Teachers and school districts have historically been resistant to change even when new technologies offer generous advantages over the antiquated methods present in too many classrooms. The resistance to change is, in part, the fault of the high stakes that come with education. It's hard to rationalize a diversion from methods with proven results to experiment with a new technology that seems novel but might miss the mark. For that reason, technology in the classroom was really just used for basic research, word processing, and communication.
Thankfully, tech companies are working in collaboration with teachers to develop apps and tools that are useful and improve the education children receive. Allowing technology to serve a more central role in the classroom helps students learn better, speed up processes, and increase the impact of good teachers.
Research Is Easier and Better With Technology
The Internet is putting a world's worth of knowledge in students' hands and giving them the most updated information. Independent research is one of the most coveted and essential skills for young learners to master to find success in their educational careers. Since finding information on the Internet is easier, there are fewer excuses about "not knowing where to look".
Even tools like Wikipedia, which could contain inaccuracies, contain more knowledge than the paper-bound encyclopedias that used to line shelves in libraries. Since nearly all publications are available online, students can find local and niche issues to learn about rather than generic articles. This not only increases student interest in diverse sets of issues but saves teachers from hearing multiple reports on the same historical figures.
Technology Gives More Resources to Students With Disabilities
Not all students are the same, which results in the need for diversified teaching methods. One of the advantages of the Internet is that it can help students with learning disabilities learn in the methods that are most conducive to their needs. Students who struggle to read advanced texts can learn the same information through Youtube videos or other educational content sources.
Programs are using machine learning algorithms to give students the most relevant problems to solve based on their previous answers. Students who struggle with concepts aren't always apt to ask for help. This lack of engagement only further limits the student's understanding. This means they won't build the skills needed to work on concepts that build upon the fundamentals. The algorithm gives students problems that are within their current capabilities and slowly introduce harder problems (with lessons) to help students build their knowledge.
These same algorithms are helping students at the top of their class move on to more challenging topics. Students who naturally grasp certain math problems or reading passages are moved along to topics that will challenge them, thus keeping them engaged.
Memories of being in school aren't always the ones people want to remember as they get into adulthood. Bullies, cafeteria food, and fear of public speaking often keep students home from school, and in the worst cases, haunt students for decades. Remote schooling is gaining popularity at different ages for students who perform well in less structured environments without an adult to redirect them constantly.
Online learning is getting better as more people become accustomed to the new format. Since the Covid pandemic forced learning online, teachers and students spent months ironing out the wrinkles to make the best of the situation that was supposed to be temporary. Those who like online learning are apt to stay at home and learn instead of returning to the classroom.
Of course, remote learning isn't for every student. There are many benefits to learning alongside peers and with teachers who can have an immediate impact with a physical presence rather than a virtual one.
Technology Makes Learning About Computer Systems Easier (and Cheaper)
It may seem obvious, but learning computer science is easier through technology. People don't need fancy computers or expensive courses to learn even the most complicated computer science skills. Free resources, even from Ivy League schools, are widely available for anyone with the desire to learn computer science.
One thing lacking in the current educational landscape is the lack of required computer science courses to graduate with a high school degree. At best, programming is an elective for high school students or something they pursue through clubs or camps. As tech prevails in our society, the education industry will have to pay its dues to the technology that improves learning by teaching more people how to code.
The Article is written by Artur Meyster