It’s been said numerous times over the years that we should adapt alongside the technology that is made available to us. The internet is arguably the most definitive technology of our era, and it’s baffling when certain industries do not make optimal use of it. While most industries have recognized the value of adopting the internet as part of their tool kit, the field of education has remained mostly unchanged, with most schools opting to stick to traditional learning methods. However, with the restrictions against mass gatherings being strictly imposed, most schools have begun to make use of the internet in order to continue their operations. This is where the use of technology and web solutions will prove to be extremely important in modernizing education.
What is a Web Solution?
A web solution is any program that is distributed over a network (usually through an institution’s intranet or through the internet) and is accessible through any web browser. Web solutions include the school’s websites, portals, payment platforms, content management, and record management tools.
Web solutions are very popular because they are easily accessible through a web browser. This means that there’s no need to install anything on your computer. They are also easily upgradeable, which means that new features and fixes can be rapidly deployed. In addition, web solutions use only minimal resources, since their computing power is provided by the server where the application is found.
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What is Education Technology?
Education technology refers to an area of technology that caters to the development and application of tools that are meant to improve education. These tools include software, hardware, and processes that are used to help improve education. Even when this field may sound like a specialized niche, its potential uses will affect many aspects of education, both directly and indirectly. Here’s how:
Improved Student-Teacher Collaboration
Almost everyone owns at least one smartphone, which makes web solutions an ideal medium for communication and collaboration between students and teachers. Web solutions in the classroom management category come with features that enable students to work on assignments together and to communicate via in-class channels. These web solutions also enable teachers to monitor student progress and to help students stay on track throughout the class. These benefits all apply whether the class is conducted inside the classroom, or remotely.
Better Student Engagement
The traditional setup in the classroom would have teachers talk in class for the duration of the period, with only a few opportunities for students to actually join the discussion. Web solutions allow students to share their thoughts without necessarily interrupting the flow of the discussion, either through a comments section or through a platform where they get to ask their questions, which will then be answered during the next session. This is especially helpful to students who aren’t comfortable with asking questions in class.
Better Student Information Access
Record-keeping is one of the more difficult aspects of education, not just because of the sheer number of student records that need to be kept and secured, but also because of how time-consuming it becomes when you have to search through records manually or through limited staff-only access.
Web solutions allow students and their parents to access their own records in the same way that only those who have the correct login details are able to access their own accounts on various websites. This also allows parents to interact directly with teachers on a regular basis if the need arises, whether it’s to help determine the best way for the student to learn, or to try formulating a plan to help improve the learning experience of the student.
Knowledge Retention and Recall
If schools can use web solutions to provide students with a means to access their own records, they can also use web solutions to allow students to access online resources of the courses they’ve enrolled in, long after they’ve finished them. This allows students to better recall the lessons they’ve finished, which will also help them be better prepared for licensure exams and board exams that most graduates will eventually take.
They Allow for New Teaching Methods
The availability and versatility of web-based apps allow teachers to get creative with their teaching methods, whether it’s in how they are now able to deliver their lessons in different mediums, or in how they are able to make their discussions more interactive, or even just by being able to accommodate varying student schedules.
Web Solution Integrate Perfectly with Upcoming Technologies
One of the best reasons why web solutions are going to help improve education technology is that web solutions word perfectly integrates with upcoming technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G networks, and the Internet of Things. The fact that web solutions make heavy use of the internet and the cloud means that schools won’t need to make drastic changes to the web solutions that they’ve utilized prior to the release of new technology. Any web solution that schools implement can serve as the foundation for an enhanced experience once the new technologies are released.
The possibilities are endless, whether it’s in how artificial intelligence can make use of the data found in student information sheets to determine the best teaching method to use, or how it can also be used to plot a career preparation path based on the student’s aptitude, interests, and performance on a particular subject.
5G networks will enable much faster data transfers and better coverage, such that students may attend classes at any time and any place where it is suitable. Since this only affects coverage, the implementation of 5G networks will only improve any experience that web solutions already provide students and teachers, while the Internet of Things may introduce new ways to use devices. While you certainly won’t be attending online classes on your smart refrigerator, more devices can be used to integrate into your daily academic routine. Not only this, but schools can promote their services on more mediums and these advertisements are more likely to reach the students who are interested in studying in their school.
This is especially true for courses that aren’t offered in most schools. Considering the fact that it’s likely that online learning is going to become an integral part of education in the near future, many more options are going to be made available for students regardless of where they live. For example, a student who wants to pursue a career in public health can easily find online courses through online ads which are targeted to that particular student because his user data was indicative of an interest in the abovementioned course.
“Students will find it instinctive to use, with features like news feeds, live seminars and comment streams influenced by popular social media forums.” – as mentioned by Stephen Abblitt, the designer from Victoria University Online.
It should be noted that even when technology and web solutions sound like they can drastically improve the education system, there are a few glaring limitations that could become deal-breakers to some clients, especially if they have yet to establish a refined implementation of these web solutions. Some of these challenges are:
Inability to Replicate Laboratory Procedures and Safety
Not all things can be learned through theories alone. There are instances when it’s important to test the application of these theories, as is the case with many subjects in Engineering, Medicine, and other science-heavy courses. There’s a good reason why schools invest in laboratory equipment and facilities that ensure that experiments are not only doable but that they are also safe.
Vulnerability to Technical Problems
Online learning, and the web solutions needed to make it possible, are heavily reliant on technology. Whether it’s during a power outage, faulty programming, or server overload, there are many things that are likely to disrupt an online classroom session.
Online learning entails that there will be little to no social interaction between students. While this may not have as much an impact on older students, this can have a significant impact on the development of children. One major purpose of sending a child to school is to develop the manner in which they are able to co-mingle with other kids their age.
It’s through social interaction that children learn to play, share, cooperate, and stand up for themselves. Without a proper avenue for social interaction, we might be hindering the development of their social skills. After all, nothing beats personal interaction.
Another problem with the internet is that while it grants users access to the near-entirety of human knowledge, it also exposes them to the dangers lurking on the internet. Unless schools are able to adopt a solid cybersecurity system, then they might be inviting more danger than improvement.
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Education will always be central to the development of any society. It’s about time that changes were introduced into the education sector, not just as a means of responding to crises, but also as a means to reinvigorate a stagnant system. This doesn’t mean that web solutions will render traditional learning obsolete, but rather they will open up a new world of opportunities for improving the state of the education sector.