Education used to consist of a teacher or professor standing on a podium, behind him one or several blackboards and in front of him an array of dutiful but often bored students. It was quite expensive, which meant it was reserved for the elite, and among those, only a few were lucky enough to be able to afford good tutors if needed.
There was very little room for flexibility and adjusting the teaching style or tempo to the individual needs of every student — basically, survival of the fittest or richest.
Well, that all changed with the advent of the internet and affordable tech tools such the personal computer, laptop, tablets, and smartphones.
The first thing that changed was accessibility. Nowadays, even universities are offering online courses and degrees, so students don’t need to move to another country in order to specialize in the field they chose. That really widens the possibilities and gives way to progress in regions where the government doesn’t have the funds to build the required infrastructure and accommodate the educational needs of the entire population.
This brings us to our next point, cost reduction. It’s quite difficult from a financial point of view for someone from Vietnam to go study engineering in the U.K., for instance. They’d have to pay for rent and food. Not every degree allows enough free time for the students to get jobs, and it’s not always possible to find appropriate work.
With the options we have now, students can not only access programs offered by universities thousands of miles away, but they can gain knowledge for free or at a meager rate using platforms like Khan Academy, Coursera, Udemy, and many more.
Not every student can learn through the same methods and at the same pace, and, as we stated before, those students were simply left behind and had to give up on their dreams of working in a certain sector.
At this point in time, they can easily get the extra help they need through the services of an online tutor, by using apps to assist them in getting more organized, keeping track of their academic tasks or making studying more interactive, more engaging which makes them retain more information more easily.
Chemistry Guru, an experienced tutor from Singapore, goes on to explain: “This works especially well for students with ADHD and Autism who used to find it very difficult to stay focused in a busy, noisy classroom or lecture hall and would often fall behind. Now they can demand proper accommodations and have more options in terms of tools to ensure they get good marks without the risk of a burnout.”
Tools for Better Interaction Between Teachers and Students
Gone are the days when you’d have to hunt your teacher or professor down to get some clarifications on assignments and to explain what specific problems you’re having with the teaching materials.
It was extremely awkward to the point that you would have rather settled for a lower grade. Sometimes they would be grumpy and tired, so the rate of success in these endeavors was hard to predict, and it was also very time-consuming.
Most schools now have online platforms where you can submit your assignments, download your courses, communicate with the teaching and administrative staff a lot more easily, and also coordinate yourself with the other students on group projects.
This saves everyone a lot of time, energy, and stress, and it’s nice not to see so many teachers trying to swiftly move about the premises so as to avoid getting spotted by students with various questions or concerns.
Cheaper and More Abundant Learning Materials
The emergence of e-readers and e-books has drastically reduced the financial toll textbooks had on students and their parents.
Many textbooks and reading assignments can be found for free, they’re easier to distribute, and we can now search for additional information online. That means that if there’s a concept, you don’t understand, or you’re not quite sure about, you can just google it instead of praying and hoping it won’t be on the exam.
Having all this information on just a few light-weight devices has also made it easier for students to get some work done as they’re commuting or wherever they find a quiet corner. It’s a lot better than having to carry around a heavy bag or go to the library where somebody else might be already using the books you need so you have to keep coming back and try again.
Technology and Multisensory Learning
Multisensory Learning refers to teaching strategies that involve more than one sense, as is the case with reading.
Most universities now use projectors not only because it saves a lot of time since the professor doesn’t have to write the information on the blackboard anymore, but also because it makes the class more dynamic.
It’s the same with using educational videos, using sound effects or music to redirect attention or even more immersive experiences like going to a natural science museum.
One of the reasons why language learning apps have become so popular is because it allows the user to interact with the material; they see the words, hear a recording of the pronunciation and have to touch the screen to choose the correct answer. That increases the speed with which these words are retained.
Lifelong Education and Training
With all these tools that have increased accessibility and reduced cost, we, as a society, have more possibilities to continue our studies even long after we have entered the workforce full time or have started a family.
There are currently so many universities and educational centers offering the possibility to study, take exams, and obtain further certificates without having to attend classes on a daily basis physically. That means we can more easily change careers or get the training necessary for a promotion. Also there are a bunch of tutors that help you get the knowledge you need through an online study, says MedicMind, and prepare you for the tests and schools you want to enroll in.
The advances made are beneficial for us that are looking to turn a hobby into profit and start a business on our own.
For example, you might be an accountant with a passion for photography. Maybe when you first decided on what you wanted to do in life, you hadn’t yet discovered your talent and love for photography, or perhaps you were pressured by your parents or by circumstances. Now you can attend online courses and gain the necessary knowledge to switch paths.