Tech Talk: Technology in the Classroom

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I am living in a world where technology is evolving rapidly, and it is touching every part of my life. In the classroom setting, I have seen the most change. I vividly remember in first grade writing on chalk boards and taking only paper exams throughout all of my elementary school years. I started realizing a change when I was in high school, and now it is even more apparent being in college. I have taken exams on computers, used Google documents to get reports done in a group setting, and taken online classes. These are just a few things that I have personally experienced, however; the list goes on. Also, MIS304’s “flipped classroom” dynamic was another reason I chose this topic. The flipped classroom allows students to listen to online lectures, so we can do hands-on activities in class, like working with Excel.

This topic is important on a larger scale because technology will continue to impact the classroom. Technology in the classroom has a long way to go; it will be interesting to see what the next generation’s classrooms will look like and the capabilities they will house. Furthermore, from Kindergarten to higher level education, technology is changing classrooms; it is not just one group of students being impacted. Some important points revolving around technology and the education world are:

• Personalized Learning
• Collaborative Learning
• Artificial Intelligence
• Virtual Education
• Tech Infrastructure

Personalized Learning
New software and devices are being incorporated into the classroom, giving the students the opportunity to be less dependent on teachers. The teacher is becoming more of a guide, than the main source of information (Lynch, 2017). Teachers are there to give students feedback and help when needed.

Not all students are the same; something that works for one may not work for another. Technology is opening the door to many learning paths. This means that students have options to how they want to learn; they can do what works for them. For example, students may bring their own device, or may be given a device at school, to utilize education software and application services (Herold, 2016). These services are designed to track student’s learning and the processes they often use while on the devices. The applications are able track a student’s processes with the technology and algorithms incorporated within them, and the results are a resource when evaluating a child’s ability. Furthermore, this personalized learning is possible because many classrooms are implementing “1-to-1 computing”.

Many institutions are providing students with more than just the average computer in the classroom, for example, tablets; they are becoming the new PC (Bernard, 2017). Some institutions are trying “1-to-1” computing with these new devices. One-to-one computing allows students to explore topics they are interested in on their own terms because they have their own device. Also, exposing students, especially children, to technology early on will only benefit them in the future. It prepares them for higher education as well as the work force (Herold, 2016).

Collaborative Learning
Also, collaborative learning is a result of technological innovations and there are materials available that made that possible. For instances, the use of Google Docs (and other Google software) are providing an easy way for students to work with others. With Google Docs students can collaborate with one another simultaneously. Also, the cloud associated with Google Docs allows students to access work wherever and whenever (Bernard, 2017). Furthermore, I have a lot of personal experience with the Google software. I could not imagine doing group projects without it.

Artificial Intelligence
Another educational tool in the making is artificial intelligent robots. The US Navy is currently testing robots that provide students with one-on-one attention at a school in Pensacola (Bernard, 2017). The robots are being designed to tutor children and, thus far, have proved successful. This tool, again, relates to personalized learning. Students utilizing these additional tools are scoring better on their tests in Pensacola. Since the data continues to show positive results, it is believed artificial intelligent robots will make an appearance in the school system in the next thirteen years.

Virtual Education
Education as a whole can go virtual (Herold, 2017). This means that people can attend an online school or just take online classes (while also attending a physical campus). Full online campuses allow people living in rural areas, have full time jobs, have children, ect. to participate in the learning environment. There are tools that allow students to communicate with their professor and peers from practically anywhere in the world. For example, a simple discussion forum enables people to talk to one another (Lynch, 2017). Also, programs like Skype and Zoom are virtual tools that allow people to have video conferences. With videoconferencing, students will not lose the opportunity to talk to someone “face-to-face” and experience a classroom environment. Video lectures can also be utilized so students can, again, have as close to a physical classroom environment as possible wherever they are taking the class. All these technological tools are and can be used for online institutions and single online classes.

Tech Infrastructure
To use this kind of technology, educational institutions need the correct infrastructure in place (Herold, 2017). This means educational institutions must be equipped with the bandwidth power to support the students’ needs, like the need for high speed internet. Also, institutions need Wide Area Networks and Local Area Networks to facilitate the connection of WiFi and other networks. Another infrastructure item needed to enable technology is interoperability. This aspect allows for software and systems to exchange information in a coordinated manner (Herold, 2017). Technology in the classroom would not be possible without the proper infrastructure.

Finally, below you will find a Ted Talk video featuring a young student, Zayd Mian, who is passionate about technology in the education system. He explains what kind of technology is in the classroom right now as well as what needs to be added. It is a perspective that needs to be taken into account because he is our future. The generation he is from is our future.

Technology is impacting every aspect of education and technological advancements will grow greater as the future becomes a reality.

References

Bernard, Zoë. “Here’s How Technology Is Shaping the Future of Education.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 27 Dec. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/how-technology-is-shaping-the-future-of-education-2017-12#and-despite-the-inundation-of-technology-within-the-classroom-its-role-still-remains-to-be-determined-7.

Herold, Benjamin. “Technology in Education: An Overview.” Education Week, Editorial Project in Education, 6 Feb. 2016, www.edweek.org/ew/issues/technology-in-education/index.html.

Lynch, Matthew. “7 Ways Technology Is Impacting Modern Education.” The Tech Edvocate, 4 Mar. 2017, www.thetechedvocate.org/7-ways-technology-impacting-modern-education/.

Mian, Zayd. “Technology in Education | Zayd Mian | TEDxYouth@AnnArbor.” YouTube, YouTube, 3 June 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRCGSFAq-ds.

 

 

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