In a recent article featured in the New York Times, “Can Tech for Good be the Fix for the American Education System?”, Steven Johnson discusses recent advancements in educational technology and how they can be used to supplement existing learning methods. He points out that “the most important change [in education]… is not coming from advances in technology per se, it’s coming from a deeper understanding of the psychology of learning.”
Johnson outlines several studies done on personalized education software, which he defines as programs that are able to adapt to the needs and abilities of each individual student. In one study, researchers found that students who used personalized math programs improved their skills by 30-60% over those students who worked with human tutors. Personalized software also has numerous advantages over human teachers: its lessons are always delivered consistently and at a pace that is appropriate for each student; it can be accessed at any time; and it costs significantly less in terms of both money and manpower.
Another way educational technology is improving education is through social media. Many schools now require their students to use Facebook or Twitter as an integral part of their lessons. As Johnson puts it, this allows students to “bring their social lives into the classroom — not as a
There’s a strong argument that the American education system is in need of an upgrade. With other countries out-performing the United States in math, science and reading, we’re falling behind. That said, there are some great teachers who are doing amazing things with technology – many of which we’ve highlighted in our blog posts.
There’s definitely a big tech movement in education right now, but can technology be the fix for our country’s under-performing schools? If so, what kind of technology should be implemented? When it comes to educating kids, should we embrace the new and fully utilize technology for good or keep things traditional?
There are several pros and cons to consider when looking at implementing new technologies into classrooms across the country. Let’s take a look.
The American education system is not producing the best and brightest it can and as a result, we are falling behind in comparison to other countries. The US has fallen to 17th in the world for high school math and science scores in 2010. We have actually fallen since 1980 when we were ranked 4th in the world.
The problem is that America spends more per student than any other country yet our students perform poorly in comparison to other countries at similar income levels. The US spends $11,739 per student which is 56% higher than the average of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries which spend an average of $7,534 per student.
The truth is that the American education system is failing because it has been built on an outdated model that does not take into account how kids learn today.
Kids today are digital natives who thrive on technology. Despite this, our schools have limited access to technology within their classrooms. With over half of all middle school students having access to tablets and smartphones, they spend most of their time after school playing video games or browsing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
We need to use this interest in technology in order to improve education.
Education is an essential part of our society. The American education system isn’t the best. There are many problems with the curriculum and how it is shared with students and teachers. There are so many areas where technology can help fix education to be better for everyone involved in the process.
For example, ed-tech companies can provide online courses for students to take instead of going to a traditional, brick-and-mortar school. This allows students who don’t fit well into a standard classroom setting to learn in a way that suits their needs. Ed-tech companies like Khan Academy or Coursera are great examples of this type of ed-tech company.
Another area where technology is helping improve education is with personalized learning. By using data analytics and machine learning algorithms, teachers can tailor their lessons to fit each student’s individual needs and interests better than ever before! Personalized learning has been shown not only to improve student achievement but also help them develop skills like critical thinking and creativity which will serve them well throughout their lives as well as in school!
by Sarah Kim
I’m an education enthusiast. I love learning, and I love thinking about the future of education. But these days, I often find myself thinking that the US education system is broken.
I have a few reasons for this. One is that I believe the current standard of K12 education in the US is failing our students in significant ways, by not meeting their needs or preparing them adequately for college. Another is that I worry about the growing student debt problem in the United States: over 1 trillion dollars of student loans with an average balance of $29,000 per borrower across 37 million borrowers. The third reason is that I’ve seen firsthand how much more accessible and effective education can be when it takes place online.
Nowadays, you can find all kinds of information on Wikipedia or Khan Academy. You can learn to code in your browser from Code Academy or Treehouse, or take classes from Stanford or MIT on EdX or Coursera. Online tutors are available all around the world; you can even have a tutor help you via Skype on an iPad if you’re a kid in a rural village in China! In many ways, online learning has become a lot more convenient and accessible than traditional brick-and-mortar schools and universities
The American education system has an issue, and it’s not the teachers. It’s the lack of innovation, particularly in the classroom. If you think about it, it makes sense that teachers are slow to adopt new technology. Teachers are trained to teach. That is their job, and they do a great job at it. They aren’t trained to be software developers, or app designers, or game designers.
In order for teachers to use technology in the classroom, they need access to easy-to-use tools that will allow them to create engaging content for their students without having to spend hours creating the content.
Some companies (such as PearDeck and Kahoot) have taken steps in this direction by developing software that allows teachers to create interactive presentations or games with no design skills required. However, there is still a huge portion of the market that hasn’t been addressed yet: educational mobile games and apps. Mobile games and apps are a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom because mobile devices are ubiquitous among kids today — they don’t even know what life was like before smartphones!
As someone who works at an edtech startup that develops educational mobile games and apps for kids (2nd-
The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) is a comprehensive plan designed to meet the challenges of today and to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. The NETP is divided into six components that include learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, productivity, and community. Each section outlines the challenges that need to be addressed as well as provides goals and recommendations for doing so.
One of the main challenges within each section of the NETP is how to increase collaboration among educators and with other stakeholders in education. The NETP states that “technology can help educators improve practices by making it easier to communicate and collaborate with others.”
Educators need to be able to communicate with each other on “best practices” in order to better serve their students. This will allow educators to share what worked well in their classroom, what did not work well, and strategies they used when addressing certain issues within their classrooms. This type of communication is essential because it will allow educators to learn from each other without having to take time away from their classrooms or go through extensive professional development trainings.
I have seen this type of communication between teachers first hand while working as an Instructional Coach in an elementary school setting. I worked with a Kindergarten teacher who was struggling with classroom management issues and needed