Since the advent of technology, the tool (technology) had positively impacted fields such as education. Generally, technological expertise has increased productivity and enhanced communication. It has also helped to save lives, time and money. In education, technology has enabled students to access extra support and helpful academic resources from the ubiquitous databases. Students also find technology to be more interactive, as it has student-centered activities. Furthermore, it proves to be better than pen and paper, in addition to providing multimedia that address various learning styles. As to teachers, the tool makes it easy for them to find lesson resources easily. Technology also comes with efficiency and links the teachers with learners as well. Despite the advantages of technology in learning, it is expensive to both the institutions and learners, and may also not be a better option for the less fortunate in the society - those who have limited potentials to access and use related gadgets.
The case study provided involves an organization that has limited resources to support learning - the institution cannot provide transportation and facilities for extra learning hours for its students who struggle to maintain studying after class and over the weekends. Nevertheless, with the incorporation of technology into the program, the administration can expand the program; hence provide additional services to the group of students.
The integration can be done in various ways, including using appropriate applications and computer programs that help students to understand a concept, for instance, regardless of their levels. Ideally, this makes it easy for teachers to continue teaching or reviewing a particular idea or skill while the students independently continue with their learning process. Usually, educators find it challenging to meet the needs of all students at the same time, considering that one teacher may be having more than one student at a time (Mcknight et al., 2016). Besides, differentiating knowledge at a variety of different stages is time-consuming. Therefore, applying technology in such a case makes it for all students to learn the same concept at once, irrespective of the students' levels. Employing computer applications and programs in the institution will ensure that all students understand uniformly. It will also make it easy for tutors and learning instructors to identify areas that need more emphasis on the learning process.
Another available option for the institution is the provision or use of digital resources well to support learning while the students are not in contact with their teachers. Some of such resources include digital portfolios, electronic grade books, and games. Real-time feedback can also be applied to assess the performance of the students while they are learning in the absence of their instructors. Such technologies have been successful in various parts of America. For example, Quest to Learn School in New York makes use of digital media like games to provide students with an inquiry-based and design-led curriculum that provides students with continuous feedback on their progress (Sellnow et al., 2015). The curriculum also enables students to develop active problem solving and critical thinking skills. Elsewhere, in California, some schools use High Tech High (HTH) technology to make available online resources like videos, lessons, and students and teachers portfolio.
Open education resources are yet another technology that the management of the institution can adapt to enhance its students' learning experience. These resources are basically for teaching and learning. They are accurate, of quality and integrity, and in the public domain. Essentially, they are freely available over the web. Open education resources have been used in Utah (Open High School of Utah) to meet students' needs (Mcknight et. al., 2016). To make the resources available, teachers gather and select the most relevant open source materials. Then, the teachers align and modify the contents to meet the specific needs of their students. In other places, the technology has been changed into video libraries, assessments, and exercises for students. This technology makes students research and access the resources that they require.
An additional alternative technology for the institution is the virtual or online learning platform. Virtual learning primarily serves to supplement classroom instructions. In this system of education, students get resources from a forum that teachers create. Materials that teachers post on the platform are tailored to suit the needs of the students. Whereas some institutions operate their classes on a full-time online basis, others only make the platform available based on the contemporary needs (Sellnow et. al., 2015). In other cases, schools provide blended learning opportunities. Such opportunities merge both online and face-to-face learning opportunities. Whereas the face-to-face strategy allows for students to directly interact with their instructors, the online platform gives them an opportunity to learn on their own. One advantage with the blended learning is the possibility of teachers to regulate the type and amount of materials students get at any particular time. Hence, it is easy to control the information students get, thereby creating uniformity in learning.
Instructors can also add multimedia elements to the presentations and other resources that they send to the students. Pure text presentations have potentials to disengage students when learners lose attention (Mcknight et al., 2016). Some of the multimedia elements that course instructors can incorporate in the presentations that they send to students include pictographs, sound effects, and short video lessons. They could also add images, graphs, podcast clips, and clips of movies, news, and television shows. The multimedia used could be self-running, navigable, interactive, virtual reality, slide presentations, or hypermedia. Use of multimedia fundamentally increases learning effectiveness, reduces training cost, and easy to use in most cases. The platform is also more appealing, tailors information to suit needs, offers remarkable potential in improving efforts in education, personal communication, as well as training. Moreover, it comes with system portability and frees tutors from repetitive tasks. Since the institution in the case study has limited resources, the use of multimedia to give instructions to students while they are away from class is one of the options it can consider.
Class instructors could also send adaptive contents to students using adaptive learning programs. This way, tailored materials will be available to the students through their hand-held gadgets such as smartphones in an intuitive and automated process. The administration can also resolve to create a wiki page for collaborative assignments - where students must strive to have their contributions, and also review their colleagues' contributions. Collaborative assignments make students get more engaged; hence they tend to grasp a lot of the content that their teachers assign to them (Sellnow et al., 2015). Another ambitious technological way to reduce learning cost and improve learning experience is the game-based learning platform. Using the game-based platform makes the brain to store and retrieve information when teachers enliven the areas of study for their students.
Technology is indeed easing most aspects of life. With technology, it has become easy to make situations suitable for almost every member of the society. In education, technology has enhances not only the rate at which information disseminates, but also the population that the information can get to. What is more, technology seems to cover every class in society. Eventually, everybody gets to attain some level of education.
Mcknight, K., O'Malley, K., Ruzic, R., Horsley, M. K., Franey, J. J., & Bassett, K. (2016). Teaching in A Digital Age: How Educators Use Technology to Improve Student Learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 48(3), 194-211.
Sellnow, D. D., Limperos, A., Frisby, B. N., Sellnow, T. L., Spence, P. R., & Downs, E. (2015). Expanding the Scope of Instructional Communication Research: Looking Beyond Classroom Contexts. Communication Studies, 66(4), 417-432.
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