How Has Technology Improved Student Learning?

The advancement of technology in educational spaces has opened new avenues for learning that previously never existed. Instead of relying solely on their teachers and textbooks, students now have a wide variety of ways to learn, from virtual reality environments to 3D printing. You could fill a lengthy novel with all of the technological advances that have improved student learning. We will touch on five of the team’s favorites for this blog.

5 Examples of Technologies That Improve Student Learning

Let’s take a look at five technologies that have significantly improved the student learning experience. 

 

1. Digital Readers and Tablets

If you went through the education system before the blend of technology and education as we know it today, you might remember dragging a backpack full of heavy textbooks home each night. Did you know that if a backpack weighs more than 10% of a student’s body weight, carrying this same weight daily can lead to posture changes, physical discomfort, and different gait patterns?

Fortunately, many schools now offer one-to-one (often referred to as “1:1”) technology, meaning each student has their own mobile computing device. Now, instead of lugging home 20 pounds of textbooks and trudging through their reading assignments, students can engage with interactive e-books and programs for the same information—all from one tablet or reader. 

2. Virtual Reality

What if you could draw shapes and figures in geometry class, then pull them from the page into a 3D space for a 360-degree view? Or what if you could take a quick trip through the solar system and see it instead of just measuring the distance between the planets?

These are just some of the many possibilities educators are presented with when it comes to virtual reality. Along with listening to a teacher discuss Spanish culture, for example, students can stroll through the streets of Barcelona. They might go see the architecture of Antoni Gaudi up close or take in the views from the beaches of Gran Canaria. Using this technology as a learning tool adds a new level of interest to lesson plans while also providing more alternatives for different learning styles. 

3. Interactive Whiteboards

An interactive whiteboard, also known as a smart board, is exactly what it sounds like—a large display board with which a user can directly interact. You can write on them with your hand or a smart pen, move things around, access the internet, and more. They can significantly enrich a student’s learning experience by adding visual and tangible elements, like using a tablet but on a much bigger scale. 

More advanced models even have multi-touch abilities, meaning multiple users can interact with the whiteboard simultaneously. This can foster better student-teacher relationships and peer-to-peer collaboration.  

3.1. Nexus: Virtual Learning Spaces

All of the above features built into an in-browser application? Yes, please! XR’s student/teacher/virtual tutor space can connect students to our virtual content experts or even to students from other schools! The real-time multi-user interactive whiteboards offer a space for collaborative learning and enriched comprehension.

4. 3D Printing

3D printers work by creating 2D layers of raw material (metal, plastic, rubber, etc.) and then adding more 2D layers until the layers stack up into a 3D model. While tablets and laptops are certainly great starting points for learning a new concept, 3D printing allows students to bring objects off the screen into real life. Educational institutions can use 3D printing in many ways, such as creating:

  • Topographical maps for a more tactile geography lesson
  • Innovative sculptures and artwork 
  • Unique molds for food products to use in cooking classes 
  • Models of human organs for biology students to practice on
  • Prototypes for engineering students to see and improve upon their designs

5. Cloud Servers

Many benefits of technology for students can be seen in the more widespread use of cloud servers. A cloud server is the same as a physical server because they offer storage, processing power, and applications. The difference is that cloud servers host all these abilities in a virtualized environment that is usually managed by a cloud hosting provider, eliminating the need for traditional computer labs or physical server equipment.

This allows schools to put all educational resources and materials into one centralized location, making it easier for students to access what they need, whether they’re in the classroom, at home, or some other location. And as an added benefit, the cost savings from switching to the cloud open up room for other areas that might need attention in a school’s budget. 

Bonus Example: XR Technologies 

Does technology help students learn more efficiently? We certainly think so. Our signature offering is our math department as a service, which gives schools the option to hire us as a vendor to run their math department. We combine in-person instruction, virtual content experts, technology, and an adaptive curriculum to provide students with a blended learning experience.

Education isn’t just telling students something with the hope that they can properly regurgitate that same information. XR is different. We work with students to figure out individualized ways for each one of them to learn, retain what they learn, and apply what they learn to the real world. If you’re curious about how XR Technologies can help your students, contact us today. With XR on your side, your students can expect to receive one of the best educational experiences. 

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