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Will Technology Change The Game For Education?

September 17, 2015

As technology advances further, it is radically transforming the sphere of education. Today, the influence of all digital technologies on learning is proving to be highly beneficial and goes beyond learning games and smart boards in classes. Many experts think that technology has the real potential to drastically boost access to quality education for unprivileged children globally.

Digital Education

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A New Education Platform

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, said that technology is the new platform for education at the yearly South by Southwest family of conferences that were held recently in Texas. He said “Technology isn’t an option that schools may or may not choose for their kids, technological competency is a requirement for entry into the global economy...”

It is true that tech inclined education seems an ideal fit for a new generation of learners that have grown up with smartphones, tablets, text messaging and video games. A recent survey discovered that 53 per cent of all US children already own a mobile phone by the age of 7 years. Duncan Clark, founder of e-learning company Epic Group and British tech investor, observes the value of education in this universality. According to him, smartphones will soon become “the single most important factor in increasing literacy on the planet.” Clark added “Every child is massively motivated to learn to text, post and message on mobiles. The evidence shows that they become obsessive readers and writers through mobile devices.”

Changing The Game

U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan believes that technology can prove to be a game changer for education and we must enhance achievement and improve equity for traditionally unprivileged communities and children. For instance, digital technologies provide exceptional opportunities for learning to millions of kids who face challenges in accessing traditional classroom education courses. Academicians Candyce Williams Glaser and Ted Hasselbring recently wrote that digital technology has enhanced the advancement of effective devices which help “in overcoming a wide range of limitations that hinder classroom participation––from speech and hearing impairments to blindness and severe physical disabilities.”

Technology Learning

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The tech aids include various programmes and software for live-speech captioning, word-prediction, as well as control devices for voice recognition. The researchers state that “computer technology has the potential to act as an equalizer by freeing many students from their disabilities.”

School In A Box

Andrew Dunnett, director of the Vodafone Foundation, explained the digital school in a box which his company is presently using to help more than 15,000 youths in the Kakuma refugee settlement, Kenya. These classrooms are mainly a single case comprising of one laptop and twenty five tablets that preloaded with learning software targeted at students between the age of 7 and 20.

These kits also consist of a speaker, a projector, along with a hotspot modem with 3G connectivity. The tablets can locally connect with the laptop and allow educators to deliver content to the students. All these components can be simultaneously charged from one power source when the case is in a locked state. When fully charged, these can be effectively used for an entire day inside a classroom that does not have any access to electricity.

Dunnett wrote “There are over 50 million refugees and displaced people worldwide. Half of the world’s refugees are under the age of 18 and are displaced from their homes for an average of 17 years with little or no access to education.”

What do you think? Add to the discussion by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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