Education is an important tool that is necessary for success in the contemporary world as it mitigates the challenges that we face in life. The knowledge attained through education trains the human mind and enables an individual’s abilities to be optimally utilised. This opens doors to a plethora of opportunities, which enable individuals to explore varied options for career advancement. Education has played a significant role in the modern world. The foundation of the society is based on education since it brings economic and social prosperity. Education in modern times plays the role of a forum that facilitates societal examination of issues and identification of possible solutions.
With the recent dramatic increases in technology, today’s education has been changed and affected in ways both positive and negative. With time as technology continuously changes, so do the ways teachers use their classrooms. Till about only 10 years ago teachers were using tools like chalk boards and then progressed to white boards. Nowadays, teachers are using smart boards. These boards are extremely advanced and offer many different ways to teach and to share information with students. This is only one example of a way that modern technology is changing our education systems every single day.
Below is a glance at the positive impact of technology.
- Easy to access information
If a school’s library is out-dated or lacking in a selection of titles, a student might find it difficult to compile the necessary research for an essay or research paper. As long as the school has a computer lab, students are able to use the Internet and digital encyclopaedias to obtain the research they need. While students should be wary of the legitimacy of some of the content they read online, many schools use software like the Encyclopaedia Britannica to help students do research.
- Global reach of Local Learning
When schools in different parts of the state, country or world connect, students can “meet” their counterparts through video conferencing without leaving the classroom.
- Educational Games and Simulations
In younger grades, teachers expose children to computers through educational games. Instead of playing board games that focus on education, students can learn the basics of spelling, counting and other early educational lessons through computer games that make learning fun. Web-based science and math simulations allow students to learn important concepts with virtual labs. Because many schools have at least one computer in each classroom, the teacher can make that computer a vital part of learning for young students.
- Distance Learning made easy
In the past, students could take distance or continuing education classes, also called “correspondence courses,” at community colleges and universities. After enrolling in a course of this style, a student would receive course documents in the mail and would be required to mail assignments to his teacher at the educational institution. The process could be long and complicated. Thanks to technology, continuing education students can take courses over the Internet at their convenience.
- Web Seminars: Learn and Participate
Not every school has the resources and budget to send its students on field trips related to the course of study. When this is the case, the students’ education can suffer. But thanks to technology, students can use the Internet to virtually attend web seminars (“webinars”) put on by museums and other educational institutions. NASA, for instance, offers a program that allows students to talk to astronauts in space.
- Instant Messaging and Texting
While texting may be frowned upon during class, there is a major benefit that it can provide for the learning experience. It can allow the student the ability to communicate directly with teachers as well as other students. This can help them to get a better understanding of the subject matter. They can even ask questions that they were too afraid to ask in class. There are many ways that this can be done. Most schools that offer this do it through a service that gives students private access.
- Free of Cost
It is free or nearly so, one low-cost click at a time. The World Wide Web, browsers, search engines and digital platforms make it easy to access much information free.
- Experiment more in pedagogy and get instant feedback
Technology allows for more active learning; you can increase engagement through online polling or asking quiz questions during lectures (with instantaneous results). Subject matter is dynamic and timely with digital textbooks that embed links to relevant materials or student-maintained course wikis. Whether adding a single tool for a specific project or term, or making a more dramatic change such as a flipped classroom, being well versed in technology can help build credibility with students, and even fellow colleagues.
- Automation of tedious tasks
Automation can speed up tedious, time-consuming tasks, such as keeping track of student attendance and performance. Engagement tools can help streamline grading for writing assignments, discussions and participation, as well as answer common student questions, which otherwise could seem daunting due to their objective nature.
- Constant supply of fresh information
Fresh information can supplement their learning experience. There is value in having textbooks and course materials that are always up to date, which can even include additions suggested by students. This also fosters a more collaborative learning environment; students, networked together online, can share information, work together on group projects, and interact with the instructor.
Now let’s take a look at the negative impact of technology
- Technology Overload
Like in all things, there is a golden rule that governs technology’s impact on education -“moderation in everything.” Technology can easily be overused within the classroom, and this can cause negative effects on the entire learning experience. Some of these effects are already seen from student texting and Internet usage (school-related and trivial) during class. There are also increased incidences of plagiarism for assignments and an overall lack of respect for correct language usage within essays. This indicates the effect that technology may have had on the current generation’s thinking abilities and the overall power of the Internet.
- Negative physical effects:
- Headache, Neck Pain and Backache:
Believe it or not each electronic device emits radiation in one-way or another. In some electronic devices the radiation is higher compared to others. But the impression that modern devices emit less radiation or none at all is completely wrong.
- Damage to Eyesight and Hearing:
This is one of the major concerns of parents who have very young children using technology at an early age. In some societies, children as young as 2 years old are using screens to play games and keep themselves busy. This is the reason why children get diagnosed with weak eyesight even before they become a teenager.
- Obesity and Stress:
Being seated in front of a computer all day is not conducive to weight loss or good posture in any way. Scientists warn that the body is not designed to remain seated for long periods on ends.
- Not taking the class lessons seriously
When you’re young, you don’t think of these devices as informative tools through which you can learn and gain knowledge. Instead, you think of them as game devices where you can find and play all sorts of games. Thus, they don’t take their lessons seriously.
- Cutting off learning time
Now, time is extremely important for teachers and students alike. Every single minute of learning time should be spent with care and this can be wasted if the teacher or student is not completely aware of their devices. There may be times when there arise some technical issues; Internet connectivity, or not understanding the functions of the device. This cuts off the learning time.
- Technology can be a distraction
It is inevitable that the use of various technological gadgets in the class can distract the students from what the teacher is teaching. It divides attention and focus of the students and renders lesser impact on both the gadget and teacher as a result of it.
- Technology can disconnect students from social interactions
Many people are sceptical of technology and what it does to students’ (and everyone else’s) ability to verbally communicate. Every student is happy and comfortable in their own enclosed space where they do not verbally engross themselves in communication to the society at large.
- Technology can foster cheating in class and on assignments.
While students have always found ways to cheat, the digital age makes it even easier — from copying-and-pasting someone else’s work to hiring an essay-writer from an online essay. While technology could be seen as yet another avenue for cheating, it’s possible to structure assignments and exams in a way that makes cheating difficult, or make exams open-book and focus on problem-solving and mastery rather than retention.
- Students don’t have equal access to technological resources
Some students can’t afford laptops required for class. For these students, point them in the direction of library or community resources, or create assignments that allow them to work in groups and share resources. Don’t make technology the focus of your class, and don’t make it a barrier. Incorporate it in a holistic and inclusive manner.
- The quality of research may not be the best
The Internet is a blessing and a curse. Students may need guidance on identifying proper sources and unreliable sources. Many campuses have writing centres that can help with this. They can also use OERs, which are open educational resources in the public domain that anyone can freely use, copy and adapt; they range from textbooks to lecture notes, examinations and assignments.
- Lesson planning can become more laborious with technology
The task of adapting technology into your classroom can seem daunting or overwhelming. In many ways though, using technology can become as natural to you as any daily activity. When you’re choosing classroom technology, it’s important to engage with the software vendor and make sure you have the support in place. Some questions you should ask include whether they supply training or on boarding, and what their reliability statistics and support functions are—after all, you don’t need to be the person all the students come to if the technology goes offline.