The learning environment is more dynamic than ever before. As a result, today’s students learn in ways that are very different from how our educational system was originally designed. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the rise of remote/hybrid learning, the idea of the classroom is being remodeled and redefined in a number of ways to fit the evolving needs of modern digital learners.
Many Higher Education Institutions are substituting traditional resources with educational technologies to keep up with their digital learning population. Below we’ve listed why adopting a learning strategy that embraces technology in the classroom environment can improve engagement and increase student success rates.
1. Access to information and resources
Technology provides students with instant access to a vast amount of information and resources. The internet and digital tools allow students to explore various subjects, conduct research, and access educational materials that may not be available in traditional textbooks. Here are some concrete examples of how students can use technology to enhance their learning:
- Digital Libraries: Digital libraries or online databases allow students to access various academic and research materials, including e-books, scholarly articles, journals, and multimedia content that can support their learning.
- Online Platforms: Educational platforms and learning management systems (LMS) provide a centralized location for teachers to share resources and for students to access information. These platforms can host digital textbooks, multimedia content, interactive modules, and assignments.
- Open Educational Resources (OER): OER refers to freely available educational materials accessed online. Instructors can utilize OER platforms to find textbooks, lesson plans, videos, and other resources that align with the curriculum and provide students with additional information sources.
2. Connects the classroom experience to the real world
A geology professor takes her students on a Grand Canyon National Park virtual tour. A history teacher walks his students through the corridors and history of the White House. Technology allows educators to remove the physical barriers of the classroom, offering students a way to connect the curriculum with the real world and those areas of academic focus that can genuinely enrich the student experience. Technology can also facilitate virtual guest speaker sessions allowing students to connect with experts and professionals from different fields through video conferencing, expanding their access to information and real-world perspectives.
3. Prepares students for the modern workplace
To thrive in the 21st-century workplace, students need more than a working knowledge of current technological tools. They must gain exposure to the tools and skills they will likely encounter in the modern workplace. By integrating these technologies into the regular curriculum and ongoing activities, institutions ensure that their students are workforce ready in more ways than one.
- Digital Literacy: Digital literacy skills is in high demand in the workplace. By integrating technology in the classroom, students learn to navigate digital platforms, use productivity tools, collaborate online, and effectively communicate using digital mediums.
- Information Management: Technology enables students to access, organize, and analyze large amounts of data. Employees often need to gather data and conduct research to make informed decisions. Classroom technology familiarizes students with information management tools and techniques, preparing them for these tasks.
- Adaptability and Flexibility: Technology integration exposes students to various digital tools and platforms. This experience helps students become adaptable and flexible in using different technologies, as workplaces often require employees to learn and adapt to new technologies and software.
- Creativity and Innovation: Students can use technology to create multimedia presentations, design projects, develop prototypes, and express their ideas innovatively. These skills are highly valued in many industries where creative problem-solving and innovative thinking are essential.
- Encourages collaboration and communication: Many educational tools offer a variety of functionalities that promote collaboration. For example, video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Skype allow students to hold virtual meetings with classmates from anywhere in the world. With free online storage solutions like Google Drive, students can easily share and edit projects with each other, helping to foster better overall collaboration in both the academic sphere and the world of work. This mirrors the teamwork and communication skills required in any workplace.
4. Global awareness and cultural exchange
Technology allows students to connect with peers and experts from around the world. Through video conferencing, online collaborations, and virtual exchange programs, students can gain global awareness, learn about different cultures, and develop a broader perspective on various issues.
5. Supports different types of learning styles
No two students learn the same way, but educators can address diversity in learning styles and experiences with the right tools. A Student Insight Solution platform like Explorance Blue can help identify student needs based on real-time feedback. Explorance Blue supports student learning by allowing instructors to connect and engage with every student, no matter where they are or their challenges.
6. Teaches students how to be responsible online
With social media sites galore, most students are already digital citizens. However, by incorporating technology into the classroom, students can learn how to be responsible in the digital world and with their digital actions. The class becomes a microcosm of the broader digital landscape where students can practice communicating, searching, and engaging with other digital citizens.
7. Adds a fun factor to learning
Outside the classroom, students use technology in all aspects of their lives. Within the classroom, technology can make learning more fun and exciting. Here are some fun ways to incorporate technology into classroom activities:
- Educational Games and Quizzes: Utilize educational game websites or apps that offer interactive quizzes, puzzles, and challenges related to the subject matter. This engages students in a fun and competitive environment while reinforcing their learning.
- Online Polls and Surveys: Use online polling tools or survey platforms to gather student feedback, conduct class surveys, or facilitate class discussions. This encourages active participation and allows students to express their thoughts.
- Coding and Programming: Introduce coding and programming activities using educational coding platforms or apps. Students can learn the basics of coding through game-based tutorials and then apply their skills to create simple programs or animations.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Explore AR and VR technologies to create immersive and interactive learning experiences. Students can use AR/VR tools to explore historical sites, dissect virtual organisms, or visualize complex concepts in a three-dimensional space.
Effective instructors leverage technology to enhance their instruction and engage students. However, it’s essential to ensure that students are guided on effectively searching for information, critically evaluating sources, and using technology responsibly. Instructors are crucial in helping students navigate the digital landscape and develop information literacy skills.
Bluepulse•Educational technology•Social feedback•Student insight solutions•