Technology has come to be wired into almost every aspect of life, for better or worse. While its sum total effect might not be altogether positive, a great part of it has undoubtedly eased the human endeavors in general. Perhaps the most potent example of such is the revolution that technology has brought in the education system. It has fundamentally altered our approach to learning and pedagogy, even as the end remains the same. There has been exponential progress in our learning capacity, owing to the facilitations made possible by technology.
Here are some of the major aspects that showcase how technology has improved the education system.
Easy access to knowledge (Education)
This is the most revolutionary change that technology has brought to the masses. It has made knowledge accessible to everybody – and that too from almost anywhere. Knowledge, for all its vastness, has become portable vis-à-vis our computers, tablets, and phones. No longer is information spatially captive to physical books, institutions or even persons, so to speak. For with all pervasiveness of the internet, the virtual counterparts of the aforementioned mediums have not only come to be a lot cheaper and in most cases free, but also easily accessible and portable.
This has led to the revamping of education systems in ways that fully maximize the potential of technology. You can now access whole databases, academic content, and curriculum of educational institutes across the globe.
Distant learning has become possible in this era. Better still, the certification and degrees don’t have to be subservient to your physicality now. Universities offer all sorts of online degrees that can easily be in tandem with your schedule. Whether it is masters history or computer science, education has become ever so accessible.
Effective knowledge acquisition (Learning)
The combination of internet and modern electronic tools has made knowledge not only readily available but also effective in terms of its acquisition. The recent establishments of laptop notebooks, iPads, and smart-phones have further inclined youth to a more nerdy and content consumption culture.
That’s because learning via technological means is wholly an interactive process, as opposed to traditional ones which tend to be non-reciprocal. As an example, learning a new language would have been such a painfully tedious process, were it not for the multimedia tools, interactive assessments, and access to the right kind of data that partake with our learning abilities in a way that is intuitive and a lot less time consuming.
Sure, a dictionary and book of grammar can seem sufficient at a glance but compared to the former, they are hardly efficient learning tools, if not outright discouraging. This applies across all fields of education which have inevitably come to improvise on computer-based technology. The proliferation of e-books, blogs, e-readers, wikis, online forums, and other similar digital platforms maneuver our learning potential at its best. Despite the distractions of the digital age, student engagement has shown to be a lot more sustaining because of the exact same means. That is why digital resources have been getting increasingly integrated into our education systems.
Pedagogical enhancement (Teaching)
There have been constant revisions in pedagogical methods over the years. That teaching is also one of the most affected domains in technological purview should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has made the most out of it. Traditional teaching methodologies are promptly discouraged at the expense of their modern counterpart. That is because the latter are more enhanced and in keeping with our digital culture. The contemporaneous teaching methodologies involve the use of audio and video recordings, among other computer-based presentations that greatly aid in learning.
The immediacy of audio-visual education is proven to be cognitively effective. The more the technology is getting introduced to our education systems, the more the role of a teacher seems to be deviating from its stereotypical only-source-of-knowledge role. Perhaps the most effective change that modern pedagogical methods have brought is that of minimizing the gap between teachers and students, such that both become active participants in learning.
Discussed below are some methods that integrate technology for better teaching and learning ends:
Through web conferencing, live discussions can be held in the form of meetings, lectures, presentations and other group-based activities that are not always possible within the proximity of your wherewithal. What makes web conferencing so innovative is that despite geographically disparate locations you are able to exchange ideas and discuss them by referring to tools such as video chat, text messages, and source the information available at the comforts of your end. Several applications are available for web conferencing that allows smooth communication.
Although not as strictly oriented for education purposes as web conferencing, social networks have been frequently used as a source of education. The communication between teacher and students or between a person and organization is made more efficient and potent via Email, Google docs, WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups and pages which allow an interactive platform. As opposed to its offline counterpart, social networks allow the transfer of data and information much more easily in the form of assigning of tasks, online group discussions, and assessment.
A more suitable method for Kindergarten and primary education, digital games are also being implemented as part of the modern pedagogical approach. Kids are more prone to getting their attention distracted as opposed to adults. Digital games, therefore, allow a strategy through which the attention of children is hoodwinked into sustained thrusts for a learning end. These educational games improve mnemonic abilities of children and influence them on a more visceral level.
Teaching and learning will continue to transform on the pedestal of technology. And that in return will inevitably affect our education systems, however for better purposes. Our methods are getting more efficient and effective and will continue to be so, owing to their being parallel with technological advancements. The fact that technology has improved the education system is testimony to that idea.