How Technology Has Changed Student Life

Today’s Generation Z and Generation Alpha students are more connected to technology than any cohort before. In fact, many of today’s students can’t remember a time before iPhones, tablets, laptops, smart devices, and other technology tools were available at home or at school. 

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, nearly 90% of Hoosier 8th graders in public schools reported having the internet and a device at home. While there is still work to be done to improve access to tech in Indiana and beyond—especially in low-income urban and rural communities—the fact is that technology is and will continue to change life and learning for students of all grade levels. 

But for many, that begs the question: Does technology improve student learning and achievement? And the answer is a resounding YES—as long as technology is implemented in an intentional and strategic manner. In this blog, we’re exploring examples of technology used in education today and how these tools and devices are changing student life and learning both in and out of the classroom.

What Is the Role of Technology in Student Education?

At its most fundamental level, technology acts as a catalyst to enhance student learning by providing students with opportunities like increased access to information, personalized and self-paced learning, and more chances to actively engage with their learning. As we become an increasingly digital society, the use of technology in education is only going to increase, as are educators’ abilities to integrate it into classrooms in intentional and meaningful ways that prepare students to become lifelong learners. 

So how exactly is the role of technology playing out in classrooms? Here are four ways that technology is changing education as we know it.

More Opportunities than Ever Before

For students who have regular access to technology, it is providing more opportunities than ever. For example:

Small schools and rural schools are finding access to increased course offerings through remote learning or instruction. This is especially important as schools everywhere face teacher shortages.

Schools with 1:1 device policies are providing students with new ways to learn and prove mastery through learning management systems (LMS), interactive quizzes, presentations, and more. 

Technology also enhances flipped classroom teaching where students learn on their own—often through video lectures, ebooks, or LMs activities. Then, time spent in class is dedicated to applying what they’re learning in real-world situations. 

Really, the opportunities in the classroom for students are only limited by the partnerships schools are able to form, the curriculum they offer, and the tech they have access to. All that to say, technology access is still highly disproportionate in the United States and beyond, and equitable access to tech and the myriad benefits it provides must remain top of mind for schools and for policymakers.

 

Remote Learning

For many schools, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their development of digital or remote learning. While many schools had already developed the ability for one-off digital days in place of snow days, the pandemic forced educators everywhere to adapt quickly. In fact, even as recently as January and February of 2021, approximately 48% of middle school students in the US were still attending school fully remote.

Now that we’re adapting to a new normal, we’re starting to analyze and truly understand the benefits that remote learning can offer. How does technology help students in this example? Let’s consider students with chronic illnesses or other extenuating circumstances. Remote learning opportunities provide a way for them to remain connected and engaged with their learning, with their classmates, and with their teachers where they may not have otherwise been able to. While remote learning may not be the optimal learning method for all students, its availability is helping keep more students connected.

 

Expanded Engagement Opportunities

While more traditional pedagogical methods of lecture-style learning and memorization still have a time and place in the classroom, using technology in strategic ways can increase student engagement in and out of the classroom. Here are some examples of technologies that improve student learning through engagement.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can expand the boundaries of the classroom to the rain forest, the International Space Station, and beyond.

Video apps and tools like Youtube encourage students to learn through videos developed by people with diverse perspectives. Many of these apps also allow students to easily develop their own videos to engage more deeply with the content they’re learning.

Collaborative tools like Google Docs allow students to work together—in real-time—to take notes, work on projects, and give and receive instant feedback from classmates and teachers.

 

Blended, Data-Driven Learning

Today’s technology allows students’ learning to be guided by data. For example, at XR Technologies, we’ve developed a “Math as a Service” model that allows schools to hire us as a vendor to run a portion of their math department. Our data processes and dashboards provide valuable insights to teachers on student progress, pacing, and what resources students need most.

Where does blended learning come in? Our solution provides in-person instruction with virtual content experts, today’s top technology, and an adaptive curriculum that provides students with a blended learning experience.

Our XR Coaches build and maintain a learning environment where students access learning resources, gradually learning to navigate the resources by themselves. This process encourages students to develop initiative and responsibility.

XR Technologies: Changing Student Lives Daily 

At XR Technologies, we’ve built a team of passionate educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs who create processes and technology tools to help school leaders with math department shortages. Society is rapidly changing and developing, and schools everywhere are facing increased pressure to prepare students for the new economy. At XR Technologies, we know technology is the answer. Our proprietary platform provides the people and the tools to help students learn math through a growth mindset and a culture of student choice. 

Interested in learning more about how we can partner with your math department? Reach out to us today.

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