Human education has always been at the forefront of technological advancement. From the days of carving figures on rock walls to today, when most students carry several portable technological devices with them at all times, technology has pushed educational capabilities to new heights. Looking back at where educational methods and tools have come from and where they are going in the future, the importance of technology in the classroom is clearer than ever.
The Future of Classroom Technology
Years have passed since MySpace was introduced in 2003, and Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2007) appear to have changed both the communication and business worlds. Instant connectivity has evolved from a personal communication tool to a platform for educational instruction and outreach. In some cases, social media is now recognised as an acceptable form of instruction, and organisations such as Scholastic Teachers offer excellent support and advice to teachers. Many instructors use social media to communicate directly with their students or to create forum-style groups for students to communicate with one another, and the method appears to be useful in providing one-on-one attention to students’ questions and concerns.
With the classroom already evolving into a hotbed of technological advances, what can the future possibly hold that will further educational proficiency?
-Biometrics, a technology that recognises people based on physical or behavioural characteristics, is on the horizon. Based on biometric signals, the science will be used to recognise students’ physical and emotional dispositions in the classroom, altering course material to tailor to each individual’s needs.
-Augmented Reality (AR) glasses, which are rumoured to be on Google’s release list, are another emerging technology that could open up a whole new world for education. AR Glasses (or even contact lenses) will layer data on top of what we see naturally, allowing for a hands-on learning experience. A student wearing AR Glasses, for example, could potentially sit at his desk and converse with Thomas Edison about invention. After all, it was Edison who predicted that “books will soon be obsolete in schools.” Scholars will soon be instructed through the use of their eyes.”
-Multi-touch surfaces are commonly used in devices such as the iPhone, but the technology could become more relevant in education through entirely multi-touch surfaces such as desks or workstations. This could enable students to collaborate with other students, even those from other countries, and videos and other virtual tools could be streamed directly to the students.
Educators and the Evolution of Classroom Technology
With the advancement of technology, educational capabilities are expanding and changing on a daily basis. The Internet is a vast electronic library of information, and both research and instruction can be accomplished with a single mouse click. With these advancements come new responsibilities for instructors, increasing the value of a Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology. As technology advances, an educator’s abilities will expand by leaps and bounds, and an instructor who is unaware of these changes and capabilities risks falling behind.
A career in education necessitates hard work and dedication, but it can be extremely rewarding for the dedicated educator. Staying up to date on current and changing technologies is critical for those who want to succeed in the education field. As the world of technology evolves, so will the learning environment, both on-campus and online, and the demand for teachers who are educated in technology and design will grow.