Technology can bring real value in teaching and learning to the classroom. The challenges in the 21st century are both developing and using such technology. Never has this been more apparent and necessary during the past year or so. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated why online education should be a vital part of teaching and learning.
Education is no longer restricted to a traditional classroom lecture. Due to emerging technologies, knowledge is available exponentially and shared instantaneously. For the most part, schools have integrated technology into existing curricula rather than using it solely as a crisis management tool. Thus, teachers can harness online learning as a powerful education tool. In this article, we will explore the growing use of technology in 21st-century education.
Importance of Technology in 21st-Century Education
Technology in education has several very tangible benefits. Some of them are:
1.Increased communication and collaboration: Due to technology in the 21st-century classroom, not only can teachers engage with students during lessons, but students can also communicate with each other. Students can work together to solve problems, especially during online lessons and learning games. While working on collaborative activities, students can share their ideas and thoughts and support each other. Technology in school also allows for one-on-one interaction with teachers. Students can ask their teacher questions about the lesson and seek additional help on subjects they find hard to understand. Due to technology, students can upload their homework onto a virtual classroom, and teachers can access this, and view and grade completed assignments using their computers.
2.Personalized learning opportunities: Due to technology in education, students can have 24/7 access to educational resources. Classes can take place entirely online, using a laptop or a mobile device. Schools can encourage hybrid models of learning by combining technology from anywhere with regular in-person classroom sessions. Also, students can learn at their own pace. They can also review the videos in the lesson plans if they find it necessary.
3.Enhanced curiosity due to engaging content: Teachers can spark their students’ curiosity and boost their interest through engaging and creative educational content. Research says that this can lead to genuine academic success. Through increased curiosity, students can gain a better understanding of Math and Reading concepts. Teachers can also use Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Videos, and Podcasts to deliver classroom content. Using technology, students can include videos when submitting their assignments and can interact with students across the globe.
4.Improved teacher efficiency and productivity: Teachers can use technology to achieve new levels of productivity. They can also use and implement useful digital tools to expand learning opportunities for students. They can also increase student support and engagement. The right technology also enables teachers to improve their instruction methods and provide personalized learning. Moreover, schools can benefit from technology. They can do this by reducing the costs of physical instructional materials, enhancing educational program efficiency, and making the best use of teacher time.
5.Transformed classroom experience: The use of technology in 21st-century education can help transform the classroom experience from a classic teacher-centered one into a student-centered experience. Students can make optimal use of the technology provided and take a more active role in their learning. The teacher is more of a guide in a student-centered classroom as the students engage with and tackle the day’s lessons. However, it is essential to note that technology cannot and should not replace an effective teacher. The ideal classroom environment is one in which the use of technology makes for a student-centered experience. It also includes a carefully selected blend of instructional technologies with face-to-face communication.
6.Ability to provide differentiated instruction: There are always different students with different learning abilities in every classroom. Through the use of instructional technology, it is easier to deliver differentiated instruction. With differentiated instruction, students are provided with an education that is personalized and that meets them where they are developmental. The use of technology also provides students with access to rich learning materials outside the classroom.
7.Preparation for future academic and professional experiences: It is vitally important that students use tools and the right technology during school years to prepare them for their future academic and professional experiences. These tools include a blend of old tech and new tech, providing students with a set of skills to help them navigate the variety of online tools available today. It also provides opportunities for teachers to educate students on digital citizenship and new challenges to academic integrity.
8.Enabling students to become global citizens: Technology in the 21st-century education, classroom exposes teachers and students to new, online global communities. It extends learning beyond the textbook and beyond classroom walls. The use of technology promotes inclusion and the development of digital literacy skills. Moreover, it promotes global awareness, which is an essential component of 21st-century education.
While there are several genuine benefits to using technology in the classroom, there are several challenges. Implementing successful technology integration into the classroom is often difficult as this needs time, experimentation, customization, and support. Schools also often struggle with finding meaningful, ongoing professional development for their faculty regarding technology integration. Teachers can also work to see the immediate, personal benefit of integrating technology into their classrooms.
Quite often, the investments by the schools and the teachers are quickly lost. By adding technology into the classroom, schools are adding an extra layer of complexity to classroom management. Also, devices can become a significant distraction rather than a meaningful instructional tool. Finally, one of the considerable obstacles for schools, teachers, and students is unreliable technology. Even the best-prepared lesson can collapse if there are technical issues.
Schools must take great care when integrating technology in the 21st-century classroom. Several schools have successfully implemented technology in their classrooms. The Epistemo Vikas Leadership School is one such school. We have woven technology into all of our curricula. We ensure that our teachers are completely proficient and completely comfortable using this technology. We also ensure that our students gain a great deal from having their lessons delivered creatively and innovatively using technology in the classroom.
Students at Epistemo seamlessly use various Educational Technology tools to attend classes, complete their homework, and collaborate with their teachers and other students. With the integration of technology in the classroom, Epistemo students can learn at their own pace and effectively communicate with their global counterparts worldwide. This ties in with Epistemo’sRead More