Current teaching and learning methods have been revolutionized by modern technological advances. Gone are the days when students relied on pen and paper for note taking in the classroom or lecture hall. Today a teacher is no longer bound by the physical boundaries of a teaching establishment, and no matter where in the world a student may reside – online learning opportunities make the world a classroom.
Language is no longer a barrier either, with texts easily translated in a chosen language within a second. For the visually impaired, audio files are just as accessible.
Technology has the power to shrink! Laptops replaced desktop computers, and now tablets have all the capabilities of the laptop but in a more portable form.
Learning materials such as maps, graphs or models need no longer be created or kept in the classroom – all these things can be created and enhanced online, making learning interactive and infinitely more interesting.
Keeping online records of a student’s progress is now a means by which educational teams, parents and guardians, and the students themselves can remotely access details of progress. Parents can quickly be assured that their child is progressing well or can identify areas where the student needs extra assistance and encouragement. In addition, students can access online tests and assessments to give themselves practice, and confidence that they are learning and excelling.
Of course, the technology needs to be understood by teachers in order for them to implement it to everyone’s advantage. Stamford American school in Hong Kong is very clear in its aim to lead in innovative education, and to support parents in helping their children navigate through this modern technological landscape. Any potential negative effects are addressed by the school as well as all the positive aspects; it aims to make parents aware of any negatives, and to inform them about how to deal with any downsides.
Stamford has implemented a ‘Global Mentor Program’ inviting the world’s leading athletes, artists, academics and industry leaders to engage with their students – technological advances have made the dream a reality. Such inspiring mentors can motivate students to reach for goals they may otherwise not have dreamed of.
Education is now accessible in a way never thought possible just a few decades ago. Neither distance nor lack of mobility need stand in the way of learners accessing high-quality online courses. Often a student will be assigned an online tutor to offer support where necessary. Online educational courses not only offer choice, but also flexibility in terms of learning pace. Textbooks are often accessible in digital format, giving learners access to an online virtual library of knowledge and resources.
Getting to grips with technology is not only advantageous to the student while learning; but this knowledge will equip them with IT skills to last for many years to come.
Teachers using videos and online interactive games can make learning fun and relevant
to the student, transforming teaching by embracing today’s technological advances, and by keeping watch on those of the future.