It’s no secret that life today seems completely alien to the lives of our parents or grandparents. Every aspect of life has shifted away from the norm and technology has infiltrated even the smallest parts of our routines. Some complain about this. Things were better back in the day, they say. While this can be debated for general life, it is almost ignorant to claim that technology and the ever-changing nature of society have had a detrimental impact on education. In fact, the education system has greatly improved and is still on the way up, thanks to new teaching methodologies making use of easily accessible systems.
It’s not necessary to completely immerse yourself in a screen. Of course, face-to-face interaction and social learning are an important aspect of education. However, there are ways to find a balance. Here are some small ideas on how technology can make a big impact on students in the classroom and outside of it.
Virtual Field Trips
Google Maps has been revolutionary with its Google Streetview option. Without leaving the classroom, students can be immersed in locations and infrastructure around the world. Some museums or historical locations even have virtual tours specifically for this purpose. This can be a great tool for introducing students to new places or ideas and can encourage interest in different parts of the world.
Organization is key. Students and their parents can be up-to-date with all school happenings and assignments using apps such as Google Classroom. In this way, teachers can automatically update lesson plans or homework and the whole class can receive the information in real-time. In the long run, fewer misunderstandings and a smooth communication stream can save a lot of time.
Different Teaching Methods
Many can relate to not understanding a certain teacher’s teaching methods at all. Sometimes, it just doesn’t ‘click’. The internet rids us of that disadvantage. Students can watch KhanAcademy or visit webpages present information in different ways. If students are confused about a certain way of teaching, they will have a wealth of resources to choose to learn from. This makes it difficult to fail to understand a lesson.
Another interesting teaching method is the flipped classroom method. Students view a lecture video at home and the teacher guides them through the relevant exercises the next day in class. This is opposite to the traditional method of the instructor giving a lecture and students left to fend for themselves while doing homework. This allows for immediate help to be given during assignments and has proven to be extremely successful in cementing concepts.
Of course, all of these techniques are difficult to implement in lower-income neighborhoods. It is understood that not everyone has a computer available to them at home. However, most classrooms do and many of these can ideas can be adjusted for just the classroom. Even if connectivity stops at the end of the school day, students will be exposed to a whole new world of resources and enlightenment and be prepared for a more technological future.