Technology is Improving Education

January 6th, 2013 | By Mallory Smith | Posted in Art & Society, Environment & Energy, Innovation, Science & Tech | Comments Off

Education technology is quickly revitalizing the way in which students are learning. “What began as a ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) movement may very well turn into a ‘create-your-own-school’ movement as new intermediaries, learning agents, parents, and learners collaborate to weave vibrant value webs,” which is good news since our current education standards and practices in America are not working out for us. Our teachers don’t get paid enough, our high schoolers are not graduating, and our low income students aren’t able to attend college.

Technology is shifting the focus of educational practices to be more about tailoring learning to the student’s specific needs. Learning tools and curricula are increasingly customizable , making it easier for every student to find a learning method that works for them. Educational services are becoming more accessible with free programs like Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy and Crash Course on YouTube. As the cost of digital devices and software continues to decrease, the increased volume, velocity, and variety of data will be so expansive that we will need to move beyond basic information-filtering tools to avoid overload and help us discern meaning.

Analytics, dashboards, and visualizations will be critical to discern meaning, draw conclusions and gain insight from ever flowing data streams. And if students will be learning more and more online, these systems will need to become all-encompassing to provide the learner with whole-person support based on environmental factors and social contexts, as well as academic performance. Additionally, teachers will have the opportunity to record lessons at different speeds to accommodate all levels of learning. And education will be even more engaging and appealing now that gaming is being taken seriously. Gaming is being touted by many as an extremely effective method for students to absorb curriculum on a deeper level.