It is the year 2020. We are at the start of a new decade, so shouldn’t our schools be loaded with technology by now? Shouldn’t our students be entering virtual classrooms, using floating white boards, and using replicators to generate their school meals? Despite classrooms not looking like a scene from Back to the Future, technology is nestled in a great many facets of modern education.
The first step would be to stop trying to buy higher test scores. There is no piece of
equipment or computer software that is going to make a student perform better.
Just because a computer is faster, it doesn’t mean a student will work harder
or learn more. If you are going to incorporate technology into education, and
you plan for it to have a meaningful impact, then it should affect these
qualities within student life:
Affecting these factors may not push up grades, but it will remove the hindrances and
barriers students experience in order to achieve higher grades.
Starting simply, if colleges and universities are allowing the use ofcloud computing and data centers, then students who are taking highly technical classes need not worry about rendering times, compiling and decompiling. In fact, the whole idea of having to reserve a server for such jobs will be gone because all the work would happen off site. Students who are working on 3D animation can click to send their work to a cloud computing service, and then log off and
let the upload run itself while somebody else uses the computer. The same is true for people making apps, detailed CAD renders, making websites, computer programs and so forth.
There are also many otherefficiency elements that could be added. These include elevators in dorms, automatic doors and energy-efficient air conditioning. More expensive tools may also help students become more efficient. For example, a student working on something artistic will be able to draw and correct work more quickly on a fast-paced computer system with a pen and pad, rather than having to hide layers out of SVG files while using a stylus and drawing tablet.
Guns are not the problem, nor is violence in the media, or the lack of safe spaces, or
even the liberal groups that convince students they are special. The problem with security in college is (and always has been) unpreparedness. Some of the USA’s biggest school-related shooting tragedies have been due to a lack of preparedness. This is both before and during the event, especially in cases where police procedure wouldn’t allow officers to rush into a scene to save screaming kids.
Technology is not a magic wand, but it is pretty effective when it comes to security. Imagine how many lives would have been saved in past tragedies if schools could electronically lock down doors at will rather than allowing bad people to stalk the halls with guns. Imagine the lives saved if metal detectors had been mandatory at all entrances, and how many crimes would have been resolved and prosecuted if car tracking devices and traffic control devices were installed on all college grounds. Plus, there are many facets tocyber security that may be installed to help slow the numbers of students being scammed without having their details stolen for use in various frauds and/or confidence scams.
Colleges and universities are spending massive amounts of money to cover what are actually
scandalous course fees. At the very least, an investment in technology should affect availability. Hopefully, the days of having to book time in computer rooms have gone. Hopefully, we are entering an era where only the most sophisticated and expensive technology has a waiting time, such as high powered telescopes and bio scanning machines.
Again, things like elevators, automatic doors and efficient air condition systems are
going to help make life more convenient in colleges, but there are other ways that technology can make a student’s life more convenient. For example, the introduction of intranets has been a big help, as is the ability to submit essays from anywhere in the world. Students can write their own essays and then submit their essays from the other side of the world, without having to worry about being on campus on a certain day in order to hand in an essay.
Technology can also make university administration easier in countless ways. For starters, college administrators have been using predictive analytics to help them improve student retention numbers.As it turns out, there tend to be clear warning signs that university students are at risk of failing to complete their degrees. Predictive analytics can help administrators to identify these warning signs; they can then implement beneficial interventions with the goal of helping the at-risk students remain in school rather than dropping out.
Some universities maintain fleets of vehicles to facilitate campus operations. Technology is empowering the managers of university fleet services to reduce fraud, minimise accounting hours and better track the behaviours of each individual who is entrusted with vehicles from the fleet. These particular benefits are widely available to fleet managers who are using fuel cards whose providers are utilising these technologies. You can check out the Fuel Card Report website if you’re interested in comparing the benefits made available by card providers in Australia.
Support learning may also enjoy a boost from technology. We already have systems where students can shoot off a question on a public forum about essays and exams, and then have the correct professor reply to them. This could be improved further with support teaching via web chat and other online features.