Lets face it technology is not going away. It’s growing exponentially! Our kids are running around with more computing power in their pockets than NASA when they put a man on the moon. So… how important is technology in education? It’s extremely important! It is critical that we understand how we use it and more importantly how our kids are using it.

Part of our job as parents and educators is to prepare our children to function in society. Thinking back at the generation before me, the electric typewriter was the technology tool of the business world. Today, it’s the computer or more importantly the Internet. Card catalogues are quickly being replaced by Google searches. Information is instantly accessible.

The fact is that our society is moving more information online. Project TestDrive was a national research study conducted in 2008 that found 49% of students retained information when using the National Science Digital Library. Further more, the Project Tomorrow’s 2013 Speak Up Survey determined the following…

Sixty percent of students are using mobile devices for anytime research, 43 percent for educational games and 40 percent for collaboration with their peers. Thirty-three percent of students surveyed use mobile devices for reminders and alerts related to their academic lives, 24 percent for taking photos of their assignments, and 18 percent for in-class polling (Riedel, 2014).

These are incredible numbers! We can’t turn our backs on this. We must embrace a new way of learning. In fact, many higher education institutions are using online learning as an alternative to traditional classrooms. Adobe Connect, Blackboard and even WebEx are excellent tools for interactive learning. They allow people to communicate real time from anywhere in the world. Image being part of a class trip to the Amazon while sitting in your own home.

Visual learning is taking on new meaning in the Internet age. Coursera.org, iTunes U, YouTube channels and let’s not forget about the Khan Academy (the one that started it all) are all excellent choices for delivery on learning materials.

Doing PowerPoint presentations and producing videos are a great way to learn. It empowers kids to dig a little deeper. They learn the subject matter they are reporting on. They learn about what it takes to grab someone’s attention. They learn how to use the tools to produce this type of media. All of which are extremely useful in adult life.

Riedel, C., (2014, February 3rd), 10 Major Technology Trends in Education, Retrieved on April 24, 2015 from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2014/02/03/10-Major-Technology-Trends-in-Education.aspx?Page=1