Learning an exotic language from the distant corner of the planet, becoming a skilled vehicle mechanic by playing a video game or exchanging tons of information in several clicks – these are just a few amazing opportunities of the digital era. Technology has gradually squeezed out traditional way of education and offered more effective methods and tools.
Here are a few tech solutions that help to shape modern global education:
A light small-sized portable device able to store extensive volumes of information replaced piles of textbooks and stationary. Now, students can make text, visual or audio notes, as well as immediately exchange files. Constant access to the internet allows to be up to speed with relevant information and to manage time more effectively.
Modern student can hardly imagine the time when learning was limited by so many factors: availability of the teacher, expensive textbooks, working hours of the libraries or outdated information.
Cloud storage software has revolutionized the way the world learns. Highly secure server can store tons of different files available at any time of the day. File upload or download are a matter of a few clicks, not to mention a huge amount of functions that provide flexibility and user friendly experience. Users can categorize them, set up the access options, lock access with a password, edit information online or retrieve files from the backup.
As an alternative way to store data, digital libraries represent an online depository of texts, images, audio or video recordings with convenient functions of search and data retrieval. Among the benefits of this software are round the clock availability, great amount of structured content and usability.
While many see social networks as means of distraction, Singapore schools decided to implement them in their classrooms. Thus, Twitter helps to collect opinion of every student in a 40-people class, Facebook engages young learners into disputes and discussions in a familiar environment and Instagram visualizes the information and develops critical thinking through commenting.
With 2 billion users from all over the world, You-Tube by right can be considered a primary educational source of the here and now. Lectures from the best universities, cooking classes, design insights and computer life hacks are just a tiny portion of available resources. AI algorithm memorizes user’s preferences to provide the best experience and to recommend only relevant channels and content.
Google Classroom is a free service invented to speed up the process of file exchange between teachers and students. Through various Google services, it allows to store and exchange files, create presentations and digital tables, as well as organize the studying process. With IOS and Android applications, students can take pictures, add attachments, exchange files and utilize the Classroom in the offline mode. Teachers, in their turn, can offer an effective support to their learners by tracking academic performance and leaving a feedback when it is necessary.
The times when augmented reality served just for fun are long gone. Now, students and professionals can use it to hone the skills they already have or obtain new ones. For instance, the Yale School of Nursing introduced an up-to-date training for future doctors. With the help of mannequins and smartphones, a special app visualizes wounds and disease symptoms. Dr. Amir San from the Imperial College of London decided to challenge learners even more: on the human anatomy hologram shown through the headphones, the students will have to take a very realistic 3D test.
What if Sheldon Cooper tried to drive a real car instead of recreating situation on his computer? Although no one denies the necessity of gaining the real skills, simulation games can turn a learning process into a fascinating and safe experience. Try out the role of a pilot and see all the ins and outs of this profession with the Microsoft Flight Simulator or outdo your car savvy friends just playing the Car Mechanic Simulator.
With various tech assistance under their belt, students are no longer restricted to physical classes, attending lectures and making a good impression on their teacher. Simply having a laptop, a phone or a tablet and an internet connection, an amateur can become a certified professional from the comfort of their own home.
Top universities of the world offer an array of courses with fully structured lesson plans, video lectures
, assignments under test, teacher supervision and a group chat to stay in touch with other learners and teachers. Some platforms, EdX for instance, offer free of charge audits.
In March 2020, Zoom reported 200 million daily meeting participants. Nowadays, video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and others, are one of the key drivers in education. Offering most of the functions at no fee, they connect people from every corner of the world, and in doing so considerably simplify the information exchange. Private classes or group meetings do not require your presence in the room any more, while heaps of paper have been replaced by electronic information sent through the instant messaging.
Language Learning Platforms
A Shanghai-based language exchange platform Italki has rapidly won the hearts of polyglots. It is a community with over 3 million people from 100 countries and 5 thousand tutors and teachers. The platform includes a language-learning blog, professional teaching services and a free opportunity of a language exchange with other learners.
Its peer Preply, a Ukrainian company, went even further and created a comprehensive learning platform for nearly every subject one may wish to study. Aside from foreign languages, there are tutors available in music, math, computer technologies, psychology and many others. Great range of prices ensures that there is a teacher for every pocket.
Technology is a powerful tool that can transform education and introduce new ways of learning. However, it is up to us to make the most of these opportunities.