Although there is no denying that the Information Age has irreversibly changed the way human beings function in the world, understand themselves, and communicate with each other, there is still much debate over just how useful all of this change is. People may never agree on the subject, but technology is here to stay . . . and, today, its reach has infiltrated our classrooms so that today’s elementary aged children are growing up in a school environment that today’s parents never could’ve imagined three, or even two, decades ago. How is technology helping teachers in the classroom? Here’s some food for thought.
Modern families often complain that they don’t even have time to sit down together for an extended mealtime. Between two parents working, schedules packed with extracurricular activities, and an increasingly broad generation gap, it’s difficult for everyone to get on the same page when it comes to things like homework, study time, and take-home projects. Today’s technology enables teachers to create their own websites, especially with tools like fedena.com, that parents and students have access to 24/7, keeping everyone in the loop.
Travelling the Globe
Now it’s possible for teachers to co-teach classes with other teachers on the other side of the globe, via the miracle of the worldwide web. By using technology like webcams, video chat, and virtual meeting software, teachers are able to expose their students to interaction with foreign cultures, without ever leaving the school. In today’s classroom, students can even be virtually face to face with students on the opposite side of the world, and in real time!
Studies show that students absorb and retain more information when that information is delivered in a variety of sensory formats. That is because people learn in different ways—called learning styles—and it is not uncommon for any one child to have a unique combination of learning styles. For example, some students learn best by taking notes while listening to a lecture, while others may absorb the most information by physically acting out a scene. Modern technology enables teachers to provide educatory experiences on many different levels, so that students of all learning types have the greatest chance of picking up on as much of what they’re exposed to as possible.
It seems that the question should not be about whether or not technology can help teachers in the classroom, but rather about how technology can help teachers in the classroom. It’s apparent that technology has completely changed the landscape of modern education, and that there is a lot of good to be gained from this evolution, but it is yet to be seen how we humans will apply it most effectively, to make the most of the transformative opportunity.