To be a young adult in 2018 means to have gone through school during a very revolutionary time, technologically speaking. Throughout the 2000s, classrooms in America saw everything from basic overhead projectors and boomboxes to state-of-the-art computer labs and virtual reality headsets. The implementation of technology in schools alters the fundamental teaching structure in ways that can render significant improvements in productivity. We should be careful to not allow these new methods to overpower traditional teaching techniques, but rather find ways to use technology to enhance the world of education, given its ability to stimulate the developing brain in ways that traditional education cannot.
Only a few decades ago, education consisted solely of a flock of diverse students being taught one singular way, by one teacher, in one room, on one platform. Until lately, there was not much opportunity to customize learning for different types of students, who possess different learning styles. The use of technology in classrooms over the years has increasingly provided more and more opportunities for each type of student to learn at the pace they require to reach their fullest potential. For example, many schools now offer curriculums entirely online to be completed in the students’ own time, allowing each of them to progress at their own pace. This can help them achieve a more well-rounded understanding of the material by being able to spend more time on subjects they struggle with, and less time on topics they may already know enough about.
With current cell phones possessing more computing power than NASA in 1969, it’s no surprise that technology has made access to learning much easier. The internet alone yields vast amounts of information—although one must still be able to sift through fact from fiction. Sites like JSTOR.org and other digital libraries full of academic journals, books, and primary sources make hunting down valuable content a breeze. In addition, finding ways to incorporate social media into the classroom can help bring a “real world” feel to teaching lessons. Whether it be forming a class Facebook group, using Pinterest to brainstorm ideas, requiring students to blog, or creating a class hashtag on Twitter, students will thrive off of this familiarity and if anything, it will help convert social media into a tool rather than a distraction.