OCVC announced that they are introducing mobile devices including iPads and laptops, internet and Apple TVs, wireless headphones, air play printers and keyboards and internal and external video conferencing facilities into the classrooms. Which made me ponder over how modern devices have changed the way we learn just as they have changed the way we live. Major advances have occurred in education since the advent of tablets, apps, and smartphones – and many technology savvy educators are embracing technology in the classroom rather than prohibiting it. But are these new devices good or bad for modern education? Read on to find out!
Pros & Cons:
The Internet allows new information to be transmitted through the world in the blink of an eye, and modern devices put it at our fingertips anytime, anywhere for better or worse. Gone are the days when educators needed to wait for shipments of new-edition textbooks or huddle their classes around a single computer. Devices like the iPad and iPod are allowing students to interact with their teachers and classmates like never before in history, making learning engaging and fun rather than stiff and boring.
New devices like tablets are extremely simple to use and take seconds to set up – meaning there are fewer barriers for students (or teachers) who have had less exposure to technology. Many useful educational apps are free or cheap to use, allowing schools to pick and choose the best apps for their students’ needs. Lectures from world-class universities can be accessed through online stores like iTunes, allowing teachers to tailor the level of information on their syllabus. Videos, games and informational apps are all revolutionising the way information is delivered to students, as well as how teachers can assess student knowledge.
Some detractors argue that modern devices also pose a major distraction to students, tempting them to veer off course during class. As well as being expensive, keeping up to date with the latest technology requires staff with expertise on keeping the machines safe and running properly. However, given that all aspects of life are so technology driven these days, it is difficult to fathom that schools would not incorporate technology that offers so many potential benefits to pupils and staff.
How can teachers use modern devices?
The advantages are limitless: presentations, lectures, and communication are all made easier through the use of devices that are easily portable and multi-functional. Teachers can also use modern devices to interact with each other, potentially linking lessons and sharing relevant student information. Many app creators that sell products through iTunes are open to feedback, and teachers with access to tablets or iPods will be able to better communicate with programmers about how to improve the educational software currently available.
How can students use modern devices?
As with teachers, students can use devices to present projects or communicate with teachers and peers. Apps can help fuel student creativity, allowing them to take notes not just through a word processor, but also via recordings or even sketches. Modern devices can help students organise their ideas and questions as they think of them, and make it easier than ever for them to find the answers they seek.
Overall, modern devices offer teachers and students alike an improved educational experience.