The positive effects of technology on education are many and are changing the way our children, and indeed anyone in education, is learning. Technology at school means that students are better able to research outside or inside the classroom; they have access to a greater range of instruction; and are able to build skills that will be useful in the work place. Educators too, have access to resource materials and extra instructional material previously unavailable and are able to present their material in new and sometimes very exciting ways. Let’s look at these advantages in a little more detail.
Positive Effects Of Technology On Research
Technology has had tremendous positive effects on the area of research at almost all levels of the education system. Students at high school, college and at the university level now have a wealth of information available, literally at their finger tips; they simply need access to a computer and the World Wide Web. This wealth of information is useful at all times, for all students, and especially when an educational institution has a small or inadequate library of traditional print materials. Caution must be exhibited though, when using the internet for research as there is obviously a lot of information available which is in fact not reliable. Due care must also be taken in ensuring that resources used, primarily websites, are authoritative and reputable. It is the educator’s responsibility to ensure that students are aware of what constitutes a “good” source versus a source that may be deemed unreliable. Once this has been established, however, it means that students are able to access a vast array of useful materials.
This access to so much research material has another positive effect, that is, it encourages autonomy in students. No longer do they have to look to their professor or tutor as their sole source for all advice and learning. Instead, they now they have the ability to effectively learn alone, under the guidance rather that the instruction of an educator. This autonomy in research encourages creative thought resulting in new ideas and theories. Some ideas based on research others based on inference.
Positive Effects Of Technology On Distance-Learning
Distance learning is becoming more and more popular. One area in particular is the area of English as a second language, or ESL, teaching and learning. No longer do students in foreign countries, such as Japan or Paraguay have to attend expensive formal lessons at a foreign language institute, but instead can get in contact with a native English speaking teacher online through Skype or other peer to peer software programs. This offers tremendous opportunities as students have access to a potentially limitless choice of teachers at a cost that is likely to be much lower than that of a traditional institute and without a potentially long and expensive journey to attend the actual lesson. Instead, students need simply to turn on their computer and relax in the comfort of their own home.
Distance learning is not just for ESL students and teachers though. Students who need extra tuition in any number of subjects can now find a teacher to give them these extra lessons cheaply and easily. There has been a recent surge, for example, in English math and physics students connecting with teachers from India in order to improve these skills, often in preparation for exams. These lessons are invariably cheaper than the equivalent lessons would cost in the UK and are generally delivered to a very high standard.
Most Universities too, now offer a number of courses which are at least partly online. This offers tremendous opportunities to many people. No-longer does a person’s geographical location hinder what, or where they learn. In addition, monetary savings can be considerable as travel costs are non existent and the courses themselves are often cheaper than attending traditional lectures and seminars.
Parents too, single or otherwise, who previously would have been unable to attend university, may now find this possible on a part-time, or even full-time, basis, fitting their course requirements around their children’s school and after-school commitments.
Physically challenged students too, who would previously been unable to get to universities or colleges can now study in their homes.
Positive Effects Of Technology In The Classroom
Technology is now used in the classroom at all levels of instruction. At primary levels, for example, games are seen as an effective teaching method. There are now available, any number of interactive games for the classroom that focus on literacy and numeracy at basic levels. At higher levels of education, interactive whiteboards allow teachers and lecturers to effectively deliver a whole host of material. These assisting technology devices allow instructors to bring up documents or slides on screen quickly and easily, to present videos, to share search engine results and a whole host of other functions.
Positive Effects Of Technology On Education Outside The Classroom
The cost of attending traditional seminars can be quite expensive when entrance fees, travel and accommodation are taken into account. So expensive, that often they are impossible for students to attend. Students studying Chinese history for example, may be particularly interested in a seminar that a leading professor is delivering at, say, the London History Museum. If the students are based anywhere outside Europe though, or indeed outside England, or even London, the cost may be prohibitive. More and more though, individuals and educational institutions are choosing to present these seminars online instead. So students merely need to pay a small fee and log onto their computer to listen to, watch and interact with the lecturer and with other participants.
And, all this is not just true for students, teachers too are now able to attend educational seminars they previously could not, and learn new methods and styles of teaching, further enhancing their career prospects, improving their lessons and thus improving their students’ experiences.
Positive Effects Of Technology On Home-Schooling
It is not just technology at school that is important to education. Home schooling in many countries is very popular, but not so popular that it isn’t a challenging way to educate your child. New technology means that parents or guardians home-schooling their children can access material appropriate to the needs and wants of their children. Courses in early math, reading and writing are all available online, some for a fee, as are more advanced classes in biology, chemistry, physics and so on.
In addition, home-schooling parents are also able to connect with other parents who are home schooling; a network of home-school teachers if you like. This network can provide invaluable advice and support for those parents engaging in what is still seen as an alternative, perhaps strange way of raising your child.
Positive Effects Of Technology On Future Job Opportunities
In most jobs these days it is expected that employees be able to use a computer and be comfortable with technology. In many cases this may not be just expected, but required, or at the very least seen as a serious advantage. People who have grown up with technology in the classroom and at home will be comfortable with this requirement; in many cases it will be simply second-nature. To deny students access to technology is to deny them future job opportunities as well as to seriously stunt their educational growth.
As we can see, technology integration, both in and out of the classroom, is having great, positive effects on education. These positive effects show no sign of waning.
Below is a video about the history of technology in education.