Global changes in Information Technology (IT) affect teaching and learning in ways we could never have imagined. These changes have transformed the development of skills, education, and the kinds of jobs now available to young people across the world. Digital media have altered the methods of information exchange, their use, development, and processing. This progress affects curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. The emergence of new theories in the field of teaching and learning demands that Riyadh Schools rethinks of the ways it will restructure the learning process inside and outside the school.
Schools that apply technology in learning provide digital methods, resources and tools at all levels. Riyadh Schools uses digital technology to support student learning in many ways. They can be classified as follows:
In schools, students are often seen as consumers and recipients of information and ideas. The IT development requires us to change this perception because we must prepare our children to be technically savvy as well as innovators, not just consumers of ideas and information. The use of laptops makes it easier for students to invent distinctive products, including multimedia ones, which have a special audience.
Technology is used to display media artifacts, learn foreign languages from native speakers and simulate natural phenomena and other content that cannot be presented by teachers. Technology can provide resources, learning materials and communication with teachers or coaches from outside the school. Use of technology to display new information is similar to field trips to museums and foreign countries and to the display of scientific instruments, such as microscopes and cameras, as both enable teachers and students to know about new information.
According to a recent study on learning and the brain, the innovative use of technology supports and enhances innovation. Students use digital devices to measure, collect and analyze data, solve mathematical problems, search for historical events, or follow up physical phenomena. Students can also use technology to infer and test theories, carry out scientific experiments, conduct research on the Internet, or document research processes. The study has found that the use of technology helps students expand their concepts and develop their critical and higher-order thinking skills.
Digital technology is used to assess and monitor students’ learning more efficiently. It also provides a set of monitoring and assessment tools and helps apply different ways of developing and documenting student learning. For example, a simple opinion survey program can help the teacher collect student data in the classroom and show results directly.
The development of knowledge and skills requires a lot of practical applications and real-time feedbacks. It seems that the computer is best suited for this task as it is mainly used in schools for training and practice. On the other hand, students need to shape their life skills to become committed and responsible citizens, workers, parents and members of the community. Thus, they need to effectively apply the learning skills in communication, collaboration and innovation in the 21st century.
Digital technologies play a vital role in boosting student learning and supporting the development of digital learning skills, where students can expand their access to information websites, use multiple ways to display information, and follow a variety of methods of communication and teamwork. Therefore, the IT Department provides enormous potential to meet the educational needs of students in Riyadh Schools, e.g. interactive smartboards and educational digital devices for all students to ensure the ongoing use of technology to develop the teaching and learning process.