Education is always changing. In the past, many people thought of the changes in education as a result of new students coming into the classroom each year. Occasionally, the changes stemmed from a new discovery or development that added details to the curriculum. We are now at a point in time when education is changing because of the delivery methods that are available to teachers and students. The ease of access to laptops, tablets, clickers, cameras, smart phones, televisions, interactive whiteboards, and other technology devices is growing each school year or faster depending upon the area. The field of educational technology emphasizes that students and teachers can use devices for instruction, presentation, projects, enrichment, exploration, and more.
When access to technology devices became readily available, many students surrounded themselves with apps, games, and devices. These devices were an integral part of the day. Some of those young adults now struggle to do daily routines without being connected to a device for social or informational purposes. It seems natural to allow those students to continue connections to the world while in the classroom in order to do their own research and link the isolated classroom to the great world beyond. Teachers must learn to combine direct instruction methods and constructivist methods while also selecting the best tools and use of the tools to suit the specific objectives (Roblyer, 2016). Students seems to have a boost in their confidence when using technology since it is something familiar to them.
We are currently preparing students for careers that do not exist yet. We need to teach these students how to research, analyze, and create so that they will be able to apply those skills into any field, including those that we cannot currently comprehend. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley explained the situation well by saying, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” (Justice, 2010).
The use of technology can help to make many abstract ideas into something more concrete for students to visualize. The technology can take away the mundane tasks such as data storage or organizing ideas to allow students to focus on the research and observe patterns while analyzing without being bogged down by record keeping.
Justice, I. (2010). Epowerment: Achieving empowerment in the e-world. New York: IUniverse.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston: Pearson.