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Emerging technologies in distance learning

Can you imagine learning the multiplication tables through an interactive digital game rather than through oral repetition? Emerging technologies in...
17 August 2022

Can you imagine learning the multiplication tables through an interactive digital game rather than through oral repetition? Emerging technologies in education bring many benefits to students, especially in the assimilation of knowledge and inclusion, but they also pose a challenge of adaptation for the entire educational community.

Innovation in teaching brings together a new pedagogical methodology and new teaching resources. Before Covid 19, there were already centers where tablets, digital whiteboards, and computers had already replaced notebooks and textbooks; however, digital educational platforms did not yet play a leading role. 

The presence of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) was advancing in the sector at a good pace. Still, there is no doubt that the pandemic has propelled changes and accelerated the use of Science and Computer Science, and consolidated online education.

Changes in education: the new times

Digital competence is one of the seven key competencies students must acquire. 

This ability to relate to the new online tools is a skill that is required of both the teaching staff and the student team. The former, to teach the subjects and communicate with the students; the latter, to reach the objectives more interactively and interact with their teachers. 

Therefore, the immersion of technologies in education aims to optimize the processes of the entire educational community. Specifically, digitization is very useful in distance education. In this field, teachers are learning a new way of teaching and students a new way of learning.

Technology in education

Technologies in education: types and functionalities

Several formats and models of new technologies have appeared in the last decade. Here are some examples:

E-books.

They contain the same lessons as the paper textbook but in a digital format that can be accessed with a username and password from a computer or tablet. Requires internet connection or full download of the digital book to the computer. 

Virtual reality

Contents and scenarios where the student is immersed through virtual glasses. 

3D printers

3D printers make it easier to identify objects concerning space. 

Computers

Very useful for programming and robotics training activities. 

E-learning

Teaching model where the student accesses the contents in digital format and where he/she can interact and consult with the tutor. 

ICT in the educational system

Online Education

Classes by video call or tele-training.

Artificial intelligence

The algorithms of educational platforms make it possible to personalize content and adapt it to users’ capabilities and motivations

Gamification

Pedagogical system based on the game and the achievement of objectives by means of prizes or scores. Today many educational applications are based on this technique. 

Videogames

Electronic games with an educational rather than a purely idle basis. Tetris or Minecraft are used in some training centers to develop visual talent and creative skills. 

Digital Analytics

Measuring and interpreting numerical data improves teaching and optimizes available time and means. 

E-proctoring

An online evaluation system for tests and exams. 

Benefits of new technologies in the classroom

The new digital tools in education provide us with many advantages: 

1- They allow interaction among the educational community.

2- They improve understanding and motivation in some instances.

3- They make possible the connection and participation between educational centers and students, regardless of where they are located.

4- They provide updated information and data in real-time.

5- They encourage critical thinking in the face of diverse sources of information.

6- They favor teamwork and cooperation.

7- They facilitate accessibility with massive open online courses (MOOCs).

8- Increase creativity and imagination

Emerging technologies in education

Data on new technologies and education in the 21st century

Every year, the BlinkLearning platform launches the Study on the use of technology in education among Latin American and Spanish teachers of different educational stages. The last session covered seven countries: Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

From the 2020 study, we extract these data: 

More than 65% of teachers believe that the use of technology motivates students. 
The use of ICTs in the classroom facilitates access to a more significant number of content and resources. 
For 40% of teachers, the use of technology promotes autonomous learning.

From 2021, we highlight these figures:

68% of teachers say that motivation in the classroom increases with ICTs. 
74% consider that new technologies have a pedagogical advantage in terms of access to a more significant number of contents (74%).
The most used device among students is the cell phone.

On the other hand, according to the study conducted by Samsung Electronics and Quiero, the following information was obtained:

8 out of 10 teachers believe that technology facilitates student learning.
71% of teachers think technology fosters teamwork, peer interaction, creativity, and other social skills.
77% of teachers feel that technology in the classroom allows them to speak to students in their language and helps capture their attention. 

The present and future of education

The international seminar Education for the 21st Century in Latin America and the Caribbean: thriving, competing and innovating in the digital era, organized by the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), addresses the present and the future in the education sector and highlights the importance of a hybrid system to address adaptation to society.

The 2030 Agenda advocates inclusive, equitable, and quality education. New technologies in education enable the proposal of the SDGs, reduce environmental impact, and present opportunities, some of which were discussed at the EdTech Congress Barcelona, whose theme was Educational technology at the service of learning. 

The experts spoke of clear trends, of which the following stand out collaborative classrooms, personalization, and ICT. All this without forgetting the fundamental role of teachers, tangible reality, and emotions in the learning process.

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