It is common knowledge that technology has grown and developed exponentially over the last several decades. Slide rules have been replaced by pocket-sized calculators, televisions are thinner than picture frames and hang on the wall, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t own a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or e-reader. But one place technology has yet to realize its full potential is in the classroom.
Tools like document cameras, video/DVD lessons, and electronic polling in lectures have enhanced classroom experiences on a macro scale. And online classrooms are becoming more prevalent and accessible by the day. But technology is uniquely capable of enhancing the learning experience of individual students, across all spectrums of learning styles and abilities.
Already there are some technological tools in widespread use. Speech-to-text, text readers, and text-to-Braille transformers are all used for students with different learning disabilities. The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is leading the charge to fully integrate technological tools into the classroom. CAST aims to advance the capabilities of technology in the classroom through Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an effort to develop flexible educational settings, integrating adaptable tools that can benefit all students and all learning styles. Common computer functions such as highlight, image zoom, and text enlargement can benefit all students, not just those with special needs.1
Virginia’s Fauquier County school district provides its entire 11,000 student body with these tools, and more, during online assessment tests. An electronic pencil allows students to take notes and do math calculations, and an eliminator tool helps students disregard known incorrect answers on multiple choice exams.2 Other districts will surely follow suit. And with computer-based options coming to the ACT in 2015, and the SAT in 2016, the technological revolution is just beginning to gain momentum in the classroom.
Revolution Prep has a wide variety of online programs, making academic tutoring and test prep easily accessible from any location, at any hour of the day. Call in to set up a complimentary consultation, to see how Revolution Prep’s online programs can benefit your student.