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12Jan2015

Technology in Classrooms of the Future

Remember how you used to get excited when you, as a kid, went to the computer lab of your school or when your teacher brought a projector to the classroom? A few years back, technology in classrooms was a matter of curiosity. But now, it is a necessity. Technology has already entered classrooms now and in near future, all classrooms will turn technology-centered.

Why do we need technology in classrooms?

Aren’t the current surroundings good enough?

Traditional teaching methods involving students and teachers in a classroom are in no way terrible. But, the education thus imparted is solely limited to books and the four walls of the class room. That makes the knowledge imparted insufficient for students to face the world. They need to have vast knowledge on a variety of topics. There is heavy competition going on and almost all of it is dependent on technology and hence, it is important that the students know how to use the latest gadgets while preparing for their future.

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” -Mark Van Doren

“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick

 

Apart from that, it can have the following advantages over traditional classrooms:

  1. Keeps students focused for longer periods of time: Sources such as Internet available to students in schools keep them engaged and make learning an interesting affair. Students also find it easy to complete their projects and assignments since any information is available to them at their fingertips in a short span of time.
  2. Makes learning an exciting process: Those who belong to the times before technology was introduced to classrooms may know how easily you got bored between lectures. The topic would have been of least interest or may be, the teacher wasn’t explaining things in an interesting manner. Introduction of technology in schools has definitely created excitement in classrooms. Lessons imparted in the form of web/mobile applications and games can keep them engaged and updated.
  3. Lets students take their own time to learn: Not every student is a fast learner. As a student, you might have found it difficult to decipher what has been taught at school. However, considering the strength of the pupils and the deadline within which a particular lesson had to be completed, teachers might not have been able to help you out. Technology in learning helps students to learn at their own pace. This helps the students to understand things better and gives a better meaning to education.
  4. Prepares students for a better future: Attaining a degree is not the only criterion for a job these days. Employers are in search of those people who can actually multi-task and have workplace skills even if they are new to a job. If it is the situation now, imagine how harsh the criteria would be for a job in the future. Therefore, it is important for students to develop skills essential to survive the competition that they may come across once they graduate.

Technology helps the students to break all barriers and connect globally, thus extending their knowledge beyond books. They will learn to deal with complex problems, improve their communication, leadership skills and productivity.

“Every student can learn. Just not on the same day or in the same way” – George Evans

How will future classrooms look like?

There are lots of advancements being made in technology. Here are 5 of the popular technologies that may be a part of learning in the near future:

Augmented Reality (AR)

You may have seen these in sci-fi movies where a character walks down a lane wearing maybe a pair of glasses and he gets full information about the location in front of his eyes. Well, it’s getting real and is going to take the world by storm very soon. Right now, AR technology can be accessed only in the form of smart phone apps. But, Google Glass is already in the market and similar gadgets will follow it to the market in time. Soon, students can go for virtual field trips to faraway places while sitting in their classrooms and get information about anything, thus expanding their knowledge about things.

3D printing

Visual learning is always effective than theory and therefore, 3D printing will find its place in classrooms very soon. Teachers and students can easily print out 3D models of any complex structure. The physical versions of many complex structures that are difficult to understand when taught theoretically can be presented as 3D models.

Cloud computing

Various excuses that you delivered for not bringing homework or assignments won’t work for future kids. Cloud computing is gaining popularity and all traditional classrooms will turn virtual in the near future. Kids can bid adieu to text books and all study materials as all they need is an Internet connection. Students can attend classes in virtual environment and they will be able to submit their work even if they are not present in the class for the day. It also gives the children opportunities to be engaged in learning activities and discussions or forums.

Biometrics

The term is usually linked to security. Apart from that, there is an interesting eye tracking feature. It can help you know how much each student has understood about the content taught in classrooms. This can help teachers to make changes in their way of teaching or in the content and help the students to understand things in a better way.

Game-based learning

Some children usually pay little attention to what is taught in the classroom and their participation in class may be quite less. However, they may love games and similar activities. So, why not integrate games with learning? Lots of educational apps have already come into existence to spread knowledge in the form of games. The next step may be for the students to design the games themselves for learning subjects in depth. This training may also lay foundation to those who would like to pursue a career in game design in the later stages of life.

With these technologies in classrooms, the students will no longer see learning as a duty but as something that is very important and interesting in life, of which they have to be a part.

Will students be comfortable with technology in classrooms?

Here are some facts that may answer the question.

It has been found out that in an environment with future classroom facilities,

  • The students were 24% more engaged in class
  • There was 23% more student-teacher interaction
  • Students felt16% more comfortable asking questions
  • They were able to conduct group work 28% more
  • Also, the students felt 22% more valued

These facts do give an insight of how future classrooms will be more effective than traditional classrooms.

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