Leveraging the Power of Web Tools for Productivity in Education
The following blog will reflect on how the nature of work is changing due to the web in education and list the implications that the web poses on the leadership in higher education.
Today, the nature of work has changed the structure, framework, and processes of how we do business around the world due to the web, particularly in education. Learning has shifted from a teacher-centered format to a student-centered format and the web has helped to foster this shift. With the use of collaborative web tools such as GoToMeeting, Skype, Trello, and Basecamp students are able to collaborate by sharing ideas, innovations, and critical thoughts through an asynchronous or synchronous platform. Prior to the web students would demonstrate an understanding of a topic by articulating the knowledge learned through hand-written documents, verbal communication, and pencil and paper tests. Now demonstrated learning can be assessed by a multitude of web and technology based tools. This has enhanced the students learning, increased efficiency, and promoted innovation and creativity.
More recently, the use of mobile learning has shifted the way teachers and students interact even in the classroom. Students can now use their iPhones and other smartphone devices during class sessions. By using the same network students can answer questions that are provided during class and the answers can be evaluated real-time. A new initiative called Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE) “turns a traditional classroom into a highly interactive learning environment by engaging students in critical reasoning and problem solving while enabling them to generate, share, and evaluate multimedia-rich inquiries” (Stanford, 2012).
The emergence and development of the web has changed the way educational institutions administer and facilitate instruction to students. One of the overarching goals for most educational institutions is to expand student knowledge to prepare them for a challenging profession. In order to do so, these institutions must learn how to adapt to the continual changes in technology, but more importantly leaders of educational institutions must know the tools’ purpose in order to match the learning objectives to the appropriate technology. Because of this, leaders of educational institutions are faced with the daunting task of continuously updating materials and course curriculum to meet the needs of technological advancements. The implication that educational administration faces is that technology changes faster than the time it takes to continuously change the material while giving students enough time to retain what is currently being taught.
Stanford University (2012). Office of Innovation &Technology. SMILE: Stanford Mobile Inquiry-Based Learning Environment. Retrieved: http://gse-it.stanford.edu/research/project/smile