In recent years, technology is pushed to be incorporated into the classroom environment. Indeed, it has the capacity to transform the classroom into a fun-filled, data-driven, fast-paced, and adaptive environment. A technology-based classroom also suits the learners of the digital age. To what extent has technology impacted education in these modern times? Below are some of the advantages of technology in modern education.
- Active engagement with the technology-based classroom resources. Students are now capable of interacting, not just with their peers and teachers, but also with the concepts they are learning with the help of technology. The hands-on experience brought about by technology creates an engaging environment where students can discover and learn at their own pace.
- Real-world experiences. Students are now able to venture into real-life problems and allow their critical thinking and logical reasoning to come into play through realistic, practical problem-solving activities. History can be accessed easily through the use of the internet. Research is also made more convenient using the online resources and platforms; the gathering of facts can be done with a few clicks and keystrokes. The challenge, however, is how students will be able to find a credible source of information, now that anyone can upload them in the web.
- Use of models and simulations. Gone are the days of still dioramas and paper maches. Science models can now be programmed to move and represent the concepts more accurately. Events can also be relived and demonstrated in the most realistic ways by simulating them through virtual and augmented reality devices. Students can also interact with the models and be present and participating in the simulations.
- Online collaboration. Collaboration and discussions are made easy through social media platforms and learning management systems. Students and teachers can now work together and discuss via email or chat or through video calls at any time, anywhere.
- Teachers as facilitators. With the type of learners in the digital age, teachers no longer play the authoritative figure in the classroom. Instead of delivering lectures and single-handedly directing learning, teachers now act as facilitators and coaches who provide guidance and motivation for students to thrive. Classrooms have become more learner centered. Students are also given more voice and are allowed to take part in the decision-making process.
- Online education. Accreditation and certification, as well as college, graduate, and doctorate degrees can now be attained through online education. Distance learning and education for children with disabilities are also more attainable with the help of online platforms and resources.
It is clear that technology has allowed educators to overcome physical barriers and to make quality education accessible regardless of space, time, or location. The internet has revolutionized education and made the impossible possible. Of course, there are still downsides to the use of technology. Below are some of the adverse impacts of technology in education.
- Declining writing skills. Because of the use of mobile devices to communicate, students become so used to typing and clicking, that they are starting to lose their skill for writing. Since they are unable to practice writing physically, some students are challenged with cursive writing or even in spelling words or using the right grammar without the aid of the internet.
- Shorter attention span. Over connection to the online world sometimes leads to limited focus and limited attention to reality. Students have more tendency to switch tasks too often and lose their concentration on the tasks at hand.
- Reduced physical activity. Students may now find more enjoyment with online games and activities and lose their interest in physical activities. This can have a negative effect on their health and may be a reason for them to have less energy or drive to participate in classroom activities.
- Spreading of fake resources. Students come across fake or illegitimate data on the internet often. It becomes harder and harder to discriminate the factual resources from the hoax ones because of the overwhelming amount of data available.
Technology is said to be our gateway to better education. However, it also presents disadvantages, and it is the responsibility of the educators and the parents to make sure that the learners use technology effectively and appropriately. The adverse effects of technology can be combatted with proper guidance, regulation for use, and support. Technology must be used to support quality education and not as a barrier to learning.