You can’t put a price on education, that’s how the saying goes. The things you learn while you’re in the classroom will give you the basis for everything that happens to you in the future and that’s what you don’t realise until you’ve left education behind. Oh the benefits of hindsight. While we’ve all protested about having to go and sit through more boring lessons, modern education has all kinds of things that we never had “back in our day”, one of which is the use of technology to aid learning.
Okay, some of us might have used computers when we were at school and we all sat and watched documentaries on the television, but we certainly didn’t have access to things like tablet computers in the classroom. They didn’t even exist!
These devices are the first reason why technology is improving education today. They’re being used instead of the traditional books and textbooks, with children able to have literature downloaded straight onto their tablets just like adults would download the latest copies of their favourite novels from places like the eBooks by Sainsbury’s store and they are proving to be much more popular than paperbacks – just because they’re gadgets! Come on, would you prefer to learn using an old textbook or a shiny tablet? It’s a no-brainer.
It also takes away the risk of students forgetting to take their books to school that day. Think back to the days when you might have biology, English literature, maths and games on that day, it would be very easy to remember your sports kit and two textbooks, only to forget to take in your book for English literature. With a tablet, however, all of your books are on one device and you can easily carry it around without feeling as though you’re taking a whole library to school that day.
The use of apps on tablets has proven to be a huge hit in classrooms around the world, with many developers creating games and educational tools that teachers and students can use to their advantage. Students will pay attention to the games and strive to improve and these kind of lessons can be much more beneficial in getting the point across and helping the students to understand than reading from a textbook.
Another good use of technology in schools is that they can take tests and get feedback instantaneously using laptops or tablets without having to wait for the teacher to mark their work. They can see on the screen when they’ve got the maths equation right or wrong, or if they have misspelled a word because of word processing software having the ability to highlight any errors.
Using computers also makes lessons more interactive and, therefore, keeps the interest of the students. It’s easy for some to let their minds wander towards the end of the day, what they’re going to have for lunch or to doodling on their notepads. However, if they are constantly engaged by tapping their screens or typing, they’re much more likely to be paying attention to the lesson and – hopefully – learning more.
A final example is maybe for older students, with the ability to learn even when they’re not in the classroom. Using the Internet, students are able to access the materials provided by their tutors from lessons they may have missed, or they can go straight onto the web to find any additional information to help them to complete their tasks. It may be to source a quote, it may be to find a retailer that has a specific text in stock or it might be to download information from a lesson that was missed due to illness and they want to catch up. The Internet has made it easy to find everything you need to stay on track.
Technology is here to stay and many of us would already struggle to live without it – power cuts are a fine example here, just look at the chaos of what might happen if you can’t watch television or go online for ten minutes, the horror!! When used in the right way, it genuinely can benefit education and while there may be skeptics who don’t want children attached to gadgets all day, others will say to embrace it, especially if results start to improve. Each student will be different, of course, but you learn by trial and error, right?