In days gone by, parents would buy notebooks, pens and colored pencils for their children to use in school. While schools do still ask students to complete tasks on worksheets made of real paper or complete tests using paper booklets, the classroom is evolving to become more of a digital experience. This has changed the way that teachers interact with children and how children interact with the material that they are learning.
Over the past 20 years, there has been an emphasis on giving students access to computers in the classrooms or in centralized computer labs. Today, students are increasingly gaining access to laptops or tablets that they can take with them from class to class. In some cases, they may be able to take them home as well to do homework or do research for a paper.
Almost anything that a child would need to learn can be loaded onto their laptop. This means that a student can simply open a new tab to access a passage that they need to read in class or a video that needs to be watched as part of a homework assignment. Most apps or programs on a computer allow students to highlight text or take notes directly on the screen. Teachers can also add notes or other insight that may help a student better understand assigned material.
Instead of staying after school or going to someone’s house to have a study session, students can get the help they need from their own bedroom. Students can create Facebook groups or use Twitter to ask questions about material that may be an on upcoming test. It may also be possible to contact a teacher directly through social media via a school account. Online schools may also help children receive additional education and help they need.
The use of personalized learning tools allows teachers to create assignments tailored to a student’s skill level. For instance, if a student has trouble making vowel sounds, the teacher can assign reading material that allows the student to practice making those sounds. At the same time, the teacher could assign a more complex reading to someone who has mastered material at his or her grade level.
With the advent of social media and search engines like Google, children can find the information that they are looking for in a matter of minutes. However, if we know anything about the internet, it is that you can’t always believe what you read.
Therefore, teachers are tasked with helping children understand the difference between a good source and one that should be avoided. It is also important to teach children how to spot potentially fake news or how to differentiate between information to take seriously and mindless rhetoric.
In the past, a teacher would need to arrange for a class to take a field trip to hear someone speak. Alternatively, that speaker could come to the classroom for a lecture. Today, it is possible to connect with students in other states or have a national or international leader talk to students by video chat. This helps a child to become more aware of the world around them even without leaving the classroom.
Technology is playing an increasing role in how we process information. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it is changing how our children learn as well. By keeping up with modern educational trends, a child gets more from their time in the classroom and is more likely to be adequately prepared for the 21st century business world.