Can I Touch My Lesson?

“Yes, you’re in the right class,” said the teacher to the student standing next to an interactive screen at the front of the class. “Today, we’re all going to experience what it feels like to touch a dinosaur.” “Yea,” shout the students in unison as they return to their seats.And a typical school day begins for kids fortunate enough to be attending a class equipped with interactive touchscreen technology. 21st-century learning has redefined the most important aspect of classroom education – engagement. Or, in other words, the difference between success and failure.Lessons are only as effective as the means through which they are delivered. Being on the receiving end of an uninspired lecture can sometimes work to create a barrier between the teacher’s voice and a student’s ear. Participating in a lesson with the capability to literally feel the subject material can be life-changing.According to a study conducted by the IT Trade Association CompTIA, the vast majority of 2nd-grade students who participated displayed a greater ability to remember details of their lesson, when presented in conjunction with technology. The results illustrate that when visual and tactile stimulation (delivered through technology) accompany teacher-driven instruction, students more thoroughly connect with the lesson and learn more effectively.

“That one is called a Tyrannosaurus Rex, otherwise referred to as T-Rex,” the teacher instructs the class as she strides purposefully within a few feet of the interactive screen. “Let’s see how they walk,” she continues, placing her finger on the dinosaur’s upper leg. Kids gather slowly around the screen, enthralled by the beast standing directly in front of them.One by one, the students begin to touch the area referred to by the teacher. With easy effort, they begin to make the leg move, giving them unparalleled educational insight into one of the most fascinating animals and life forms ever to walk the Earth. No lecture, no illustration in a book, no slide presentation can duplicate the kind of raw, genuine wonderment that occurs when learning through the lens of interactive technology.It was also shown that mental stimulation around age four has a significant impact on long-term brain development, specifically in the areas influencing language and cognition. The two-decade-long childhood research study demonstrated the connection between environmental stimulus and ‘normal life experiences’, and their effect on the creation of positive brain growth well into early adulthood.Teachers can educate on their own, technology can download information on its own, but together they create a learning environment unsurpassed in its ability to engage and motivate students toward a positive, memorable and educational classroom experience. Teachers provide the guidance and human touch; technology provides the mechanism for learning the what, how and why of a subject through interactive contact.

Seeing and touching is believing, and believing opens the door to learning. Once a child is engaged in their own growth mindset – the belief they can get smarter – they put forth the time and effort needed for higher achievement. In their psyche, it is understood the effort will make them stronger.Research into the educational potential of students of all ages and circumstance continues to evolve, with particular emphasis being placed on the beneficial effects of technology and classroom interaction. It is commonly agreed that in a 21st-century education environment, stimulation, engagement, and growth-minded factors are establishing the protocols for interactive learning.Assuring that educators are able to ‘touch’ their students’ curiosity with the same fascination students experience when touching their lesson, is the foundation on which present and future curriculums will be built.