subject would largely depend on the quality and size of institution (library, university) where you were searching. You’d often have to hunt down materials that would need to be borrowed from other libraries, all requiring the intervention of a professional librarian. Today, thanks to search engines, like Google, students can find a wealth of information on their desired subject matter from diverse sources regardless of where they are studying.
- Real-time Assessment – thanks to advanced computing power, students no longer need to wait for the end of mid-terms or the entire semester to know how they’re doing compared to expectations. Students and their teachers can track individual and cumulative performance in real time, allowing them to adapt accordingly eg if a particular subject topic needs more focus.
And bonus content… perhaps the most important benefit of technology in advancing education has been to make it more engaging and fun! Rather than reading hundreds of pages of dry text or listening to a professor drone on without interaction for the entire class period, technology has made it easy to incorporate 3-D models to enhance understanding of difficult concepts or insert videos and other images to add context to human studies, making them more memorable.
Drop us a comment to share your favorite enhancement to education that’s been made possible by new technology.
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