Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is a growing trend for students of all ages. While preschool and elementary school students are using technology throughout the classroom, professional and graduate students may need a little getting used to the idea.

EdTech aims to partner with students in their academic pursuits in order to make their learning more complete. K to 12 schools and institutions of higher education can be paired up with EdTech to achieve great results both in the classroom and out in the world as they begin to volunteer and start their careers.

Today's newest incoming students may only need a little bit of encouragement and assistance in terms of training in order to use EdTech, as this generation has been born into the digital age. Kids are starting to use tech devices such as iPads to play games and watch videos when they are just toddlers.

Using technology in the classroom can be a natural extension of these activities. In case students are less familiar with technology, such as students who immigrated at a young age or adults who are returning to the classroom later in life to pursue a degree, EdTech can be a great way to increase their digital literacy and prepare them for careers and a lifetime of using technology. In these ways, EdTech becomes a vital asset to new and well seasoned professionals in all facets of society. that make it seem as if the educator and student were in the same classroom learning together at the same time.

Active Collaboration

Rather than just sitting back and listening to an instructor or teacher throughout each class period, active collaboration can be achieved through technology. EdTech also allows students to maintain a collaborative environment with their fellow classmates or even students located across the state, country or world. When using EdTech, opportunities such as peer to peer tutoring have increased, especially across traditionally challenging subjects such as math, chemistry and other sciences. This type of digital participation in the learning environment increases the student's mental activity even more than person to person collaborative efforts.

The methods of digital scholarship enable students to participate in newly emerging academics, scientific research and professional practices. Rather than just reading about how cardio-thoracic surgery works, students can watch it being done by one of the world's foremost experts. Instead of seeing an inert photo of the Roman Coliseum, students could go on a real time, interactive tour with historical experts.

With EdTEch, students are active participants in their own education rather than being passive listeners. When students are actively involved in obtaining and processing information, they become more responsible and interested in their education.

The versatility of EdTech means that it can easily be adapted to the different learning styles and practices of students. No matter whether a student is a visual, audio or hands-on learner, EdTech can use these strengths to build their knowledge and skills. When technology is used for the purposes of learning and skill development, the speed and accuracy of the learning are improved. Students can study and learn well in both formal and informal digital learning environments. A more formal arrangement might be listening to a live lecture from a preeminent international professor at a world renowned university, while an informal situation could be a demonstration of conjugating difficult French verbs between students in the same grade at different schools.

No matter what the situation, students are challenged by having to learn and demonstrate what they know in a way that is different from their usual methods. Students who are strong writers might be more challenged in showing their knowledge through a video, while students who are used to proving their learning through test taking might be more challenged in giving an oral demonstration to their professor and having it recorded for future reference. These exciting and challenging ways of proving knowledge and skills give students a taste of how the real world, including their professions, will work on a day to day basis.

Keeping Up with Studies

With today's increasingly rigorous academic and test taking environment, keeping up with studies while also maintaining extracurricular activities or a job can be a challenge. To stay on top of their assignments, students can use technology to provide a clear overview of their tasks and assignment due dates.

Different online systems and apps provide helpful organizational systems that are especially important for students who are involved in distance and e-learning programs and schools. If you are a student taking your classes from anywhere and on a self-directed timeline, keeping track of all of your assignments can be challenging, which is where EdTech comes in.

E-learning can provide students with essential feedback that is customized to their strengths and weaknesses. This can be done for individual assignments like essays and book reviews as well as for test results that are scored by a computer. With teachers only a click away, getting feedback does not have to mean staying after school or waiting around for your turn during a professor's limited office hours. To quote Microsoft's Bill Gates, "Online, all students sit in the front row." EdTech helps to ensure that truly no students are left behind in the learning process.

Increased Self-esteem

One of the most important effects that EdTech has on today's students is an increase in their self-esteem and motivation to learn. These benefits come about for a variety of reasons, including immediate feedback that comes from using technology as well as the sense of power and accomplishment that comes from working with technology. Students also develop an increased awareness that they are doing meaningful and important work. Not only are today's student using fun programs and entertaining apps, but they are also seeking out effective and useful online tools that are helping them do well in their studies.

Increased Access to Technology

Whereas only 5 years ago, high school and college students were just starting to get their hands on tablets and devices like iPads, the typical incoming college freshman of today brings no fewer than 7 internet connected devices to campus. From smartphones and tablets to wearable fitness trackers and traditional laptop computers, today's students are connected everywhere they go.

Technology brings students an increased level of access to outside resources as well. If the school's library doesn't have a particular volume in their reference collection, chances are good that the same information is available through EdTech.

To facilitate the use of EdTech in schools and campuses, school and university administrators have outfitted buildings and entire campuses with free Wi-Fi. This allows people to get an Internet connection without paying for a pricey data plan.

As such, EdTech is becoming increasingly affordable. The prices of tablets has dropped considerably since they were first released and the ability to get free Wi-Fi means that technology used for educational purposes no longer has to be limited to wealthier school districts or elite private colleges. Now, everyone can have access to this technology and its wide ranging benefits.

Changing of Roles in the Learning Process

When EdTech is used in the educational process, teachers are no longer at the center of the stage. Instead, teachers are able to act as facilitators, bringing students together with information and skills. Students become active in their roles as learners. Teachers become like coaches, offering help on finding resources and providing tips on how to best utilize those resources and the technology that runs them. Rather than waiting for a stream of information to come at them from every direction, students using EdTech are able to actively make choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate and display what they are learning.

Students who are active technology users are constantly making decisions, managing information and organizing what they are learning. When technology takes a supportive role in the learning process, students are better able to perform activities that will help them as professionals, such as goal setting, designing processes and evaluating their progress toward self-directed goals. Students may also become peer coaches, helping one another navigate the technology and use it to the fullest extent possible.

Seeing the Trees and the Forest

EdTech allows students to hone down and pay attention on a pixel by pixel basis, while also getting a fantastic overview of an entire concept.

Students can use EdTech to add graphics and illustrations to their papers and reports while also creating a finished product that is stylish, cohesive and understandable by its audience. Students even have the capacity to produce finished work that looks like it has been done by a professional.

These carefully turned out projects have considerable effects on a student's motivation to continue learning more advanced technology skills and challenge themselves in even bigger ways throughout their educations.

Development of Technical Skills

Today's workplace, whether it is a restaurant or an office building, increasingly relies upon various technologies to keep the place productive, operational and efficient. Students who are using EdTech are able to master such technologies at an early age, preparing them for a lifetime of innovation and staying one step ahead of the game. While technology and related tools are constantly changing, a familiarity with their basics will provide a strong foundation upon which today's students can build when they take their first job, volunteer position or leadership role in an organization.

The ability to master the basics also builds a student's self-esteem and self-confidence so that they are ready to take on the challenge of increasingly difficult forms of technology as it is made available to society.

Development of High Tier Skills

Employers today are looking for employees who have a high tier of skills, such as critical thinking, logical thought processes and the ability to collaborate with one another. Even at the elementary level of education, students using EdTech are able to demonstrate such skills. Students are able to complete increasingly complex assignments and tasks by watching and listening to it being done through technology. The support provided by EdTech might allow a student to master their first few keys on a piano or improve their problem solving skills in algebra in a more comprehensive way than one teacher alone can accomplish.

These higher tier skills transcend the schools and will stay with the student for the rest of their life. EdTech is a great tool and asset for anyone in the educational field, especially students. The value that EdTech brings is immeasurable for an individual and for society. Students benefit tremendously from the professional and personal skills that are gained through technology.

From the esoteric skills to those that are employed during a job later in life, this learning experience sticks with students for a lifetime. Not only is EdTech an investment in the education of the current generation of students, but it is also an investment in the future and well-being of our world.