For years the education system has turned a blind eye to technological advances. Blackboards became whiteboards and pens replaced chalk but teachers still stood in front of a class of pupils to pass on their knowledge. Now technology is bringing about profound changes in education that could revolutionise classroom teaching.
Interactive games and animation are making learning fun and engaging for students of all ages. The Department of Education in the UK has set up a pilot scheme across 9 schools in England which takes advantage of computer technology in the teaching of maths. Called the Cornerstone Maths Project, it is based on a similar scheme which operated successfully in the US and uses animation to demonstrate mathematical concepts. This sort of technology allows teachers to explain and teach complex mathematical problems in a visual and interesting way.
When the project took place in the United States, it was discovered that students who used this sort of technology in the learning of maths showed significantly more improvement than those who did not. Teachers who have taken part in this study have found the course materials motivating and engaging for their students. The following video highlights the feelings and opinions of the teachers involved: Teachers reflection on Education and Technology.
In order to prepare our children for the workplace they need to be educated at the forefront of technological change. Teaching methods and educational resources need to keep up with developments taking place in the wider world.
The UK’s Minister of State for Education, Michael Gove, spoke at a recent conference for technology in education, outlining his plans for bringing technology into the classroom. He sees the future as:
•Distance learning – any child with an internet connection can now take advantage of education, no matter where they are in the world. He gave the example of iTunesU where students can hear lectures from the world’s top universities.
•Interactive games and software taking a bigger role in the classroom. This is learning at its more enjoyable and memorable, adapted to each individual child’s needs.
•Big changes in the way that assessment takes place. Technology allows individual progress to be measured much more efficiently, with results shared with parents and other teachers.
Technology allows teachers to better tailor teaching to the needs of the class, and offer even greater personalisation than is possible in traditional classroom teaching. New developments in educational resources encourage creativity and allow students to learn using examples and visuals from the real world. We don’t know what is around the corner, but we can see even greater opportunities for students to take advantage of engaging and fascinating learning material.
stocks a range of high quality educational videos, all from BBC television programmes. The videos are ideal for use in universities, schools and other educational environments.