MANILA, Philippines – Modern-day educators are looking very different from the glasses-wearing, ruler-wielding, book-toting caricatures we’ve grown to know.
They’re carrying significantly less papers and books, teaching in more diverse environments and subjects, and, in some cases, they’re even conducting lessons without actually being face-to-face with their class.
Teachers, just like students, are already being disrupted by the digital revolution. Computers, the Internet, and downloadable modules are just some of the tools they’re currently using to make the classroom more dynamic and fast-paced for students.
Below, check out some examples of how technology is transforming teaching from a demanding vocation to a fulfilling passion.
While brick-and-mortar rooms won’t be disappearing anytime soon, technology now empowers teachers to reach even students who can’t come to the school. For example, on-site facilitators can download a teacher’s video course, and use it in an infinite number of makeshift classrooms in remote areas. Education, then, ceases to be exclusive to those who have the resources to buy books or pay for tuition.
As teachers and students literally move learning out of the (classroom) box, teaching methodologies are also evolving to keep up with new environments – and technologies. Currently, students are assessed through exam scores and in-class performance. New methods such as learning by doing, stealth assessment, and inquiry-based learning are encouraging teachers to track progress in different ways – and redefining what excellence means.
Modules and exercises have gone digital. Now, teachers spend less time writing on blackboards, preparing individual handouts, or lugging around teaching aids large enough for a whole class to view. Instead, each student can receive a copy of the lessons and tests through e-books or slides, and review them at their own pace. With this innovation, classrooms have become “flipped” – students review the lessons at home, and teachers can use classroom time for reinforcing the insights, answering questions, and ensuring that each student truly understands the lesson.
Teachers have traditionally relied on curriculum maps prescribed by their departments. Over the course of a quarter or semester, they’re required to cover all the bases in this guide, with little room for revisions or tweaks.
Technology empowers teachers to do things differently. Because access to information and resources is near-instant thanks to the Internet, teachers have more free reign to improve on prescribed readings, revise exercises, and re-angle topics based on what’s current and what they’re learning themselves. In turn, students benefit from a more updated learning experience, and become better equipped to be globally competitive.
Longtime teachers know how time-consuming grading students’ work is – unknown to students, teachers typically spend long hours just checking quizzes, reviewing essays for plagiarism, and computing for final scores. With technology, the entire process becomes automated – especially when class work can already be submitted through digital channels. Teachers, then, get more free time to focus on their personal life – and even to acquire new skills and insights for their assigned subjects. The best teachers, after all, are those who never stop learning.
Despite existing challenges, today’s teachers bravely embrace their calling to shape the next leaders and game changers of our nation. Increasing their access to technology doesn’t just make their work hours shorter. It opens up opportunities for collaboration and deeper knowledge. It enables them to focus more on ensuring that every student learns and reaches his or her full potential.
Thus, they need all the help they can get to make the job easier and more rewarding. The country’s future depends on it. – Rappler.com