More of the world is gaining internet access than ever before. Analysis from the London School of Business and Finance suggests that more and more emerging markets are entering the world of online media, and this global connectivity can only hold positive implications for education.
The benefits of classroom tech are already well documented. Interactive whiteboards provide increased potential for modelling, differentiation and assessment. Tablets engage students by providing different and interesting methods of learning. The possibilities for wearable tech are also beginning to be realised.
Even something like Twitter can be useful for students to engage with the wider world. It’s also a valuable research for teachers to provide support and feedback – particularly outside of classroom hours – as well as keep up with educational trends, developments and news.
The global implications of such developments are obvious. The benefit of teachers and students being able to collaborate and share resources on a global scale would lead to worldwide improvements in standards and skills, as well as instilling children with a more global outlook for the future.
Languages are an obvious area where global collaboration could be useful. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) programs are increasingly popular but obviously require potential teachers to live abroad, often unable to utilise skills in other areas due to a language barrier. The option for remote online tutoring could improve access to TEFL courses abroad, as well as assisting UK students with learning languages from native speakers, perhaps through immersion in a virtual classroom. Improved language education using online capabilities is something companies like Rosetta Stone are already working on.
Online courses are also on the rise. For example, more pupils than ever are learning to code with Rapid Router, which has been developed by Ocado Technology and ICT teachers. The opportunity to create more specialist courses such as this would allow students to be educated to the same standard across international borders, could have very positive effects in areas that suffer from skills shortages. Global specialist knowledge can also be shared among teachers who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to collaborate.
Wearable tech such as Google Glass has already been used to take students on ‘virtual field trips’ in areas that it would not be possible to take an entire class – more global connectivity within classroom tech could expand this possibility even further. Teachers have previously used Google Street View to show students other parts of the world, but Google Glass offers the potential for students to be shown around a dynamic environment by a teacher with local knowledge.
Projects using classroom tech on an international scale are already in progress. Last year the UK’s Department for International Development began providing e-learning in Kenya to improve education potential for thousands of otherwise-marginalised schoolchildren. The possibility for wider usage and growth is just waiting to be discovered.