Telecommunications in Education
April 14, 2006
Telecommunications is an integral part of todayâ€™s society. A growing number of people are becoming more and more familiar with how to use technology to better every aspect of their lives. One important area that can be enhanced by telecommunications is education. Students, teachers, administration, and the community can benefit from increasing access to technology.
Research cited by Mull and Sitlington in the Journal of Special Education (2003) shows that â€œspecific coping skills or strategies that appear to have been learned by students in high school often are not maintained over time.â€ Todayâ€™s ...view middle of the document...
The classroom has changed from the traditional role where the teacher presents information and the students must listen and take notes because researchers confirm â€œstudents learn best by doingâ€ (Dyrli, 1996). Telecommunications now gives students the chance to participate actively in the learning process. â€œStudents are no longer restricted by a time schedule or a distance barrierâ€ (Baker, n.d.). Students are now able to learn from a variety of settings and at various times.
Teachers can also use technology to enhance current content in the classroom. Todayâ€™s schools are facing budget cuts that make teaching harder than ever. Teachers need to be innovative in finding ways to engage students without a lot of money. One way to do that is with technology. Teachers can use â€œBugscope, hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignâ€ (McGrath, 2004) to â€œallow(s) students to control an electron microscope at a distance to view their own bug samplesâ€ (McGrath, 2004). Bugscope is an example of a way for teachers to use materials they would not normally have access to (McGrath, 2004). Another way for teachers to use technology is with texts that are available online. Libraries and schools now have access to databases that allow students to look up full-text documents online. School libraries can pay an access fee for online dictionaries and encyclopedias. Not only does this save the school money, but it also allows schools to have up-to-date information, save space, and provides opportunities to teach students how to use such resources (Bull, Bull, Blasi, and Cochran, 2000).
Educational goals may be supported when teachers use telecommunications to communicate with parents. Teachers may use a variety of different ways to relay instructional as well as personal messages to parents. There are some students who are reluctant to give written messages to their parents and some that will intercept telephone calls to the parents with the fear of it being a negative message. This is when the use of email can be helpful. Teachers may use emails to correspond directly with parents about students, however it is important â€œthat teachers appear warm and personable through emailsâ€ (Baker, nd). Teachers may also use create and use activity calendars and newsletters to communicate with parents. These are just a few of the ways teachers may use telecommunications to support educational goals.
Budget problems also concern administrators. Many school districts cannot afford to buy new equipment for hands-on Science and Math classes. One solution is the Science Man. The Science Man is a Science and Math lab on wheels that travels from school to school. Darryl Lee Baynesâ€™ program has four vans that can be hired out for a nominal fee to teach hands-on Science and Math lessons. He will also train teachers on how to set up programs in their own schools. This program is particularly important because it targets...