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16 DEC 2020
Technology is part of our every day, making working and private life more enjoyable, more connected and more efficient. The same is true for education, where the possibilities for widening the scope of learning are immense. Schools incorporate technology not just to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, but also to unlock more personalised learning environments for students. It enables teachers to customise for the individual rather than catering to the group.
So how can technology mean more time with the teacher? On a practical level, automation of manual tasks frees the teacher’s time to invest more in students. But beyond this, technology in education helps solve problems we didn't know existed, creates more opportunities for students and tackles the barriers to personalisation. It means thinking about things as they could be, not as they are.
“Learning outcomes do not depend on technology. [They] depend on how the teachers can use technology in pedagogically meaningful ways. An appropriate approach, therefore, is to co-design the uses of technology with teachers.” The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, 2020.
In collaboration with teachers, implementing digital tools can create better learning.
Traditional schools are limited to hiring teachers within a certain geographical radius, so quality can vary significantly. With virtual classrooms, students access the world's top teachers in every subject, from anywhere in the world, anytime.
Geographical barriers are a thing of the past when you do your learning online, using purpose-built digital learning platforms or even just simple video calling.
Students learn best in different ways. Some would rather work alone, others are far beyond what the rest of the class is learning and some just want to go outside and learn by doing. Online schools solve a number of these issues. Students can be streamed on ability, not age, taking accelerated maths, for example, while learning English with their year group.
Online learning also means more data. Rather than being benchmarked against a certain grade, students’ success can be measured against past performance – they’re tracked on progress.
At a traditional school, parents may have the opportunity to interact with teachers and get an update on their child's progress only a few times a year.
Online education creates transparency for parents at a scale never seen before. It can monitor engagement levels, homework submission and almost live reporting on a child's academic progress.
With major companies implementing remote working, more families are choosing to relocate out of cities – maintaining careers with the lifestyle benefits of beachside or country living. Online education facilitates this lifestyle shift by connecting students to consistent, quality education or the extra credit they’ll need to support applications to top universities.
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A bonus of online learning is that it brings together students from all over the globe. Exposure to others’ countries and cultures gives students valuable experience in listening, critical thinking, communication and decision-making. Studies show they’ll benefit from this contact personally, educationally and professionally. As the world figuratively shrinks, a student’s ability to accept and celebrate all peoples is a necessary skill to carry into the future.
Traditional schools can be limiting, with fewer subjects available. Students who have specific passions, unusual interests or exceptional abilities may never get the education they need. This similarly affects students who want to challenge themselves with deeper and wider programmes of study. Online learning doesn’t have those barriers – wherever students are located, they can access the subjects and the quality teaching they require to fulfil their goals.
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Navigating a traditional school has never been easy for kids with different needs. Whether they have physical or learning disabilities or struggle with social or mental health issues, the limited access of a bricks-and-mortar school can be a barrier to learning. AI has tools to support the academic achievements of all students. Technology already in use includes translation for speakers of other languages, subtitles or voiced text for people with hearing or visual impairments, and speech transcribers for students who struggle to write.
The digitisation of education lets us rethink how we can create the foundations for success, both academically and in life. Technology offers unrivalled access to the world’s best educators, personalisation at scale and the opportunity for students to build a network of diverse peers.
At Crimson Global Academy this reimagining of twenty-first-century education has student success at its core. Our Academic and Technology teams collaborate to pioneer the latest in digital learning and teaching tools, delivering the best learning experiences and outcomes to all students, whereever they may be.