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Technology has evolved tremendously in the last 40 years, and we now use it almost all day. From work to paying daily chores and fun, it has changed the way we live, and still continues to do so. But while some people are little accustomed with the technology development, children can surely use it to learn things faster and thus benefiting a lot from it. Hesitant as some people are, technology brings great opportunity to enhance education.

Yes, technology has really changed the way kids nowadays spend their time. While 20­30 years ago kids played with their toys in the park, now things have changed tremendously and children spend a lot of time in front of their computer, be it exploring the Internet, playing games, watching movies or using Facebook. Sites like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram are widely used by kids nowadays as the main way to communicate. Some say it’s a shame because they tend to favor them in detriment for eye to eye contact. There is no doubt that kids could use some more time outdoors nowadays. But technological revolution takes place whether we want it or not. There is no point in trying to stop it. Let us then look at what good things come from the fact that even the youngest generation feels extremely comfortable with the latest tech trends.

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A major benefit of social media and the Internet can be found in education. With its help kids can learn just by sitting in front of the computer. The educational use of technology is not a new topic. But to be honest, up until recently, it was mostly theoretical. It was hard to find a tool that students would actually enjoy using and to which they would turn by themselves. Now, some of the main platforms that can benefit people when it comes to online learning are brainly.com, edmodo.com, or numerous Mooc platforms. The last ones are Massive Open Online Courses, which offer taking part in online classes for people from around the world, which creates great opportunity for people who can’t attend regular schools.

Brainly is a social learning network, dedicated mostly to Middle School and High School students and teachers, offering help with homework and school subjects problems. Finally, Edmodo connects students and teachers in virtual classrooms and lets them collaborate online. The variety of resources available is almost unlimited. Thanks to that students and teachers of different education level, or subject of interest are able to find a proper, reliable source of knowledge. As it usually is the case with online media and communites, there arises the risk of misuse by some of the users. Fortunately, many of the platforms are aware of the threat and take decisive steps to prevent spam, hate speech or cheating. In many cases it is the community of moderators, that look after the quality of the content and make sure the websites stay educational.

By using the educational platforms, students can easily ask a question they don’t understand in their homework and find out the answer to it in a short time. There are multiple categories you can browse on the websites, which may include most of the school types and subjects. They are pretty varied and provide kids with lots of possibilities when it comes to learning new things as well as completing their homework in time. What attracts young minds in such solutions is, among others, the community. Social learning networks create an online space where students can not only ask questions and get answers, but also exchange their knowledge and skills freely. Many topics have several ways of approaching them and the collaborative communities give a change to explore them and their solutions.

I wouldn’t try to treat the Internet or online tools as ‘good things’ or ‘bad things’. It’s a whole new medium and can be used in countless ways. It’s rather foolish to stop people from communicating in a quicker way, sharing things with their friends in social media. Same applies to education, which needs to find its place online. For a great number of students around the world, teacher blogs, online courses, or platforms like Brainly are great places to start.

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Posted by Jakub Piwnik

Jakub Piwnik is a 23 year old member of the Brainly.com team. He graduated from the Cracow University of Economics and lives in Poland. He's guest blogging from time to time about online trends, education technology and social media. Jakub enjoys hanging out with friends, cycling, alternative music and cinema. You can find him at @kubapiwnik on Twitter.

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