Asking a child to sit through a long class or church sermon almost always ends with fidgeting, fussing and most likely falling asleep. The reason for this is that children tend to be more engaged and more receptive to learning when they practice by actively doing rather than passively listening. Multiple studies have supported arguments showing benefits of technology, which has become especially valuable in our digitally dependent society.
In addition to modern technological devices, students can become highly engaged in any educational activity that takes a hands-on approach. The following list provides a few more details about the benefits of interactive learning.
1. Improved social and communication skills
Working and communicating well with others is a fundamental skill for any profession, which is developed early in life through socially interactive activities and engaging with others. In conjunction with field trips to museums and other educational centers, educators should encourage students to discuss what they’ve learned as a group and apply their skills collectively through group projects and other interactive activities. For example, students can derive a more in-depth understanding of Native Americans by visiting the Chickasaw Cultural Center and discussing what they’ve learned with their peers and real Native Americans.
2. Student empowerment
The structure of educational systems used to be much more authoritative than it is today. Although students need some level of discipline in an academic setting, experiments have shown that many students also respond well to more freedom in regards to scheduling. With technology always at their fingertips, students don’t have to be limited to completing schoolwork during a specific timeframe in class. The concept of “flipped classrooms” has enabled students to complete work at their own pace and use school time instead for more collaborative applications of the material they studied independently.
3. Global connections
Technology has made it possible to expand a student’s education beyond the borders of his or her school, state, country and even his or her native continent. With tools like Skype and other digital communicative devices, connecting with students and educators around the world is made easy and affordable. In fact, Skype even offers an educational program called Skype in the Classroom designed specifically for improving the global connections of our educational institutions. Making connections across the globe not only gives students a better understanding of diversity and the world around them, but can also be a highly marketable skill for a career later on down the road.
4. Benefits Of Technology – critical thinking advancement
In keeping with the previous benefit of global connections, expanding the world around them allows students to develop better critical thinking skills and gain personal experience with ethical, political and moral ideas that they may have otherwise not encountered in a traditional educational environment. Learning about important education subjects through interactive activities gives students the opportunity to dig deep into the complexity of these concepts and enrich their learning experiences.
Although technology comes with several benefits in the realm of educational engagement, it can also become an obstacle when trying to keep kids focused despite all of the distracting gadgets, websites and other more leisurely tech outlets. Because education is competing with these engaging technologies, it must be equally engaging and compelling for today’s students. The world itself has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, which is why schools should keep up the pace and equip students with real-world applications for the skills they learn in the classroom.