Schools in the 21st Century

In the 21st century technology is constantly changing and evolving. Advances in technology have already begun to change the education system. Traditionally, students would find a way to get to a school building everyday and sit in classes where they were taught by the teacher who stood at the front of the class. These days at school were timed and routine, from the time school starts in the morning, lunch time, which classes were to be taught each day, and the time of dismissal for the day. Students in rural areas were very limited to the classes that they could take throughout their education due to the lack of teachers to offer electives. Often times students would complete classes through correspondence instead of with a specific teacher in the classroom.

Advances in technology have allowed the 21st century student to change the way they learn. In today’s learning world information is easily accessible through the internet and courses are being offered online instead of in a traditional classroom. Throughout my experience as a student in elementary and high school, I experienced the traditional education system by walking to school everyday and sitting in a classroom while my teacher taught the class. My traditional outlook of education has changed since entering university and experiencing the benefits of technology such as moodle and online classes.

With these advances in technology and the new capabilities to obtain an education without ever stepping foot in a classroom, there comes a lot of new questions and concerns about the future of education. I believe that technology is changing the education system as we traditionally knew it, which is both a positive and a negative at the same time.

By providing online classes, students would no longer have to attend classes in a school building, which would cut out the need for students to be bussed to a school (which in rural areas may be a long bus ride). Online schools may provide a saving grace for students who are bullied or feel uncomfortable at school. Also, the option of online classes would allow students to take classes that they are interested in, which may not have been offered in their school building.

Although the idea of no longer having school building and providing students with the option of online schools has many positives, there are also some negatives. Although technology is more accessible then ever, still not every student owns a computer or has access to such technology outside of their school which would make an online education impossible for them. In addition, there are students who do not feel safe at home and prefer to be at school with teachers who make them feel safe instead of being at home, in which case online school would be detrimental to their education. Schools not only provide students with the knowledge of different subject matters, it also teaches social skills. Everyday at school students interact with other students, staff, and the community; if school was purely online then students would not learn these everyday social skills. Also, some of the best lessons are not in the curriculum and are taught unexpectedly when things happen in the classroom which would be lost in online classes.

In my personal experience I enjoyed my online class, but I found it difficult to learn without having a teacher I could ask questions face-to-face. I did like the fact that I could complete the course at times that worked best for me, whether it was 10am or 11:30pm which worked very well for my schedule. In saying that, I feel  that an online class with that much freedom would be overwhelming for high school students who may not see the importance of their education. I feel that if I was given the option of purely online classes in high school, I would not have been as successful as I was in my traditional school setting simply because of my immaturity at the time.

I believe that technology is very important to the education system and will only become more prominent in the future, which is something educators must be prepared for. I would like to see traditional school buildings continue to be used for classes to allow students all of the benefits of social interactions and the life skills they learn outside of the curriculum. Online classes should be offered to provide students a wide variety of class options and a combination of both online and in-classroom classes would be a great educational experience for students at the high school level. I also believe that online classes at the university level is a very positive education tool because students at the university level are responsible for their own education and can largely benefit from an online education.

In conclusion, I think that technology is going to change the education system as we know it but I would still like to see traditional schools thrive at the elementary and high school levels where as online schools are perfect for the advanced or university levels.

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Filed under ECMP 355

One response to “Schools in the 21st Century

  1. Pingback: ECMP 355 Tech Tasks « Amy Mcfarlen's Blog

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