Use of education technology is a somewhat problematic premise because it has generated a heated debate about whether this helps or disrupts learning. Recent dramatic increases in technology in our society have led to the proliferation of technology in educational institutions (from elementary to post-graduate) at a rapid rate. Technology integration in schools has changed today’s education and also the way teachers and students use their classrooms. These changes have a positive and negative impact on learning. Here’s how technology helps and disrupts education.
How Technology Helps Education student with ipad technology in the classroom technology has revolutionized how teachers teach and how students learn. The importance and benefits of technology in education with teachers and students can not be ignored. Technology has made it easier for teachers to impart knowledge to students and students to acquire it. The use of technology in schools has also made the teaching and learning process enjoyable.
Technology as a teaching tool
Just a decade ago, teachers used chalk boards, then progressed to white boards and now they are using smart boards. Smart cards are advanced boards that allow teachers to teach and share information with students in a multitude of ways. Computer audio-visual capabilities of PowerPoint presentations and other animation software are used to present information in an interactive way that invites greater interest from the students. In addition, the use of projectors, screens and addressing systems (speakers and microphones) allow teachers to teach a large number of students at the same time. Studies show that these concentration levels increase student teaching aids and have led to improvements in student attendance.
Easier accessibility of information
With the internet being a great information base, students are finding an effective tool for acquiring knowledge. Students can now retrieve all kinds of information easier and faster than ever through their personal computers or cell phones.
The Internet has given a new dimension of education – distance learning and online education. Students no longer need to physically attend classes to be a part of a classroom. They can attend a class virtually in the comfort of their home. Numerous educational institutions are offering online courses where students interact with teachers through the internet and access learning materials from the institution’s website.
How Technology Hinders Education
Technology for childrenIn addition to the positive effects that come with increasing modern technology in education, there are also negative effects. Technology acts as an obstacle to education in the following ways:
Distraction for students
The positive effects of technology such as communication, entertainment and the ability to make life easier to manage can prove to be a hindrance to classroom learning. Various types of entertainment, whether from mobile devices such as games, text messaging or surf the net distract the students in the classroom. In addition, with the ability to communicate easily, students tend to text or communicate with each other when they should not be doing it. This is a great distraction that strongly impacts your concentration levels.
With technology now, students can make good grades effortlessly because they can easily look for solutions to any kind of problem they come across in various search engines. Technology has made cheating simpler than ever, with a minimum probability of being caught. For example, students allowed to use a calculator in a particular test, can write a program in which contains all the answers and formulas that they need to pass the exam. Another example is that a student can take a photo of their home and send it via email or SMS to their friends, who copy it and send their own. Thus, technology has made it easier for students to cheat on exams with minimal chances of getting caught.
So does technology help or disrupt students? The answer to this question is – it all depends on how you use it. Handled poorly, its impact on education can be disastrous! But if handled well, it can make learning easier. Just as we have found out, technology can be a powerful learning tool, and it can also be a powerful tool for cheating. It can gallantly open new doors and possibilities for learning and at the same time open some who are better off left closed because some themes are not appropriate for some age groups. It can also be used to inform, but also to distort. If not used properly, the positive effects of technology become negative, which continue to hinder student success.
The use of technology in education is not new. For centuries, pedagogical practice has been shaped by the use of various tools and methods that enhance and facilitate the way knowledge is transmitted. Great innovations in the areas of communication and processing, storage and transmission of information offer possibilities that we could not imagine a decade ago.
Although some scholars still seek to discourage the use of information and communication technologies in the classroom, most recognize that this is not a passing phenomenon and focuses their studies on the search for rational and effective methods for integrating technology into education. The great question of the educational community should not be whether investment in technology is worth it, but how to make it worth it.
Why invest in ICT?
The great impact that information and communication technology has caused in contemporary society is due to the way in which different technologies have converged. Computers, mobile phones, portable cameras, recorders and sound reproducers were extraordinary inventions, but what really changed the world was the union of the individual functions and characteristics of each into light practical devices. The United Nations estimates that about 5 billion people have access to mobile phones, and about 2 billion, to the internet.
The reduced cost of mobile devices – thanks to mass production -, access to the internet and the influence of social networks are responsible for unprecedented transformations in our history. One of the most notorious examples came after the Tunisian youth Mohammed Bouazizi was self-immolated. Photos and videos of his death flooded social networks, inspiring the population to organize and demand democracy in the country.
In just ten days, the protests took over Tunisia and led to the escape of President Zine el-Abdine Ben Ali. The massive dissemination of the Tunisian revolution has encouraged people in other countries of the Middle East and North Africa to fight for democracy and better life, unleashing a series of events and transformations known as the Arab Spring.
A study published by the University of Washington states that through the use of digital technologies the defenders of democracy have created a meme for freedom that has gained a life of its own and spread ideas about freedom and revolution for a surprising number of people.
Therefore, if information and communication technology can be used to change the geopolitical scenario of nations living under intense political and religious pressure, we can conclude that, when used in a planned way, its potential for education is almost unlimited.
The technology provides an interactive learning environment allowing students to: better understand theoretical texts through the use of audiovisual resources and three-dimensional simulations; produce and publish texts, videos or other forms of media on the worldwide computer network; to interact and share content with students from around the world; and deepen your research in a fast and targeted manner.
Digital technologies are of even greater importance in facilitating the teaching and learning of people with special needs. You can purchase thousands of free audio and video resources and tools with adjustable font sizes, high contrast and customizable color, guided access, and applications designed exclusively for people with specific disabilities.
Two examples of prominence produced in Brazil are the Hand Talk applications, chosen by the UN as the best application in the world for social inclusion, developed for conversion of audios and texts in Pounds; and Aramumo, created by the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), to assist in the teaching of children with learning disorders, especially dyslexia.
For teachers, there are a plethora of applications that facilitate classroom management, file organization, professional training, content preparation, quizzes and presentations, as well as subject-specific topics. Educators and school administrators still rely on the MDM (mobile device management) system, which allows access and control of the mobile devices used during classes.