Granted, technology has become part and parcel of the 21st century so much so that it is virtually impossible to think of how life would be without it. Every aspect of our lives from shopping to personal lifestyle has been permeated immensely and education is no different. The Internet has entirely revolutionized how information is accessed and disseminated to make learning easier, faster, and fun. From laptops to high tech apps and online courses, here is a closer look at how technology has changed education.
Technology has increased access to education
Learning is no longer simply about travelling to a brick and mortar education center. A century ago, books were rare, and only the elite had access to various opportunities to attend a class and learn with a teacher on the podium. Today, loads of information is available everywhere in form of books, audios, images, and even videos can be accessed with just a click on the computer or smartphone. Most colleges have online degrees that make it easy to learn faster. With the rise in new technology, the chalkboard has disappeared completely as people take to tech gadgets such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones
While conventional classes are still the order of the day, a significant portion of learners especially those in online courses have changed the way they take notes completely. Because training is recorded in various media and can be replayed as many times as a learner prefers, notes are now captured, saved, and read on tablets and laptops. The enhanced access to education, the ease of learning, and ability to learn from anywhere has created a new impetus for learning that is making more people, including those with strict work schedules; manage to take a new course.
Communication and collaboration opportunities have expanded
Conventionally, the classroom was completely isolated, and collaboration was greatly limited to the same classroom or the school facility. Communication and collaboration have expanded to levels that could only be dreamt of a century ago. Students in rural areas learning about the geography of the Arctic can now follow expedition of teams of scientists in the area of interest, read their blog posts, access photos, and send them direct questions.
The walls of the classrooms have been ‘demolished’ completely! Learning is no longer only between the trainer and students in that program only. With modern apps and tools such as Google Docs and Wikis, students can now share notes, hold discussions, and enrich their learning with others even across the continent. A platform like Edmodo allows learners and trainers to discuss homework, post their assignments, and interact with peers creatively when working on various projects.
Technology has transformed roles of trainers and learners
In the medieval classroom, the main source of information and knowledge was the teacher. However, technology has opened numerous sources of information, and the role of the teacher is adrift towards guiding learners. The learner is taking greater responsibility for the learning process because technology has created numerous accesses to information. With a Kindle or tablet on the hand, the learner can access thousands of eBooks, blogs, and ongoing projects related to his/her area of study. The trainer only needs to guide the student where to access information and select what is appropriate. This access to information is being emphasized so much because of three core advantages;
- The learner becomes more independent because he interacts with external sources.
- Learning becomes more engaging, thought provocative, and directional.
- There is a direct appreciation of gaps in information that helps to nurture learners in areas that have more potential for their careers.
Assessments are more efficient and reliable
With advancing technology, more institutions are digitizing their assessment procedures. As opposed to the traditional human-based assessment that was marred with errors and bias, the e-assessment procedures are now faster and highly reliable. You can take an assessment and get results immediately in an impartial way. This is very critical especially for learners who want to take online courses without travelling to respective institutions.
Presents a new way carrying research
Learning is all about research and exploring new information. In the past, research was carried through physical library research. The process was tedious because learners had to dig through thousands of books in conventional libraries to get access to information. This made it very difficult especially for people with limited time. However, most colleges have digitized their resources so that learners can carry more comprehensive research even when away from school. It is, therefore, not impossible to see a learner doing research on the plane, liaising with other researchers, and making a presentation without setting foot in college.
Application of rich media for behavioral change
Learning no longer has to be a boring experience. Rich media such as video games present learners with numerous challenges to help them develop problem-solving skills. As they tackle various hypothetical problems, they learn new skills that are helpful for both in-school and out-of-school setting. Though some people have referred to games as controversial, they are very useful when used under guidance.
Technology has presented a solution for enhancing learners’ diversity
Many are the people who refer to the conventional classroom as a boring and unimaginative place. It was restrictive and rarely appreciated those people who had skills outside the common academic restraints. However, technology has provided numerous educational tools, visual stimulating animations, and online learning modules that appeal to all types of learners. For example, those who consider the conventional learning boring or want to learn part-time can use the digital aids. Others who have impairment such as visual or hearing disabilities can opt to use videos, podcasts, and special applications that ease the learning process.
Technology has made education easy, simpler, and lively such that people can learn faster to attain desired accreditation. Without being restricted to the conventional classroom or school environs, learners can now take control of when and what to learn. They have access to more information, can link with ongoing researchers, and identify gaps that make it easier to shape careers.