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Learning has leapt into a new dimension in the 21st century thanks to technology. Computers in the classrooms and the emergence of Common Core standards (which have been adopted by 46 states) are bringing more students online, streamlining digital learning and moving to harmonize educational standards across the country.
New social media platforms for educational institutions are helping these trends as well. But clearly tech is the (present and) the future of education.
Here are 3 compelling reasons why tech is the future for today’s students.
The New Normal
Embracing technology is the norm for today’s students. They have been raised a digital age and are destined to use tech-based tools from here to eternity for everything, especially education. Today’s students are comfortable and easily adaptable to digital environments because they love technology and it is familiar. Edudemic’s Jeff Dunn points out that teacher need only to watch the students to see what the future of tech is going to be. As comfortable virtual learners are malleable, open to new learning methods and have an unending appetite for new techie tools. This familiarity leads to immediate confidence and quick mastery of tech based programs. Thus, students have – and will – become more reliant on technology as time moves forward. It’s just who they are.
As students become more tech savvy, tech-based innovators are offering more savvy technologies to them. The NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report: "2013 Higher Education Edition" points to the following as the cause for increased investor confidence: more MOOC’s(massive open online courses), flipped classrooms(class structure that provides pre-recorded lectures followed by in-class exercises), and mobile apps and devices to link students to learning. In 2007, 15% of adults attended online classes. That number jumped to 30% in 2010. The flipped classroom model is also proven to lower failure rates by as much as 38% and cut discipline occurrences during classes in half.
The newest “adaptive technologies” that are emerging are exciting investors because they offer students individual instruction catered to their performance levels. According to the Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation and author of the report, “Big Data for Education: Data Mining, Data Analytics, and Web Dashboards,” basically, new technologies are being developed that can respond to student performance- in real-time- by augmenting the instruction to meet their developmental level. Tech innovators are designing new dashboard technologies to especially engage the student mind, tap into their capabilities and help students succeed at learning. The US Dept of Education is also utilizing these same tech tools to monitor school performance across the country by using a national dashboard to track public school information.
Technology Loves Students
As a leading target market, the tech industry eye is fixed on teens and college aged students, and vice versa. Across the board, high school students are preparing for SAT and ACT exams by utilizing online prep tools and college students are fully engaged in utilizing their institution's digital infrastructures to get organized, complete assignments, attend classes and connect with their educational community. Today’s students are looking for more apps, more online classes and more digital tools to help them succeed, and tech entrepreneurs are delivering. Clearly education and technology are walking hand in hand into the future.
Working with students in today’s classrooms means meeting their needs for tech based learning – and helping bridge the gap between the old way of learning and the new technology. Tools like online ACT prep and online SAT prep can help schools meet their students halfway.
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