As society has stepped decidedly into the digital age, there’s been a lot of debate about how technology is changing higher education. Some people believe there are benefits of technology in education, while others are concerned about tech’s impact on learning and motivation. Technology in higher education can be a major distraction or an incredibly helpful resource.
Technology is only as good or as bad as what you do with it. In education, AI, coding, and media creation are tools that teachers can use to motivate their students and help them grasp new ideas. Keeping pace with everyday tech is important for modern students. Here are seven amazing ways technology is changing higher education for the better.
1. Channels Creativity
Digital software gives students the tools they need to turn their ideas into reality. Students will encounter some of this technology for the first time in the classroom, as they use software to plan bridges or crunch statistics. Design software is a huge boon because it allows students to experiment and learn in the classroom with minimal time or cost.
Digital platforms open up all kinds of possibilities for creative students. They can use online programs to compose music, raise funds for a student charity, or practice marketing skills at a part-time internship. Other students may prefer to build their own platforms by learning to code. Building and using digital platforms pushes students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
2. Increases Opportunity
Online learning platforms make higher education more accessible for millions of people around the world. For example, a student in India can take a college course from England with only a computer and an internet connection. Many adults are getting degrees using flexible internet courses that they can take after work hours. In addition to accredited online courses, a substantial amount of educational material is available online for free.
The internet and digital tools have highlighted something that educators already knew: that learning extends beyond the classroom to encompass any skill you want to gain. When students want to learn something, they can simply Google it or look up a video tutorial on YouTube. Supplementary online sources can act as virtual tutors for struggling college students. Online educational material enhances learning in and out of the classroom.
3. Personalizes Instruction
For many teachers, busy schedules and time limits mean they can’t engage with each student personally. However, AI is helping educators meet each student where they are. Instead of teaching to the classroom as a whole, college instructors can differentiate their instruction by incorporating AI into their curriculum.
QuizletLearn is a good example of AI-prompted instruction. This app measures each student’s knowledge base and then creates an individualized learning plan to help them reach their goals. This takes excess pressure off the teacher and pushes students to take charge of their own education. AI can function as a tutor and personal motivator in higher education.
4. Improves Assessments
It’s challenging to assess higher education students in a fair, thorough, and efficient way. Modern educators can significantly benefit from using assessment software. Assessment materials that are stored online reduce paper clutter and make it easier to find student records. Teachers can reference online data to quickly understand student progress as well as educational weaknesses.
Although it may not sound exciting, streamlining the assessment process is one of the best ways that technology is changing higher education. Grading takes up a significant portion of a teacher’s time, limiting the type and length of assignments they give out. Although some projects will always need personal comments, others can be quickly graded with a digital algorithm. These grades can be reviewed and compared to help teachers better support their students.
5. Supports Collaboration
During the lockdowns following COVID-19, digital platforms allowed students to meet together and collaborate online. Digital groups save students the stress of having to coordinate physical meetings and help them complete work as efficiently as possible. Because digital meetings can be coordinated so quickly, they’re perfect for troubleshooting and solving problems in real-time.
Online meetings also allow students to receive long-distance tutoring and instruction. Professors can broadcast their lectures to students who are sick so they don’t miss class time. Living documents allow students to work simultaneously on a project, whether they’re meeting or not. Digital group work is a major benefit of technology in education – the applications for online collaboration are endless and exciting.
6. Sharpens Thinking
Some people are concerned that digital tools in the classroom will reduce brain power by making education too easy for students. When technology is misapplied or used as a shortcut to learning, it’s not helpful. However, many digital tools actually sharpen thinking skills and encourage students to develop healthy boundaries.
For example, students who use the internet for classwork will have to practice time management and digital boundaries to keep their screen time under healthy levels. Sorting through citations online requires intense critical thinking skills, as students must evaluate these sources. When tech goes wrong, it can teach students how to handle frustration and find workarounds until they can fix the problem.
7. Adds Meaning
Technology in higher education can also inspire students by connecting their work to the real world. Like every other tool, technology allows people to reach beyond themselves and impact others for the better. Examples range from digital soil testing in Sub-saharan Africa to online adult literacy classes.
Students can also use software and online resources to take ownership of their own education. Digital content allows students to pace their own learning and study material in the way that works best for them. Through using technology in the classroom, students in higher education start to visualize the many ways they could use it to change the world.
Benefits of Technology in Education
The advancement of the internet has made higher education accessible to thousands of people around the globe. Technology is changing higher education by channeling student creativity and increasing learning opportunities around the world. Technology is Digital tools offer personalized instruction and equip teachers to streamline their assessment processes. New technology supports collaboration, sharpens critical thinking, and connects education with the real world. Students who use technology in the classroom are being equipped for bright futures.