The simple answer is yes. The more complicated one follows. Computers and AI influence our lives so dramatically that it is difficult to imagine how ordinary life would like without a, say, smart phone. People depend on technology, from making their breakfast to constructing tall buildings. Education is the same because a lot has changed since we used a mere pencil and a piece of paper.
OF course, we are still far away from robot teachers or uploading data straight into our brains, but the technology works fine in our classrooms. Computers, tables, smartphones, big screens, the internet… All of these make a difference every day and allow our kids to learn easier and faster.
Models and simulations
Computers present wonderful, life –like scenes, allowing kids to experience the world almost as if they are on the spot. Some educational tools will never disappear, like a tuning fork, for example. But having the ability to simulate a dangerous chemical reaction or explain how evolution works using digital technology is priceless.
The world is small place
We can connect with people from the other side of the globe in a matter of seconds. You want an actual French person to conduct a French language class? No problem, let’s set up a video call. Children benefit in many ways thanks to this, they learn from a native speaker, they are exposed to different cultures and perspectives and so on.
Sensors and probes
Remember how we used to learn physics, looking at some strange graphs, curves, and shapes which somehow represented motion? Today, kids have the chance to see motion instantly because we can now hook up a motion detector to a graph. This experience gives them a feeling of learning in real-time, and they can grasp the notions of speed and movement much more easily. Probes and sensors have so many possible uses, from chemistry labs to material testing.
Finally, e-books are something that usually comes to mind first when we think about educational technology. Today they are almost a thing of the past but let us just say that a single tablet can carry more books than a large city library. That can’t be a bad thing, right?