It was not too long ago that a teacher’s primary resources were the book and the blackboard. Students would sit while teachers imparted wisdom, scribed in chalk onto the all-conquering slate. When the board was full, all that information would disappear into a cloud of chalk dust, which benefited everyone’s lungs. If you were really lucky you might watch a video that was often older than the teacher who was letting you take a break from your normal studies. Those days are long gone. Learning has entered the digital revolution. Tablets, desktops and laptops have replaced books. Digital projectors have replaced black boards. The World Wide Web is the new school library. Everyone can now breathe easier (pun intended) that the internet is speeding through the school corridors.
The digital revolution is changing the way we live and learn in the 21st century as much as the industrial revolution changed lives in the 18th century. Oceans of information have flooded the classroom thanks to the internet. However, is all this unfettered unlimited information a good thing? In the past, teachers only had access to books and journals through the library or by mail order. It was cumbersome and slow, but students had time to digest what they learned.
Now teachers can project pre-prepared lessons onto a white board, sprinkled with the latest video links. This allows for a much more immersive and interactive experience for all concerned. Pressure is taken off the teachers, as they can generate materials that can be reused again and again. It also gives students a much more enriching experience. Educators can now focus more on educating, than writing the lesson content on the board during class time. Students in turn can access the lecturer’s notes and video links online at a time of their choosing. They need no longer concern themselves with excessive note taking while simultaneously trying to listen during lectures, as they are now free to take shorter notes, or even doodle the content that is being explained to them, to hep accommodate a diverse range of learning styles across the student population. This takes the stress off both students and teachers.
The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.
For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.
Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.