Tech Ed: How innovation is effecting education


Education gets a bad rap for being slow to innovate. Because it’s a system with a firm foundation, change doesn’t happen at light speed, but it does happen. The world of education is definitely experiencing impressive evolution, thanks to the adoption of modern technology.

Why is it important that education get on the fast track to innovation? For starters, students today are preparing to enter into an entirely different workforce than past generations. The landscape before them is a digital one; in order to succeed, students must intimately understand this tech-clad environment.

The massive shift that society has undergone in the past several decades has forced schools and other educational institutions to reexamine the materials that students need to be learning alongside the informational consumption methods that are implemented.

Because of technology’s omnipotent and omnipresent nature, teachers no longer need to give lectures from the front of classrooms and students need not sit quietly while transcribing the teacher’s shared insights.

The classrooms of today are rapidly approaching a model that looks far different than the framework we held sacred even ten years ago.

Here are 5 ways that technology and innovation are altering the educational landscape for the better.

#1:  Webinars Educate Beyond Classroom Walls

While education models are quickly changing, many educators still stand at the front of their class, transmitting information in the form of lectures, PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, and similar means.

Through the use of devices like laptops, tablets, and similarly portable platforms, students can gain access to digital classroom lessons in independent learning environments.

By creating a lesson database with webinar tools like ClickMeeting, teachers can generate a variety of instructional courses that help to teach students new concepts, delve deeper into current courses, or even hold out-of-classroom Q&A sessions to provide extra help to anyone who might need it.

Since many webinar platforms possess chatroom features, virtual classrooms enable students to learn by engaging them at home, on the bus, and anywhere else the learner has Wi-Fi.

Webinars can be an equally powerful tool for teachers looking to become more proficient and dynamic educators.

For example, Montessori teachers are required to receive extra hours of training to retain their credentials.

One such teacher named Matthew shared with me how costly this additional training can be. He discovered that ClickMeeting helps under-funded teachers obtain the education they need at an affordable price, so he partnered with the platform to hold Montessori training webinars of his own.

He had little knowledge of how to navigate the platform, but customer service representatives walked him through everything from sending emails to learning the presentation functions.

The alliance Matthew has made with the webinar provider has helped a slew of Montessori teachers acquire the training they need, and it keeps Matthew’s passion project afloat due to its nominal fees.

#2: Data Analytics Leads to Greater Learning

When one thinks about data analytics, one of the first thoughts is likely about corporate applications; sales figures, marketing goals, internal operations efficiency, and similarly measurable ambitions.

Schools, however, can achieve even more meaningful outcomes from leveraging these technologies.

As an increasing number of students use digital devices and online applications to complete their classwork, it is becoming easier to harvest data on student performances.

This analyzation process can have profound impacts on a child’s academic career as teachers can more quickly identify sticking points or problematic learning areas along with a remedy for addressing the situation.

Tools like educational dashboards enable educators to access real-time data around overall performance, the effectiveness of various classroom initiatives, attendance, and other vital metrics.

This sort of technology allows schools and teachers to find out what is working, what isn’t, and what simply needs improvement so that students can prosper most.

Moreover, as many of these dashboards can be filtered to provide data on individual students, learning modules can be more individualized to provide further assistance when needed.

Data analytics platforms are powerful tools for teachers everywhere who may not be able to diagnose student deficiencies in a timely manner when dealing with 30 or more students at a time.

#3: Voicemail Becomes a Vehicle for Empowerment

Voicemail might not be the latest or most powerful technological innovation ever created, but it is having a significant impact on the education of children around the world; and it isn’t the students who are engaging with the recordings.

Dost Education is taking this matured mechanic and applying it in a fresh and innovative new way.

The non-profit organization uses voicemail to deliver educational messages to illiterate parents who cannot take part in their child’s education.

The messages sent by Dost cover a range of child development tips, including basic necessities for early educational stages.

According to the Dost’s website, there are over 750 million parents who cannot read or write and are therefore unable to assist their own child in a variety of ways.

The voicemails sent by the company empower parents to become a champion in supporting their child’s early academic career by providing them with the information they need to feel confident and capable, despite their illiteracy.

#4: Playtime Enables Student Studies

A massive problem for children in developing nations is a lack of electricity in their homes. This can make studying all but impossible considering the limited (and possibly non-existent) lighting options for poor families.

Uncharted Play, the creators of SOCCKET, seek to eradicate the problem through a powerful modality: Playtime.

SOCCKET is a unique soccer ball that converts kinetic energy into stored electrical power. Each time the ball is kicked, a pendulum inside turns a generator which is connected to a rechargeable battery. After several minutes of play, an LED lamp can be connected to the ball to provide several hours of light.

This incredible item solves two problems simultaneously:

First – and most obvious – is that it allows underprivileged children to continue their education outside of daylight hours; as most kids do.

Second is that SOCCKET encourages physical exercise. This is massively important considering that an incredible number of today’s children are not exercising regularly or meeting standard physical health requirements.

#5: Interactive Textbooks Engender Engagement

Bulky and boring textbooks are becoming a thing of the past.

Technological innovation has since given birth to interactive textbooks that students find far more compelling and engaging.

These digital books allow for more than just text and images to be used to convey an idea; these can leverage audio, video, and animated elements to enhance the learning experience and increase retention rates.

Moreover, many of these textbooks serve a variety of purposes for students. Young scholars can use their technological textbook to digitally highlight passages, set assignment reminders, and even take notes.

Thanks to various technological applications and integrations, students today have access to a multitude of learning modules, modalities, and methods for developing a more capable and informed adult.

As technology continues to proliferate society and integrate its way into every sector, educational systems will need to continue to adapt and prepare future generations by adopting the tools of their time.