Every few years we hear of a big shake-up to the education system, whether it be a change in examination routines, a re-jig of the curriculum, or maybe some ‘shocking’ new stats about the increasing use of technology in the classroom.
Recently, it has been argued that an increased reliance on technology and the ability to access reams of information at the touch of a button is hindering our children’s abilities to learn. But is technology like this not a driving force in the evolution of education? Is it not crucial in the next positive step in educational history?
There are three key ways in which computing is changing education and allowing us to educate our children for the better.
- Up-to-date information The internet allows us to access more information than all the libraries in Britain combined. While a textbook can go out of date, the internet is constantly updating and evolving, allowing students to access the latest schools of thought on a subject, and allowing – for example – science classes to stay up to the date with the latest news, like the discovery of a new element in the periodic table.
- Interactive, discerning learning The ability to learn interactively allows children to learn not just facts and figures, but to also learn how to learn. Learning how to access information online correctly – identifying reputable sources and good resources – will give a child the ability to seek out new information in any field for the rest of their life. While an exam will assess what a student has learned that year, that knowledge can be lost over time. The internet and interactive learning can provide enormous benefits for years to come.
- Staying in tune with change Whether we like it or not, technology is becoming an ever-larger part of our lives. A greater digital understanding from an early age will help us to use technology responsibly, as well as help educate the next generation of digital inventors and designers.
Of course, it is a double-edged sword, and we must use technology responsibly too. But with access to digital devices like mobiles and iPads becoming commonplace outside school ever-earlier, it seems pointless not to use them in conjunction with traditional teaching methods in schools.
Technology in schools may seem like a radical step, but it can enhance our lessons, develop new styles of learning and leave benefits that will last a lifetime. Educational changes are always controversial, but in this case, we should always remember that the benefits of computing in classrooms are far-reaching, and its potential is hugely exciting.