What once were very traditional teaching methods with chalkboards and whiteboards, the education department is now transitioning to the digital world. Many high schools and universities have already adopted new technologies into their classrooms. Not only does technology help to sustain young people with a better education, it also gives them the skills they might need in future workplaces.
At Delran High School, located in the eastern suburbs of Philadelphia, interactive whiteboards dominate the school, and are the centerpieces of most classrooms. The boards, which are known as Promethean boards, are digital projectors(they are like a dry-erase board) connected to a computer.The Promethean whiteboard operates as part of a system that includes a computer, a projector and whiteboarding software(that allows teachers to use the board as a regular chalkboard). A projector connected to the computer displays the desktop image on the interactive whiteboard. The whiteboard accepts touch input from a finger, pen or other solid object. Another benefit is that teachers now have the ability to search for materials they need online, allowing them to access additional resources when required.
Not only are such unique interactive whiteboards being used in classrooms to help students learn and comprehend more easily, yet most classrooms are also using other forms of handheld technology. United Carlton, print management software providers, found a study by Barbie Clarke of the Family, Kids and Youth research group that specified that 68% of primary schools in Britain are using tablets, followed by 69% of secondary schools. 9% of these schools said that there was a tablet device for every pupil studying at their establishment. As for institutions that have not caught up with the digital world, 45% said that they were looking at introducing tablets in the future to provide a better and more personalised education. In 2014, it was reported that there were 430,000 tablets in education establishments and this figure was expected to rise to over 900,000 by 2016 — however, no confirmation result has been released.
What difference is this technology making to our education? Tablets and other gadgets are making lessons more interactive regardless of the subject, encouraging more pupil participation. It can also improve the retention rate of learners. By catering to different types of learners, pupils are more likely to retain the information over a teacher simply reading from a textbook.
Although the implementation of this technology is benefiting our students inside of the classroom, it is also being used for online sessions such as webinars. Teachers are able to connect with a group of students remotely. This is most prominent in university and colleges, although it can also be used for younger children to teach them a specific subject or module. Exams can also be taken online which has shown a huge shift in the traditional methods.
Depending on the learner’s needs, education through the use of technology can be tailored to the individual. Whether this is through the use of games, music, e-books and more, the opportunities are endless.