Every day we hear about the unbound potential of technology; how it can revolutionize industries and create new opportunities. Yet we rarely discuss how much technology can (and has) improved the education system.
More specifically, technology has already done so much to make education more accessible. There are hundreds of little yet impactful ways technology has done this, and it is essential to acknowledge these improvements, to understand how we can further push this accessibility.
Here are a few ways in which technology has made education more accessible.
Education should be fair and accessible. In other words, every child should have access to the same level of education. Unfortunately, we are not at a point where this statement has come to life.
However, technology is slowly helping to balance the scale. Between increased communication, new tools, and outside-the-box thinking, organizations are finding ways to make education more accessible to children who otherwise would never step foot in a classroom.
By now, we all know and understand that everyone learns differently. According to many experts, 'normal' education is less than ideal for the average student. In other words, generalized lesson plans are only ideal for a small population. Everyone else is forced to adapt to what is available.
In an ideal world, every student would have customized and personalized lesson plans created specifically for the way they learn and think. Believe it or not, we are very close to this ideal. Some programs can create customized lesson plans by using AI and machine learning. While there is still a lot of work to be done here, we are getting closer.
Have you ever heard the term "flipped classroom?" It refers to a classroom that has blended online and offline learning. Flipped classrooms take great advantage of technology by providing video lectures (at home) and in-person instruction. It's a careful balance, but it could provide the best of both worlds very well.
Experts believe that, given enough time, flipped classrooms will become the norm, especially for higher education. It is more accessible, convenient, and has endless potential.
We cannot have a conversation about how technology has made education more accessible without acknowledging accessibility technology. Accessibility technology tools are explicitly designed to make learning (and life) more accessible and comfortable.
Some examples of accessibility technology include speech recognition software, screen readers, hearing aids, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and mobility aids. All of these tools were designed to solve specific concerns. Likewise, each device can make a world of difference in education.
Relieving Financial Burdens
People know how much teachers struggle when it comes to buying supplies for their classrooms. Frequently, these underpaid teachers have to purchase classroom supplies out of pocket, reducing their wages even further.
Here's the bright side - people are aware of this problem. Technology has already made it possible for teachers to become more vocal about this plight, enabling them to do something about it. Online crowdfunding for school supplies is becoming more regular, even while people acknowledge that something more permanent needs to be done. In the short term, these supply and fundraising efforts will help teachers continue providing their students with the best education possible.
Hands-on learning is one of the best ways to instill long-lasting lessons in children and adults. However, finding hands-on ways to teach specific subjects can be difficult. Once again, this is where technology comes into play.
Hundreds of apps, websites, and tools are available to help students and professionals access lessons. Many of these tools, such as virtual dissection courses, help make learning more ethical and affordable. Other tools enable people to learn vital skills, empowering them to find the perfect career.