Over the last few years, technology has taken a much more significant role in the classroom. But how has technology changed the teaching process?
The massive increase in technology used for education cannot be understated. Just a decade ago, students would visit their school’s library or computer lab for tech-based education. Today, the majority of students have a computer with them at all times! Recent studies indicate that 71% of US students say they use a laptop in the classroom, which is a drastic change from before.
It’s no surprise that the pandemic ramped up educational technology – by 2020, over 90% of American educators conducted at least some teaching from home. Even still, this change has been a long time coming. Studies from 2018 examined the effectiveness of technology in the classroom and found it had a dramatically positive impact on learning. Students who spent at least 1 hour on a device during classroom time had the highest outcomes for both reading and science. Furthermore, students who dedicated at least 1 hour to a device at home achieved the highest outcomes for reading, math, and science. There’s no doubt about it – technology has cemented its role in education, and it’s not going anywhere!
So, what makes technology so effective?
A large factor is the devices' interactiveness with the teaching process. Whereas teachers had to traditionally rely on classic “chalkboard” instructional methods, educational technology allows students to receive individual feedback while encouraging active focus and engagement in the material. In addition, as we’ve discussed on our blogs before, traditional instruction types may be suitable for visual learners but often aren’t the best choice for auditory and tactile (hands-on) learners.
Digital learning also lends itself to a degree of freedom that many students enjoy. Students with access to online portals are often given assignments in advance and are expected to manage their own time effectively while adhering to due dates. This is excellent practice for executive functioning skills, including time management and setting priorities. These skills extend to higher education as well.
– studies report that 81% of college students believe digital learning technology helped boost their grades. In the same study, many students cited the ability to “virtually chat” with their instructor and other students as a huge benefit during the learning process. Students who are shy to participate in the classroom often feel more confident engaging through virtual platforms.
All in all, technology in education is a great thing! We understand the concerns about the increase in “screen time” observed by many parents. While it’s still important to monitor your child’s usage of electronic devices, it’s important to remember that screen time isn’t always a bad thing!