Have you read other lists that aim to quantify the benefits of technology in education? If so, you’ve probably noticed that no two lists look exactly the same. That’s because the benefits are so varied and extensive. But these five benefits of technology in education appear time and time again. And they’re all in danger.
#1 Access classes from anywhere
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “48 states and the District of Columbia currently support online learning opportunities that range from supplementing classroom instruction on an occasional basis to enrolling students in full-time programs.” This means that students in rural areas can access education from top-notch institutions.
It also means that many students can take part in blended learning. In blended learning, students have both online and face-to-face learning opportunities. This helps accommodate students’ learning styles and varied schedules. For example, if parents have a hard time getting their kids to school in the morning, students can take online morning classes. Then, they can attend a physical school in the afternoon.
#2 Use open, cost-effective educational resources
Many free or low-cost resources are available online to students and teachers alike. This includes but is not limited to:
- Educational games
- Topical forums
- Open classrooms (such as Khan Academy)
- Practice tests and quizzes
These kinds of resources add to what students learn in the classroom. They are also environmentally friendly by reducing paper from assignments and books.
#3 Personalize the educational experience
Varied educational resources lead to a personalized learning experience. Students no longer have to rely on one kind of resource to learn specialized material. With technology, tactile learners can use how-to videos. Aural learners can listen to podcasts. Visual learners can read a wide variety of research. Students can also mix and match these materials to cater to the subject matter at hand.
Personalized educational experiences also create unique opportunities for individual and collaborative working. On an individual level, students can learn at their own pace and use the resources that help them. On a collaborative level, students can easily reach out to each other. File-sharing tools also allow students to share their progress with each other and their teachers.
#4 Increase student engagement and retention
Different kinds of resources lead to more engaged students. Greater engagement leads to greater retention of the information. Two key factors for increasing student engagement include curiosity and originality. Allowing students to pursue their curiosity in original ways will encourage them to engage with the material.
Technology also makes it easier for students to remember the material once they go home. They can look up further resources than those given to them in class.
If a student doesn’t know where they stand in a class, teachers can use several online tools to allow students to track their progress. Students can access these at any time in a private and secure portal.
#5 Improve digital literacy
Technology is vital to everyone in the modern era. Most employees regularly use technology for communication, presentations, scheduling, and more. By starting young, the next generation will be well-prepared for the professional world. It will also ensure a stronger American economy and workforce in the future.
Technology goes a long way toward improving a student’s experience and understanding. But the loss of net neutrality means this will all likely change. Sign our petition to preserve the benefits of technology in education for our students, and for our teachers, too.
Kristen Seikaly used her artistic background, research skills, and love for the internet to launch her first blog, Operaversity. Now she uses the skills to connect teachers, parents, and game enthusiasts with Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search. She studied music at the University of Michigan, and now lives in Philadelphia.