Technology for tomorrows education

Technology is transforming the way students learn and educational institutions teach. The indisputable value to students of face to face time with a teacher remains and is now supplemented with extensive use of computers and, increasingly, online devices such as tablets. Online learning provides many benefits for students that include:

Personalisation, students have different learning needs and their own learning style and approach. Online learning content adapts to deliver a personalised learning experience. It can, for example vary the pace at which topics are moved on and how much repetition is used to reinforce learning. Adapting content delivery in this way means students can learn at their own pace.

Interactivity, by supplementing the familiar approach to absorbing information through lessons, tutorials and textbooks with online learning, students can connect and interact with their subject even more. Students familiar with technology in their day to day lives relate to a digital interactive experience and can benefit from participating in, for example communities and online learning support groups.

Engagement, well designed, virtual learning environments offer opportunities for students to actively acquire knowledge and immediately apply it which reinforces and drives understanding. Realistic foreign language speaking experience can be gained from online virtual tools that include simulations and role plays. Digital natives Children today view technology as a seamless part of the world around them they've been born into a connected, online world. They are digital natives and have a 21st century approach to learning and knowledge consumption. Recognising this, incorporating technology into the classroom environment can encourage the student learning experience and support pupils development. The curriculum defines the subjects and topics to be taught, but increasingly we see more flexibility in teaching approaches and lesson design. Teachers have more freedom to explore new teaching models and tools. Rosetta Stone research with language teachers in the US revealed that 75 per cent believe the effective implementation of technology is important to student success.1

Online learning, social media and mobile technologies are all set to inspire a change in the way children are taught. This generation uses smartphones, tablets and social networks to interact, consume, learn and create. Integrated technology in lesson design, together with excellent teaching skills, can serve to engage and enthuse students. Adaptive learning Students have different needs one size doesnt fit all - and learn at different rates. No more so than when it comes to learning languages, where some demonstrate a natural flair and others find they have to work at it.

Accommodating the learning needs of all pupils isnt easy; teachers work hard to achieve the fine balance between dedicating extra time to the students who find languages tough, while at the same time keeping their natural linguists engaged. Online learning and interactive applications can help by supporting a pupils learning at the pace that is right for them. The material and the timescale its delivered in can be adapted so that teachers and pupils can mould it to fit the student. By varying the pace of knowledge intake, faster learners can take their skills further without jeopardising the learning of the basics for those who need a bit more time to develop a general understanding. Online and app-based programmes can also deliver instant and bespoke feedback to language learning students on aspects such as speech recognition. They are also designed to adapt content delivery to meet the personal needs of students, including special educational needs. Beyond the classroom Students who have engaged with a subject and have developed a passion for it will continue to explore it outside the classroom. Online learning can open the door to new and diverse languages for pupils to learn in their own time and at their own speed. If students are inspired by a subject they are more likely to develop a habit of continual learning and development early on. In todays competitive world this attitude and approach matters more and more as life-long learning becomes the norm. With apps on phones and other portable online devices, work and education is no longer tied to an office, a classroom, a desk, and hasnt been for some time. The lines between earning, learning and personal time are blurring.

This isnt viewed as unusual by a younger generation less expectant of a traditional nine-to-five Rewarding The integration of modern technology into the classroom critically enhances existing teaching practices in a really powerful way and supports a new approach to teaching that is more effective and rewarding than ever before - both for students but also teachers. From the possibilities such tools offer for personalisation, interaction and engagement we would hope to see a level of academic achievement that rewards the taking of that step into an integrated teaching model. In support of teachers achieving the best possible results for students with all tools at their disposal, technology complements in-person teaching to deliver an all-rounded learning experience.

Reference Adopting Technology for the World Language Classroom based on data presented in Speaking the Language of the 21st Century: World Language Teachers and their Use of Technology, a collaborative white paper between Rosetta Stone Education and Project Tomorrow.


Donavan Whyte is Vice President, EMEA Enterprise & Education at Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone is dedicated to changing the way the world learns. The company’s innovative technology-driven language, reading and brain-fitness solutions are used by thousands of schools, businesses, government organisations and millions of individuals around the world.

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