Many students today are adopting the use of new media and technology in the learning process. This transition has had a lot of impact in the classroom and teachers have had to change the instructional approach as well. There are many challenges that teachers have faced in adopting and integrating technology-based teaching strategies among their students. However, the emerging technologies have pushed teachers to the underside and leveraged the technology for use in the classroom.
Why use technology
The great thing about modern technology is that it just does not teach old stuff in new ways, but also a lot of new stuff in new ways. It enables instructors to concentrate on each student’s learning routes because in every class there is a student at a different stage of learning. Technology allows instructors to help those who are behind to catch up and those who are ahead to continue learning at their own pace. It enables students to become self-directed or independent learners because they can access a wide variety of information from different sources. Instructors still have the task of ensuring that students use technology effectively and responsibly by evaluating the usefulness of information that they find online.
Technology also connects students to resources outside the classroom. It can connect students to experts who can answer questions and give practical application and explanation of what is learnt in the classroom. The kind of world valuable learning experiences that students can access through technology should not be underestimated and all this is possible without any travel.
Positive impact of technology on learning
- Collaborative learning
Traditional instructional methods mainly focused on individual based courses and activities. There were few incidences of group work or working in pairs. However, new technologies allow more collaborative learning among students.
- Active brain based learning
Technology is also responsible for the shift from passive or teacher centered learning to a more active and student centered learning. Learners have become more than just content receptors mindlessly taking down notes as dictated by the teacher. Learners can dare to have more expectations when learning they can participate more and have more control over the kind of information they get. With mobile apps and the World Wide Web, they have direct access to information with teachers giving guidance.
- Differentiated instruction
Technology allows for complete personalization in the learning experience. Although there are many students in a single class, each of them has their own personal dreams and goals they would like to achieve which may not be possible with uniformed instruction all the way. These multiple needs of each student are very difficult for a single instructor to fulfill and this is where technology comes in. Technology makes it easier for teachers to apply different types of instruction to individual learners. It allows teachers to focus on the needs of different students and help them achieve their personal goals.
Vinod Jethwani is the CEO and Founder of Walnut Solutions and he helps web based companies with his SEO strategies to grown their revenue. He started his career in 2007 as a software developer with an Indian based MNC and later in 2011 became an entrepreneur.
Follow him on Twitter @VinodJethwani or through his blog.