Technology has grown in both power and use exponentially over the past decade. It has crept into every aspect of our lives without us recognizing it and has slowly changed things either for better or for worse. Education has been one of the many fields that has been greatly affected by technology and has attempted to advance with the growing use of technology in classrooms. The way children have been interpreting information and learning has greatly changed since the days of card catalogues and hours spent combing through libraries. But exactly how has technology changed education?
Through the use of technology, students have become more confident in not only their studies but also their writing abilities and their knowledge. How has technology changed education to help student confidence?
Being able to use the same tools that are used by educated professionals helps to improve student interest in learning about those technologies and what they could be used for (Source 1). This not only helps the student to do more work, but also makes them want to do more work. Students often appear more motivated in order to gain the respect that comes with being able to use these technologies.
“Gamification” is a relatively new term to the use of how technology has changed education. Gamification is the process of turning a relatively mundane task, say math or reading a passage, into a game that gives the user points or achievements when they answer a question right or read to a certain point in a short amount of time (Source 2).
The idea behind this is to engage the students with a more competitive yet fun attitude that helps motivate them into working harder and more frequently, because the work is enjoyable. There are many companies that currently do this now for students including Jumpstart, which has a large array of games that cover all sorts of school subjects.
Practice Makes Perfect
Everyone understands that if you want to be good at something you must practice it over and over again. It’s all about repetition, repetition and more repetition. For most students, the only practice that they have is what their teachers assign them.
How has technology changed education in this way? This is often not enough practice for students to gain the skills that they need to succeed. Technology allows for an almost infinite amount of study guides, practice tests, and games that can help students improve overall. Jumpstart also provides plenty of practice that children enjoy and will want to continue.
Collaboration Makes Everything Better
In the past, once school was over it was hard to work with peers outside the classroom. How has technology changed education in this way? Technology, including computers and cell phones, has made it much easier for students to connect with each other, ask for advice, and work on projects than ever before. This means that students can improve not only themselves but also their peers through peer review, which is often done throughout the scientific world (Source 3).
Teachers used to have to create lesson plans from scratch or with the few other teachers that they had close connections with. This is a wonderful example of how technology has changed education.
Teachers can now collaborate online with others, look up lesson ideas, see if they were effective, and investigate other methodologies. Nowadays teachers can even incorporate online learning tools, like those from Jumpstart. With more resources at their disposal, teachers can find new and better ways to teach children than they were able to before.
Although many have accused technology of being the downfall of education, this could not be further from the truth. Technology is often blamed for the short attention spans of children or their inability to comprehend some schoolwork, even though it has been this way for a very long time. We have always been distracted by the newest invention or popular trend, whether it be newspapers, radio, television, or computers.
Others have said that technology inhibits the ability of students to write or communicate with each other but this is also not entirely true. Technology has improved both the effectiveness and frequency of inter-student interaction by providing multiple pathways from which these communications can occur.
Technology has made education more beneficial for students and made them more involved overall. This is how technology has changed education for the better.
Source 2: Hamari, J., Koivisto,J., and Sarsa, H. (2014). Does Gamification Work? -A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on gamification.
Source 3: https://www2.ed.gov/pub/EdReformStudies/EdTech/csile.html