With the growing emphasis on digital technologies, personal and smartphones in the hands of students, the future of education has come knocking on the door. Whether you find yourself in the role of a parent, a teacher or a student in Mauritius, knowing what educational technologies are available is essential. Presenting modern ways of learning, problem-solving and technological literacy to young students will inevitably increase the success of their professional development after formal education.
According to the eLearning Industry, 49% of students have already expressed that they have taken an online course of some kind in the past 12 months. Additionally, students with modern technologies available to them learn five times more material every hour compared to traditional analogue, book-based learning.
As we move beyond 2020, teachers and students in Mauritius will have an increasingly wide range of educational technologies to use, depending on budget constraints. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the disruptive educational changes on the horizon, as well as their implementation benefits.
The Benefits of Educational Technology Development
Let’s briefly touch on why educational technology innovation in your classroom is a net positive once you’ve implemented new learning methods in your student group. Educational technology covers the development and application of new ways in which students can learn new skills and adapt to a modern job market.
Timothy Jamison, Head of HR at TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay writing services had this to say on the topic: “Companies like to see technological literacy on their candidates’ resumes. This increases the odds of employment and career development drastically, as the job candidate is already familiar with computer skills, allowing for faster professional growth. That is why we wholeheartedly support the implementation of educational technologies based on digital platforms.”
The practical benefits of using educational technologies in the classroom can be broken down into several points:
- Easier and faster distribution of study materials
- Streamlined grading and student analysis
- Far smaller paper trail and green learning
- Long-distance learning possibilities
- Student group collaboration opportunities
- Make learning fun by introducing modern, fun-to-use devices and apps
What makes educational technologies especially beneficial is the fact that they vary in resource cost – some of them are completely free to use for learning. With that, let’s take a deep dive into possible educational innovations to implement regardless of the students’ age.
Educational Technology Innovations to Consider
- Life-Long-Learning Platforms
The internet has made it easier than ever before to educate ourselves on a regular basis through life-long-learning (LLL). In practice, LLL stands for continuous, never-ending education through web platforms dedicated to teaching. Given that we continue to learn for as long as we are alive, platforms which focus on LLL offer a unique educational opportunity for students.
These platforms offer everything from basic study courses (Khan Academy), industry-specific courses (Udemy), as well as professional-level courses for already-employed individuals (Lynda). Depending on the student and their goals, these platforms can be integrated into classrooms or used in spare time or during weekends. Their strength lies in the fact that courses are constantly updated offering fresh information and skill development opportunities.
- AR-Enabled Classrooms
While virtual reality (VR) technologies require additional peripheral devices and training to use properly, augmented reality (AR) represents its more approachable and affordable relative. Augmented reality represents a pivotal new direction in educational technology, allowing teachers to communicate ideas and exercises to their students more in an engaging way.
All that AR requires is a smart device running on Android or iOS and the learning process can start with a new perspective. There is a plethora of AR applications readily-available for download and integration into educational processes depending on the course topics and study fields. With different courses, exercises and demonstrations available in the AR applications from the start, there is very little setup or training before proper student use.
- Digital Performance Tracking & Evaluation
One of the most practical ways to implement educational technologies into your classroom as of today is through performance tracking applications. Teachers with access to a single digital device equipped with such an application will become far more effective at teaching individual students.
Some of the apps already available for digital devices and PCs include Evernote, Google Docs and Nearpod, offering various options for customized classroom management. Neightan White, academic-writing expert at Supreme Dissertations spoke highly on the matter: “There is no right way to teach everyone the same skill. Each of us has different affinities, goals and study capacities, making it important for teachers to pinpoint the right way to communicate with every student. Thus, using innovative technologies to track, manage and analyze students’ performance is highly recommended.”
- Cloud-Based Collaborative Learning
Many students live far from school institutions and have a hard time traveling to and from classrooms on a daily basis. The introduction of cloud-based platforms which center on internet collaboration between students and easy teacher communication might alleviate much of the hardship students face daily.
A variety of tools and apps are available for teachers to achieve just that, starting with collaborative platforms such as Google Classroom, Zoom and Skype. In addition, team management platforms such as Asana and Trello offer a plethora of classroom performance tracking options for teachers. These apps allow for long-distance learning, teamwork between students and most importantly – they teach students to rely on digital technologies to solve modern problems.
With digital transformation and innovation well underway in Mauritius, introducing new technologies to classrooms across the country should become a priority. Teaching new generations how to rely on advanced tools and technologies in addition to life-long-learning today will enable them to build successful careers tomorrow.
It’s worth remembering that a large portion of the above-discussed platforms is free to use which makes them highly useful for classroom implementation. Explore the ways in which your institution and classroom can benefit from educational technologies – the students and whole country will undoubtedly benefit from it.