Technological advances in today’s modern society have begun to infiltrate classroom curriculums across the globe. School leaders and educators have become quite excited about the possibilities offered by these new technological applications. Because educational experts have now been given the chance to reconsider the ways in which these remarkable digital inventions can be used to help students of all ages meet their personal and academic objectives.
These data crunching applications are now helping education administrations tasked with the responsibility of improving student assessment models currently used. The reality is, school settings have embraced the advancement of technology and its many applications. Educators are proactively integrating these technological advances into their classrooms in a variety of ways.
The following list details five emergent trends for those students fortunate enough to be sitting in a 21st-century classroom.
Digital technology offers tremendous learning opportunities for students at any level. The creation of a digital literacy programs will likely be designed to meet the needs of students at each stage of development. However, educators should remain aware of the distractions that are found within the digital learning experience. Many schools have begun to adopt formal guidelines for the use of this new technology. In response, Google has put together resources to help everyone begin to understand the relevance of digital literacy. Their resources include YouTube videos, lesson plans and teacher guidelines.
Digital literacy includes various student tasks, like the creation of:
- More intricate, collaborative work
- Classroom presentations
- Video clips
With the arrival of new, innovative applications entering the marketplace every day, teachers have found themselves to be modern-day educational pioneers – by combining existing curricula with applications specifically designed for school settings. In fact, this educational trend is anticipated to grow exponentially over the next few decades, or so. Featured products available for Collaborative Learning projects include applications that automatically create quizzes directly from the course content as well as whiteboards that can be used unilaterally among the entire class population. The next few decades will truly be an exhilarating time for educational communities.
Applications are currently available that require a simple download, that allows the teacher a) to manage a student’s learning progress against the class objectives and b) to document (and access) a student’s progress from any device, anywhere.
Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom
Georgia Tech was one of the first colleges to offer an online course regarding Artificial Intelligence. This Artificial Intelligence course was primarily taught with the use of a virtual teaching assistant called Jill Watson. Ironically, when the course was completed, the professor disclosed that many students were not even aware they were communicating with a computer, instead of a person.
Many educational experts predict that Artificial Intelligence will become an everyday occurrence in the future of educational instruction.
The recent past has seen an impressive explosion of computer applications that have been designed to help teachers interpret a student’s academic goals in real-time. This data is summarized and then used by a teacher to modify the curriculum to meet a student’s specific needs.
In addition, many applications have been developed into educational games to enhance the students’ learning experience. Many of these application/games offer pragmatic real-life dilemmas to be solved by the student. In essence, the educational application prepares student’s for the next stage of life.
From Librarian to Media Specialist
A school librarian’s responsibilities have also seen dramatic changes as a result of our technologically advanced society. The library itself has now become an integral part of the school’s infrastructure, as it assumes the role of the school’s technology hub.
Library Media Specialists are now trained to monitor and manage:
- The current evolution of research methodologies, and how they apply to library science
- The continuously updated technological advances , and how they impact a school’s learning framework
- How students integrate technological advances within the school’s educational framework
In addition to maintaining the physical layout of the library and the provision of a warm, positive welcoming space, Library Media Specialists have now undertaken these additional responsibilities:
- Establishing technological policies to be followed by staff and students
- Managing and overseeing budgetary aspects
- Revising the existing library space, if needed
- Creating and implementing a virtual library space for students and teachers alike
To successfully implement theses processes, Library Media Specialists, (especially in school settings) employ a wide variety of computer resources and technological tools. Library Media Specialists will likely continue to have a vital role in the educational setting as technology becomes further integrated into the curriculum of 21st century.
Digital literacy continues to expand as fresh learning approaches are developed by the techies and embraced by educational communities around the world.
An unexpected byproduct of these recent, remarkable technological advances has brought about new industry offshoots that require specialized training. These new disciplines include Data Analytics and Cyber-Security, to name just a few.
Technological advancements seem to dovetail beautifully with collaborative learning approaches, self- directed educational techniques, and presentations offered in an improved group setting.
While online courses are traditionally offered through For-Profit institutions, the Non-Profit educational community has begun to recognize the extensive possibilities offered by online degrees. Experts predict that online degrees from Non-Profit schools will grow dramatically, while the number of For-Profit courses will continue to drop. Given this strengthening trend, it is now very possible that more and more students will be given the opportunity to earn an online degree from a credentialed Non-Profit school. Bear in mind that many employers prefer to hire applicants who have earned online degrees from Non-Profit t schools than online degrees earned from For-Profit schools.