Education and learning have shifted more to a virtual environment that heavily relies on the use of more technology to shape students’ learning experiences. Since the pandemic, many school districts have switched to online learning in some form, whether that’s fully remote or hybrid. The growing technology in education is allowing teachers to go beyond the old traditional classroom methods that normally provided a limited learning experience that catered to limited learning styles. Whether lessons are done in-person or online, there’s a variety of technology at educators’ fingertips to support every student and every learning style.
Teachers can utilize eLearning platforms, interactive whiteboards, online quizzes and polls, educational games, cloud eTech platforms, and more to provide students with a supportive, well-rounded learning experience off and online. The wide array of technology available allows learning to meet students where they’re at.
Below we’ll discuss the vital role of technology in education and how educators can use various technologies to elevate the learning experience.
Technology’s Role in the Learning Experience
The adoption of technology in the education industry is incredibly important to help close the learning gap. One of the main goals for teachers is to improve the quality of students’ learning, and technology is a valuable tool that can help elevate the students’ learning experience. The use of technology in education helps students gain easy access to information. It also helps support various learning styles, accelerates learning, and creates a more interactive learning environment.
Communicative & Collaborative eLearning Platforms
eLearning platforms that foster collaboration and enable efficient and effective communication for remote or hybrid education are crucial. Teachers must have the technology available to communicate well with their students during lessons with virtual learning. It’s also beneficial for students to communicate with each other to replicate a similar learning experience to traditional classroom environments and promote peer collaboration.
Adopting communicative and collaborative technology in education also helps teachers improve their own productivity and efficiency by collaborating with fellow teachers and communicating with students more seamlessly. Communicative eLearning software aids in teachers keeping up with student and curriculum progress as well as providing additional learning support for students outside of lessons.
Technology for Individualized Learning Support
Communicative eLearning technology gives teachers the opportunity to extend students’ learning experience by providing support outside of the classroom. Whether lessons are conducted in an online or in-person classroom, teachers can provide their students with additional, individualized support with online office hours using available technology.
The key to providing a streamlined, elevated learning experience online is to become familiarized with the different tech tools, benefits, and possibilities available. Teachers can become familiar with the different communicative platforms available to them for holding office hours for students and learn how to set up, schedule, and host meetings better for their students outside of the classroom.
Teachers can use software like Calendly to make the process of students scheduling office hours or tutoring sessions easier. Scheduling software platforms like Calendly can easily be integrated with video meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, and more for a seamless experience. This way teachers can stop fussing with the tech side and focus on providing accessible learning support for their students any time, anywhere.
Technology for Interactive Online Learning
Even though a lot of schools have started implementing online classrooms and learning, teachers can still create a similar learning environment experienced in a traditional classroom. Interactive and engaging lessons can still be accomplished in an online classroom by adopting certain eLearning technology platforms.
By learning to use the various tools of eLearning technology like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, teachers can create a learning environment that supports each student’s individual learning styles through online classroom features such as breakout rooms and polls. These features can help create a more engaging learning experience by allowing students to interact with the lesson, share answers, and work together to solve problems and collaborate.
Teachers can also use eLearning technology and tools to host larger classes in a webinar-style setting. Webinar eLearning tools allow teachers to still bring the interactive benefits of a smaller classroom to a large online classroom environment with features such as chat, breakout rooms, and polls with a larger student audience.
Here are some ways teachers can access the benefits of these various platforms and software to provide an elevated learning experience:
- Virtual whiteboards — People are able to process graphics faster than text. When learning, it’s beneficial for students to have the options of visuals to help them process and retain information easier. Using virtual whiteboards with the share screen features that come with video meeting software let teachers provide the same benefits of visual learning they would in a traditional classroom.
- Student camera and chat use — Teachers can recreate active student participation in virtual classrooms by encouraging students to have their cameras on to simulate a classroom environment and to use the chatbox to collaborate with other students. Teachers can also regularly interact with students throughout the lesson through the chatbox to ensure students stay engaged, are staying at their computers, and processing the lesson information well. Teachers can also encourage students to use the ‘raise hand’ feature to virtually raise their hand to come on and ask questions or add to a discussion using their mics instead of the chatbox. Using these features during lessons helps keep students engaged in the lesson.
- Breakout rooms — Using the breakout rooms feature in webinar platforms is beneficial for creating an impactful virtual classroom experience. This is a great way to encourage continued engagement among students and create a space for them to collaborate, share ideas, discuss topics, and practice applying what they’ve learned from the lesson. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are all popular webinar platforms that feature breakout rooms.
- Create polls — Another great way to create an engaging virtual learning environment is by utilizing polling features or platforms during virtual lessons. Polls are a great way to quiz students’ knowledge, keep them engaged, and gauge their understanding of the topic. Teachers can use polls to create fun games and competitions among students. For example, a poll can be used to create a game to help students prepare for upcoming tests and the winner receives bonus points for their test score.
As teachers learn to navigate the virtual classroom space, these various platforms, software, and features can be used to create a highly-beneficial online learning space. Learning to use these various features and tools on different platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex helps recreate the engaging and interactive learning experience you would get in a traditional classroom and ensures each student is receiving the attention they need.
Cloud-based Education Technology
Technology in education expands beyond virtual classrooms. Cloud-based education technology has opened the ability for full academic integration online instead of just virtual learning. Cloud education technology, like Microsoft OneDrive and other cloud-based platforms, can provide educators with a full range of services, from assignment submission, and attendance management.
A few examples of how teachers can use cloud-based platforms to streamline the learning process on both ends include:
- Discussion forums — Online forum platforms can be used to facilitate discussion groups outside of the classroom and encourage students to share ideas and opinions. Discussion boards can also be used as a way to create assignments or homework. For example, a teacher could create a discussion board for each chapter of a book the class is reading and assign students to answer questions or leave their thoughts on the boards after completing each chapter.
- Additional reading and learning resources — Cloud-based platforms provide teachers with an easy way to give students additional learning or reading materials outside of the classroom all in one convenient place. This helps eliminate excessive printing and paper use and students losing resources and creates more accessibility for all students to have the same learning resources and experience.
- Assignment submission — Cloud-based platforms also make it easier for students to submit assignments and teachers to keep track of assignment submissions. Students no longer have to worry about forgetting or losing their homework and teachers are able to keep a record of when assignments are turned in. Some cloud-based platforms may also allow teachers to upload feedback on graded assignments as well.
The flexibility of using cloud technology in education allows teachers and schools to have a more streamlined process to manage students, curriculum, and timelines. It also helps create a smoother transition between virtual and in-person learning. As schools continue to navigate the changing mandates with the pandemic a flexible platform is beneficial for keeping education streamlined.
With the wide range of flexibility that comes with using cloud-based technology for education, teachers can also think outside the box for after class assignments, homework, bonus work, and different types of learning materials. Using cloud-based technology, teachers can create or upload a variety of different learning experience options for students to access and get the most out of the curriculum. This allows teachers to keep the backend of their classroom organized all in one place.
Technology in Education: Conclusion
Technology in education is evolving the learning experience for teachers and students alike. As virtual learning and available technology continue to grow, we’ll continue to see the benefits technology has in and out of the classroom. Cloud-based education platforms, communication applications, and interactive learning technology are rapidly being adopted to enhance learning and are providing students with an elevated learning experience during and outside of lessons.
Adopting these technologies in education is imperative for creating an improved learning experience and ensuring students are equipped with technology literacy in today’s tech-driven world. Today’s students will most likely enter a professional environment where hybrid or remote work is the norm. Technology that supports hybrid and remote learning helps equip students now for a future that will most likely be heavily reliant on similar technologies in the workplace.
Providing a tech-driven educational experience to elevate students’ learning starts with school districts and educators being informed. It’s important to make sure educators are equipped with the right technology, solutions, and support.
Meet Me In The Cloud provides the technology adoption solutions needed for today’s education industry to thrive. With our help, you can learn the tools you need to teach in any setting and create a high-quality learning experience for your students. If you’re interested in learning more about our educational technology solutions and services, reach out to speak with an expert or check out our eLearning trainings for different education technology tools.