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The Importance of Utilizing Technology in Education
The days of dusty chalkboards hanging on classroom walls and chalk dust flying through the air passed many years ago. While pencil sharpeners are still found in many classrooms, the hand-cranked models also have mostly been replaced with electric ones, similar to the way the hand-cranked automobiles of the early twentieth century were supplanted by automatic transmissions and, even more so today, vehicles that run on electricity rather than traditional fuel. Just like in the rest of the world, technology in education is playing an important role in classrooms all over the world.
Trends in education emphasize technology in many ways and with many computerized solutions. Handwritten lesson plans now appear as a component in software applications for documenting, tracking, and reporting content through learning management systems. Teachers no longer have to worry about a blown light bulb in their overhead, slide, or opaque projector now that they have reliable online means to share content.
Considering Technology Trends
Here are eight important technology trends we see in classrooms today:
Instructional design principles have developed technology-based learning and teaching products, such as software.
Performance technology has improved as an emphasis on evaluation and meeting benchmarks or teaching standards becomes more important.
Teachers, parents, and administrators have a growing number of educational technology case studies to learn best practices.
Distance education is possible in nearly all sectors, at all educational levels.
Computers are pervasive in classrooms and as part of the learning process.
Telecommunications provide a vital link that makes global learning possible.
The role of educators has changed due to these technological enhancements.
Professional education now includes a focus on educational technology.
We can throw in seven more:
Computers have saturated classrooms, with teachers and students at all levels having access to internet-connected devices.
Web-based content has become an increasingly important component of educational instruction.
Video streaming and conferencing provide a wide array of content and have redefined earlier methods of delivery.
Community organizations and outside advocates support funding for educational technology enhancements.
Distance education has allowed the home to become an extension of a classroom.
Laptops and handheld devices play a growing role in this wireless education revolution, as students and teachers move away from PCs to mobile technologies.
Educational reform focuses on technology, while teachers and students have greater online savvy.
These forward-thinking statements may appear to illustrate cutting-edge trends that define how instructional technology has redefined education in the 2020s. In truth, they are not truly “cutting-edge.” That idiom’s origin dates to the 19th century. These statements were described by Donald Paul Ely (1930-2014), a longtime professor at Syracuse University who was involved in the creation of content for the Clearinghouse on Information Resources at the Education Resources Information Center.
The first eight came from a report Ely co-authored in 1992; the second seven appeared in an updated publication, released in 2002.
Significant New Educational Technology Trends in the 2020s
To understand the impact of technology on education, we should view its significance as part of an ongoing process. Distance education once meant correspondence courses, then TV courses, and, today, a growing emphasis on interactive classroom technology and hybrid classroom technology.
Enhanced content delivery once occurred through the use of mimeograph machines (Boomers and Gen X’ers will remember the deep blue or purple ink and mimeo smell!), photocopiers, and, today, online content delivery systems.
Interactive displays for schools once meant dioramas, display boxes, or written information on posterboards or oversized display pads. Later, online presentation software revolutionized the way to promote interactive displays. Today, blogs, webpages, interactive programs, streaming videos, three-dimensional printing, and makerspace/hackerspace make the simple webpages of the past seem like film strips and 16 mm films.
Few teachers and students can thread a film projector today, but a growing number of them understand the importance of metadata. Books remain relevant in education, but the school libraries that became “media centers” in the 1970s and 1980s are also linked to reliable and authoritative databases and trusted digital repositories.
Focusing on the Benefits of Interactive Learning
The days of rote reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic are in the rearview mirror. The three Rs have been supplanted by an increasing emphasis on educational technology that began to take place in the early laboratories of the 19th century, and throughout the educational landscape in the 20th century.
This trend will continue. As new technologies appear, an emphasis on teaching literacy to students, teachers, parents, and administrators remains an important consideration. Similar to the way that children today still learn the alphabet at an early age and master the multiplication tables before tackling algebra and geometry, students and teachers today must embrace these skillsets:
Understanding how to create, interpret, and evaluate interactive displays for schools and student-based projects: Written lecture notes remain important, but interactive content represents an important way to document and share information.
Embracing hybrid classroom technology that extends learning beyond the classroom: Challenges with reliable internet access and learning management software during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed gaps we must address.
Focusing on interactive classroom technology that connects students and teachers outside of the classroom: The world is our classroom, and we should emphasize the benefits of interactive learning to understand it.
Parmetech is a Premier Parter for Technology in Education
If you’re interested in learning more about educational technology and the benefits these tools can bring to today’s modern learning environments, let us help you! Parmetech is a premier classroom technology partner and we’re excited to help our customers enhance their classroom experiences with world-class technology products, software, and services. We are here to consult, communicate, and craft the best solution for your specific needs and create a unique classroom for your teachers.