With technology-related skills increasingly in demand, it is crucial that students learn to utilize technology at a young age and continue to use technology throughout their education.
Exploring technology helps children to understand and value innovation while building 21st-century skills like media and technology literacy, productivity, social skills, communication, flexibility, and initiative. These kinds of skills will be critical for children as they grow in our ever-changing world, regardless of whether or not they pursue a career in a tech-based field in the future.
There are many ways in which children can gain and apply knowledge of technology through STEAM education. They can build familiarity with how computers work, investigate robotics, learn basic coding skills, reverse engineer an electronic device, or design, build and test an invention prototype. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children have applied tech skills each time they join and participate in virtual learning experiences.
Because STEAM is an interdisciplinary approach, children engaged in this type of learning often use tech tools and skills as they explore science, engineering, math, or the arts. For example, a child could discover how 3D printing can help them create art, or they might build math and science skills while learning how data informs the development of new technology.
Technology-related skills are increasingly in demand too. Information Technology (IT), for example, is a fundamental part of almost any organization you can think of, and even education itself is becoming increasingly reliant on the use of various EdTech solutions either in the classroom, or to facilitate remote learning.
Technology also links very clearly with the other STEAM fields. For example, the strong links between science and technology can be clearly seen in fields like data science and cybersecurity. A growing number of technology-based careers require the kind of creative thinking taught in the arts, while others will require numeracy skills.
It is crucial that students learn to utilize technology at a young age and continue to use technology throughout their education. On top of this, it is equally vital that teachers develop an appreciation for the use of technology and a firm understanding of how much it can positively influence learning outcomes and student engagement.