Cory Olcott teaches English and serves as dean of the sophomore class and director of student activities at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, Massachusetts. As part of his commitment to the field, Cory Olcott stays up-to-date on how technology is being integrated in education. The following are three current tech trends in the field.
1. Preparing students for the future: Schools are striving to prepare students for a technology-driven future by strengthening infrastructure, which entails building strong wireless networks. Schools are also ensuring that students engage with technology in a real-world way to prepare for their careers.
2. Personalizing the learning experience: Teachers are embracing technology and using it to give students a personalized learning experience. Technology can provide teachers with live feedback on students’ learning, allowing them to adjust their teaching for each student.
3. Using virtual reality: Schools are using tools that employ virtual reality, such as Virtuali-Tee, through which students can explore the human body, and Google Explorations, which offers virtual tours of museums.
While the incorporation of new technologies in the classroom causes much debate, using such technologies has garnered notable results in engaging students. Studies by the Department of Education indicate that transforming learning into an active process, rather than passively receiving knowledge through lectures, results in an increased rate of information absorption, decreased disruptive classroom behavior, and improved student participation and performance.
In utilizing computer-based education techniques, benefits generally result from two advantages over traditional lectures. The first aspect, instant rewards, gives students immediate feedback on their performance, providing satisfaction at each achievement. The second, memory anchoring, refers to the process of connecting new information to existing information, or creating a memorable association to enhance retention. Game-based learning, for example, offers visual stimuli and narrative structure to anchor educational lessons.
About the Author: Cory Olcott possesses over a decade of experience in education, designing innovative curricula, and program evaluation.