Learning is the key to all that is, and ever will be. Without it, we stop: stop evolving, stop achieving, stop being. So why shouldn’t it be easy, and fun, and interactive? In a handful of the most important things in life, learning is near the top. It deserves our attention, our support, and the best tools available to make it the life-changing process it can, and should be. In the 21st-century, interactive technology is the tool every classroom needs to improve lives.
With all the distractions today’s students must overcome to earn an education, the classroom of all places, should be a sanctuary of instruction, information gathering, and teacher/student interaction. Sound like your school? Probably not, if you attended in the 20th-century. If you were attending class now in a state-of-the-art instructional setting, odds are you would be significantly more energized and enthusiastic about going to school.
In a study from the University of British Colombia published in the journal Science, learning was described as not a case of “who’s teaching your class, but how.” Researchers say the stand-and-deliver lecture style that dominates many classrooms, should be gradually phased out and replaced with interactive environments that enable students to actively participate in two-way class lessons and discussions.
Interactive teaching has changed the way educators instruct and students learn. No longer must a pupil struggle to keep his or her eyes open throughout a lecture on ‘classroom study habits’. Interactivity has unlocked the door to learning wider than it has ever been opened before.
Co-author of the study, Carl Weiman, Nobel Prize laureate and White House science advisor says, “It’s what’s going on in the students’ brains that matters. The fundamental paradigm right now… is it’s what the person up in front of the class is doing.”
Introduced initially in the waning years of the 20th-century, interactive learning has evolved from a novelty educational tool into an essential teaching mechanism for 21st-century classrooms. It has become an integral part of a modern academic approach that allows subject matter to be presented in a manner conducive to heightened interaction between teachers and students.
Ask any educator and they will tell you that in a classroom, it’s all about engagement. Interactive technology brings subjects to life and allows students to interact with their lessons via ‘touch response technology’ on a flat screen. The content potential is almost limitless and kids become thoroughly and actively engaged.
Lessons are alive, interest is real and as a result, students become involved, do the work and achieve success, many for the first time. The goal is to have interactive learning available in every classroom across the United States, but challenges remain.
Nationwide, the number of interactive classrooms is growing. With the dropout rate of students in disadvantaged communities disproportionately high, interactive education could do much to alleviate the issue.
“All sorts of people could learn how to do this,” said Doug Bonn, head of UBC’s physics and astronomy department. “But I still think there’s value added to having experienced people with a really deep background in the discipline.”