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Future trends in educational technology

Updated on April 16, 2017

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Trends come and go and very rarely do they ever hang around long enough for them to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Educational technology though seems to be an ongoing trend that wants to stick around for a long time and continue growing. With the way the world is moving, continually closer to and developing more technology to make our lives easier; shouldn’t our students be given as much time and hands on experience to learn with technology so when they reach the workforce they aren’t driving blind so to speak?

What I appreciate about educational technology is its continual ability to grow and develop with the needs of students. For example, the Horn book was first used around 1650 and was nothing more than a piece of wood that teachers had etched out the days writing lesson on and students needed to copy it. Imagine if you will, being a teacher and having to hand carve the lessons into wood each week or day for your students. Not downplaying or knocking the experience this is the best tool teachers had at that time for their students to use and practice writing with but look at where we are now.

Around 2010 Apple released the Apple iPad to the excitement of the masses; it’s hard to find a household these days that doesn’t have an iPad; unless you are a hardcore Samsung person. iPads put the world at people and student’s fingertips with the touch of a fingertip or swipe you can watch Youtube, read the news, face time with students in different countries or even write a school paper. Let this sink in for a moment; in 1650, the classroom was the only learning environment students had and lessons were on a piece of wood in 2010 we have the world at our fingertips. Educational technology has been growing for decades and will continue to grow and develop beyond what it is now.

Where do we go from here?

Since the introduction of the iPad the barriers of what we thought were possible and what is possible have come crashing down. As technology has continued to grow schools are seeing more possibilities open to them to be able to reach more students. I think a good example is online education; before to be able to obtain a college degree you had to attend the college and work your life around it. With technology being what it is today you don’t have to even be in the same state; as an example, I live in Salt Lake City and the College I attend is in California and I have never and probably never will go to the campus but I can take benefit from the classes and graduate with my Bachelor’s degree very soon. In today’s world people need to be able to work and make a living as soon as possible, being able to attend an online college that lets you do homework around your career is not only beneficial it makes sense.

Another huge benefit for students that we see with technological growth is teacher focused. What I mean is Wiki or content sharing of information. When teachers can share information with their fellow teachers it’s the students who benefit from the teachers expanded knowledge. A great example would be a teacher who is newer and maybe wants to know a good online site they can access to allow their students to go on a virtual field trip. If the teacher already belongs to a Wiki they can easily locate that information and spend more time building the lesson plan to make the best out of the lesson.

Multimedia presentations are and will continue to develop to help different types of student learners. The simple fact of the matter is, is that we don’t all learn the same way. Some students need hands on time, some are visual learns, some need that one-on-one time with the teacher to be able to understand a lesson. Multimedia presentations can be presented to different type of student learners so they can all come away with some information from a content lesson and then the teacher can break the students up into groups; maybe the ones who don’t need them with one-on-one and the ones who do. Presentations can use all sorts of visual aids to keep students interested from words, pictures and videos to interactive spots where students can get involved in the presentation to show the teacher what they have learned so far.

With technology continually growing teachers must remember that opens the doors to allow students more opportunities to be involved with illegal downloads/piracy weather they mean to or not. Since technology is so widely available and students, and teachers, can communicate easily and share ideas like never before, it’s easy for students to “borrow” material weather it’s pictures or videos for their projects like never before. As this will continue to be an issue so will the teachers need for tools to show them if students are being less than honest in their work.

One of the most important issues we should keep an eye on as technology develops is online safety issues. I’m sad to write this but we all understand there are dangers involved with letting our children use the internet even if they are using only for schoolwork. Students can be exposed to everything from online hacking, viruses and people with bad intentions. As technology continues to develop the need for students to understand their safety and how to protect themselves from online threats will need to continue to develop.

What do you think?

Which issue do you see as the most important in educational technology?

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© 2017 Chosen Shades

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