9 May 2012
John D. Ferrer
Technology and education go hand in hand.
With recent technological advances, students utilize online resources and other tools in order to supplement the classroom experience, earn an online bachelor degree, pursue professional development credits, or simply satisfy curiosity.
Whether used to enhance the educational experience or to replace the traditional classroom, students and educators realize that classroom technology integration is here to stay.
Technology in the Classroom
For students in traditional classrooms, technology opens a whole world of learning that may otherwise be unavailable.
Instructional YouTube videos supplement classroom lectures and visually provide instruction on topics like creating Excel spreadsheets or writing a research paper.
Online tutors explain challenging concepts to struggling students of all ages. The class meets in a forum after school to discuss projects, work through challenging material, and network to gain ideas. Voice recognition software, WebQuests, interactive whiteboards, and games ensure disadvantaged or disabled students receive a quality education.
These and other scenarios play out as technology meets education in the classroom and provides learners with the skills they need to succeed.
While the traditional classroom is invaluable for some learners, online education appeals to many students.
Health issues, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, or destructive bullying may prevent K–12 students from thriving in a traditional brick and mortar school. Accessing school from home enables these students to successfully complete school requirements and increases their ability to transition to the real world after graduation.
Older students value online education that enables them to finish a degree or earn credentials for work. While they work or care for family, they complete classes from the break room or backyard at their convenience. Flexible class choices enable learners to take classes that interest them, instead of using time and resources on classes that do not meet their needs.
Additionally, they access online learning tools that simplify the completion of class requirements. From their iPhone, iPad, or laptop, they gain access to libraries, highly qualified professors, and classes, which enable these college students to complete undergraduate- or graduate-level classes from home.
With a flexible schedule, convenient classes, and a wide variety of academic disciplines, online education makes sense for many students and makes it possible for learners to receive a quality education from home.
Every student needs a break from school, but boredom can easily set in during extended breaks. Even worse, summer breaks have been linked to retention problems if learning activities aren’t incorporated with vacation.
To cultivate an atmosphere of learning year-round, students access educational tools from their handheld tech devices. Young learners access a multitude of apps, games, and educational sites that stimulate their mind. High school students complete online practice exams in preparation for college entrance exams. Adult learners take classes for enrichment purposes or as skill updates to supplement their career. Technology enables students to continue learning during school breaks or summer vacation.
Students can succeed in school without advanced technology, but increased access to technological platforms provides a multitude of learning advantages. Students of all ages, grades, and abilities find online learning tools that enhance the educational experience or make college possible. The future of learning looks bright as students maintain access to technology that continues to positively impact education.
About the Author: Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science, and education. He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature, and good food.