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How Technology Can Be Used To Enhance Practical Science

March 11th, 2022 16 min read

As technology has rooted its way into our day-to-day existence, education has been changed. Long gone are the times of thumbing through an Encyclopedia. With information at the tips of our fingers, learning is now boundless. 

Improving education is a huge issue for our society. Test scores, our perceived performance against different nations, and different elements have pushed education to the bleeding edge of national legislative issues, directly behind healthcare reform. Technology can be utilized to improve teaching and learning and help our students be successful.

Tech helps education in many ways, including utilizing:

While everyone would love to see smaller schools and class sizes, technology cannot do that physically. However, technology can be a “force multiplier” for the teacher. Through the use of learning management systems (LMS) students can access online resources to get assistance on demand beyond the physical reach of their teacher. Technology can also extend education in another way.

Education doesn’t stop toward the finish of the school day. Students can access teachers, resources, and assignments via the web whenever and wherever they have an internet connection. For students who need to spend more time practicing a concept, online exercises and curriculum can also help them work at their own pace and still keep up with their peers.

Parental contribution is another factor impacting student accomplishment that can expand with technology. Most guardians nowadays have extremely bustling schedules. In turn, they may not have time to assist their child with homework at home or come to class for conferences. 

Technology can help. Parents may be able to meet with teachers via web conferencing or other online collaboration tools. Additionally, they can check their child’s attendance, assignments, and grades through online frameworks. They can likewise converse with their children from work via email, texting, instant messaging, and video calling.

Technology-based projects can also inspire students to think and collaborate as opposed to memorizing, whether they’re using the web for research or to correspond with other students or experts who are not physically present. These projects likewise help them learn technology skills they’ll need to succeed in the modern workforce.

Though technology itself can be expensive, it can also help schools save money. Virtual field trips, electronic documents, email instead of printed memos, virtual labs, electronic textbooks, and the thousands of free online resources help schools save cash and still give students amazing educational experiences.

Teachers can also utilize technology to discover resources and go to virtual expert improvement courses and conferences (most are free). They can likewise make personal learning networks (PLN) with Ning, Twitter, and different resources to discover and share thoughts and resources, and get support from their colleagues.

How Has Technology Improved Education?

1. Digital Simulations And Models

Digital simulations and models can help teachers more tangibly and clearly explain difficult concepts and can help students who are visual or tactile learners better understand the concepts.

This can range from simple models in elementary school to help students visualize concepts to far more advanced subjects. Medical simulation technology is allowing students of some of the most complex topics to exist to practice their skills in safer ways. Digital simulations shine when they’re directly applicable to their real-world counterparts. 

For educators looking to get started, here is a quick set of tips on using digital simulations for education. 

2. You Can Now Finish a Degree Online

For those that work all day and can’t go to class in person, online education has been a stunning arrangement. From the ivy leagues to junior college, many different types of institutions offer online courses, certifications, and degrees.

3. Improved Communication

Ineffective correspondence among teachers and students can be a hindrance to learning and education. Technology can change the classroom into a network where teachers post assignments progressively, and students can ask questions more easily–of teachers and of their peers–and reference a structured record of past discussions.

4. Advanced Research, Quick Information, and eBooks

Cloud storage and smart search engines have made research a great deal less demanding for students nowadays. Gone are the days when they needed to flip through heaps of books to locate a specific reference.

Since a considerable measure of time is spared amid research, and since it is easier to access a wider array of sources, students can consolidate a ton of information and knowledge in their projects. Results can be compared worldwide more efficiently, allowing for faster progress in advanced research.  

While new technology and information banks are fantastic, there must be a concentrated effort to ensure equitable access to such resources. eBooks and learning apps are incredible resources, but near useless to students without the hardware to use them. 

At the start of the pandemic, 16.9 million students did not have access to a computer. School resources, including no-cost loan equipment such as laptops and tablets, are essential. In underfunded areas, there must be a federal investment in these areas. Without it, the potential of the technology, and more importantly millions of students, is wasted. 

5. Effective Assessments

Technology not only allows teachers to prepare practice exercises in a productive manner, it also allows them to better measure the advancement of their students.

There is programming accessible with which teachers can give or get assessments of their students continuously. Digital assessments allow teachers to check in on progress regularly. They then have the ability to keep records up to date more easily and accurately. They can tell teachers not only whether the student got a question right, but also how much time was spent on the question. 

These assessments give teachers a much clearer picture as to their students’ advancement.  From there, they can intervene in a more timely, effective manner. They may also be able to analyze trends across the class, and more easily compare test results with other classrooms and schools.

Surprising no one, this does not replace bad teachers and can exacerbate problems. Poor access to practice quizzes, learning resources, and clear instructions on subject matter can turn online assignments into a frustrating hellscape. Professional development and education in new technology, especially for older teachers, is essential to helping educators and their students. 

6. Learning At One’s Own Pace

Obviously, self-guided learning is another enormous advantage that students appreciate with the rise of technology in the education industry. Despite the fact that there are some quick students who are fit for adjusting to new concepts quickly, there are others who must set aside considerable time to assimilate a thought. 

Such students are blessed with the possibility of technology being a piece of their learning; now they can keep pace with their peers by using guided exercises and online curriculum to take on new concepts at their own pace, and to practice again later, at home.

7. Fun Learning

Any good teacher will tell you student engagement is key in a meaningful learning experience. Active participation and attention can turn a lesson into something truly memorable. Think back to your own time in school: How often was something memorized for the test, then immediately discarded? Gamification of the learning process turns students from observers to participants.

The utilization of technology has made learning significantly more fun than any other time in recent memory. Students are getting engaged in a diverse array of learning tasks that improve their retention of new concepts.  The use of video games has a huge array of benefits, and can even encourage students to stay in STEM fields

Students that may struggle to understand a certain subject can search for a tutorial video online. Videos or live streaming content can offer an alternate approach to thought and better understanding of a concept or subject. These videos can allow an interesting and interactive approach to learning that might be more easily digested.

Game-based learning is a field that is becoming far more widespread and is studied extensively. For those curious in learning more, here is a fantastic TED talk about the practice and its benefits. 

8. Online Group Collaboration

The idea of group study has been improved in the digital world. Presently, students don’t have to get together physically; there are many ways to collaborate online. They can share files and notes, work together on documents, instant message or email. They can even use video conferencing to discuss projects face to face.

In a pandemic-impacted world, this has become more essential than ever. eLearning, professional development, and other collaboration opportunities were forced online, and technology made this adjustment bearable. 

The virtual classroom became standard for millions of students from pre-k to university. Real-time collaboration is essential for skill development and professional development, even in a Covid-19 impacted world. Education tech can and has limited the damage.

9. Open Education

We have access to information like never before. In this innovative and revolutionized world, there are various free resources available to learners–whether they are articles written by individuals, micro-learning courses from experts, or archives made available by prestigious colleges. Regardless of your location or budget, if you have internet access, the universe of the web will undoubtedly have the means to answer your question. 

Technology can give teachers and students remarkable resources. They have access to new opportunities for learning approaches to work together and to set aside additional cash. Technology is not just a powerful thing for education–it is a superpower.

What Education Technology Exists?

There are many different classifications of education technology. Here are a few to get started, along with their general purpose and a few notable examples. If you are looking for education software, these are a fantastic starting place.

LMS

The most common type of software discussed with learning tools, LMS solutions offer a host of educational capabilities. These software often serve as a hub of learning material, provide online quizzes, and much more. Student progress is tracked directly in the system.

These tools have historically been on teachers’ computers in buildings, but that has changed over the last decade or so. Online learning has allowed these to expand to offer remote learning chances. The global pandemic caused this to explode

Some popular LMS software include Canvas, Schoology, Blackbaud, and Google Classroom.

Higher Education Software

As the name implies, higher education software has a focus on post-high school educational tools for students and educators. These tools tend to be something of a hybrid of LMS and business software. They can include components of both, and student information systems. 

K-12 Online Learning Platforms 

Surprising no one, k12 online learning platforms have a focus on pre-graduation kids. Notably, these have a clear online focus, unlike their counterparts above which tend to include in-house software. Blackboard is an offering here as well, along with Powerschool SIS and Ellucian Banner

Student Management Systems

These are essentially interactive databases designed to handle the wealth of information stored about each student. These can also be referred to as SIS or Student information systems. These software can be entirely in house, or communicate information to students, parents, the state, or others. Hero, by Schoolmint, Blackbaud, Powerschool SIS and are popular choices, here.

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