Technology in education assists in building better critical thinking skills, offers dynamic and data-driven learning, nourishes flexibility and creativity in children to prepare them for the challenges of the modern world. These are 8 reasons that testify to how important is technology for education.
Technology revolutionizes education and opens new horizons
85% of the 21st-century generation said they watched an online video to learn a new skill. The way Google took over the classroom and provided modern pupils with personal Google accounts and Chromebooks is amazing. The variety of digital tools that schools and universities use during the COVID-19 quarantine prove the technology in education is a safeguard for educators in an emergency.
The first decade of the 21st century meant that the traditional teaching system has been outliving its reputation as a comprehensive and effective way to learn things. Society now needs personalization, students long for freedom in choosing subjects, universities shift to use of technologies for sharing knowledge and simplifying the lives of professors and students.
It gave birth to active arousal of online courses
Anticipating the start of online education, universities accumulated their resources, united professors and software development companies into one community that nowadays upholds the great part of Education and declares the future of digital learning. The year 2012 marked huge progress in Edtech and was announced the year of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). News and social media posts abound with online courses, launched by the world-famous universities, on Coursera, edX or Udemy. Million people trust them and enroll online, earning certificates and even Master’s Degrees, learning one more language, or coming up with new coding skills. Let’s have a look when and which web solutions for education were launched that nowadays constitute the list of the most well-known ones across continents.
The motherland of these and other world-known web sites is the US, namely cities of San-Francisco, New York, Massachusetts, and the United Kingdom. Special merit should be paid to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Berkeley, Michigan, Oxford Universities, the Open University and more. As soon as e-learning has earned considerable significance, the edtech projects have received more and more attention from developers and educators. The movement to develop and invest in education was seen as an investment in the future. Since that time the world’s attempts to modernize studies have led to the discovery of holographic lectures, application of AR and VR and strengthening of the role of Big Data in education.
It means easier access to learning possibilities for everyone
We fully embrace digitalization as a powerful tool for collaboration, organizing, managing schools and conducting classes. Top 6 Digital Transformation Trends in Education by Forbes names Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Artificial Intelligence, AR, VR together with gamification, personalized and blended learning. The education systems across the globe should soon go along with these innovations. Being future-ready in education is rather a must today, especially in conditions of mandatory quarantine. Schools and universities should keep up the pace with online teaching to meet challenges the whole world faces now. As an example, Ukraine has launched the National Online School Project where channels are transmitting lessons and children have the opportunity to study at home.
Talking about modernization challenges, it is the technology that we always turn to find advanced solutions. How could we simplify the life of students, professors with copying books and preserve the rare copies forever? Humanity invented electronic books and scanning tools, but Image Access in the US goes far ahead. This market-leading company delivers innovative scanners for different formats and serves public libraries across America. The company’s scanning devices allow copying books in a contact-free way. There are art scanners to take a copy of works of art like acryl, oil or watercolour paintings, while flatbed scanners allow putting the book on the glass, not pressing the pages or damaging the cover, and receive copies of different formats in the highest quality.
More than that, designed scanning devices are also used to access books virtually. There is an image processing solution for virtual library giving an opportunity to remotely order the scanner, search a book in a virtual space where you can go through aisles, look at the shelves, click on the book you need and send out for the device that will print it for you at a scheduled time. Amazing it is how thousands of students can study from one rare book that is preserved at the library, just taking electronic copies of it in the PDF format when they wish.
Education quality is largely improved with neurotechnologies
Teachers’ feedback for online learning solutions is quite satisfying and mark the learning process with more space for flexibility. However, the greatest concern is the lack of live interaction, communication and direct observation of students’ progress that puts barriers for teachers. Responding to such a challenge, the Ukrainian company has created an application that monitors the effectiveness of online education. Beehiveor, which deals with neuroscience and education products, has developed an application with EyePass technology that controls eyesight and movement. The algorithm defines whether learners attentively examine materials or just look through. The system also recommends what piece of material a pupil has to return to and revise attentively.
Artificial Intelligence develops education to unimaginable extents
Generation Z, born in the mid 90’s – early 2000’s, put high expectations for a personalized learning process and AI is the best tool to meet this demand. Artificial intelligence helps to automate studies, reduce in-class time and accelerate skills acquisition. Big Data in education, application of AI and NLP make learning seamless and data-driven. AI helps to analyze behaviour during classes and detect gaps in learning. Educational technologies built with the help of AI algorithms promote diversity and transform passive learning into activities, social communication and fun. Nowadays when meta-cognitive load is strengthened, great results can be achieved with video watching, case studies or brainstorming sessions. Modern studying is all about learning from example, which is possible with simulation software, intelligent e-learning AI-integrated apps that encourage critical thinking and tackling challenges faster in a more creative way.
Facial recognition can provide useful insights for schools
Facial recognition devices in Chinese schools are becoming a more widespread tool for gathering useful insights and combating security threats. China applies technology not only at schools, but dormitories to register attention and attendance. The next application of AI here is to monitor the teaching process and analyze the performance of students. As a result, there could be a better view on how to improve teaching and maximize the effectiveness of the learning process. The technology can understand and differentiate 6 basic emotions — surprised, scared, angry, happy, sad and disappointed. It is targeted to predict aggression and violence as well. However, many European countries stick to “against facial recognition” campaigns at schools. The reasons to block surveillance is explained by inaccuracy of devices, unregulated usage and intrusion into privacy of children and creating tension for each pupil, knowing he or she is being watched.
Artificial intelligence and facial recognition still have a room for improvements — it can not see faces of pupils wearing different glasses and there are long queues to go through scanning devices after classes. To approve facial recognition is 100% beneficial takes time and better investigation how it influences students’ themselves, their behaviour and learning habits.
Technology in education enables flexibility and creativity
The relationship between technology in the classroom and creativity expands our consciousness. At the Center of the educational system is STEM, a concept embracing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. While people think of creativity to be all about the Arts, it’s a mistake we are used to repeating. Creativity is in the heart of science and technology. When we start applying technology as a means of communicating ideas and teaching creative thinking, we will help children reflect and use in real life their imaginative vision on simple things, which adults, unfortunately, lose as they grow up. Maybe one of that future child, allowed to take his or her dreams and realize childish ideas seriously with the help of software, will eventually manage to invent something we’ve never seen before and will become a genius.
Generation Z has to be educated with technology at hand. It’s natural for them to adjust to Macbooks rather than time-consuming paper writing. They are taught to find quick solutions, but act reasonably and respect the opinion of their opponent. There is plenty of award-winning software applications on online resources for students, tools for teachers and individual learners:
- Classroom messaging software: Remind, Brightwheel, Bloomz
- Curriculum management apps: Kiddom, PlanbookEdu
- Assessment software: Canvas, Nearpod, Alta
- Technical skills development apps: Udemy, Udacity, LinkedIn Learning
- Virtual classroom software: Adobe Connect, Zoom , Blackboard
When the majority of teachers are longing to return to normal school classes after the pandemic lockdown, technology in the classroom and e-learning tools help school. Children and students stand on their own and keep pace with the curriculum. Although for elementary learners and kids it causes difficulties to grasp new methods without teacher explanation in-class, we do not have a right to risk future ignoring or postponing innovations at schools and universities.
All in all, educational tools can help find the right approach to building stronger minds, more expansive neural pathways, and individuals with a love for learning and inventing.