The Lowdown on How Technology Is Impacting the Education Sector
We all know technology has had a massive impact on pretty much all industries around the world, from banking, retail and healthcare, through to finance, marketing, manufacturing, human resources and more. When it comes to the education sector, this area is another one that has felt the impact of tech.
No matter whether you look at education in early learning centers, elementary and secondary schools, or universities, online course providers and other places, technology has changed, and continues to affect, many aspects.
Whether you’re a student or parent who is currently investigating potential campuses to find the best options, or a current or future educator who’s completing a Master’s in Education Administration or similar, it’s helpful to understand how technologies are changing the face of education. Read on for the lowdown you need to know about today.
Teaching and Learning
As you would imagine, one of the biggest ways in which technology is changing education is in the area of teaching and learning. Today, advances in tech means that it’s easier than ever for educators to provide personalized instruction for students. Learning programs can be made to suit individual needs, rather than the old school, one-size-fits-all delivery.
As an example, rather than sticking with a single activity type to teach students, teachers can offer online courses (videos, documents, audio etc.), as well as integrate computer games and other adaptive learning programs. Tech enables interactive lessons. This makes learning more fun for students, which increases their motivation and ability to retain information.
The tech makes it simple for people who learn most effectively through non-traditional formats to get ahead, too. For instance, teachers aren’t limited to standing at the front of a classroom and getting everyone to listen as they talk. Now, they can tailor learning activities to suit different learning styles and skill levels.
Another big plus is that through technology, digital courses can use predictive analytics to work out what kinds of information different students are struggling with or excelling at. From here, teachers can use this data to modify lessons to suit everyone’s needs.
Data is also used to help educators to plan better and strategize more effectively in the short-term and long-term. For instance, providers can compare results, and see where they could do better, particularly when it comes to things like school drop-outs or the use of new teaching methods.
For students to receive the best training and outcomes possible, it’s vital for different stakeholders in education to share information freely. While once this was difficult – and therefore didn’t tend to happen all that much – things are different in today’s world. Thanks to technology, schools, universities, government departments and various other educational groups can share data in an instant and be more systematic about the exchange of information, too.
Before, when people moved from one provider to another, such as from one secondary school to another or between college campuses, it was tough for their new teachers/professors to get access to their files. This was particularly the case when people moved interstate or overseas. Due to this lack of information sharing, students often ended up having to repeat work they’d already done or would get behind in their studies. For teachers, it was also stressful since they had to start with students from scratch, with no understanding of their history.
Now, because of the big data revolution, this has all changed. Thankfully, principals, teachers, deans, government personnel and other relevant parties can both send and receive student files in a flash. This saves time for all involved and makes it easier for students to ease into new training grounds.
It’s no surprise that many education-related job opportunities have opened because of technology. The growth in Big Data, in particular, is having an impact. With all the information flowing between educational organizations now, there is increasing demand for data analytics professionals who can study all the details recorded, interpret the findings and make helpful recommendations based on what’s learned. Data analysts need to be on hand to sort through information that looks like mumbo-jumbo to the untrained eye and to link disparate data sets in a useful way.
Another position that’s growing in scope is that of educational trainers. There is now quite a big need for more trainers to be available to teach educators, across elementary and secondary schools, universities, private colleges, online institutions and more, how to use data effectively in the classroom.