With the digital revolution, all areas have suffered and are undergoing a gradual transformation. And education shall not be the exception.
The use of new technologies has represented a real revolution in education, transforming what we had done for centuries.
The pencil and paper era are behind, we now use tablets and tactile pencils. In other words, technology has changed the traditional and static model due to the intrinsic dynamism of these new elements. As with everything, this has positive and negative aspects.
The arrival of technology to classrooms
The first technological devices implemented in classrooms came to some schools in the second half of the 20th century. The American universities were pioneers, beginning to install computers in classrooms.
However, we cannot speak of a massive presence of technological elements until the beginning of the 21st century.
Current technological solutions for education
Since then, academic institutions and technology companies continue improving digitalized classrooms.
Microsoft, for example, invests much of its resources and efforts in developing new software and service solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of students. An example of this is the integration of cloud services such as Office or Onedrive, allowing students and teachers to share content in a more versatile way, making group work easy, wherever you are.
But it is not the only one, Redmond has opted for the inclusion of video games in the educational field with the intention of promoting creativity and motivation … And the results have been a success, with products such as Minecraft.
Virtual Reality is very present in education today. The test can be seen in the Microsoft Hololens, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens, or the Samsung Gear VR, http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear- vr/.
It was precisely Samsung who has invested a large volume of resources to guide them through virtual visits to historical sites, software to understand human anatomy, etc.
Beyond offering devices and technological solutions, many companies work with publishers in content creation adapted to the technological age in audiovisual formats and adapted to be cross platforms. That is, being able to access from any type of device, either mobile or computer.
Keys for technological solutions on education
Simple software and intuitive interfaces
Because the inclusion of technology is a success and continues to evolve in the educational setting, it is essential that its use is simple and intuitive.
Complex software limits and slows down technological penetration in educational centers; it has been proven that having practical and intuitive solutions, drives to progressive transition and evolution towards this type of solution.
Here the technological companies have a great challenge, if interfaces are not always easy to use, “intuitive”, failure is assured.
Control and monitoring
One of the greatest concerns is security for students. Although it is a problem that technology has largely solved, we cannot forget about it. To date, most companies offer monitoring solutions that allow control of the use that students make of the tools. As in any educational field, what you need to do is to explain and justify what must be the basic norms of behavior. So the individual is accountable for what he does and limits himself. Absolute control, as well as impossible, is ineffective if we want to create free and responsible citizens.
In the traditional model, all students must follow the same rhythm of the classroom; a rhythm marked by the teacher. This methodology causes difficulties following up classes for some students.
The new educational technologies give a turn of 180 degrees to this methodology, giving the power to set the rhythm for the student. It is necessary to define ambitious but realistic goals, adapted to the individual conditions of each student.
Educational Robotics and Digital Platforms
The inclusion of new technologies is happening progressively, but with a firm step. The new scenarios in which students live today require new ways of teaching and learning.
Educational robotics and digital platforms are some of the most powerful tools in this evolution, as they are giving students essential tools for their future.
Collaborative online tools
The concept of cloud working or cloud computing is based on the idea of working through applications that are not installed on our computers. Google Drive or Dropbox are some examples.
These are web spaces that facilitate sharing of information and collaboration using a web browser. We are talking, therefore, of web applications that facilitate interactive sharing of information, user centered design and collaboration within the World Wide Web. Examples of these applications are social networks (facebook, twitter,.), Blogs, wiki, etc.
The famous moodles are web-based course management applications that help educators create online learning communities.
As I said at the beginning of this article, pencil and paper gave their way to tablets and tactile pencils; and physical classrooms gave it to virtual classrooms, to e-learning.
It has been a long way to see many of these technologies in educational centers. Technologies continue to evolve and transformation will continue to be progressive, the reality is that new scenarios and students habits demand new models and tools to learn.
To conclude, it is important to say that digitalization of education is a determining factor for democratization and universalization of education. There is no doubt that online training drastically reduces training costs. It allows access to training for many people who could not do it otherwise. This because of general costs of face-to-face training, for the student, are much larger than the ones where there is no need and attendance, especially if we think of people who live in remote places.
On the contrary, people who do not have access to technology will be definitively excluded from it. We are, therefore, facing an extraordinary challenge that will have to be overcome if we want to guarantee real opportunities for all the inhabitants of the planet.
Today, we can say that if a country invests in technology and digitalization, it is investing in education for its citizens. As education will become digital or will not be…