Good Essay On Technology AND Education
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There have been dramatic technological advances that have been made in the education sector in the past four decades. If we look back over a decade, the use of computers, mobile technologies, and multimedia was not very common in classroom learning, but now the use of technology in the classroom, even at the nursery level is tremendous with positive results being achieved by the progress of the students. With the continuous evolution of technology and new technology trends being introduced, there has been growing use of technological learning in classrooms in the current era which assist the teachers in learning through multimedia, watching nursery rhymes and even the use of ICT in higher education is widely acceptable now by both teachers and students (Keengwe, p.78). In the current era, students are known to the digital natives. Since every household now commonly has computers, laptops, tablets, iPads, etc. and every school has implemented these technologies for the use of students, every student has an awareness of how to use these technologies and expand their conceptual horizons through massive information available on the Internet. The use of technology has positively impacted the education sector, and this will be discussed in the paper.
Rising use of technology
The students are technology savvy, they have access to mobile phones with wide access to Internet where they can have real-time updates on almost any information, download potential information from the Internet, make a video and watch TV through it. The world has changed, and so has the civilization. Life is unimaginable without these technologies and with the advent and an incorporation of technology in education, this has made a remarkable difference. Today the use of technology is not only limited to the classrooms to serve the needs and learning requirements of learners, but even children with special needs and disabilities can benefit from it. Most significantly children who are home schooled or the ones who live in far-fetched rural areas can access a wide array of information through distance e-learning (Vicki, p.2).
With the wide access to web-based technology to students, the use of technology in education has become a major challenge for educators. This involves not only adapting to the latest technological trends in the traditional classroom learning, but also to identify ways to improve the overall learning experience of teachers and students through technology. The computers offer multimedia lesson format which are not only a helpful medium to teach at the university level student, but now this learning is integrated with nursery level students as well to broaden their horizon. This way of teaching helps develop a teacher / student relationship where they can have a dialog on the related subject and brainstorm their ideas and concepts together. This can be considered only a tip of the iceberg where an emerging technology base used in education will help in delivering quality education in the near future (Echenique, p.25).
Positive impact of use of technology in classroom learning
The success and failure of any school and its teaching methods can be estimated through the overall academic performance and results of that school. Since No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was passed it ensured that all schools must bridge their achievement gaps and make sure that all students, even if they were weak in academics and extra-curricular activities must be accommodated to achieve an academic proficiency. This resulted in the realization that in order for the learning process to be successful, interactive and fun, it was imperative that technology must be used to improve the academic level and incorporate students of all potentials. The use of information communication technology (ICT) is playing a significant role in the education sector in the current century children (Vicki, p.2). Due to this, the demands and roles of the teachers of the 21st century have changed considerably, and the changes in their teaching pattern are continuing to evolve. With the wide use of technology in education and change in an instructive practices and syllabus require that teachers learn to integrate and innovate their teaching methods according to the latest technology being used in classrooms (Vicki, p.2).
The use of Instructional Learning Systems (ILS) and simulations designed with the help of multimedia are a valuable and effective when these are integrated and well-coordinated into traditional classroom learning the process. According to research performed by Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, when the students use interactive computer programs their learning and literacy rate is enhanced. The software used to teach the students help to improve and develop their mathematical skills used in a school in Pittsburgh. In the ninth grade, algebra is taught with the help of real-world mathematical situations and computational software and tool. On an average more than 470 students in the class outperformed the students in comparison to 100 percent performance on tests that were based on school curriculum and 15 percent based on the standardized tests according to the traditional learning methods (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, p.2).
The use of technology in the classroom helps develop positive attitude in students, explore their creative learning skills, critical thinking process is developed, they are motivated and meaningful learning is provided to them because of the exposure and interaction they already have with gadgets at a younger age. In New Zealand, the early childhood curriculum has incorporated the use of technology in the pre-school syllabus. Even though till now the traditional art learning process has been encouraged more such as cutting, pasting, painting, collage work etc. to develop a child’s confidence and skill set, the use of technology is still an important component to be added (Terrani, p.90). Even though the students are provided with the basic visual art softwares and whiteboards through they can create a simple piece of artwork, designs, and painting on tablets, Ipads and computers. This helps the pre-school children in exploring their skills and creative cognitive abilities (Terrani, p.91).
The students not only tend to perform better on standardized tests, but also the interactive video programs help to solve their problem-solving skills as evident when the students used the Jasper video software for the survey in the nine states of the country. The students were interacted with this software to help improve their mathematical skills for three to four weeks, and a group of students was not made to interact with it. The experiment demonstrated that students who used this software were more proficient at problem-solving skills than the ones who did not use it (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, p.3).
A survey was performed and published in a research paper by Echenique and Molías (p. 35-36). The results demonstrated that mobile phones were frequently used by 80 percent of the students and computers were used by 85 percent of students as digital technologies.
Source: (Echenique and Molías, p.35)
More research data demonstrated that the Internet was widely used to access Facebook by 25 percent of the students, whereas Twitter was used by 20 percent of the students. When students were interviewed most of them said that, they used their computers to access information and material online for courses with the help of mobile which helped in easy Internet access everywhere. The students had wider access to social network mediums such as Facebook that was used for both academic and social interaction purposes. The students used this medium to communicate and interacts with their project group members (Echenique and Molías, p.36).
This result was considerably consistent with a study carried out in Singapore that demonstrated, that Facebook helps students to interact and coordinate socially with their colleagues and will help in communication (Wang, p.428). As per the responses, the students who were interviewed claimed that Facebook and Whatsapp assisted them to interact and collaborate with their peers and design projects with the help of their working groups on a timely basis. This clearly demonstrates that smartphones are a major medium to support the learning tools and the main reason for this is that mobile devices are the most commonly used technologies that are readily available to everyone on a daily basis. These findings are also consistent with the research of Beurer-Zuellig which stated that the benefits of smartphones that helped in collaborative effort and work, ability to archive relevant information, simplification of group tasks and provide readily updated information (Beurer-Zuellig, p.50).
The use of technology in education for special need students
The use of technology in educating the children with special needs is gaining significance. The technology aided education also help students who have a learning disability and are low-performers. For example, there is an expert software for tutoring that presents instructions to study in small sequences with varying levels of difficulty. Students with special needs, can use this software at their own pace and also independently. The software is the most effective with students who are slow-performers, handicapped for learning the purpose, or who are exposed to the risk of become disable. The software is designed in the manner to analyze the student’s performance and give feedback to both students and teachers about the end result and identify the areas that need improvement (Keengwe, p.78).
The advent of new technologies, have helped students with special needs, especially the ones who are mentally retarded and physically handicapped to over their physical constraints to join regular schools and learn vocational, social, learning and survival skills that are necessary to operate independently in the society. The computer-aided education, continually helps in assessing the student’s performance and provide feedback to the teachers. The technological tools that provide recurrent feedback to students and teachers about their performance help in motivating the students with special needs to remain engaged in the learning process, especially when the feedback is accurate (Keengwe, p.78).
The use of technology in distance learning
Distance learning has become an important learning phenomenon now as many children who belong to rural areas who cannot attend regular classes, or their areas lack good quality education opportunities can avail the benefits of e-learning. For them, the technological innovations are certainly a blessing. Hence, distance learning has been able to reshape and reinvent itself in the recent years. This transformation has been the result of the change in modern society in all areas where students have shifted from studying alone from printed materials provided by their institutions to using smartphones and tablets to learn through the interactive process. Between these two extreme ends, there are technically many approaches to e-learning involving the active use of technological tools such as smartphones, Internet, laptops, tablets etc.). It is important that learning institutions must continually find new ways to keep pace with changing student’s requirements to benefit from distance learning which are good enough to provide them with knowledge and increase their capabilities (Maria, p. 359).
Furthermore, the students who belong to minority backgrounds and low socio-income groups can gain special benefits with the use of technological tools in the classroom. They can research online information and study with the help of e-learning through the interactive teacher-student online session and appear for online exams. In a study performed by Blomeyer, to observe the impact of technology and online instructor who was certified in mathematics in students belonging to minority backgrounds and low socio-income groups in comparison with students who had availed the teaching services of a certified mathematics teacher. The result of this demonstrated that students who attended their classes and studied with the help of online instructor with technological tools were far more advanced in their critical solving skills and capabilities as compared to students who studied with the traditional teacher in a traditional classroom learning process (Blomeyer, p.25).
With the continuous evolution of technology and new technology trends being introduced, there has been growing use of technological learning in classrooms in the current era which assist the teachers in learning through multimedia, watching nursery rhymes and even the use of ICT in higher education is widely acceptable now by both teachers students. . Today the use of technology is not only limited to the classrooms to serve the needs and learning requirements of learners, but even children with special needs and disabilities can benefit from it. Most significantly children who are home schooled or the ones who live in far-fetched rural areas can access a wide array of information through distance e-learning. With the wide access to web-based technology to students, the use of technology in education has become a major challenge for educators. This involves not only adapting to the latest technological trends in the traditional classroom learning, but also to identify ways to improve the overall learning experience of teachers and students through technology.
Beurer-Zuellig, B., & Meckel, Smartphones enabling mobile collaboration, Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, (2008) p. 50, Waikoloa, HI.
Blomeyer, R. L. A Synthesis Of New Research on K-12 Online Learning, Naperville, (2005), IL, p. 25.
Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, (2005), http://caret.iste.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=topic, pp.2-3.
Echenique E. and Molías. Students in higher education Social and academic uses of digital technology. RUSC: Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento, (Jan2015), Vol. 12 Issue 1, p.25.
Keengwe, J. O. (2008). The Use of Computer Tools to Support Meaningful Learning, AACE, 16(1), p.78.
Maria. A. Distance Learning Management Based On Information Technology, Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice. (2014), Vol. 6 Issue 1, p.359.
Terrani L. Adding new possibilities for visual art education in early childhood settings: The potential of interactive whiteboards and ICT, Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. (Dec2010), Vol. 35 Issue 4, p.90-91.
Vicki Schriever Research and practice: Influences and barriers to ICT use in the primary classroom, Primary & Middle Years Educator, (Dec2011), Vol. 9, Issue 3, p.2.
Wang, Q., Woo, H. L., Quek, C. L., Yang, Y., & Liu, M. Using the Facebook group as a learning management system: An exploratory study. British Journal of Educational Technology, (2012), 43(3), p.428.
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