Technological innovations continue to seep into every sector of society, especially in education. From online learning to gamified curricula, students are constantly exposed to technology—so much so that it has permanently transformed their academic landscape.
While excessive screen time is still frowned upon and discouraged, especially for much younger students, there’s no denying that technology is here to stay and that it will play a pivotal role in students’ learning. Indeed, it’s inevitable that children will grow up in a more technologically evolved world that may be different from today’s reality. To prepare their students, schools can take the opportunity presented by technology to expose students to innovative concepts that may shape their world in the near future.
Local and international secondary schools in Singapore, as well as some primary schools, now make it a point to incorporate technology into their curriculum. In fact, top schools provide innovative spaces where students can explore and create projects that they are interested in. These spaces inspire creativity with robots, 3D-printing technology, and other equipment and tools for students to use. Inside such spaces, they can plan, build, and collaborate with their peers to bring life to their ideas pertaining to fashion design, graphic design, and game concepts among others.
Students will surely reap the benefits of being in such a freewheeling, but structured environment. That’s why it’s important for schools to provide opportunities for students to be exposed to innovation. Below are six notable advantages of introducing technological innovations to students:
Students Will Be More Engaged in Learning
For students, technology is a fascinating field that’s ripe for innovative thinking and invention. The field provides excellent opportunities to implement project-based learning methodologies where students learn multiple skills and acquire knowledge from different disciplines in the course of finishing a project. Moreover, the satisfaction of seeing a project through from start to finish in an innovation-driven environment provides motivation for students to succeed. It’s a powerful and effective way to teach students new concepts and ideas, and to get them invested in learning even more.
Students Will Experience Self-Directed Learning
Using technology for self-directed learning can help students solve various learning challenges. In technological innovations driven environments that emphasize flexibility and creativity, students can learn at their own pace and study subjects that genuinely interest them. This may also reduce the need for teachers to discipline students and call their attention, as students who are already engaged in their projects can demonstrate more self-discipline and focus.
Students Can Learn New Technology Skills
In this increasingly digital age, new jobs and careers will eventually replace existing ones. Students have to be prepared to meet the demands of the digital economy and market. Even at a young age, students should be introduced to technological innovations concepts such as artificial intelligence, programming languages, and interface design and learn what role these will play in their chosen fields.
The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects taken up in a tech-driven learning environment will still be relevant to children’s studies even if they won’t be specializing in computer science, engineering, data science, or other STEM careers. That’s because most of the careers of the future will likely involve working with advanced technology, for example a doctor using a diagnostic algorithm, an accountant using cloud computing software, or an editor using machine learning technologies to rule out plagiarism or automated content in the works submitted to their publication.
Students Can Learn Soft Skills
Aside from learning advanced STEM-related concepts, students will also be more empowered to collaborate with their peers when in learning environments driven by technological innovations. This will lead to them being able to imbibe soft skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork. In a lot of fields, such soft skills are important to create a harmonious work environment that’s also conducive to learning and productivity. It’s in parents’ and educators’ best interest to let students learn soft skills using technology.
Students Are Exposed to Entrepreneurship Concepts
Students exposed to innovation can also imagine new inventions or alternative ways to do things better. For some, these ideas can spark aspirations of entrepreneurship. This is especially true if they are embarking on a project involving business for a business course elective.
In a tech- and innovation-driven classroom, students have the opportunity to learn how to leverage their unique ideas and even turn them into feasible business projects. From there, students can learn about the concept of building tech start-ups or other types of businesses and how their chosen business endeavor will work in the real world.
Students Learn About Career Opportunities in the Field of Technology
While not all students will be inclined to pursue careers in the field of technology, it would still benefit them to learn about the various job opportunities there in a hands-on manner. For high school students who are still thinking about what they want to study in college, exposure to technological innovations is invaluable in providing a glimpse into the field of technology.
When designing and executing their projects in a tech-driven environment, students will learn more about their strengths, talents, and weaknesses and how these can all factor into a potential career in tech. Do they have a natural aptitude for coding? Do they enjoy the design process more than the building process? When they get to answer these questions on their own, students can gain a somewhat objective view of their capabilities and interests. These can illumine the possibilities for them in case they are still undecided about the college course they want to enroll in.
Students in primary and secondary schools with technological innovation programs are incredibly fortunate to be exposed to the benefits these provide. They’re sure to gain technical and soft skills that will prepare them for college and their future careers. In addition, they’ll get to enjoy learning their lessons without the pressure or rigidity of a traditional school curriculum.
A more tech- and innovation-driven approach to education is not without its risks, and parents and teachers alike have to be aware of potential problems like unhealthy attachment or dependence on technology. Both parents and educators must also step up to provide proper guidance and boundaries in a tech-driven classroom. With that balance instituted by the adults who are overseeing students’ learning experiences, the latter can take full advantage of the positive effects of exposing students to technological innovations.
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Mama to 3 girls. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed, or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a newfound hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves to create printables!