Katherine Myers, Content and Off Page SEO at AV Installations, highlights 5 reasons as to why online learning has become a crucial part of education
Education technology refers to a range of technology, programmes and software that are used to facilitate learning. Usually taking the form of websites, apps, educational games and online courses, these resources have some unique benefits that make them highly effective when combined with traditional teaching methods. For this reason, technology is being used more often by both teachers and students for lesson planning, self-study, homework and revision. Ed-tech isn’t a replacement for classroom learning, however, when combined with traditional teaching methods, it can provide a wealth of extra learning opportunities, making the lives of both teachers and students easier.
Why do we need education technology?
It makes education more accessible
In the past, getting extra help with your studies outside of school, whether through textbooks or private tutors would be very expensive, which could place limitations on students struggling in school. Today, a huge number of educational resources are available to anyone with an internet connection whether that’s through a computer, smartphone or iPad. With higher education being so expensive today, it’s more important than ever that we have accessible tools that people can use to educate themselves. Whether it’s to help students with their studies or for adults to teach themselves employable skills, ed-tech can quickly connect us to educators and resources we never had access to in the past.
Appeals to all learning styles
Studies have shown that learning styles are as important as academic ability when it comes to succeeding in school. In a classroom environment, teaching is often done through one specific style whether that’s book learning or board work. Unfortunately, this can make it easier for some students to fall behind because the content hasn’t been delivered to them in a style that allows them to commit the information to memory. Online, there is a wide range of resources to suit all learning styles, providing resources both for lesson planning and revision materials too. Visual learners might benefit from video content and educational games whilst kinaesthetic learners might benefit from interactive content on screens. Auditory learners can utilise educational podcasts and recordings and there are countless online resources for those who learn best from reading and writing. The variety of educational resources is almost endless.
Provides instant feedback
Receiving feedback on work and assessments is a crucial part of teaching and education. It helps both teachers and students to understand the progress and capabilities of a student and how well they have understood aspects of the curriculum. After completing a written test, however, it might take weeks before students receive feedback on their work and during this time, it’s likely that students will have forgotten their answers or the questions on the exam paper.
The majority of online learning especially in the format of online tests or games, work by providing the user with instant feedback on their answers. Not only is this more motivating for students, but has also been proven to helps students to develop more meaningful interactions with their work. The way these applications can instantly highlight the areas of a syllabus that the student needs to work on also helps them to develop specific goals in relation to their work.
Emulates a one to one teaching style
In a classroom environment, it can be easy for students who are struggling to understand the lesson content to go unnoticed, especially in England which has some of the biggest classroom sizes in the developed world. It’s also difficult for a teacher to provide 1 to 1 assistance to a struggling student without having to put the teaching of other children on hold. Many digital education tools such as online courses and games have AI-capabilities which enables them to identify the gaps in a student’s knowledge within seconds and create content that is specifically designed to target the weaker areas in their knowledge. In many ways, this emulates the 1 to 1 teaching style that cannot always be achieved in school.
Saves schools time and money
As well as teaching in the classroom, teachers have a lot of time-consuming bureaucratic work such as lesson planning and marking work. Today, there is a wealth of lesson plans and great teaching content shared online that teaches have access to. Twinkle, an online publishing house of teaching and educational materials, is now used by 223,447 people each month. Resources like this have the capability to cut down this workload massively for teachers, freeing up their time to allow them to focus on more important aspects of their job whether that’s providing pastoral care for students or improving lesson content. In fact, 54% of teachers said tech allows them to plan more varied and exciting lessons.