The advent of technology has dramatically altered our perspective on schooling, working, and communicating. Just a few decades ago, nobody considered virtual classrooms possible. But the pace at which tech inventions develop has proven capable of outperforming our wildest dreams and predictions.
Besides other benefits, technology can transform education and keep it evolving. Today, students face no restrictions in terms of time and place. And with learning apps, they can follow lessons and take exams from the comfort of their home. However, Internet access is paramount for modern education.
Moreover, the roles of teachers change, too. They also have their challenges because the needs of tech-savvy students are different. Above all, millennials learn interactively, prefer visual and audio aids, and appreciate constructive feedback.
Nobody can deny that technology is inevitable for a quality education system. It is an all-mighty tool that improves the learning experience in many ways. Provided you use apps reasonably, they can open many doors and stimulate critical thinking. So, how has technology changed education? Below, we explore the ways tech inventions impact modern education and why we should all embrace novel trends.
Increased Access to Education – Anywhere, AnytimeWhen connected to the Internet, learners of all ages have unimpeded access to information, news, and social networks. In the past, checking the latest events in the cloud was inconceivable. Technology in education was beyond reach for the average learner, particularly high-quality books, research insight, and courses. What we can find online and for free today exceeds our ability to process new information.
Books, blogs, podcasts, and videos of various types are available at our fingertips without any limitations whatsoever. And this is the underlying principle of the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. In short, the Internet liberated us all and eliminated any form of confinement as long as we use it for good.
Additionally, students no longer have to travel thousands of miles to enroll at schools and universities of their choice. Most colleges offer online degree programs and platforms. As a result, remote learning promotes equality, and disadvantaged children can get educated at more affordable rates.
Finally, eBooks and digital resources have opened endless possibilities for academic institutions. And while one may think conventional books are irreplaceable, e-books have benefits, too. For instance, PDF materials can contain multimedia to illustrate visually the concepts taught in a lesson. Or embed useful links. This approach is particularly stimulating for new-age students.
Impact on Professors’ RolesTechnological advances have reshaped the role of the contemporary teacher. Educators’ responsibilities have shifted so much that they feel compelled to embrace technical skills and knowledge. And while technology has facilitated some aspects of their work, the expectations are incredibly higher.
In the past, the teacher was the only source of information for students. There was no other way to do fact-checking, research matters in-depth, or follow the latest events in the field. Even worse, the teaching methods were frontal and didn’t involve interaction. Group and project work was irrelevant and generally underrated. In such a traditional classroom, learners remained passive and only received data shared by the professor.
This teacher-centered model was prevalent for centuries. But with the introduction of online study platforms and apps, education got a new dimension. The teachers’ position has changed with the increased access to information and resources online. The contemporary teacher is more of a coach, role model, and moderator in the learning process.
As a result, the education community focuses on reimagining the classroom to prepare students for their future. The multiple schooling opportunities enable learners to use tech to gather relevant information and upgrade their knowledge. Hence, it’s up to the learners to take more responsibility for their results and do it at a pace that fits their needs.
Active Engagement with the Learning MaterialThe impact of technology on education becomes even more considerable when we consider its interactive aspect. Learners can read text, see pictures, and watch videos simultaneously. Thus, they become passionate about discovering new frontiers. Thanks to educational technology, students can learn geography with simulation and modeling software such as Google Earth or Maps. Or understand the principles of physics by watching interactive videos that explain the concepts.
Digital learning apps stimulate collaboration and communication, too. New technologies enable students to share links, videos, and classroom notes on a single platform. Moreover, they prefer modern education because mastering by doing and researching is the best way to acquire knowledge.
Improved Development of Student Critical ThinkingAnother important perk of modern education is its inherent ability to stimulate critical thinking. More specifically, advanced information technology allows students to be creative and original in problem-solving matters. Teachers encourage them to approach information critically, assess the relevance and accuracy of data, and come up with unique solutions.
Unlike the rigid textbooks-and-notebooks approach, contemporary students rely on their phones, tablets, and computers. They typically relate to content presented via videos, animations, audio recordings, and games. Thus, it makes no sense to marginalize technology in modern education.
An Emerging New SystemTraditional education is no longer in the spotlight. A new collaborative paradigm is on the horizon. Due to the technology revolution, students can submit assignments and projects, exchange opinions with peers, and receive feedback online. Everything starting from college applications, exam results, and campus news and announcements is virtual.
Moreover, the modern education industry has become unconstrained by time and space. Learners from all corners of the world have equal access to quality studies and educational resources. Additionally, they can pick a learning style that fits their abilities and interests.
Finally, the current educational opportunities are more cost-effective. Online quizzes, e-registers, and applications reduce the labor-intensive work of higher education staff. When teachers ditch the overwhelming administrative duties, they can be more responsive to the student’s needs. Plus, they can easily create engaging, multimedia lectures for time-efficient work in and beyond the classroom.
Final ThoughtsTechnology changed education in unimaginable ways. Just a decade ago, nobody thought lessons could take place online. Who would imagine virtual books and homework? It was inconceivable for students to enroll at a school across the ocean without leaving their homes.
Yet, tech has impacted the life of almost any millennial. The array of online teaching tools available today is endless. Features including online whiteboards, interactive textbooks, class recording, and real-time interaction enhance modern education daily. All we have to do now is embrace new technology trends and pave a brighter future for everyone.