I believe that education and technology are a perfect marriage. Education is the practice of learning through prepared information, while technology exponentially increases the reach of information. The student-teacher relationship is one that technological advances can’t replace, but its value can be increased remarkably when physical barriers are removed.
Textbooks and other traditional learning materials provide frameworks for understanding. But with global communication networks and platforms for connection, technology extends our ability to discover and perceive the world around us in real time. This power of this is undeniable, giving students better access to their educators and unparalleled opportunity for self-discovery.
Technology in classrooms has been a hot topic over the last decade, with students blurring the lines of productive and disruptive use. Smartphones have become a distraction for students and teachers alike. But according to Oxford Learning, if leveraged effectively, these devices can supplement classroom learning with easy access to information and learning applications. I would agree, and add that there’s no turning back; our devices have become extensions of us.
Technological advances for learning
Outside of the classroom, technology improves the educational experience through access, communication, and connection.
The internet is your library
Access to information has leveled the playing field for many people around the world. It’s incredible the impact that access has in bringing more people into education and increasing the odds of student success. Search tools, like Google, provide depths of information and an opportunity for continued learning, both during a lesson and afterwards to help process the material. Encouraging students to seek out added context can be very valuable and teachers may consider incorporating this into their lessons. Targeted search can also bring new passion to learning, enabling students to find their connection points to the subject matter.
Office hours are now global hours
Easy, fast, and global communication is the greatest thing, in my opinion, that technology has done for our world. From an education perspective, consider what learning looked like before; it was geographically based and largely confined to the hours one spent in the classroom. Today, teachers can reach their students across the world and effectively communicate regardless of distance or time zone. Email and video conference calling are two developments that have drastically improved our ability to communicate outside of classroom walls. In particular, apps like Skype make it possible for at-home or cross-country tutoring, or the continuation of a teacher’s office hours.
Customization through connection
Connection is one of the newer ways that technology has disrupted traditional education, bringing students and educators closer together. Today we see the influence that connection has on learning by way of edtech; education platforms and marketplaces for continued learning. With these kinds of platforms, students can choose what to study based on what suits their interests and career ambitions.
Our Platform at ODEM provides an example of this kind of personalized education, where students, educators, and facilitators meet directly for customizable learning experiences around the world. Autonomous connection of this kind, where students and teachers have control over what and how they learn or teach, makes education even more global. Teachers can teach from anywhere and students can learn from anywhere, all facilitated by a global, blockchain-based marketplace.
I recently published pieces discussing how the ODEM marketplace uses blockchain technology, and five innovative technologies that are impacting higher education. I invite you to further explore ODEM, and discover the future of edtech. Reach us on Telegram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.