Technology in the Classroom: One Big Learning Curve

By Stacey Ross

The Learning Curve report, published by Pearson, looks at education across the globe, ranking the world’s educational systems and identifying the skills that students will need to meet the challenges of the global marketplace.

Written by The Economist Intelligence Unit, The Learning Curve reflects a wide-ranging program of quantitative and qualitative analysis, drawing on extensive research and in-depth interviews conducted with several education experts.

The report suggests that our classroom educators are boosting efforts to improve and develop other areas besides reading, writing and math – areas that will build the skills required for the future. These necessary skills include leadership, digital literacy, communication, emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, global citizenship, problem solving and team-working.

As we see more and more technology integrated into the classroom setting, we are observing approaches towards teaching and evaluating that are quite new. Many of these changes involve the integration of technology in students’ everyday lives.

Collaborative Learning – Students will see less of the traditional multiple-choice tests and instead experience tests that “simulate real-world settings such as chemistry labs, or settings that aren’t normally accessible, like other planets.”

Immediate Feedback – We will see technology that monitors students’ comprehension on an ongoing basis, offering the ability to measure and correct students’ learning pace, and enabling instructors to focus on areas that need improvement.

Tutoring Software – One-on-one tutoring software has shown great results. MATHia, for example, offers a blended curriculum that supplements traditional textbooks and workbooks with one-on-one tutoring software. Students track their own progress by looking at an odometer-type symbol at the top of their screen.

Assessment Tools – The old “bubble tests” are evolving, as testing online now allows for the use of “adaptive tests.” In this scenario, students get harder or easier questions based on their response to the previous problem.

New media is going to play an increasingly constructive role in education. We will see it in how we use smart technology, books, maps and globes, laboratory instruments, visual material, social media, and more. Likewise, we will witness the results of evolving methodologies that aim to integrate technology in ways that encourage students to succeed in building their critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and collaboration skills. Are you in?

Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.

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