For three days, the TV crew broadcast from 300 meters deep, in the Indian Ocean, as part of the Nekton mission, giving rare access to Aldabra, one of the most important and protected coral atolls. Live, in the tv studio, pupils were able to ask direct questions to the scientists who broadcast under the ocean and receive live answers.
From understanding pollution, the role of plastic in destroying sea life and becoming amateur oceanography experts, for one day, children were able to do all this thanks to technology. In addition, technology completely changed their worldview and made them more open-minded.
Role Of Technology in Teaching
This is just an example of how technology becomes part of the educational process. It is just amazing how technology can transform minds and open opportunities or something new. The use of technology by pupils in schools goes far beyond computer literacy and learning is entering a new era englobing the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and online communication.
Technology can shape the ways of teaching on the needs of the pupils and can drive an easier learning experience of future generation competencies – from problem-solving to analysis, communication and teamwork – the so-called “soft skills”, but also giving them tech skills.
Programming in Schools
Learning tactics derive from psychological conceptions of learning – like conditioning, knowledge transmission, and learning-as-problem-solving. All these concepts have transcended into technology solutions – let’s just think of “coding for kids” programs. Yes, computer programming is now an educational option starting as young as four-year-old.
Technology-mediated learning environments are becoming more and more common, but they are integrated within the education system. As Bill Gates said, “ICT is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the educators are the most important and vital part.”
Using Technology to Make Learning Better
The teaching environment is more dynamic and engaging and technology also gives more access to education, from e-learning to online classes (audio, video, tests). Practices and the role of the teacher, have, however, changed. As the teacher is no longer the principal source of information, the teaching methods have adapted to make the pupils discover themselves the missing pieces of a lesson, for example. From screen projectors to VR, pupils’ imagination is trained and developed using technology.
Technology enables students to live watch and be part, for example, of a surgical operation, an expedition or to observe a bird’s nest live. To social sciences and sciences, access to technology can make a huge difference for the children to understand a phenomenon and become aware of the human impact on natural life.
Another important aspect of technology-enabled education is communication. Whether for groups projects or peer view, students now can access online resources, mostly available for free or at an affordable cost (from dictionaries, databases, to Pro-Papers writing revision plans), they have access to contacts of scientists or writers, via videoconferences, by email or social media.
The possibilities of communication and online connection are unlimited. From e-books to online free courses, provided for edX, for example, which was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 and offers more than 1,900 free courses from renowned universities, the barrier of having access to knowledge is gone. The world is rapidly changing and education, schools, in particular, have to adapt to these changes as soon as possible in order to provide students with the education needed for the modern style of life.
The interactive museums that offer pupils the occasion to make experiments or watch space images from the Hubble Space Telescope are not something available to anyone one century ago. Now, museums all over the world mix science with interactivity to offer a live experience and to help to learn. For example, Montshire Museum offers an outdoor Science Park, a place for experiments, and offers a Planet Walk – a 2-mile scale model journey from the Sun to Pluto. Or what about the Planetarium at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles?
At Maryland Science Center, “Dinosaur Mysteries” displays 13-full-sized dinosaurs and inspires a passion for palaeontology. These are some examples of how technology enables education based on interaction and experiment.
Goodbye, boring museum visits and boring classrooms! VR is becoming more and more important in the learning process as it offers access to unlimited fields and experiments while staying in the classroom – from a virtual laboratory science experiment to a virtual field trip.
For example, a Staffordshire University student has developed a new app named Museum Eye in which Tutankhamen becomes the personal tour guide for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Using the app, visitors wear a Microsoft HoloLens headset and navigate a virtual menu, can see 3D scans of displayed items and can experience virtual scenarios.
People must leave the one-sided transfer of a fixed set of knowledge into the past since the post-industrial society needs a “new type” of a person – a person who thinks outside the box and focuses on realizing his unique potential laid down by nature itself. Well, teachers should contribute to this process, helping to customize individual trajectories and providing personal support.
Learning is changing. And schools are changing too, due to technology. As students prepare for a future we cannot fully predict or imagine, technology in schools should give access to the modern world of work.
Entering the labour market without having all the tech-savvy skills needed in the hectic world of today would create a huge disadvantage. Students today will face technology challenges tomorrow and there is no other way to prepare them for that than including technology in the educational system.