When evaluating the role of technology in education, two key components come to mind: the first is the direct impact of new technologies on the studying process itself and the second is how current generations of learners change as a response. Nowadays, we can witness or predict a major impact of technologies like computers, mobile devices, the Internet, virtual reality, or more specific applications, tools, or platforms using these technologies and devices.
All these tools not only facilitate individual learning – but also change the way we imagine the typical classroom. While teachers have been traditionally the primary source of knowledge, nowadays their fundamental role becomes inspiring, guiding, and overviewing the instruction process.
The Role of Technology in the Classroom
As mentioned on the website of the Purdue University, technology has both expanded and enhanced access to educational materials. Unlike students from earlier days who were limited to printed books and materials that usually came at a price, nowadays, one can find lots of high-quality professional content online in virtually any realm of knowledge.
This content is either absolutely free or is very democratically priced – just think about free online encyclopedias, Khan Academy, MOOC platforms like Coursera, EDX, Data Camp, MIT’s OpenCourseware platform, etc. Students from all over the world can access this high-quality content. In some professional areas, such as programming, MOOCs could even provide equal value to attending a university by implementing an automatic evaluation of answers to assess student progress.
Moreover, educational content is no longer confined to printed text and images but makes use of audio, video (including virtual tours or 3D video), online video chat with instructors or professionals in a given field, etc. Talking about the collaboration, nowadays, several individuals from distant campuses or locations on the globe can work on complex projects through teleconferences, emails, chat and can work on the same documents or files by using cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Technologies in Individual Learning
If you wonder how important is technology in education, then consider that technology would make it possible to carry labs in physics, chemistry, biology by using 2D, 3D animation, or even virtual or augmented reality. All these would be possible at a fraction of the cost, without sacrificing animals for experiments, without using polluting chemicals or materials, without exposing students to safety risks, and potentially allowing them to reproduce the entire sequence as many times as needed. There are many more ways in which technology can shape education.
Yet another particular benefit that technology offers to college students learning a certain discipline is the possibility to get personal assistance in entirely new forms. College is known as a place of challenging content and collective learning, where everybody is personally responsible for his or her own performance. Yet students sometimes need a bit of help and reaching out to colleagues or course instructors is not always an option. Well, for such students, Aresearchguide offers research paper writing services as well as almost any other imaginable type of writing or coursework help in several disciplines. Students can state their problems and get help from personal academic assistants assigned to them.
Technology and education should go hand in hand and should support each other – while education can benefit from new technologies for improved learning efficiency, technologies, in turn, benefit from a technologically literate population (the latter is the end product of education). The benefits of technological literacy for society can be explained very simply: in a world heavily dependent on technology, only an individual closely familiar with it can function efficiently. Using technologies while teaching familiarizes students with them and makes them ready to apply these later in life or at the workplace.
Technologies are the Future
To conclude, the impact of technology on education has been enormous and will still lead to some major transformations. As we grow more reliant on digital technologies, our ways of learning also change. Ubiquitous access to information online leads to less reliance on pure memorization and a greater focus on information retrieval and manipulation. For instance, being able to use a search engine to quickly locate specific information becomes a valuable skill. Obviously, we should also watch for potential negative effects. Thus, it has been argued that imagination in current generations might be negatively affected due to the flood of “ready” content, so perhaps we should work more in this direction to compensate for the loss.