When I was a student, I hated research assignments with a passion. I would groan at the prospect of spending my weekend pouring over books for hours at the library. Weekends when I could be playing pool with my older brothers at the family den my father made of our basement.
Now, I am utterly amazed with technology. We did have computers back then, but it is nothing like kids have it nowadays. I would love to say that school has come a long way from just being a boring chore to something more…fun. Just in the past 10 years, the way education is delivered and imparted to our children has been completely transformed by technology.
Evidently, the internet is the one big factor overall that changed education. This is the age when one can get information with a few clicks. Students have the power of the internet at their fingertips and can learn at their optimum pace. And dare I say, without hindering the faster learners or pressuring the slower learners. We can also allow our children to learn and grow through media that suits them best. Visual, auditory, tactile or something else? Whatever a child’s learning style is, we have the technology for it nowadays.
These various technological advancements have also given a whole new meaning to home education and global reach. Online courses abound. A student from one corner of the world can learn from a teacher on another part of the planet. Education is no longer confined by borders. It can now cross oceans through video conferences and various online platforms. Need this course that’s only taught in an obscure village in Japan? Apply online! Need to submit an assignment but there’s three feet of snow outside? E-mail your teacher and send the file via Dropbox.
Books have been digitalized and notes can now be jutted down without boring-old pens but on phones, iPads and laptops. I am admittedly old-school but my, how fascinating it is to have comprehensive online libraries teeming with e-books of all kinds from all ages. A few weeks ago, I remember being quite surprised to be sitting in my kitchen and finding myself discussing some novels I read on paperbacks in the 1980s with my daughter who read them on her Kindle or her phone!
A little more than a decade ago, Apple launched the iPhone, the very first smart phone. And what do we have now? M-learning. Education through mobile applications, more convenient even, than computers. It’s learning on-the-go!
Technology has changed education at a phenomenal pace just in the last 10 years. I do believe that this transformation has been for the better overall. Just imagine how much more entertaining and engaging school is with the use of various multimedia. Blackboards and charts have been ousted by projectors and video presentations on widescreen classroom televisions. I know I would have loved being shown how the powerhouse of a cell works through colorful, musical animations as compared to just perusing boring old pictures and texts. And just imagine, being told and shown the history of dinosaurs…by a dinosaur!