Presently, we are surrounded by technology, and it is shaping our life significantly. We now live differently due to a lot of technological advancements from how people used to live 10 years ago. Technology has reshaped how we learn new things too. However, many of us still get lost when it comes to using technology for learning. There are many different ways that it opens for the learners. This post is aiming to highlight 7 ways we can learn using technology.
Let’s start with the very basic. There are a lot of search engines that we can use to find any kind of information. Modern search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. All of them provide a lot of options for you to customize your search queries. Not only that, but you also can see what others are searching while typing in a keyword in the search bar.
YouTube has become another search engine even though it is actually a video hosting site. It is because of the number of video contents regularly being uploaded to YouTube by YouTubers from the whole world. For learning something new, it is definitely the best there is because you get information along with audio and video footage. YouTube has features that let the users make their uploaded video interactive which potentially increases the scope for learning new things efficiently.
If you are looking for academic articles or scholarly works from others for your research, use Google Scholar. Like Google, you can also customize your search here in Google Scholar with varieties of options available there. Scholars from all around the world upload or link up their research articles, works and books through their Google Scholar Profile. So, others can download PDF versions of scholarly articles and sneak peek into books to see what’s it about.
Only searching for information is not the only way to learn using technology. Many educators, professionals, and institutes worldwide are producing many online courses. There are varieties of online courses out there on different topics. There are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which offers flexible self-paced learning. However, due to this flexibility, only self-motivated students actually get benefitted from MOOCs. There are also online courses with certain restrictions and time range. Online courses can be both free and paid depending on the quality of resources, institutional investments and a lot of useful and meaningful elements to enhance learning quality. Many platforms now offer quality paid and free courses partnering with renowned educational institutions and expert professionals like Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy, Udacity, FutureLearn, etc.
Social Media Networks
Believe it or not, social media networks are consuming most of the time of this generation. Some people use one social media network, and some people use a lot of social media networks together. Of course, there are both pros and cons to social media networks. Some use these networks good way, and some misuse it. Social media networks, if used correctly, can become a useful platform for learning. There are educational groups, pages, live events, collections, communities in different social media networks which can provide you with a continuous flow of learning materials, guidelines, tips & tricks, useful and life-changing quotations, and many other forms of educational resources.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
The virtual and augmented reality is becoming very popular for teaching and learning. Both are taken right from those science fiction that we used to read a few years ago. A company named Oculus first made virtual reality (VR) a possibility, but it was bulky and expensive at that time. Soon after that Google introduced its Google Cardboard, a VR viewer crafted from cardboards, lenses, and magnets. As a display, it uses a smartphone. This initiative has brought VR to the general mass for how easy and inexpensive it is to make or buy. VR lets users interact with a virtual world which gives them practical experience of something that is not in their grasp. For example, you can fly in the sky with a 360-degree view or dive into the depths of the ocean from your physical location, no matter where it is.
Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, lets users interact with the physical world integrated with the power of virtual elements. Applications like Aurasma (recently owned and rebranded by HP Reveal) makes it very easy to create your very own augmented reality for free. As an example, you can scan a picture and add it as a trigger for the augmented reality and make it come alive by scanning the printed version of the picture with a handheld a mobile device. Combining both VR and AR elements, it is possible to craft a compelling learning environment for the learners.
Besides all the ways mentioned above, you can also depend on a lot of other applications available for both your computers and mobile devices for learning. These applications may directly help you with learning or may facilitate you in your learning. You will find applications that can teach you different languages and other subjects. Some will help you with taking notes, accumulating your research data, suggest you with more information on a topic that you are currently working on, etc. These applications can be found everywhere on the internet. Chrome web store, Windows Store, Apple Store, Play Store are some of the most used application markets right now.
With the advancement of technology, teaching and learning will always evolve, and as citizens of this digital world, we also need to embrace these changes by learning new things in new ways. Learn using technology for better sustainability in this era. Happy learning!