As school districts across the United States begin to adopt 1-to-1 technology policies (meaning that there is one device provided per student), instructional technology continues to evolve. The changes aren’t limited to students viewing textbooks on ereaders. They extend to new definitions of literacy, mixed reality experiences, and back-office innovations.
Let’s take a glimpse into the changing face of our education system by examining 3 key ways that technology is changing the inner workings of schools on a widespread level.
Evolving Instructional Technology
When you hear the term “virtual reality,” you may think of video games, but these same technologies can be applied within the classroom as a learning tool. An article on Forbes.com explains that augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices are being used to “enhance teacher instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for the student.” These immersive electronic learning opportunities are accessible to a wider range of learning styles.
The Science of Gamification
When you add in a psychological component to VR learning models, you end up with gamification of education. Why do people find themselves glued to video games, striving to earn more XP and to level up? It comes down to the chemistry within our brains.
Securedgenetworks.com explains, “When you win at a game, your mind releases dopamine, a chemical in the brain that triggers motivation and pleasure.” When learning is the game, students become more motivated to overcome more and more complex challenges. “This makes learning a positive experience, one that you won’t have to force students to enjoy.”
Defining New Literacies: Coding
The growth of technology in the classroom is not an isolated occurrence. The technology field, as a whole, continues to grow, making it more and more important for humans to learn how to communication with the machines that are helping us run our lives. Coding has emerged as an important literacy, as the future of business and economy will be driven by those of us who have learned how to communicate with and control computers.
Using Technology to Combat Budget Cuts
When the government tightens the budgetary belt, our education system feels the squeeze. In 2017, Diverse Education reported the layoffs of 27 people from Virginia’s Tidewater Community College. Unfortunately, many other schools have gone through similar devastating cutbacks.
The good news is that technology in education extends beyond the classroom. Document Management Systems and Robotic Process Automation tools can be used in the back office to reduce the administrative load. For example, Polk State Community College was able to leverage DocuPhase’s Document Management System to help accommodate a 66% growth in their student body, while also reducing the administrative workload by 80 hours per week. Tools like this shouldn’t be overlooked when discussing educational technology.
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