"Books will soon be obsolete in public schools… Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years," said Thomas Edison in an interview published in The New York Dramatic Mirror in July 1913.
Edison saw the potential of classroom technology in changing the way students learn but he underestimated the American education system’s remarkable resistance to innovation.
In the 100 years since Edison's prediction, it wasn’t until recently that technology really started to get ingrained in the classroom experience and even now we’re still barely scratching the surface.
In the past, school decision makers saw classroom technology as a disruption on the long-established methods of learning.
However, today more and more school districts are finally realizing that technology (specifically mobile devices and Wi-Fi) are already a major part of your students’ lives. They already live and breath technology, so why should that stop when they get to school?
Schools need to continue to integrate classroom technology and let students learn the way they want to learn; to use the devices they’re going to need to master to be successful in their careers.
For many this might mean using iPads in the classroom, or integrating a LMS (learning management system) but that's really just the beginning.
With new technology like beacons, sensor-enabled devices, customized applications and big-data analytics, schools can now offer their students an experience that is both highly personalized and interactive.
In fact, an annual survey on the impact of technology in higher education, sponsored by e-learning platform company VitalSource and run by Wakefield Research, has questioned 519 students currently enrolled in college through an online survey.
The results show how students see technology as a means for learning and why YOU should in turn put more tech in your classrooms.
1. Increasing demand for digitized learning
- Around 56% or nearly six in 10 students prefer a digital class than the conventional in-person class
- 74% expressed how they think they'd do better in their courses if only their instructors would use more technology
- 61% said they would likely learn more from homework if they were interactive, with videos and such
2. Enhancing learning through digital collaboration
- 61% said learning would be more effective if their communication with their professors could be done instantly
- 55% said they prefer instructors to track their progress in real-time
- 48% said the addition of digital collaboration would enhance learning
3. Growing enthusiasm for online classes and use of technology for studying
- 51% said they received better grades in online courses, a number that has grown from 42% in last year’s survey
- 87% use technology to read course materials, up from 63% in 2011
- 78% said they used devices to read digital materials "frequently,” from 48% in 2011
4. Increasing proliferation of mobile devices
- Laptop ownership stayed at 90% between 2014 and 2015
- Smartphone ownership rose to 90% this year from 83% last year and only 47% in 2011
- Tablet ownership grew to 50% this year from 43% in 2014
Suggested Reading: "How to Find the Right Classroom Technology: Answer These 4 Questions"
The Wireless Challenge
Undoubtedly, the biggest obstacle in the adoption of classroom technology is the limited financial support. However, there is another huge issue that could be holding your school back and that is the wireless challenge.
With more classroom tech comes more "smart" devices and more potentially bandwidth heavy applications. This can become very tricky to support and your success depends on your wireless infrastructure.
This takes more planning than some may think, in fact from our point of view your planning will never really end.
There is one more piece however to this challenge and that is that many schools simply don't know what is possible when it comes to wireless. In other words, what wireless can do.
This conversation always begins with the application, or what are you trying to do or what pain-point are you trying to solve. From there its a process of knowing what wireless can do and applying the right solution to fit your needs.
At SecurEdge we have helped schools all over the country discover that no matter what you are trying to do with technology, wireless can make it happen .
If you need help integrating the latest technology into your classrooms, just contact us here, we'd love to talk.