Technology is a staple within our professional, personal and social lives – a platform of digital integration that we utilise seamlessly day-to-day to improve efficiency, communication and productivity.
Within the higher education sector, technology is rapidly transforming to fit individual needs of age-groups, students and courses. In 2015 a McGraw Hill survey of 1,700 US college pupils concluded that 66% of students found it moderately to extremely important to study on a mobile device. It is anticipated this will rise throughout the years, as mobile technology continues to develop, a trend that may, in fact, be a positive addition to student learning.
While not strictly confined to portable technology, the same study concluded that 77% of students said study technology in general has positively impacted grades and 48% of students said technology saves them time while studying. The ability to utilise time effectively, communicate efficiently with peers and discover a vast array of information online means that students have access to educational opportunities that did not exist in the preceding decades.
Now, more than ever, our students have the opportunity to further their learning, particularly by utilising the ever-more accessible advanced technology available.
Take for example, 3D printers – global education technology trends not surprisingly forecast an increase in the number of 3D printers utilised within the education sector. Although various higher education institutions already utilise the technology, 3D printers are becoming increasingly accessible as devices become more affordable and the barrier of entry drops. Technology such as this enables students to bring ideas to life and physically touch on concepts that previously only existed in textbooks.
As technology adapts to its pupils there is opportunity to offer students with disabilities effective training and therapy. The latest smart technology is enabling training centres within the UAE to provide programmes for students with disabilities, with the aim of empowering pupils, improving educational outcomes and generating sustainable employment opportunities. The technology utilises picture books, flash cards and robotics – a range that enables effective communication, mobility and learning.
As technology evolves, so does our capability to effectively utilise it – generations of students are adapting to shifts in the way education is disbursed, allowing for a greater capacity of knowledge, understanding and awareness.