The energy in the room is high as the teacher and students get organized for the coming lesson. Motivated pupils situate themselves in their seats as the instructor straightens her desk, scans the class and slowly paces while everyone settles in. The low murmur gives way to silence.
A voice from the front-wall speaker of a classroom equipped with interactive technology interrupts the quiet and attentive atmosphere:
Three… two… one… and go! Welcome to Active Learning everybody, where students and teachers interact with each other to learn about anything and everything. Today’s lesson – Exploring Muir Woods. And now, appearing in front of the class to guide you through today’s exploration is your favorite teacher, Ms. Marshall.
Ms. Marshall addresses the class:
Good morning! Ready to walk through a forest with some of the biggest trees on the planet?
An enthusiastic student responds: Yes… let’s go to the trees.
Another student chimes in: Is that where Star Wars was made?
And so the education show begins much like this, in classrooms across the country where lessons come to life and learning is an active experience, not merely a one-way lecture, as informative as those can sometimes be. Interactive technology has forever changed the way subjects are presented and education happens.
21st-Century Learning Environments Engage Our Brain
21st-century learning environments allow for the mutual exchange of thoughts, questions, and ideas… a proven methodology for stimulating engagement and creating interest. The Touch Response Technology utilized in interactive education enhances participation by providing an active tactile experience, further instilling the meaning of the lesson into conscious memory and subconscious knowledge.
Active learning resonates with the brain, which becomes stimulated when new information is introduced. A person’s brain likes to stay active, it likes to learn. When the learning process encompasses mental and physical activity, such as what occurs in a 21st-century classroom enabled with interactive technology, knowledge develops at an accelerated level.
Engaged learning is active learning and there are no age restrictions. In a cognitive function study of 221 adults from age 60 through 90 conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas, results showed mental exercise, particularly involving new and unfamiliar challenges, promoted cerebral activity and renewed interest in experiencing life.
Lead researcher, Denise park, issued a press release stating her findings, “It seems it is not enough just to get out and do something – it is important to get out and do something that is unfamiliar and mentally challenging.”
The Secret To Mental Longevity Is Life-Long Learning
Some of our country’s industrial legends understood this concept well.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said Henry Ford. New research has proven him correct.
Provided that active learning is the key to accelerated understanding, interactive education is the door through which knowledge enters. If 21st-century classroom technology has taught us anything, it is that an engaged student will most likely be a graduating student.
Exercising the brain at any age pays dividends, but analysis has shown inputting knowledge into students at a young age promotes an appreciation for intelligence and aptitude for positive habits that can last a lifetime. It would seem the belief that with technology comes a reduction in human brain capability may not be the case after all, and that by harnessing it (technology), we can actually arouse the brain to learn more.