4 Key Ways Tech Is Revolutionizing Education In The 21st Century
Whenever we talk about technological advancement, the skeptics tend to focus on its negative aspects. According to them, the only two outcomes this may have are either full technological or a complete annihilation of our species. What they tend to completely miss is the overwhelmingly positive influence technology can have on some of the most mundane aspects of our everyday lives. One of them is the way in which present day tech is revolutionizing education. Here are some examples:
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Easily accessible information
In previous centuries, especially before the invention of the printing press (a technological marvel of its own era), a written word was one of the rarest commodities. Mysterious monastic orders and illustrious ruling dynasties regarded those few books they had in their possession to be among their most valuable treasures and heirlooms. Today, however, you can just google the information you need and instantly get the feedback of several dozen sources on the topic or simply download an eBook.
While academics frown upon the use of Wikipedia, this particular site can provide you with some basic information on various topics. For example, if you wanted to know something about the succession line in medieval England, an exact date of a famous battle or some basic information on the anatomy of the domestic cat you could just look it up online. As for those who claim that this source isn’t reliable, it’s not the only source out there and you can easily do some fact-checking of your own.
Another great advantage of this tech revolution lies in the notion of online courses. The aforementioned skeptics will always complain about this not being the same as attending the class in person and they are absolutely right – it is superior in many aspects. First of all, it allows you to telecommute to the class, which saves you quite a bit of time. Second, it allows you to listen to a renowned professor currently holding a lecture half a world away, which is something you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Finally, this method of self-improvement has a much more flexible schedule, which helps people synchronize these classes with their day-job.
Larnedu is a great example of a website that offers online courses and much more, actually. When it comes to learning how to pass the WASSCE, there is no better source out there. In Australia, Thinkswap does something similar by allowing students to buy and sell notes they take in college or high school (VCE notes for Victorian high schools, as well as others too). There are similar websites, services and startups all around the world, helping students excel where they might have had troubles otherwise.
Virtual and augmented reality
Next great symbiosis between tech-savvy and didactic is in the appearance of two, relatively new, technological trends: the virtual and augmented reality. A highly sophisticated Virtual Reality device can give a student an unprecedented level of immersion and thus boost their enthusiasm towards acquiring new knowledge.
For instance, devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are expected to become invaluable in industries such as real estate and as such might even find application in the architecture studies. Imagine what kind of learning advantage would architecture students if they were able to take a stroll around the building they are currently working on.
The same or similar thing could be achieved through the idea of augmented reality, only in a much less resource-heavy method. All one would need in this situation would be a mobile device and an adequate learning app.
Speaking of learning apps, both Android and iOS are currently offering a great number of applications that can facilitate and enhance one’s educational efforts. Some of these apps are there to help students deal with their algebra homework, others are there to prepare them for tests and oral examinations.
Finally, both high school and college students know just how hard it is to balance between one’s studies and their social life. Well, with an adequate application they would be able to manage their schedule with much greater efficiency. Also, with the help of reminders, planners and a simple notification system, this kind of organization would become a walk in the park.
It is undeniable that we are getting more and more dependent on the new tech with each passing day, but it would be outright ridiculous to claim we are getting nothing in return. On the contrary, never before in human history was knowledge so accessible, so cheap and so omnipresent.
In the light of this, one could rightfully claim that a modern technology is indeed revolutionizing education. Needless to say, this is something that humanity as a whole can stand to benefit from.
About the author: James D. Burbank has always been interested in the ways technology is changing our world, especially when it comes to education and business. If you have the time, check out his blog, BizzMarkBlog.