The adoption of technology has enabled schools to teach more effectively. Information flow and retrieval are key elements of any education system. Emerging and existing technologies streamline these processes and allow for a more productive use of time and resources. Here are some ways technology is improving the classroom experience.
Polishing Up Presentations
Inevitably, at some point, students will be tasked with creating a presentation. Instructors favor these projects because they provide the student with an opportunity to synthesize and to present information in a way that shows their grasp of the given subject. While PowerPoint slides were once the dominant medium, they have been joined by alternative programs, such as Prezi, which run leaner. Some enable the student to get their presentation up and running in minutes. Some programs are even free of cost. Many such programs operate in the cloud and can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.
Technology has created new ways for students to collaborate online. The cloud has facilitated communication on group documents, for example, across sometimes-vast physical distances. This is especially helpful for working on group presentations when students can’t get their schedules to match up. Online platforms also allow for students to compare and share notes in real-time. Such collaborations have been proven to be as effective as collaboration in physical space. Video conferencing likewise replicates much of the so-called advantages of the brick-and-mortar classroom, while offering greater flexibility.
Easily Grade and Track Assignments
The ability to quickly grade and track assignments saves time for educators. Gone are the days of thick paper notebooks with lined columns. Nowadays, many schools and universities require instructors to record student scores digitally, often using a Learning Management System (LMS) accessible to both teacher and student. One obvious advantage to this is that students can track their course progress in real-time. Conversely, instructors can enter scores as work is submitted and then move on to other tasks.
Students Know Tech
Millennials and their younger siblings literally cannot remember a time before the smartphone–let alone the internet. These generations are fully wired, completely at ease with technology of all kinds. They are as comfortable writing a term paper on their phone as they are binge-watching TED Talks. Technology is a natural–and fundamental–part of their daily lives. It makes sense to meet students where they are most comfortable when asking them to find and process new information. If nothing else, employers are increasingly expecting workers to be digitally literate.
Whatever side of the podium one resides, technology today enables greater flows of information. Technology–when judiciously used–streamlines education processes. This way, students will be getting the most out of their education.
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