The emergence of information technology and the internet has altered the way people live and work. Education is no exception to this trend. Students can now complete entire academic programs without the need ever to visit the university or to take a break from work.
They can also listen to subject lectures as podcasts on their mobile phones. In this article, we have summarised eight ways of how technology can be used to improve the learning experience of students.
In conventional learning, students sometimes find it challenging to understand difficult concepts. Laboratory experiments and case studies are helpful only for some courses related to chemistry and management.
Technology aided digital simulations of complex concepts such as mathematical theorems and supply chain management practices will help you in expanding the boundaries of the classroom and understanding hard to explain concepts. A few digital simulations are available online free of cost. Interested students can access more simulations by paying a small subscription fee to educational websites.
Online Guides and Case Studies
Students had to visit their libraries frequently to access guides required for learning their courses well. Technology now facilitates you to access online guides posted on academic websites easily. Most of these guides are available free of cost and are highly informative. Interactive case studies on every subject are also posted online to help students gain real-world knowledge regarding a course.
Case studies and small case lets (i.e., mini-cases) could be purchased from popular websites and case repositories such as the Case Centre by paying a small subscription price. These sources provide access to various analysis instruments and frameworks that can help you improve your learning experience. For example, 15writers.com provides a sophisticated Porter’s Five Forces analysis generator for free. Such generators and other analysis tools could be used to make the learning process easier.
Accessing Assessment Tools
Preparing for an entrance test such as GMAT or other routine certification exams used to be a time-consuming process. Students had to buy expensive books and spend a fortune to take mock tests and training tests. Technology now makes it much easier to access assessment tools.
Websites of major universities such as London Business School and other popular academic portals host assessment instruments that can be used by students to test their knowledge before they take the actual tests. Most of these assessment tools are made available free of cost or for a small fee to the interested candidates. You can now even access assessment tools on mobile phone applications developed for all leading mobile platforms.
Students at universities collaborate and form learning groups to take advantage of one another’s strengths. Technology now makes it possible for students to collaborate across the borders. Online courses facilitate the formation of study groups constituting students from different backgrounds.
Online collaboration increases the diversity of the learning groups and makes it possible for members to get diverse perspectives regarding a topic. You can utilize these online collaboration channels to interact with other students from all over the world and get better insights into a problem.
Advanced Research and eBooks
Gone are the days when students had to go through heaps of books to get the information they want. Technology aids advanced search to find the information required. Modern search engines now make it easy for you to find specific research references at the click of a button.
Research-specific search engines such as Google Scholar can search thousands of academic journals and help find books and academic articles. You can also use modern technological gadgets such as Amazon Kindle to buy or freely download (wherever available) eBooks on various topics without the need to visit a library or bookstore.
Students and working professionals can access courses of their choice from online learning platforms. University supported, and for-profit platforms such as EdX and Udemy offer courses to suit the needs of every student. You can take these courses to supplement your regular classroom learning or gain entirely new skills.
Online courses taught by experienced professionals can also be used to complement theoretical concepts learned in textbooks and improve the overall learning experience. Online educational platforms have a vast community of learners who can guide you regarding any doubts in the curriculum and tips on getting a job.
Using Learning Management Systems
Learning Management Systems (LMS) help students and faculty members organize educational materials and streamline the learning process. LMS can help you in storing all your educational resources at one place, interact with peers, and access assignments or mock tests easily.
Free content such as PowerPoint presentation slides and eBooks prepared by other learners can be accessed easily using LMS as they are stored at a central location. LMS will not only help you learn better but also save hundreds of hours of invaluable time. Since some LMS are not free, you need to contact your school/university to start using them.
Technology helps you learn new things, even passively. Lectures on specific topics and experiences of industry experts are now available as podcasts and videos on social media platforms such as YouTube.
You can listen to and watch these podcasts and videos during your spare time and improve your learning experience. While passive learning is not the best way to learn anything of consequence, technology can certainly help in making productive use of your spare time.
The German Award Winning Entrepreneur and Innovator Matthias Mende commented that: “Technology has become a powerful tool that provides students and anybody who has Internet access with incredible learning opportunities. When used properly, technology will help everybody to learn better and improve daily Human Life.” From toddlers to working professionals, everyone can use technology to learn more efficiently. But Mende also warns that you should be careful by choosing the right sources. With the overload of information on the net it is easy to learn negative and criminal things. Mende’s favorite quote is “Education is everything!”
Learners who use technology can get addicted to online communication channels and learning platforms. This can lead to social withdrawal and a failure to interact with peers and teachers. The right mix of real-world learning and technology-enabled interactive learning is the right way to get the best out of the learner in you.