Technology is advancing rapidly, and things we never imagined were possible are becoming an essential part of our lives. Problem is, we often take them as a new normal and don’t give them much thought. It is only when we make a direct comparison to the tools and techniques used in schooling in the past that the growth is glaringly apparent. Modern technology has forever changed classrooms in many ways, one of which is that classrooms are becoming less and less needed. With that said, let’s see how modern technology helps education.
Online schools and degrees
The first point becomes obvious with the spread of coronavirus in 2020. It forced schools to first reluctantly reduce the number of classes attended physically, then cut them altogether. And, after the initial adjustment, it proved that classes can be held via the live-stream. That way, each student could sit comfortably in their own home. They only need a microphone and a web camera, and those can be purchased cheaply. This is not a revelation, as the idea has been around for years, but it spread far and wide, reaching parents who were suspicious of its success.
Many students reported feeling joyous for not having to waste time and money traveling to a brick and mortar school when asked. Many were able to complete their entire degree through online schooling. Some of those never stepped foot into the city or state the school is in! And, they either had their diploma mailed to their home address went to a physical location for the first time since they enrolled.
Learning at your own pace and versatility
For those looking to get an additional major or minor, attend bonus courses, earn extra credits, have to juggle part-time or full-time work, raise a family, or take care of their loved ones, modern technology is salvation. Going to school was an obligation that limited time greatly. Either you were able to attend a scheduled class or you were marked as absent, and it hurt your attendance and your grade. With online classes using modern technology, you can read and study whenever or wherever you are. The concept of certain pupils lagging behind their classmates is becoming less prominent as well. The students can create their schedule and have all the time they need to complete courses.
Freedom of information and resources
The model of homeschooling and online schooling is becoming available everywhere, primarily due to the freedom of resources. Just like with regular school, those resources used to be stacks and stacks of books. And, both students and teachers were often forced to purchase the newest releases to stay up-to-date in their knowledge. Online schooling removed those constraints. Professors can simply purchase and download the latest book publications to their computers.
Then, at their convenience, they will share chapters for their students. Students, on the other hand, can download chapters or entire books at home. This eliminates the need to take notes and missing a part of the lecture because of an illness. They can also study on their computers, smart devices, or even print them and study the old-fashioned way. Also, they no longer need to buy and carry books or notebooks to school. Their backs are thankful, that’s for sure. Some students carry their laptops or smart devices and take notes typing on the keyboard or using a Stylus Pen for a touch screen.
We mentioned the trouble of a student being less advanced than their classmates as far as learning. The opposite could be true – someone is far more advanced than their peers and was held back by the old educational system. Well, with modern technology, both types of this all the freedom he or she needs. Professors are just an e-mail, call, or video call away (at reasonable hours, of course). They are ready to provide all of the extra tools, resources, utilities, and answers to questions the students need. This creates a bond between the two groups, and makes learning more fun, interactive, less reluctant to feel “stupid” when they ask a question, and ultimately, better-educated students.
Better grading system
Remember your professors printing out sheets and sheets of test papers, then handing them out to each student? After the testing is complete, they pick them up and grade them using pens. Also, the grades were kept in physical books, which only created bulk and waste the world’s trees as sources of paper. Well, the technology in the modern world is slowly changing that. IT professionals also develop each test in the form of computer software nowadays. This prevents students from cheating, and teachers from showing bias and giving better grades to their favorite students.
This also eliminates “private consultations” no one can prove. Those happened from time to time, and students mysteriously improved their grade just before the year is over. Also, the grades are sorted into subject lists, showing all of the grades the student earned. Then, those grades are averaged, and all of the students are filed and sorted by school years for easy access. Better yet, those lists don’t waste paper, and only take a small fraction of the hard drives’ capacity. With regular backups, those can be accessed decades in the future without issues.
Remember the days you students were forced to travel to their schoolmate’s home to work on a group project? Those days are slowly becoming non-existent since they have the option to hop on a video call, sharing audio, video, and sharing the screen in real-time. Furthermore, they can use resources such as Google Docs to edit the same document, thus working simultaneously from their rooms, no matter the distance between them. Students can also share notes, book chapters, or even entire books with a few clicks of a computer mouse, which was unheard of in the past.
An invaluable effect of modern technology on the schooling system is the visuals. Documents, if formatted correctly, are legible and interesting instead of big, boring blocks of text. Presentations are now colorful, immersive, and are aided by video, audio, or images to illustrate the lecture. Also, today’s laptops can edit and render 3D files. Students no longer need to imagine how things look – they can interact with them on the screen.
Schools and universities “waste” a lot of money on tables, chairs, cafeteria, library, maintaining the entire property, and security. Don’t forget about updating the school’s computer to newer models, and traveling expenses for teachers. Today, schools can provide smart devices or laptops to their students and teachers to take home. That way, they can join online classes effortlessly and either talk or listen. The students no longer need to purchase expensive physical books or pay to sit in a library. That way, they can use the money toward paying off their student debt. It’s a win-win situation all around!