Education and Technology
For the last two and a half decades, technology has affected life in different ways, for instance, it has enabled people to conduct business, shopping, and banking online as well as communicate through social media. As indicated by Goldin and Katz (2018), the education field has experienced a plethora of technological breakthroughs that have drawn a particular perspective on the future of study. From the14th century illustration of Laurentius de Voltolina, it can be argued that the classroom has remained similar for many years. However, what stands out is that instead of books and files, students today have laptops, tablets, and smartphones as educational tools. Baeten, Kyndt, Struyven, and Dochy (2010) posit that students’ ability to grasp and attain a high level of satisfaction in class is significantly influenced by the quality of teaching. Technology, through the mentioned gadgets among others, has vastly improved the quality of teaching. For example, students use visual aids, including videos, to help them comprehend what they are taught in class. However, in an era of increased educational sustainability, an increase in the use of technology seems to be a tragedy in the waiting, particularly in a student-centered learning model.
Education and Technology Background Information
Traditionally, classrooms were equipped with either black or whiteboards until Intel introduced the smart board in 1992. Technology in classrooms only took off about three decades ago with the introduction of the smart board (Lakshminarayanan et al., 2016). At the time, not many individuals thought of them as revolutionary. Nevertheless, with time it became evident that students preferred these gadgets and within half a decade, 100,000 units were produced and sold (Medley & Claydell Home, 2015). Since then, variations of the smart board incorporating a variety of technologies have been introduced. Tthe most notable ones are the SMART notebook and the 600i interactive system. As narrated by Casey (2015), the use of the mentioned gadgets highlighted that students of all ages responded well to interactive learning systems, particularly when it came to in K–12 education. An example is coding as literacy and the rise of STEAM learning where technology has been known to spur innovation as well as fostering authentic learning through project-based, challenge-based, and competency-based learning. Additionally, with the advent of the use of social media, schools have developed systems that enable scholars to interact with each other regardless of their geographical location leading to increased performance. However, the increased incorporation of technology in education has been shrouded with the fear that most resources may be spent in the technology than the students causing a problem for the future. Additionally, such technology may diminish the role of the teacher in the learning system, which may be counterproductive.
Future Challenges of Technology in Educations
Traditionally, the teacher has been the primary source of information in the classroom and the use of earlier smart board technology allowed learners to passively receive and understand what was taught to them. As such, technology played a supportive role and the teacher, as depicted in the ‘de Voltolina’s illustration, played the role of “sage on the stage” meaning the teacher was the primary character to pass knowledge to the students (Mehlinger & Powers, 2012). The access to information today as well as the education that has been enabled by technology has seen the role of the teacher shift to ‘a guide on the side’, meaning teacher supplement technology as scholars take more responsibility for their own learning. As explained by Medley & Claydell (2015), higher education institutes have adopted the machine-learning model of education which allows students to foster more interactions with each other in small groups through virtual classrooms. The use of the machine-learning model may be dangerous because teachers make better judgment calls and are more interactive with students than any artificial intelligence model developed today. The future technology such as the use of VR classes has the potential to change the teachers from tutors to guides a factor that may lead to less interaction thus poor comprehension of studying thus poor performance.
Technology is a powerful instrument that has transformed education in various ways. For one it has allowed students learn more by expanding the access to educational material particular through the internet. Second, tutors technology has allowed tutors to customize their teaching material providing them with an avenue to add visual and audio material. Finally, platforms as well as software such as wikis and Google docs help scholars to collaborate on group projects thus improving performances. The use of the internet as well as the development of smart devices such as VR glasses has provides a promise in education to transcend time and location barriers. Nevertheless, it is imperative for the instructional designers as well as the technology used in the education set up to develop a system that allows the student to remain the center of attention and the tutor a major pillar of learning. Currently, the use of technology particularly the internet has led to the change in the roles of teachers from the primary characters of passing knowledge to scholars but guides. Technology is a part of education now before than ever and there is a clear brighter future for scholars as devices such as the VR draw a better quality in teaching.
Baeten, M., Kyndt, E., Struyven, K., & Dochy, F. (2010). Using student-centered learning environments to stimulate deep approaches to learning: Factors encouraging or discouraging their effectiveness. Educational Research Review, 5(3), 243-260. doi: 10.1016/j.edurev.2010.06.001
Casey, D. M. (2015). The historical development of distance education through technology. TechTrends, 52(2), 45.
Goldin, C., & Katz, L. F. (2018). The race between education and technology. In Inequality in the 21st Century (pp. 49-54). Routledge.
Lakshminarayanan, V., Ghalila, H., Ammar, A., & Varadharajan, S. (2016). Role of simulations in optics education. In Optics Education and Outreach IV (Vol. 9946, p. 99460N). International Society for Optics and Photonics.
Medley, C. F., & Claydell Home PhD, R. N. (2015). Using simulation technology for undergraduate nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(1), 31.
Mehlinger, H. D., & Powers, S. M. (2012). Technology and teacher education: A guide for educators and policymakers. Houghton Mifflin Co..