What Does the Future Hold for Technology in Schools? November 16 2011
There was once a time when using a chalk and blackboard was seen as enough to get by when teaching. Over the last few decades, there has been a radical shift in the way that children are taught in classrooms, and this is very evident in the tools used to teach them.
Evolution of the Chalk Board
When whiteboards and marker pens were introduced, it made life easier for teachers as they could write clearly and use different pens to highlight different things. But now, even the humble whiteboard and marker pen seems to be outdated.
In the last few years, SMART boards have been making a home in every classroom. These state of the art highly interactive boards which link with the classroom computer has revolutionized teaching and made it far more accessible to children who are seen as ‘kinesthetic learners.’
Because the boards can be written on, played games on and used for research purposes, they serve the entire classroom and makes it easier for teachers to show children how and what to do. Children love to stand in front of the class and complete educational games and quizzes, thereby learning in a fun and practical way.
No More Computer Lab
Laptop usage is also becoming widespread, with classrooms given their own set of laptops to encourage computer skills which will be needed in all walks of life. There have even been cases for the use of educational games consoles specifically designed to mentally challenge and stimulate learning. The other main benefits of teaching using sophisticated multi-media aids in the classroom is the ability for teachers to engage the entire class and help calm disruptive behavior with some well chosen games.
Children as young as three are benefiting from specially designed software to enhance the learning experience in the classroom. The biggest benefit to both the children and the teachers is that children’s learning takes place almost effortlessly in a way which is highly pleasurable for them at this tender age.
Children’s assemblies are also becoming technology focused, with large screens being used to show footage from current world events and other topics of interest. From an educational point of view, learning using audio and visuals is retained far better in the memory than simply reading over something.
Interacting with the World
Learning through the use of technology doesn’t really feel like learning to children – rather they view learning as a highly interactive process where they are having fun – the learning comes almost without effort, which is fantastic for those children who find learning a challenge. The Internet is also widely accepted in classrooms, and has reduced revision and research time down considerably for students. At the touch of button, the World Wide Web is able to throw up information on every conceivable topic imaginable.
Overall, audio-visual teaching aids in the classroom are being heralded as a modern day miracle and a huge step forward in helping students of all ages to have fun while learning at the same time.
Rachel is a freelance education blogger with a background in independent schools.