Many would agree education, and advances in education software, is important. Most would not agree, however, on the best methods to educate. It is a global issue, as countries across the globe approach education in a variety of ways.
Two of the top educational systems in the world are in South Korea and Finland, which are great examples of global differences in educational philosophy. The former places a strong focus on grit, discipline and long school days, while the latter concentrates on flexibility, intrinsic motivation and extracurricular choice.
The debate over the right way to educate is an intense one, especially when factoring in opinions on standardized testing, dropout rates and how to mitigate violence in schools.
Regardless of your opinion on what the ideal educational program actually looks like, there is one worldly trend that has impacted and will continue to impact education: The development of new, innovative technology.
While there is currently plenty of excitement over companies like Microsoft and Google’s efforts to bring virtual reality and its potential into classrooms, software, like student information systems, has been impacting education for quite some time.
These systems are rather robust, helping store and track all student information, including grades, attendance records and more. SIS products are used by teachers, students and parents to communicate all relevant information pertaining to a student’s schooling.
Popular types of SIS include PowerSchool and Banner by Ellucian.
Serving as a central information hub for teachers and professors, these systems allow faculty to upload and organize course material for student access. Schools and universities use learning management systems to provide online assignments, as well as make documents available outside of the classroom.
This type of software is used by teachers to set classroom expectations, track behavior and simply to add another dimension to lessons. These tools typically add an interactive element to lesson plans in hopes that it will create better student engagement.
There are certainly more types of educational software and technologies out there, but educators seem to be embracing it overall. According to EdTech Magazine, 74 percent of surveyed educators in the U.S. said technology is key to helping them expand on classroom content. The same percentage said technology is a motivational tool, and 73 percent said it helps teachers respond and adapt to different learning styles.
That being said, it’s important to keep a global perspective when considering technology in the classroom. Just as philosophies vary, so do resources. A school in a rural area of Thailand, for example, is unlikely to be outfitted with the same amount software and advanced technology as a private school in Manhattan.
This quote from Michael Trucano in his article on EduTech sums it up well:
“Much of what we read and hear discussed about ’emerging trends’ in technology use in education is meant largely for audiences in industrialized countries, or for more affluent urban areas in other parts of the world, and is largely based on observations on what is happening in those sorts of places.”
Educational software and technology is affecting every corner of our world, albeit in vastly different ways depending on the region, population size, etc. No matter your thoughts on length of school days and the level of schedule rigidity, technology will continue to shape the way we teach and learn.