The increasing use of information and communication technology in education can play a crucial role in providing new and innovative forms of support to teachers, students, and the learning process more broadly. The term technology education, refers to the use of technology in educational settings, whether it be elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, corporate training sites, or independent study at home. This article focuses on the advantages of technology in education.
Technology in education has both general and specialized meanings. To the layman and to a majority of educators, it refers to the instructional use of computers, television, and other kinds of electronic hardware and software. Specialists in technology education, in particular college and university faculty who conduct research and teach courses on educational technology, prefer the term instructional technology because it draws attention to the instructional use of educational technology. This term is a sandwich of both a process and the particular devices that teachers employ in their classrooms.
The history of technology in education is marked by the increasing complexity and sophistication of devices, technological advancements, exaggerated claims of effectiveness by technology advocates, a sporadic implementation by classroom teachers, and little evidence that technology education has made a difference in student learning.
Although technology advocates have from time to time claimed that technology education will replace teachers, this has not occurred. The common view held among educators is that technology in education can be used effectively to supplement instruction by providing instructional variety, by helping to make abstract concepts concrete, and by stimulating interest among students.
Technology in Education and Remote Learning
As more and more countries invest in remote learning as an emergency measure to reach students, particularly due to the novel Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges they are addressing, lay the foundation for re-imagining education. Valuable time has been lost as lots of school children lack access to the required technology education that will aid their learning. In underdeveloped countries, this situation is worse as schools were not equipped to successfully run remotely prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this coping phase, rather than developing new content, which takes significant time and expertise, countries are focusing on curating existing (especially free, ‘open’) content and aligning it to the curriculum. To prepare for the future and prevent this type of educational catastrophe, countries should develop short, modular content for distribution over multiple channels, with mobile as a primary channel. Digital content is also the data collated from learners and the rules or algorithms in interpreting that data in order to make informed decisions. A re-imagining of how content is designed should address the unique skills and background of learners in order to provide multiple pathways and opportunities for the students to realize their potential in technology education.
The digital lag must be addressed. A major challenge for remote learning is rampant inequality in access to technology. Digital content can be distributed across multiple delivery channels and in order to reach all children at scale, education systems must prepare multi-faceted responses leveraging all available technologies – print, radio, TV, mobile, online, and print utilizing a combination of these mediums to ensure students are engaged and learning. Also, in order for a mixed-mode delivery to become the ‘new normal’ to reach all students, the stark inequalities in access to the Internet and devices must be addressed with all sense of urgency.
Advantages of technology in education
It is important to take note of the fact that students are already interested and engaged in using technology education, this creates many amazing opportunities for schools and teachers to benefit from integrating some forms of technology in the classroom and to make teaching and learning more fun, interactive and effective. Below are some of the benefits of using technology in education
Improves engagement: with technological integration into lessons, students are expected to be more interested in the subjects they are studying. Technology provides different opportunities to make learning more fun and enjoyable in terms of teaching same things in new ways.
Improves knowledge retention: students who are engaged and interested in things they are studying, often have better knowledge retention.
Encourages individual learning: technology provides great opportunities for making learning more effective for everyone with different needs as no one learns in the same way because of different learning styles and different abilities.
Encourages collaboration: students can practice collaboration skills by getting involved in different online activities together.
Students can learn useful life skills through technology: the use of technology in education will help both teachers and students develop skills essential for the 21st century.
Benefits for teachers: with a plethora of online resources, technology can help improve teaching.
With these amazing advantages, it’s pretty easy to agree that technology in education should be encouraged.
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