It is impossible to imagine our life without technology as it is used in all life areas, in particular education. Innovations change the way people teach and learn, helps students achieve better academic results. In contrast to predecessors, modern learners do not need to spend long hours in a library and search necessary data in textbooks, fight the desire to sleep at boring lectures, bring heavy backpacks to a university, face many other inconveniences. All valuable information is on students’ fingertips, so there are much more opportunities today to study with joy and ease.
Of course, there are some adverse effects of technology, for example, the distraction caused by video games and social networks, lack of live communication and laziness due to the fact that each task may be performed without efforts. But, nevertheless, innovations bring much more benefits than harm, make learners smart and successful. That is why all progressive countries pay increased attention to modernizing the educational system. Let’s consider the most remarkable trends in this area.
24/7 access to knowledge
Advanced schools and universities increase their students’ performance by using learning management systems (LMS). Young people can receive support on such platforms, even if their mentor is not physically accessible at the moment. Studying goes beyond campus and school day limits. All course materials, web resources, assignments may be reached whenever a person wants, at any place with an internet connection.
LMS is a godsend for people who need more time to comprehend some concepts and find it difficult to keep up with peers in a class. Learners can move through a curriculum at a comfortable pace and take additional exercises to hone their skills.
Thanks to a large number of teaching approaches, everyone can choose a suitable perception channel (vision, hearing) and appropriate course materials (literature, video and audio lectures, educational films, multimedia presentations, etc.)
It became much easier to conduct research as works of the most prominent scientists are published on the Internet. A student can quickly compare them and sort out the necessary information. Compact tablets and smartphones are used for educational purposes. These devices may be carried to a park, a country house or a cafe. Constantly changing study space, young people feel freedom, make learning interesting and comfortable.
Thanks to technology, parents can influence students’ performance more efficiently. Most moms and dads are very busy today, have no time to meet with professors in person and help their children cope with challenging educational tasks.
It is very convenient to use web conferencing, receive reports on assignments performed, marks, attendance and behavior in a class via instant messengers, e-mail and Skype video calls. If a student faces tricky homework and cannot do it on their own, adults can find the best cheap essay writing service and receive professional academic support.
Many student projects are developed on the web today. Young people can share course materials, distribute responsibilities, show results of their work, learn from experts who are not physically present. Also, smart classrooms with multimedia whiteboards and sensor desks provide more opportunities for creativity and collaboration.
Conducting experiments in groups impose a much better effect than reading textbooks in silence or taking notes while listening to a lecturer. Learners can express their emotions and receive feedback from peers, acquire valuable practical skills which will be of great use when looking for a decent workplace.
At first glance, technology may seem to be rather expensive. But it also helps students to save money. They may download as many electronic textbooks as necessary without any costs. It is enough to enter keywords to a search box to receive an answer to any question, so there is no need to buy encyclopedias and dictionaries.
People who always dreamed to study abroad do not need to pay for a trip to a foreign country and rent an apartment because there are countless online courses on the web. This learning format is also great for persons who cannot juggle on-campus lectures and a full-time job, need an option with a flexible schedule.
One of the most promising modern trends is virtual reality allowing to conduct rather expensive or even impossible experiments in the digital space. Architects may learn to construct buildings without using building materials. Pilots can learn to operate a jet without a jet itself. A VR headset is much cheaper than a professional chemistry lab. Students can receive unforgettable impressions and study a chosen major profoundly.
Learning by doing
Theory is important. But all employers ask novice specialists to perform certain tasks instead of reasoning about these tasks. Knowledge is not enough to become an expert. It is also necessary to gain experience. Technology creates interactive environments and real cases for testing information conveyed by professors. With such an approach, learners understand and memorize challenging concepts much better.
It is much easier to reach academic heights if an experienced mentor points the right way. Poor assessment and unjustified criticism may confuse students as it is not clear what their actions are wrong or correct, how mistakes can be avoided. Technology allows professors to analyze learners’ advancement effectively and give useful recommendations to lead young people to a new level.
There are special programs for checking academic assignments and control papers. As educators do not need to track mechanical indicators (grammar, punctuation, right answers to questions), they may pay more attention to students’ creative abilities and original ideas, find ways to improve and develop them.
Knowledge assessing software can compile reports on how much time was spent on different tasks and where most of the mistakes were made. It is a powerful tool for revealing some trends in a class, comparing different students, classes, and schools, changing curriculum in accordance with students’ needs and abilities, providing timely support if young people need mentor’s advice.
Study as a game
There are many ways in the modern world to make study engaging, bright and fun. It becomes increasingly popular to use educational games. Concepts presented in an attractive and playful form are absorbed and memorized much better, which is especially important for primary school students who have weak logical thinking compared with teenagers.
Expert researches have shown that video games can improve memory and teach young people to be persistent when solving challenging, unusual tasks. Therefore, old school professors’ bias against gamification is nothing more than a stereotype. There is a great number of mobile apps that help to acquire knowledge and form professional skills without boredom and pressure which are characteristic for a traditional education.