My parents visited my college class. They are surprised by the changes. I know things are digital, but what else has changed?
Since you are in college, you should be witnessing many of the changes in education. You may be leaning much of the same basic knowledge that your parents did, but you are being taught in a whole new way. Here is the news on modern education.
Back in the day, access to technology and computers at school were limited to one dedicated room, usually locked, time rostered, and under supervision. Students today are immersed in technology and have grown up with it, so by the time they get to school, copying information off a chalk board is not enough. Interactive learning has become the teaching method of choice today.
To inspire students, interactive learning involves a more real-world, hands-on-way of relaying and processing information. Students are encouraged to participate in discussions and role-playing exercises through technology. Traditional passive learning uses a more rote fashion of information assimilation, listening to lectures, taking notes, and memorizing data.
The theory is that interactive learning sharpens critical thinking skills where students can employ imagination and logic to tackle open-ended questions as opposed to regurgitating information in memory.
The collaboration of working in groups is another vital skill that interactive learning encourages. Even when students are away from the classroom, they are digitally connected to their workgroup. Students in allied health programs, along with others that require externships away from college, have a particular need for group support. More than an intellectual exchange, digital workgroups offer emotional support for students.
Students today are living in a hyper-stimulated world. Alongside classes, tests, private study, social life, video games, family, part-time work is a never-ending stream of messages, alerts, posts, and updates on various social media platforms and devices to follow.
Research has indicated that the average attention span for college students is 10-15 minutes, even less for younger students. Teachers are now using different methods of retaining attention and bringing their pupils back to reality.
The modern classroom applies interactivity as a primary manner of maintaining attention and ensuring students take part in the learning process. Class-size reduction is one method of ensuring more time for each student is available, plus this provides a better learning environment for lower achievers.
Technology more than ever has now become an interactive part of the learning process. Many countries have rolled out subsidized tablets for schools projects to enable more students to embrace technology as part of their education. Social media platforms such as Facebook can be used to encourage students to participate in online debates and follow school groups and announcements. YouTube can be employed as a source of video material that can be presented in class. Students are also encouraged to make, edit and upload their own video projects.
Online education is another participant in the movement towards interactive learning. Technology allows distance learners to become part of virtual classrooms. Students enrolled in one popular RN to BSN Program have flexible class schedules for those working part-time, without sacrificing a dynamic classroom environment.
Online testing and examination are now commonplace; students love being online so another way of retaining attention is to test them online. Materials and coursework are often distributed online and students are being encouraged to use their own web-enabled devices to respond to questions and solve problems set in class.
The future is a virtual class or cyber school where learning is done without even leaving the comfort of your home.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school… Albert Einstein.
Written by Nadeem Ghori, President of Webplex, a digital analytics agency.