Technology and Education – Advancing Together

By Mae Pyer

Students are growing up with technology in their pockets and on their desks, giving them instant access to a world of information. This electronic evolution is not only changing the way they learn, but how teachers teach. Companies are creating personalized content that caters to students’ needs, while providing instructors with critical feedback about progress and pace.

Enhancing Education

While technology is increasing educational opportunities, it is also changing the typical classroom dynamic. For centuries, teachers have stood at the front of the class instructing a room full of students sitting in rows. Although the format may still be the same, the roles are evolving. Teachers increasingly serve as guides, empowering students to work in small groups and lead their own discussions. These advances enable new methods of communication and collaboration, like joining a video call with classrooms in another part of the world or connecting with a renowned speaker at a university across the country.

A New Era

Though some may consider technology to be a distraction, it provides opportunities to educate people anywhere in the world. In 2012, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched edX, an online platform offering free courses from highly regarded institutions. Pearson Education, which is also focused on being a source for global learning, has created personalized classes that provide instructors with access to information about student experiences. Programs like these are reinforcing the idea of an “anytime, anywhere” education for students and teachers alike.

DreamBox, a math software program that adapts to a student’s skill level and pace, is actually replacing classic textbooks, giving students the individualized attention they need to be successful. The system records information about learning and progress so that teachers can develop a better understanding of what teaching methods are most effective. These programs allow students to learn on their own in a way that is both enjoyable and unique.

More to Come

Currently, the United States Navy is testing an artificial intelligence program that provides students with one-on-one tutoring catered to individual learning styles. By enabling instructors to group students with similar skills, the program should allow students to learn more in shorter periods of time.

As technology evolves, companies will continue to create products that provide teachers with new tools designed to enhance the classroom experience. And as teachers adapt, they will help the field of education mature into new forms for the 21st century.