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3 ways technology can enhance ed experiences


Technology can enhance education by expanding teacher access to training and deepening students’ engagement outside the classroom

online-learning-technologyThere has been a lot of focus recently on online learning and how it will impact the future of education.

As technology takes a more prominent role in the classroom, there are some tenets of online and virtualized learning that can benefit our educational system today – including advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula to help encourage more students to explore these fields.

Based on our experience, here are three ways online learning can benefit the traditional classroom:

1.     Online-based courses can help increase teacher training flexibility

Technology is constantly evolving, and educators must keep up to ensure their course content is relevant for students and prepares them for life outside the classroom. Since it’s not always possible for teachers to attend training courses, online distance learning and virtualized classrooms can provide teachers with the resources they need to bring the best information into the classroom.

2.     Online educational tools and self-study can complement the classroom experience.

Online activities and supplementary materials can deepen student learning when school isn’t in session as well as enable extra-curricular skills practice that’s more engaging than traditional homework assignments. For example, we’ve observed that online activities are extremely well suited for extra practice and advanced study in computer science. As digital natives make their way through school, their ability and desire to incorporate online activities across disciplines will only increase.

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Online interactive materials can provide students with the resources they need to learn new skills at their own pace and help make homework more engaging for students.

There is also the concept of the flipped classroom. Using online or video lessons to present students with the lecture material at home enables teachers to better use classroom time for interactive and hands-on learning. With this method, students can apply concepts learned during online sessions to the day’s classroom activity and take advantage of their own multiple intelligences to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the material by engaging with it through various learning styles.

3.     Online communities can connect students to peers and mentors. 

When students are exploring potential careers, an encouraging classmate or teacher can make all the difference. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s difficult for students to find a relatable mentor locally – particularly in STEM fields where females and minorities tend to be under-represented. Online communities and forums that provide alternative access to mentors can help encourage students to explore potential careers, particularly in these more challenging science and technology subjects.

These online communities enable adults in related fields provide children with real-life applications for the skills being taught in school, and enable students to gain a better understanding of the opportunities available to them, while also providing them with a platform from which they can create and reach goals beyond simply passing a class.

Technology may or may not revolutionize the educational model as we know it, but it can certainly enhance the existing classroom experience by expanding teacher access to training and deepening students’ engagement both within and outside the classroom.

Alison Derbenwick Miller is Vice President of Oracle Academy.

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