February 3rd, 2020
Embracing the digital
It is an era of cutthroat competition and the world is entering into the 4th Industrial Revolution, which will change the way we live, work and relate to one another. A digital revolution that is blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres. The unprecedented growth of billions of people connected via various devices is unlimited. According to a recent research, the mobile phone users in the world have been recorded as 4.78 billion, out of which 2.95 billion are active social media users. Social media and internet users have jumped up to an increase of 39 and 53 per cent respectively all over the world.
These figures are double the figures that were recorded last year. What is more interesting is the ratios or divisions among millennial, Gen X and Baby boomers. Similar to other sectors, education has also been targeted by these tech giants to bring about innovation and learning tools.
Everyone now has a voice
Why does everyone now have a voice? Why are most of the things, just an application away on a smartphone? Is this a step towards creating an environment and means to change the prevailing mindsets?
Taking away phones and electronic gadgets from the young generation, while thinking of its negative impacts, is not the right solution. In fact, it is time for today’s educationists to give this generation a chance to use technology under definite margins. The investment involved in learning can be utilized in the best possible way by incorporating technology in the teaching methodology, because they can either avail or let the opportunities go vain.
Teachers to become Troubleshooters?
The Australian government regard the high-quality STEM education, which is imperative for their current and future productivity. The state is ensuring that their young ones must have all the skills needed to live and work in a globalized world.
Apart from all the responsibilities of a state, it is a teacher job to tell, explain, demonstrate and inspire. They make the environment creative, with increased number of options. Making an individual independent should be the core objective of a tutor.
If someone goes to school, which is a common place for a teacher to place a textbook in front of them, saying “copy that”. There would be no discussions, no opinions, no talking. This drags the engagement of a student and he/she becomes no longer interested. This is where they begin to lack attentiveness. Building dynamic groups is hard to achieve by staring at books all day long. Conventional teaching methods, need to be switched to tech-based learning individuals, that helps the tutors become “trouble-shooters”, to find solutions to problems, instantly.
Australian education system
Little did you know that Australia has the third highest number of foreign students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and United States of America? This is not surprising when you consider Australia has eight of the top 100 university education giants in the world!
It is the most celebrated system in the world. Students from all over the globe prefer Australia as their educational destiny. It is a hub that ensures creativity, uniformity and progression in studies, but how?
Modern day’s education is based on critical thinking and it has a quality of scientific research process and technology; in fact, many people rely on digital equipment and 24/7 frequently asked question on internet, for their discoveries and innovations.
Redefined teaching roles
Teaching roles has been redefined by these advanced tech-tools, as they are no more the fire fighter but the facilitators. These tools have helped teachers in better understanding and explanation. For example, if a geography student is not able to understand maps, then Google maps have made it 100 times easier for a teacher to understand the exact location and assist the student.
Different software help students solve the trickiest questions, quickly. The ‘simulation software’ have helped the science and architectural students and industries worldwide in grasping trigonometry. It has made entrepreneurs so financially stable and powerful. Online businesses have helped people grow their business, by attracting a number of online customers.
Following are some tips and tricks, which allows teachers to try something new, as a tool that can open a cave of treasures.
When teachers use technology in lessons, students are more attracted towards it. Use of computers, digital illustrations, animations etc. gain their interests by making it enjoyable for them. If some schools are not able to take their students to a field trip, then technology helps us with virtual trips. This definitely encourages an active participation, which is hard to learn through traditional lectures.
It is said that passion drives people. Students, who are engaged in the stuff they like learning about, will help those paving ways for their future. If they look for things they like, research for that, it will improve the knowledge retention.
It is a universal fact that no one learns the same way, on same pace. If a teacher gives a lesson one time during the course, it will be different for everyone. This way, technology, for sue is a better option as it helps everyone review concepts at their own speed. Online discussion boards, supported with video streaming help in understanding the experiments and procedure in more practical manner.
If a topic is discussed in class and the floor was open to everyone for debates, it definitely helps the students build a sense of critical thinking. They can then use their knowledge via collaborating with different online platforms. Virtual image sharing, foreign internships, freelancing, publishing their opinions and what not!
Beneficial for teachers
Teachers can use different apps and trusted online resources to improve the traditional process. As discussed earlier, virtual learning, simulation software, communication platforms could prove extremely beneficial for teachers and student both.
The skills for 21st century is much more about just rote-learning and knowing things. What is more, that technology enables and inculcates many practical learnings. Penning down an application or e-mail on a piece of paper is much more different than typing it on the actual application. Managing presentations and online etiquettes is equally important.
Not only has it helped the instructor in preparing lessons but to keep a log of the progress of their students too. There is software available in which teachers and give and take tests in real time.
Gone are the days, when students had to carry bunch of books and bags that weighed more than they did. Modern technology has introduced various storage software, including drives and cloud storages. This saves a lot of their time in saving necessary and relevant stuff.
Numerous schools and universities allow students to take online classes with them. This helps students learn more, have a grip on a particular topic and the best part is, that their grades don’t suffer anymore.
Tips, on how to start with technology:
- One should not buy the latest technology, if their students are not aware of this before.
- Invest in good software. Ask the ICT department for proper awareness and training.
- Focus on how technology can aid a student’s progress, not hinder.
- Keep trying, as there must be something that does not work in the first place, but when you become aware of it, it can do wonders.
Technology and disabilities
One of the main aspects of digital learning is for the disabled students. Assistive technology helps them function like normal human beings. Here are some most popular ways:
- Electronic worksheets
Students with learning disabilities can use these sheets. On some sheets, text-to-text and speech synthesizing technology is available too. This helps them stand by normal students.
- Phonetic spelling software
Reading and writing can be a challenge for students with abnormalities. This software helps covert the typing into a word. Digital audiobooks are also an option for them. It also makes it easier for the instructor to help their students understand.
- Talking calculators
The gadget makes easier for students to perform calculation and it benefits the teachers in checking assignments. Text-to-voice devices are also preferred, as they function on the same concept.
- Variable speed recorders
For many students, speed is one big problem. They are not able to match the pace of the lecture. Therefore, what is easier for them is to press a record button while the lecture. Later it could be slowed down to listen repeatedly.
- Videotaped social skills
Children may struggle in figuring out normal social interactions. With videotaped social skills, it becomes easier for them to better understand the important skills and behaviors.
Upon conclusion, Australian teachers appear to have embraced the use of educational technology in their classrooms. Learning combined with instant feedback is major advantage of tech learning. Apart from just knowing, practicing skills in imperative. Teachers, who have to deal with such large classes, when provided with digital technology, can generate the ability to quick and skillful learning. The software allows learning without human bias and teacher burnout.