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Classrooms and the Digital Frontier
The traditional lecture of yesteryear—complete with dusty chalkboards and bearded professors—long held a monopoly in the education industry, but with the advent of modern technology this standard has shifted. “The New York Times” recently reported on one of the newest phenomena in education, which involves using digital media called video-on-demand broadcasts (commonly referred to as "VODcasts") to give students engaging access to lectures from virtually anywhere. This online learning tool has not only increased the convenience and accessibility of education, but has also helped students become better acquainted with the technological media used to convey this information.
Catapulting the Classroom into the Future
Video podcasts are just the beginning of education's journey into the future, along with many other revolutionary techniques that employ technology to enhance the learning experience and make education more accessible to a larger group of people. One of the most unique trends that has brought education into the future is the growing use of mobile phones as learning devices. Over three-quarters of teens own a cellphone, and a substantial 40 percent own a smartphone. These figures are even more significant for college students.
Mobile phones offer the opportunity of "anytime, anywhere" learning, which can enable busy students to keep up with their studies, stay organized and maintain a strong line of communication with instructors and peers. Many schools even create their own applications to keep students constantly informed of important announcements, due dates and so on. In addition to mobile phones, many educational institutions are integrating a wide variety of different high-tech tools such as digital textbooks, cloud computing, video conferencing and even computer games as learning devices.
The Evolution of Education
Although some instructors may be reluctant to fully embrace technology's permeation of the education industry, the benefits of this revolutionary measure are easy for any forward-thinking person to see. Virtually every professional industry is headed toward a more technology-dependent future, which is why students must acquire a basic understanding of modern technology in order to offer valuable skills to potential employers in the future.
Students who begin utilizing technological tools early are likely to be better equipped to keep up with the rapidly evolving state of modern technology. A failure to keep up with the most basic technological tools can result in some students being left behind in both the educational and professional circles. Communication is another notable benefit of the technological revolution in education, since the advent of email, video conferencing and social networking can keep students, instructors and peers connected more closely than ever.
With the increasingly common application of flipped classrooms and other technology-based teaching models, the future of education appears to be headed in a direction of exclusively digital teaching methods. The development of online institutions and the growth of online courses within traditional institutions offer promising results for this very possible outcome.