The role of technology in education has been a burning topic of recent times. Be it on how it enhances students’ learning experience or increased health issues among school students, somebody or the other has something to say about it.
There’s no denying that technology plays a crucial role in today’s education system. Technology’s role is significant, whether it’s to find academic resources or the right expert for urgent assignment help. With development, technology has evolved and prompted professionals from the education sector to adopt it for a better teaching experience.
For instance, let’s talk about the most crucial educational tool – computers. Many tools are available to improve the learning experience, but the computer takes the top-most position. Its vital role is to allow students to find information quickly at any wee hour of the day or night. As the system processes a large amount of data with media using different programs, it makes learning more fun and exciting.
Use of technology for learning
In the 21st century, technology plays a big part in a student’s life. Digital skills are now vital skills in school and all professional sectors. However, using technology for learning doesn’t only count using various digital devices – but it also includes everything that improves the interaction between the student and teacher.
While digital education is creating learning opportunities for students through hybrid courses, customized instructions, and different study models, devices such as laptops, phones and tablets are known to develop countless diversions.
With that in mind, I will take you through the pros and cons of using technology for learning and how you can combat the challenges of adopting technology-based learning methods.
Technology and learning: the pros
Allows active learning:
Students no longer are dependent on traditional ‘read and write’ learning method. Teachers can now experiment with new teaching methods to improve students’ engagement.
By using various academic tools, teachers can provide dynamic information about a wide array of subjects in class. Pop quizzes, online polls, digital textbooks, and other active learning methods create a fun learning atmosphere. Furthermore, integrating technology with learning gives you a better idea of students’ progress.
Encourages full participation:
There’s no denying that not all students are extroverts. There’s a high chance that 10 to 20 per cent of the total students in a class are shy and hesitate to participate in classroom activities. That’s where digital academic tools come into play to engage all students.
Digital engagement systems and data analytics allow teachers to analyse students’ feedback on various course materials and identify students’ pain points so that teachers can design a personalised study module.
Online student response systems provide multiple choice questions and ask students to select the correct answers and get rewarded in return. Such student-centred tools keep students focused in class and allow teachers to gauge students’ understanding of the subject.
Access to countless resources:
Technology gives students and teachers an equal opportunity to access an endless amount of resources online. If you want information about something – no matter how atypical the topic is, you will find ample information on Google or other search engine machines.
Technology has broken all barriers and destroyed limitations in learning. Students no longer have to spend hours at the library scampering through a big pile of books and encyclopedias. Thanks to technology, today’s students can find any information just with a click of a button in seconds.
Makes learning fun and more effective:
These days, there’s an endless list of e-books, apps, flashcards, and tools to transform the learning experience. Gamification is one of the popular tools used by instructors to make classroom learning more engaging.
Gamifying the study lessons allows students to have interactive sessions and achieve the primary learning objective. Implementing digital games with tasks can play a significant role in teaching students intricate topics.
Automates tedious tasks:
Technology can speed up time-consuming tasks like tracking students’ attention and academic performance. Various engagement tools help teachers streamline grading assignments, participate in the discussion, and answer student queries.
Collaborating through a learning management system (LMS) enables students to engage with the professors, share information, work on group projects, and maintain communication. Using advanced technology helps students become academically active and digitally literate.
Expertise in handling modern technology can determine your employability right after school. Technology also helps students develop communication skills, problem-solving abilities, video editing skills, and writing skills. So it’s safe to say that students using technology for learning have the upper hand in the real world than those who don’t.
Technology and learning: the cons
Students who access technology can do many things other than downloading academic resources or looking up for study materials. Experts worldwide believe that technology is a significant source of distraction for most learners.
Not all can shrug off the temptation of checking their snapshot story or Facebook timeline in between lectures. Let’s not forget about the games, messages, and memes that collectively become a recipe for disaster.
Many educators also believe that it’s crucial to set strict rules around using technology in the classroom environment right from day one. Creating guidelines with consequences will enable the students to follow the norms and respect the boundaries.
Cuts real-life interactions:
Excessive use of technology often makes people antisocial. Many experts are sceptical about the usefulness of educational technology because they believe it hampers students’ verbal communication abilities.
Online classrooms, lack of socialising, and personalised academic curriculum may restrict students from honing interpersonal skills and lead to antisocial behaviour.
Instructors worldwide are experimenting with different techniques to allow students to enjoy the best of both online and offline worlds. Educators assign group projects to encourage students to collaborate and build communication skills and team spirit.
No matter how easy an essay topic is, students have always found unfair means to wrap up work – be it copy-pasting from the internet or hiring an academic writer. In such a case, technology could hinder a student’s learning process.
Sure, with easy access to technology, students rely on unfair means. But for educators, everything isn’t out of control just yet. Educators can prepare a unique set of questions for every student or uniquely structure assignments to analyse students’ problem-solving skills.
Another way to check if the student cheated or copied from the internet is to use plagiarism checkers. Turnitin, Grammarly, and CopyScape are well-established tools professors use to check if a student has cheated or copied from the internet.
Promotes inequality and disparity:
While we discuss the latest technology in education, we need to acknowledge that a few society sections are not socio-economically privileged. Not all students can afford to buy notebooks and textbooks – let alone smartphones, iPads, or a stable internet connection.
This particular factor can create a barrier between students and learning. However, when learners with limited resources are only dependent on community resources, it falls on the professors to incorporate technology holistically.
Increases health issues:
Futuristic educational technology is undoubtedly a great idea, but it can take a severe toll on students if not checked early. Excessive screen usage leads to fatigue, sleeplessness, and severe headaches.
However, everything can be managed and incorporated into a healthy lifestyle – be it the child’s TV time, doing assignments or playing games on the tablet. Talk to a paediatrician to learn screen time guidelines for children.
Finally, keep in mind these “Dos” and “Don’ts” for using technology for learning:
- Improve social interactions.
- Provide access to learning environments.
- Facilitate personalized learning experiences.
- Differentiate learning based on a student’s abilities and interests.
- Develop relevant technical skills
- Use technology for extended hours.
- Remove students from learning experiences.
- Implement ineffective learning strategies
- Stream students into rigid learning environments
- Make decisions assuming all students have access to technology.
Technology and learning: the final words
It is difficult to come to a definitive conclusion if the technology is good or bad for learning. While it has plenty of advantages, teachers and students should also identify the challenges and overcome them. When used right, technology amplifies the learning pace and can prove to be a valuable tool for both students and teachers. It’s now on the educators to develop an effective plan that maximizes the benefits and removes the drawbacks of using educational technology.
Olaila Lee is an assistant professor at a reputed institution in USA. She also offers coursework help to students through Assignmenthelp.us. Olaila is an avid reader and loves to lose himself in the magical world of fiction in his free time.