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February 13, 2020

Joyous Montessori Discusses How Technology Has Impacted How We Educate

There’s no denying that the advent of technology has radically changed the world as we know it. But one specific sector that has experienced a complete overhaul in the way they do things is education. From the rise of online learning to the complete reworking of curriculums, technology has greatly impacted how educators impart knowledge onto students. No one knows this better than the schools themselves such as Joyous Montessori. Joyous Montessori is an early education institution in Keller, Texas that is based on the globally renowned Montessori philosophy. Their goal is to motivate each child to explore his or her full potential, which they achieve by supplementing their curriculum with an extensive enrichment program that addresses each child’s emotional, physical, and social needs. Beyond that, Joyous Montessori has embraced the rise of technology, with many of their classrooms successfully integrating technology into the educational experience.

Technology Has Changed Educational Tools

Joyous Montessori claims that one of the most significant ways in which technology has impacted the education system is through the rise of new types of educational tools. Educators largely agree that one of the biggest trends in education of the last decade has been the rise of technology in schools. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all commonplace in the classroom, which is a major shift from as little as 10 or 15 years ago when overhead projectors, paper, and pens were still the law of the land. Every school now has a computer lab where children are taught basic computer skills. Similarly, in post-secondary education, almost every student owns their own laptop or tablet with some programs - such as graphic design and video production - even requiring that students have a specific brand or model. This change has in part been facilitated by advances within technology, not only with the devices themselves but the software systems they use and the applications available on them.

The educational technology industry has grown considerably, and the result has been major improvements when it comes to multi-device synchronization and software suitable for multiuser collaboration, both of which are necessary if technology is to be utilized effectively in a classroom setting. Additionally, Joyous Montessori explains that they also have cameras in their classroom which parents can pay to use to check in on their children throughout the day. As it stands, technology-based educational tools are frequently being used in classrooms all over the world and this trend is expected to continue.

New Value Placed on Problem-Solving

Another huge way that technology has impacted education is by changing not only how, but what teachers teach. The old model of teachers presenting content to students, and students absorbing and eventually memorizing that content no longer works. With the rise of search engines like Google (News - Alert) and the internet as a whole, students can access this information quickly and easily. Although this significant change might have initially frustrated or even scared some teachers, we have now reached a point where educators are adjusting their teaching techniques for the better. Joyous Montessori claims that many teachers have pivoted from simply relaying information to students, to planning activities that promote problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. Classrooms are becoming more creative than ever before. They are now locations where knowledge can be actively created by students, versus passively consumed.

The Rise of Online Learning

According to Joyous Montessori, online learning is here to stay. Just look at what happened when a professor at Stanford University offered an online course in artificial intelligence free of charge in 2011. His educational experiment ended up attracting over 160,000 students from 190 countries around the world. Not only did this get widespread coverage by the press, but it showed just how powerful online learning has come to be in the 21st century. In the last decade, there have been a great number more examples articulating this new turn towards online learning in education. A few key statistics include that 65% of students in the United States have taken online courses, 79% of high school teachers in France claimed to have used more technology in the classroom than ever before, 1.5 million iPads are currently being used by schools and educational institutions, and there are now over 20,000 different learning applications available on iPads. All of these facts are indicative of just how far online learning has come in a relatively short period of time.

However, Joyous Montessori asserts that it’s important to distinguish between the different types of online learning, as it doesn’t simply refer to online classes. Although online courses, especially those offered by colleges and universities, are on the rise, not to mention the growth of massive open online courses (MOOCs), online learning also pertains to a system known as blended learning. Within the education system, blended learning refers to learning that happens both on-site in schools and remotely, most often in the home. This new type of learning combines online work and face-to-face interaction. One example of this is the “flipped classroom model,” where students gain access to content outside the classroom which they must complete as their homework, and then the next day they apply this new knowledge by engaging in critical thinking activities, such as discussion or group work, in the classroom allowing the teacher to help them by clarifying the information. Studies have shown that especially for younger students, this mix of online and face-to-face interaction is more effective than a complete virtual experience.

Joyous Montessori concludes that technology has changed the face of education over the past decade and with new technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality, the future looks like technology and education will continue to intertwine.

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