The advances made possible by the digital revolution in the latter part of the 20th Century need no superlatives; nearly ubiquitous as the very air we breathe, technology has and will continue to enable greater advances in all aspects of our lives, education included. It is propagated and worshipped everywhere, increasingly in classrooms, where Smart boards and other digital teaching aids are considered hallmarks of the school and advertised to the public as such. Being tech-literate is pretty much a requisite in the modern age and computer programming skills being pushed onto children from a very young age can only benefit them later on, or so goes the premise. Today, education isn’t limited to reading a pile of textbooks or making lengthy notes. Laptops, tablets and e-books (Kindle, Nook) are quickly becoming the much-desired way of acquiring knowledge. This, in turn, has affected the traditional concept of education, though not negatively.
Impact of Technology
Learning process is now personalized
If a student faces a problem in understanding a concept at school or college, he or she can turn to the internet. Thanks to videos, audio books and info graphics, learning is more fun!
Student-teacher work together
Tools like Basecamp, Google Classroom and NoodleTools help the students in uploading and sharing their assignments. They can also create a to-do list and keep a track of their work. Similarly, teachers can make announcements, create and organize assignments and check students’ works.
Social media & education go hand-in-hand
Who says social media is only for fun? In fact, using social media for teaching is the ‘in’ thing now. As the conventional set up of classrooms is slowly changing, teachers are exploring new ways of personalizing their teaching methods. For instance, Moodle enables the teachers to start an online discussion with students. YouTube is also a visually stimulating and engaging way of learning.
Distance learning encouraged
Thanks to technology, the state of online education is getting better. Today, students are able to study courses, which aren’t easily available in their country, through distance education. MOOC and Coursera offer various online courses.
Core skills improved
Students who make use of different digital platforms to learn are better than those who don’t in terms of reading, writing, grasping concepts and applying critical thinking.
Although, use of a multitude of digital tools and softwares may have not reached all classrooms today, it is definitely changing the way students and teachers perceive education. Education technology is immensely beneficial if used sparingly and for certain purposes, such as for those children with learning disabilities or for complex science simulations. Tasking a teenager with producing a certain graph on Excel after she masters drawing it on paper is understandably more beneficial than the reverse.
The ability to focus on a task for more than half an hour without disruption is valuable in the workplace and the distractions, in the form of technology, are manifest from prolonged exposure to it from a young age.