It seems that ever since Covid 19 came around, our world has changed immensely. Working and studying from home has become the new normal. Technology in education is a hot topic that has left many parents and educators concerned about the long-lasting impact it will have on students.
Will an overreliance on technology in the classroom result in education challenges? Or will it become a valuable asset for both students and teachers in the classroom? Many teachers believe that technology enables both, and they wouldn't be wrong when you see the studies.
Learning environments have definitely changed drastically in the last few years. Online classes with excellent digital infrastructure have become the new normal for many families. This new kind of classroom enables teachers in different ways we're not used to seeing.
In this article, we will go over technology abilities to build capacity in the classroom when it comes to learning, as well as its impact on students.
The Types of Educational Technology
As someone who grew up in a classroom that only consisted of a blackboard and a teacher, it's hard to imagine what school life would be like these days for both students and faculty. Now, we have seen the things that technology can do these days, so what about technology in education? It seems everywhere you look, new AI and tech programs are popping up.
There is new educational technology appearing in classrooms everywhere with large online audiences from all over the world. Some of these new technologies can offer students personalized learning, aid in teacher preparation, use artificial intelligence, and much more. Some examples of tech are:
- Learning Management Systems - LMS, for short, leverage technology to create a hub where students can access course materials, digital resources, and assignments all in one place.
- Virtual Classrooms - Programs such as Zoom make online learning a reality. This technology offers students an opportunity to learn wherever they may be. This is great for both students and teachers who live in rural.
- Online Courses - Web-based courses and programs are now available to anyone, anywhere. Not only can you boost your career with lessons about the latest technology, but you can also earn a bachelor's degree on platforms like Khan Academy.
- Apps - Apps focused on education are also being downloaded around the world. You can learn pretty much anything these days as long as you have a smartphone or laptop.
- Adaptive Learning Systems - There is a new technology that allows programs to personalize the learning experience by recognizing how much a student may know about a subject and then adjusting the course work in accordance with their needs. This is a particularly great tool for teachers as well.
- Artificial Intelligence - AI is also now being utilized in schools across the globe. It can be used to innovative ideas when it comes to how to teach students. It can also be used to provide feedback and technology support in assignments.
When it comes to education technology, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as more and more creators are coming up with ways to leverage technology in the classroom. They must be on to something, seeing as the Melinda Gates Foundation donated 4.9 million dollars to fund digital transformation to the education system in schools across America.
What Is the Impact on the Learning Process?
So, what is the impact on learning when it comes to technology in education? With many schools integrating new digital devices that have had a great effect on most students' learning experiences, it's safe to assume that learning has changed drastically. Both students and teachers now have more access to instructional materials, resources, support, and research tools that have changed the classroom forever.
Not only has the learner's life changed, but teachers have also grown in professional development. When it comes to their own new skills, technology has helped them redefine education by giving them unlimited resources and massive consultation networks online. Students can enjoy learning at their own pace and get support in ways that were impossible a few years ago.
When it comes to teaching, teachers are now armed with new knowledge and skills. Education Week reported that technology has boosted creative ways of teaching and that accelerated learning has been seen across many districts and many schools.
Is Student Engagement Rising or Plummeting?
When it comes to answering the question, the studies are mixed, which makes replying to them all more difficult. Technology has granted students access to educational opportunities and content that they didn't have before. Even individual learners have resources and access to teachers, educators, and specific programs that would have been impossible to do on their own.
Nonprofit organizations also work alongside teachers, educators, and schools to implement technology in education in order to provide students with access and support to learn skills that will serve them for a lifetime. New research suggests, however, that students are facing some difficulty while learning as they are allowed to go at their own pace, which can be detrimental to their learning experience.
When it comes to teaching, teachers have also been facing problems with students being less interested in learning on their own. To counter this, they have added more engaging content to their education plans and given access to learners who need more support.
It truly is an impossible question to answer; there definitely has to be more research done regarding technology in schools. With the appropriate use, it could change schooling forever.
How Does Technology Fit Into Our Education System?
So, how is this technology in education affecting students' learning experiences? How is it affecting teaching methods? There are many questions that worried parents pose, and with good reason. This far into the timeline of Earth, we have never had AI technology of this nature. The studies done this far seemed to be met with mixed reviews.
While it can be a powerful tool in education and learning, it can also affect student performance in ways that we might not be prepared for. The studies aren't quite clear on that yet; it can be said, though, that it can help teachers out immensely.
These technological tools and platforms can give teachers and educators access to resources they have never had before. Some devices can enable teachers to personalize learning for each student, which can, in turn, improve teaching. It can develop a lesson plan focusing on what a student may lack. It can grade online assessments without the teacher having to lose time. Technology can also improve classroom collaboration by bringing students together at any time, regardless of location.
Another great thing that teachers seem to be using these days is LinkedIn. Having a strong profile allows them to reach out and connect with like-minded individuals where they can join communities and share resources and brilliant students who have an insatiable desire for knowledge. Building a decent profile doesn't come easy; thankfully, there are platforms these days that allow you to buy LinkedIn followers, making it so much easier.
As school administrators come to terms with all this new technology, they must also give their students the right tools to be able to take control of their own learning journey. It is one of the key elements when it comes to making sure that students do not rely too heavily on technology to do the work for them.
How has technology affected collaboration between teachers?
- It has only improved on it. It has become easier than ever to share resources and learning materials, which in turn has only improved students' learning experiences.
Where can I find additional support and resources online?
- There are many sources that students can find online depending on what they need exactly. "Better Explained" provides a great visual aid with mathematics, "Project Gutenberg" is a great site that hosts a variety of e-books on all sorts of topics, and many more.
What about the risks of data security and privacy?
- While no technology is absolutely bulletproof, this is something that any developer is aware of. It is always a top priority not only for the companies that have created such platforms but for educators everywhere as well. Keeping data safe is something that any school would prioritize.
Will it replace teachers and traditional learning entirely?
- The possibility is highly unlikely. There is something special about in-person learning that a computer or technology simply can not provide. While we go to school to learn about different subjects and topics, social skills are just as important for any student and parent.