It’s virtually impossible to name an industry that hasn’t been transformed by technology. Education is no exception. From Apple computers to smartphones, iPads, and virtual reality, students and teachers are embracing the exciting educational opportunities offered by technology.
To learn more, check out the infographic below created by American University’s School of Education program.
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When Technology Meets Education
50.7 million students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in Fall 2017. 35.6 million of those enrolled in pre-K through 8th grade, and 15.1 million of those enrolled in 9th through 12th grade. Of those, more than 30 million primary and secondary school students use Google education apps like Gmail and Google Docs. This data leaves little doubt as to why global ed-tech is projected to grow to a $93.76 billion industry by 2020
58% of the devices used by American K – 12 schools are Google products. 22% of the devices used come from Microsoft Windows, and 19% of the devices used are MacOS and IOS tools. This device use has lead to fundamental projected shifts in content delivery. 75% of teachers believe digital learning content will complete phase out printed textbooks by 2026.
Opening Doors with Technology
Today, five tech trends are credited with creating and improving education.
The first tech trend is known as LMS, short for Learning Management System. LMS is a platform designed to create and track various online training initiatives. Teachers use the system by uploading material that can then be accessed by students remotely.
Another key tech trend is a process known as gamification. This trend deploys algorithms to build educational games. This results in the creation of personalized, engaging learning experience for the end user.
A third trend is an environmental-based tech concept that’s split into two parts: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In AR, tech-driven information is overlaid onto an existing environment. In VR, an entirely new environment is simulated.
Coding and robotics drive another important tech trend. School media centers are introducing various robotics programs and coding initiatives into their repertoire. They’re also providing aid to teachers in adapting curriculum to teach students about these tech skills.
Finally, the development of the smart classroom is a tech trend poised to create and improve educational experiences. From smart tables and voice recognition technology to biometric devices and sensor- and artificial intelligence (AI)- driven natural language processing, these classrooms will create personalized and individualized learning experiences for students.
Embracing Technology in the Classroom
Many schools and districts across the country have seen positive results from embracing technology in the classroom. Mooresville Graded School District is just one example of this.
A Pioneer to Admire
At Mooresville Graded School District, students in 3rd through 12th grade were issued a laptop. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report, teachers were able to “tailor instruction to specific groups of students, providing more challenging problem sets to accelerated learners, while simultaneously reviewing concepts with those who require reinforcement.” Three years after the project’s initiation, the district’s graduation increased from 80% to 91%. Furthermore, 88% of students across grades and subjects met proficiency standards, which was an increase from 73%.
How to Adapt and Lead with Technology
It’s important to recognize a hesitation to change as technology begins to penetrate education. Naturally, technology disrupts because it requires changing habits and routines. Teachers and school administrators need to identify the causes of hesitation and understand the potential benefits of using tech to teach.
It’s also vital to pinpoint opportunities where tech can be useful. It’s important to understand where and how the changes will be made. Because of this, it’s important that teachers and school administrators set goals and expectations for how tech will help the ways curriculum is taught across every subject area. They must also set goals and expectations on how tech can assist struggling students.
Schools must also strive to secure funding and support to bring tech to the classroom. Purchasing tech devices and software will require a financial commitment. To meet this, schools may need to cut funding in specific areas, hold fundraisers, or ask parents to pay a fixed annual fee for their students’ access to technology.
Finally, once the tools of tech are in place and teachers are on board, it’s time to put the theory into action. Teachers will need a strong support system as they begin to adapt, make curriculum changes, and overcome obstacles.
Naturally, change is faced with hesitation, uncertainty, and doubt. When it comes to children’s education, it’s understandable that school administrators, teachers, and parents would prefer to stick with what’s worked in the past, such as the traditional classroom. However, the past has been transformed into our present, tech-driven world. The future is teaching with technology.