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How tech and social media have changed the face of education

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin, Founder & CEO of Digital Royalty

Experts state that computers double their capabilities every 12-18 months. The tech sector is now one million times more advanced than it was in the year 2000, causing humanity to rapidly adapt into an information society.

This fast-paced social shift has forced global education providers to embrace change. When Gloeckler (2008) dubbed those born between 1980 and 2000 the Millennial Generation, the term was a direct reference to those who had grown up amid the technology explosion; an age group that lives, learns, and works in a merger of four distinct former generations.

“The newest cohort, referred to as the ‘Net Generation’ or ‘Millennials’, numbers more than 80 million and makes up more than 41 percent of today’s population. It is the largest generation since Baby Boomers and is poised to impact American culture in profound ways,” writes Paula Gleeson, an American Director of Administrative Services at university level.

Millennials pose a heavy influence on the field of education technology (EdTech). The rise in digital devices coincides with a growth in both virtual and real-world classrooms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms helped launch a hyperconnected, globalised community, exposing all to brand-new ideas and concepts at the simple click of a button.  The world itself has been transformed into a living, breathing social network, extending education beyond traditional delivery and into the realm of the immersive, collaborative, and engaging learning experience.

But EdTech has inspired so much more than class-based collaboration. Along with digital progression comes a swell in data-driven instruction and results, with online grading tools making our analyses far more detailed and precise. This, in turn, has led to more personalised teaching strategies, with individualised lesson plans allowing students to develop at their own set pace.

EdTech has significantly boosted accessibility on a global scale. As The Tech Advocate explains: “Online courses and full online programs are making it possible for learners young and old to unite from all over the world at any given moment, and to have easy access to a course or program from home….

“One student can be present in a multicultural online classroom with teachers with origins from South Africa, England, Brazil, Russia and Poland all at the same time,” the publication adds.

Trinity Western University (TWU) continues to reap the benefits of EdTech and online learning methods. Located in Vancouver, just 45 minutes from mountains, city, and oceans, this dynamic, faith-based institution makes its home downtown of Canada’s third most populous city—but you can excel with these world-class academics no matter where you are on the globe.

While most schools promise students a rewarding, successful future, TWU helps carve your legacy from the here and now. The cornerstone of a TWU education is to inspire hearts and minds, empowering undergraduate, graduate, and degree-completion students both on-campus and online. It’s a community that heightens understanding through cutting-edge research, outstanding scholarship and open dialogue. This is a higher education institution that teaches with passion and purpose.

In terms of online learning, TWU’s learning format is incredibly easy to use, with professors showing the very same levels of care and support as they do in classroom sessions. In fact, almost all TWU professors integrate technology in their classes, whether on campus or online. In this way, technology is viewed on a continuum based on its most effective use in helping students achieve their learning outcomes.

For purely distance learning, courses are listed as either online courses (OL) or independent studies (IS), with OL courses comprising a set start and end date, plus specific assignment deadlines. IS courses, on the other hand, can be started and completed within a four-month period, designed to accommodate learners who wish to self-pace their work.

Over the past year, TWU has launched nine programs at the certificate, bachelors and masters levels for students to complete in a fully online capacity. Over the next five years, TWU will be opening up Microcampuses called F.A.R (Facilitated Academic Resource) Centres around the world where International students will integrate technology and active learning in the classroom to bring high quality TWU education to students in their home countries.

 “There are plenty of smart people in the world, but the challenges we face cannot be addressed by intelligence alone,” says Richard Taylor, member of TWU’s esteemed alumni community. “TWU cultivates young leaders to acquire a healthy understanding of the world we live in, skills for the workplace, and the character to make a difference wherever they go.

“My years at TWU were incredibly helpful in my own growth as a person,” Richard concludes, “…The broad-ranging academic program challenged my ability to think carefully, to think morally, and represent those thoughts in a clear fashion.”

If you seek prestigious yet flexible higher education, your adventure begins here and now, with Trinity Western University.

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