Australia/January 10, 2023/Source: https://www.oberonreview.com.au/
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For many of us, the word education conjures up pictures of the traditional classroom with students sitting in neat, orderly rows, perhaps on chalkboards or electronic whiteboards to one side. The day is ordered by the sound of a bell, telling students when it’s time to eat, study or rest.
Whilst this is still the case for many parts of the world, we’re starting to see a slow shift towards new forms of education, and in turn, new spaces to accompany them.
Advancements in technology have seen the modern classroom evolve into something so much more; a flexible eLearning environment that suits the student’s needs rather than the convenience of the learning institution. The introduction of these innovative learning tools means there has never been a more exciting time to pursue an online Masters in Education.
During the pandemic, there was a scramble to initiate online learning and the inevitable but futuristic move into virtual classrooms was, by necessity, accelerated to warp speed.
What does this revolutionary teaching environment look like?
Whether used for face-to-face instruction, remote learning or a hybrid of the two, media tools like Learning Management Systems (LMS) create and deliver educational courses and outcomes in ways never imagined a few short years ago.
As a teaching tool, these one-stop learning and teaching platforms equip teachers with the ability to develop, tailor and deliver courses. Online learning systems facilitate communication – student-to-teacher and student-to-student – by promoting and fostering collaboration.
As an assessment tool, LMS can follow and monitor student success, and provide a profound repository of learning tools and support modalities. Online libraries furnish students with a wealth of scholarly articles and reference materials, enabling them to study and research at times that fit in with their schedule.
Online collaboration using software such as Zoom gives students enhanced interaction and idea-sharing capabilities that are also being reflected in the rise of remote working practices. Group chats and messaging apps like Hangouts, Messenger and Instagram are platforms for sharing ideas and social interaction. Advancements in technology are supplementing more than ever before, the needs of study and socialisation, and with it has come to a notable shift in the way that students operate.
The main benefit of technology within the education system is the flexibility it provides. Students can now choose whether to attend seminars and lectures online or in person. With cloud-based technology, classroom participation can be done virtually via a laptop, iPad or even a phone.
Reading resources, recorded seminars, discussion boards and assessment guidelines are easily accessed from anywhere using an online portal. Assignments can also be submitted through these platforms.
Even a few short years ago, just prior to COVID, university students may have been required to physically attend multiple classes scattered throughout the week, making it difficult to commit to a part-time or casual job. Now students can enjoy a school/work/life balance, without the stress of juggling timetables and priorities. Learning has also become significantly cheaper with the reduced cost of travel, parking and books.
Looking to the future
Technological advancements have released teachers from the confines of the classroom. They have infinitely more scope to be creative in their curriculum with a wide arrange of software programs at their fingertips like Adobe Creative Cloud, course authoring tools and a myriad of other adaptive and interactive products.
What an exciting time to be a teacher in Australia. With the ability to pick and choose where, when and how you work and a healthy job market just waiting for you, there has never been a more exciting time to discover the satisfaction and rewards of being an educator. So, with teachers being in high demand around the country, there has never been a better time to get into the field.