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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Education and Technology


“[When] language first written down 1,700 years ago when "writing on a tablet" would have meant carving on a stone”. Many schools around the globe are introducing laptops and tablets in place of their stocked libraries. Classrooms- from Kindergarten to Graduate School- are using technology to reach a new generation. They can maintain interest in classic works like Hamlet, offer more humane alternatives to biology labs, and mock a submersive language-learning environment.

Sure, there’s no better way to catch the eye of a student with a shiny alternative to dingy books. Education and technology are a newly-credited duo that all began in a language department in California.

Middle-school-level Irish teachers gave feedback to Apple which triggered an ambitious shipment of iPads to public institutions nationwide. Students at that California school practiced and mastered the ancient language in a “paperless” classroom. Test scores rose dramatically, and, needless to say, registration for the experimentally high-tech course rose, too. 

The eco-friendly alternative to handouts and worksheets is accomplished through software such as Google Classroom, where students and teachers can exchange and update information instantly. Afterall, the internet is almost unanimously agreed to be the greatest advancement of the human race. 

Still, education professionals question the efficiency of “pixelated learning”. They argue that the experience lacks the substance of learning and that the equipment involved has a shorter lifespan than traditional hard-copies. 

As this technology spreads between courses, classes, and age-groups, it will become apparent that there is controversy between pencil and keyboard. 

Merlin John, an education technology commentator, says schools are beginning to show how they can "personalise support materials and make considerable savings on textbooks through the use of digital devices". On the other hand, Tricia Keller, dean, says “This is not an experience offered by static textbooks."

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