3 Ways Technology Will Shape Our Schools
Nearly two decades ago, schools only had bulky desktops where students learned to email and played basic educational games. Now, pretty much everyone has a computer with them, whether in the form of a sleek laptop or a smartphone. But how exactly can technology change the way we learn?
1) Real-Time Comments
Students have always participated in class. They raise their hand or ask to speak up to answer a question — or give one of their own. But what technology can do is to allow everyone to join the conversation without being crowded. How? Through online services and a sizable digital screen.
Teachers first ask their students to download a Padlet or even just Twitter. Once the teacher begins their lesson, students can share their ideas by sending a message online. This then appears on the screen in real-time. This way, kids don’t always have to interrupt the teacher if they want to comment.
Of course, students who didn’t quite get a concept should still speak out in the traditional manner. But any other related thoughts or opinions can be given online. This way, the teacher can just browse the screen and address the comments one by one.
2) Multi-Media Submissions
Usually, assignments just involve book reports and essays. But what if the students better express their idea through visual means? While it’s still okay to have text-only submissions, there should be a choice for some of the assignment.
A reaction or reflection paper can be more than just three paragraphs. It can involve a colorful slideshow presentation or even a short video highlighting the student’s best ideas. What matters is that students are given a bit of freedom to illustrate what they’ve learned.
3) Online Classroom Sessions
The traditional classroom need not be replaced by purely digital means of education. Instead, they should complement each other. Students who cannot go to school due to personal or health reasons can instead participate online through Google Hangouts or even YouTube.
Likewise, every session can be recorded and made available online. This helps students go back to the lesson without having to approach their teacher outside working hours. Students who were also absent can catch up by watching these videos.
Furthermore, teachers can use the internet to hold classroom sessions at home. They just send a reminder that when the rain or snow aren’t cooperating, the students should go online and check if classes will be held through digital means.
This way, teachers won’t have to worry about delayed lessons due to bad weather. Students also benefit from this since they don’t need to attend make-up classes on weekends — or, worse, have their school calendar extended.
But no matter how technology changes the classroom setting, it’s important to protect both the students and the teacher — and this means investing in cybersecurity. While school administrators set up firewalls and digital literacy sessions, students must get a VPN app for school wifi to maintain their online privacy.