As adults and parents, we know that too much screen time has consequences. Issues like eyestrain, trouble sleeping, and sitting too much are just a few problems that can occur in people of all ages due to the overuse of devices like cell phones and computers. However, we have to acknowledge that technology now plays an important role in our daily lives and our children’s lives.
Technology is quickly making its way into the classroom, which has its benefits and challenges. Regardless of your rules surrounding technology use at home, chances are good that a few different devices are being used in your child’s school to support their learning.
Here’s how that might be impacting your child’s education.
One of the most obvious examples of technology use in the classroom is virtual learning. Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, school districts all over the world closed and shifted to virtual classrooms, having students log on to video chat classes to continue their education while preventing the spread of disease. Just about every parent and student had to navigate this new and challenging reality with very little warning.
While having the option to keep kids learning while quarantining was important, there were huge flaws in the system. Not only did kids miss out on the social opportunities of attending school, but many did not have the proper equipment and internet access to fully participate, meaning that kids with fewer resources were left to fall behind.
Additionally, some students struggled to focus in the virtual learning environment, causing them to fall behind their peers.
With that said, there are some significant benefits of virtual learning. Studies indicate that students retain much more of what they learn in a virtual setting—40-60% vs. only 8-10% in the classroom. Study time is also reduced, which can leave kids more time to follow their own interests and have more unstructured time.
Interactive Content with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Gamification
Technology is designed to capture our interests and cater to human nature. It’s not surprising that kids love using devices like smartphones and tablets. In the classroom, that can be used to help them learn and retain information.
Interactive content is naturally more engaging than other curriculum mediums, and engaged students are better learners. Using technological tools like augmented reality and virtual reality in the classroom for immersive, interactive experiences, teachers can turn almost any subject into an exciting adventure that gets students excited about topics like history and biology. Teachers can encourage collaboration between students using immersive technologies to not only improve the learning experience itself but also to improve social skills.
Gamification is another important technology tool that is used in a classroom setting. Kids love to play games, especially video games, and can be easily engaged by game elements. Using this technique to introduce learning concepts in subjects like math and programming is highly beneficial in the classroom.
One huge benefit of technology is its ability to facilitate personalized learning for kids in the same classroom. Instead of everyone working on the same material or curriculum, technology can allow for dynamic teaching that helps support students where they are in the learning process.
Personalized learning requires the collection of data during the school day, but it can really help students who struggle in a large classroom setting because they tend to fall behind or want to rush ahead. Technology provides enough tools for data management and curriculum modifications to support teachers in providing personalized learning plans.
Technology in the Classroom: Preparing Kids for a Digital World
It makes sense that kids are using technology in the classroom, considering how connected we are in our everyday lives. By using digital mediums in schools, your children are not only learning the basic educational concepts we all need, but they’re also learning how to leverage technology in a world that depends on it.
Jobs of the future will require a high level of technical expertise. Your child will be expected to be an expert in navigating technology, regardless of the field they enter. So, with that in mind, it doesn’t make sense to have them prepare for the world in an analog classroom, only to leave it behind for a world of connectivity in college and beyond.