The traditional approach to education was the standard for a very long time. However, as humanity and civilization evolved, the yardstick for measuring the ideal educational system has also changed. A whiteboard and marker and a pen and paper are no longer adequate. Instead, we have projection screens, online pages for coursework, and academic web portals.
Several learning programs are now fully virtual, eliminating the need for a physical classroom. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more evident that traditional face-to-face teaching might not be enough. As such, technology has been diffused proactively to fill the gaps left by conventional learning systems.
Technology and innovation generally have an overall positive impact where applied, but there may also be less favorable effects. It’s necessary to understand the implications of this change on teachers, their teaching methods, students, and their learning methods. That is precisely what this article aims to discuss.
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Effects of technology on students’ learning processes
Here are some of the advantages students enjoy in a technology-driven education system.
More opportunities for practical work
The core purpose of education is to acquire knowledge, information, and skills. Whether through online classes, interaction with teachers, or external authorities, students must get the necessary information effectively.
Fortunately, with technology, students get to experience more practicalized learning. Take, for instance, a virtual reality representation of a surgical operation. Medical students get to experience simulated instances of real-life scenarios in an operating room, putting them in the psychological and emotional state of a real emergency.
Optimizing students’ critical thinking
This is an important goal when it comes to education in any field. Students should be able to objectively analyze facts, situations, and information to make solution-based decisions. It is easier to impart critical thinking skills with technology as technological devices can engage students and simulate real-life problems.
Furthermore, many educational fields are beginning to take advantage of social media to improve critical thinking. Take, for instance, a task in social science where students have to build their social media page to a designated level. Taking your number of followers, engagements, and comments to the desired point requires you to apply strategic and critical thinking skills. In the process, students build their confidence in the following areas:
Effective education requires strong collaboration between students and teachers. More so, there is a need for collaboration between students, and technology is the best catalyst to foster this cooperation, even in online classes.
Advanced education systems use web-conferencing software and digital tools to improve student engagement and interaction. In addition, with the latest technologies, there are multiplayer learning games that students can engage in.
The skill of communication is one of the major take-homes from schooling. Fortunately, the use of technology makes it easier for students to develop these skills as the internet provides a sense of community.
With technology, the scope of communication goes beyond the classroom. It connects people across the globe. With the proper application of relevant technologies and systems, students can effectively communicate with persons of different cultures and broaden their knowledge base.
This is another important benefit technology brings to the table. While traditional learning methods are effective to a large extent, the hectic schedules and long learning sessions can become overwhelming. With the help of technology, students can learn more conveniently.
Online classes are a perfect example. Students do not always have to rush to the classroom every day. All they have to do is join classes via the internet or watch pre-recorded videos. In addition, students get their assignments online and can submit their entries from the comfort of their mobile devices.
Online classes or hybrid learning systems give students more control over their time. And some studies have shown that students learn better under convenient conditions and environments. As a result, personalized learning enables students to learn at their own pace and study more effectively.
The impact of technology-driven education systems on teachers
Students are not the only beneficiaries of the fusion of technology into the educational system. Teachers and the administrative arms of academic institutions also gain significantly. Below are some of the top ways teachers gain from the wave of technological advancement taking over the education sector.
Increased teacher productivity and efficiency
Technology helps improve teachers’ efficiency and productivity in many ways. First, it provides access to digital tools, which help teachers create more effective teaching methods. For instance, student pilots might need help understanding the complexity of handling a crashing plane when the teacher explains it in a classroom. On the other hand, flight simulation software will deliver a much clearer picture.
Bringing technology into schools and educational facilities can be quite expensive. However, it’s more cost-effective to run these facilities in the long run compared to using the traditional approach to teaching.
For instance, introducing online courses and classes eliminates the need for physical teaching materials. So teachers do not have to buy textbooks or prepare lesson notes. They can use eBooks online and even free research papers.
Teachers also benefit from technology-driven education in their personal lives. Teachers looking to further their education for better job opportunities can do so online without giving up their jobs to enrol at a physical university. There are several virtually-conducted programs, like the online master’s degree in education at the University of Exeter, which offers this flexibility for achieving your career goals in education.
This aspect of technology simplifies processes and makes them much easier. For example, teachers can create video lessons at their convenience and upload them on a learning management system. That way, all the students can easily access the content at any time and consume the embedded information when it suits them.
Another form of automation that makes teachers’ jobs easier is the grading system. This smart system helps with the faultless marking of online tests and exams and saves teachers a truckload of time.
There’s no way to deny the positive impacts of technology on education. Both teachers and students have a lot to benefit from technology-driven education systems. Fortunately, technology is simply a tool and will always need human supervision. So it’s not here to take away teaching jobs or cancel out the usefulness of human resources. Instead, it lightens the burden on teachers and enables easier learning for students.