It is a known fact that change is inevitable, and the world is now changing and evolving at a faster pace than ever!
This change in pace can be credited to the use and advancement of technologies which is the fastest-changing aspect of today’s world.
Technology can solve problems much more efficiently than humans at times, which has led to the creation of a digital age where technologies impact the day to day functioning of the world around us.
There are hardly any sectors that have not included technology in their operations, and the education sector too has adopted technology to transform education.
Exactly how technology has changed education is an important question that needs to be answered, which we shall understand in detail in this article.
Technology in Education
Technology is a powerful tool and has led to traditional education and teaching methods taking a backseat with a new learning environment constantly being created with the invention of new technologies.
The change has been so extreme that it has become almost impossible to find similarities and links between tradition and modern education.
Student learning goes beyond the physical classroom and textbooks in the modern education system. The educational landscape has changed, and educational opportunities have expanded.
Teachers, students, parents, and everyone involved has made efforts to adapt to this changing environment by upskilling themselves and accessing new avenues in education.
With the use of technology, there is constant innovation in education, and the connection between the teachers and the students has also become more efficient.
It has also released some of the burdens off the backs of teachers, students, parents and the educational institutes as a whole.
So, let us look at 9 ways through which technology has changed education-
#1 Access to Online Learning
There was a time when education was limited to the elite. Books were also expensive, and there were no other means to study.
However, as technology reaches every nook and corner of the world, education becomes more accessible to people. With the advancement of societies and technologies, education is no longer limited to the rich and privileged.
Through remote learning and online resources, even those unable to go to schools have now gotten access to education. Even the mass production of books and other teaching material has been enabled by technology.
We also witnessed several efforts to make online education accessible to the students, especially during the pandemic.
Even the schools in rural areas had attempted to shift to online schooling. This boosted the phenomenon of online learning growth over the past decade.
Important Point- Despite various schemes and efforts being made by governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide universal access to education technology, plenty of people have lost access to education during the pandemic because of the unavailability of digital devices or an internet connection.
#2 Online Resources
As the internet became popular, more and more resources started coming up online, such as ebooks, journals, articles, blogs and even educational videos.
An abundance of educational information has become accessible to people in various formats. For example, students can watch an animated video explaining the topic or read scientists blog posting, whatever suits them better.
These resources can be used by both teachers for preparing lessons and by students for a better understanding of the topic. A lot of these resources can even be accessed for free.
Several platforms provide courses to help students learn new skills and improve their existing ones. These platforms have student-friendly, interactive software that enhances the students’ learning experience.
Students can also become a part of virtual communities and online groups with other students, increasing their awareness and critical thinking.
#3 Communication Made Easier
Technology has made communication seamless. People can communicate with a large number of people instantly.
This has helped education as information, and instructional materials can be passed from the teachers to the students instantly through emails, or text messages.
It also works the other way round as students can share their feedback and queries with the teachers through these mediums. They can email questions to their teachers, which makes problem-solving quicker.
With the commencement of the pandemic, the only option in the hands of educational institutes which would not stop the learning process was to shift the entire classroom online.
Video conferencing has kept teaching going and enabled efficient discussions and interactions in the case of group projects.
Online communication tools have also made collaborative learning between the students easier, thus helping them with their education.
Important point – Online communication has reduced face to face interaction, and it lacks the personal touch.
It has also become more accessible for students to avoid communication in an online environment which reduces student engagement and hinders their personality development as they find it difficult to communicate beyond their mobile devices.
#4 Multimedia as a part of the Learning Process
Since the past decade, multimedia has increased in education in the form of blended learning.
Tools of multimedia such as videos and presentations are used as teaching methods and traditional techniques to explain the topics better and make learning more interesting for the students.
Examples – PowerPoint presentations, youtube videos, podcasts.
These tools often provide a perspective that cannot be explained and understood easily through textbooks.
Blended learning has transformed education and has become extremely common in modern education.
It has made teaching and education more fun, and more students are willing to learn and participate this way, increasing student engagement.
#5 Virtual Reality
Visualization helps students learn and understand better as it goes beyond text. Students find it easier to grasp the concept when taught through virtual or augmented reality tools. Therefore, schools and teachers have been using this technology to improve the quality of education being imparted to the students.
Students are also often bored between the four walls of the traditional classroom, so such advanced technologies like 3D art definition apps improve their learning experience.
With the increase in use and demand, virtual reality tools have become more accessible and less costly for educational institutes.
#6 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Various AI tools have made teaching easier for the teachers and interesting for the students. Automated checking of papers and assignments has saved teachers time and effort.
Online quizzes, educational games, and other AI-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) make learning more fun and interesting.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) has become an essential part of online learning and is popularly called the ‘backbone of the e-learning industry.
There are several popular LMS, with Google Classroom being the most used.
Artificial Intelligence can also analyze the students’ performance graph and suggest areas and improvement methods much more efficiently than the manual method.
#7 Flexibility of Education Technology
Another way technology has changed education is by making it more flexible, as technology helps reduce boundaries.
Learning is no longer concentrated within the constraints of a physical classroom. Along with its four walls, the other physical limitations of the classroom have also evaporated with technology.
Now, one can attend classes and study online from the comfort of their home or even a coffee shop through their smart devices.
This flexibility increases efficiency as choosing when to study and how to study lies in your own hands. You are not forced to follow anyone elses’ preferences and schedules. This also enables you to manage your time better.
However, this flexibility also leads to lethargy and procrastination as it hardly ever forces you to push your limits.
This negatively affects the students as they become highly used to not stepping out of their comfort zone, which hinders their overall development.
#8 Availability of Information
Gone are the days when you would have to visit a library and search through various books to gather relevant information.
Today, with the help of technology, information is no longer confined to books, and you can find all that you need and more with just one click.
There is an abundance of information available on the internet, accessible to anyone and everyone with an internet connection. From learning to entertainment, there is data available online about anything and everything.
This has made the internet the primary source of information instead of books which was the case in the previous decades.
Important Point – With more and better access comes more responsibility. Students often find it difficult to filter information on the internet, or some don’t even bother to try.
Thus, parents and teachers should supervise whenever possible so that students are not harmed because of wrong information.
#9 Reduced Paperwork
As the world shifts online, there is a reduced need for paperwork. Teachers can now create and check assignments and tests online, which relieves them from monotonous and time-consuming tasks.
Students have also been making efficient use of technology by making notes on their digital devices. This saves them time and enables them to have all of their work and resources collected and saved in one place that can be easily accessed whenever needed.
Administrative work is also being done online, which saves a lot of time that would have been otherwise wasted filling paperwork, and thus, it increases productivity.
Another benefit is that it also saves paper which is beneficial to the environment.
The major setback in the ways technology changed education-
While we discussed a few important points that highlighted the cons and limitations of online learning, such as reduced personal interaction, overexposure, lethargy, etc. However, the major setback in transforming education through technology is the ‘lack of accessibility.’
The truth is that as technology changed education, it also increased and emphasized the divide between the rich and the underprivileged.
Lack of accessibility to digital devices and online resources exists in various sections of society. Students belonging to these sections find themselves at a disadvantage compared to those with more access.
It is critical to guarantee that these students do not fall behind as the world progresses due to technological advancements.
Through these 9 points, it can now be understood that the changes inflicted upon education by technology have both plus points and drawbacks.
So, to sum up, everything that has been stated so far-
Pros of technology in education
- It has increased access to educational resources, which are now present in abundance due to technology.
- It has enabled blended learning, which has improved the quality of education.
- It has helped increase the efficiency of education systems and made them more systematic.
- It has reduced unnecessary boundaries involved in learning and lifted off burdens, which has led to an increase in productivity.
Cons of technology in education
- It has led to creating a gap between the rich and the poor, the privileged and the unprivileged, as not everyone has equal resources and opportunities.
- It lacks personal touch and interaction that psychologically affects the students by reducing their emotional understanding.
- It tends to enable lethargy and procrastination due to extreme flexibility and comfort.
- It often leads to overexposure of information and data to students, which can be harmful to their young minds.
Passing time has accelerated the process of adoption of technology, and now it has almost become a compulsion to be familiar with and adapt to this world run by technology to survive and move forward.
There has also been a high increase in dependency on technology, and a world without technology can seem like a bit of a nightmare.
Talking about the impact technology has had on education, it is quite evident that the education sector did a full 180 with the introduction of technology, and most of it has been for the better, especially during uncertain times where technology can provide you with answers most people are unable to give you.
So, it is safe to say that technology has impacted education and society in various ways and will continue to do so.
We looked at 9 ways technology has changed education, but there are many more that you can feel free to add in the comments sections.
We also discussed a few cons of technology that need to be tackled as technology is here to stay, and it is better to make the best out of it.
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