10 reasons technology is vital to education

Does technology hurt or benefit the classroom? That is the question in an ongoing debate as more innovative advances in technology are coming to schools and classrooms, and most importantly to our students around the country. 

From digital textbooks on mobile devices such as the iPad to online educational courses and interactive whiteboards, technology appears to have created a firm root in the modern educational system. 

Here are 10 reasons which explain why these advances in technology are a good thing and should be embraced.

1. Technology Connects Students to the Global Classroom. The world is quickly becoming a global community, yet schools and universities around the nation are still confining students to their own small peer group. Technological innovations allow students to connect with other learners regardless of geographic constrains, thus bringing the global community into the classroom.

2. Increased Accessibility to Educators. In a typical college setting, the student has access to the teacher for approximately one hour, sharing that access with all of his or her classmates. This means that individual time and attention is rare. Technology allows teachers and students greater accessibility to one another outside of the hour-long lecture. This improves the educational experience exponentially.

3. Increased Accessibility to Education. Students in a rural school district may not have the best courses offered due to a lack of teachers or financial resources. Those who live far from a university and can’t move to on-campus housing may not be able to get a college degree. Online education options can remove these hurdles for students in these situations. Today, a student can easily pursue a bachelor’s degree without ever setting foot on a college campus.

4. Greater Resources with Less Waste. Digital textbooks, virtual manipulatives and online worksheets give teachers and students access to more resources than they could afford with tangible items. Less clutter in the classroom means less waste in the landfills. Digital textbooks are now available on almost every level and other traditional education supplies, like math manipulatives, can now be found in digital form.

5. Meeting Student Expectations. Today’s students have grown up with technology. Students expect to use technology when they get to school, so schools who embrace that expectation have a better chance of connecting with their students.

6. Greater Collaboration. Today’s teachers and professors are recognizing the value of teaching their students to collaborate in order to prepare the students for a real-world career. With Google’s Apps for Education, a free program available to schools, colleges and universities, students can place a document in Google Docs and access it in real time. Thus, a team of students can collaborate on a school project with minimal hassle and no wasted time.

7. Greater Student Engagement. Using technology in the classroom helps improve student engagement. It keeps students interested in what’s happening, and as a result students learn more.

8. Greater Productivity. Teachers also benefit from technological advances. Digital grading, the ability to share assignments and online collaboration with peers will lead to greater productivity for teachers and college professors.

9. Saving Money. Technology may not seem to be a money-saving tactic because of the large, initial investment. Yet, over time schools can save money on textbooks, paper worksheets and tangible manipulatives.

10. Giving Students 21st Century Skills. Very few careers can be performed without a basic understanding of computers and technology. Teachers who embrace it in their classrooms, no matter what grade level they are teaching, are preparing students for life outside of school.

This is a guest post by Lindsey Harper Mac who is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing about business and technology. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can follow her on Twitter @HarperMac11.

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