Technology is an integral part of our society and a major contributor towards education. If you are a student from this decade, then it is obvious that you have encountered technology, either in the form of smartphone or laptop. The use of technology in the classroom helps you complete your tasks on time. Also, you can understand the tasks easily through live images and tutorials.
According to a research study, public schools in the United States provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. The Federal government is making all the efforts to give High-speed Internet and free online teaching resources to the rural and remote schools.
In this post, we will discuss three things:
- Reasons to allow technology in the classroom
- Examples of educational technologies
- Pros and Cons of the use of technology in the classroom
Reasons to allow Technology in the Classroom
In this section, we will discuss eight reasons to allow technology in the classroom.
1. Technology in Classroom Improves Future Orientation
Technology in classroom is an important factor in education. It has come to the forefront of education through various e-Learning modules. It is taking the education level and the learning system to a new level.
Geoffrey Robertson, an Information Architect at Discovery Education, predicted key factors on the development of students’ 21st-century skills. According to him the emphasis in education in the next few years would be on the development of student’s computer skills. His research was published in Hannover Research in 2014.
The 21st-century skills refer to the teaching of digital literacy and the advanced learning techniques used in schools and colleges. “21st-century skills” has become a buzzword in technology and business circles.
Robertson emphasizes that students should be equipped with these “multidimensional” skills. It will help the students to obtain the information they need to get ahead. A survey was conducted by World Economic Forum of 25,000 young people from across the world. Out of this, only 77.84% of students reported having taken online courses in the past. This value is expected to increase in the future. In 2016, the e-learning market was worth $166.5 billion, whereas the expected growth shows a value of $255 billion by 2017.
Technological advancements are touching the education in ways never imagined before. The influence of technology in classroom is spreading to a mass number of students now. The students have started adopting the new methods of technology in their studies now. They are learning faster and defining their future based on increased knowledge opportunity.
2. Digital Learning is Exciting
E-Learning or digital technology is becoming popular among the students. It fulfills the needs of modern-day learners. The digital content learning techniques in the classroom have enhanced students’ interaction within the classroom.
E-Learning has a massive presence in almost every field. The use of technology in classroom is increasing day by day. Teachers today use different techniques like movie-clippings, advertisements, commentaries, dramatics and more to educate students. Language teaching is one such area where technology has taken over and improved the ways of learning.
Even education has become easier for the students who cannot visit the class everyday. The online students can interact with the teacher just like someone present physically in a classroom setting. Now teachers are also making continuous efforts to make the classroom a good place to learn and succeed. They are aiming towards making the education attractive and sensible. Few schools are trying their best to include more technology in classroom.
3. Technology in Classroom Improve Skills
The new technological development and the digital learning is improving the skills of the students. These skills are helping the students to prepare for their studies from the future perspective. It is making the students more aware and creative. E-learning methods and digital equipment are enhancing the skills through right course selection and better delivery.
The teachers should include more technology in classroom for better results.
In March 2014, Docebo released a survey report on E-learning market trends and forecast from 2014-2016. According to this research, the worldwide E-Learning market will show fast and significant growth over the next few years. The global market for E-Learning reached $35.6 billion in 2011. The five-year compound annual growth rate estimated at around 7.6%. The revenue for 2016 was expected to reach $51.5 billion by 2016.
While the aggregate growth rate is 7.6%, several world regions appear to have significantly higher growth rates. According to recent regional studies, the highest growth rate is in Asia at 17.3%, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America at 16.9%, 15.2%, and 14.6%, respectively.
The data above shows the spectacular growth in the e-learning. The students gain self-confidence to study even without the physically presence of the teacher. They learn how to operate new things on their own . They learn the “skill of learning” and become a good student.The only challenge is that parents have to ensure that their children is curious about learning. Though curiosity can be increased through technology, but guidance from parents can be suggested.
4. Use of Technological Devices Increases Collaboration
The digital learning devices are playing a major role in the collaboration. Technology in classroom is helping the students to participate in the class activities. The average students are coming with new ideas and creativeness. It has become easier for the teachers to approach the students in a better way. The communication between the teacher and the students has increased.
The digital medium is an attractive method to retain the attention of the students.The students are finding it flexible to complete their assignment through digital devices in the class.
Technology in classroom and E-learning is making the students flexible. Now the students do not have to sit and study in a closed classroom. E-learning is making it simpler for them. Now they can easily find the model of learning that best suits them. They can choose any e-learning method to study and complete their education. They have the option to sit at home and study through their laptop.
Now, the teachers are providing video tutorials also. The digital medium is helping the students to collaborate with their teachers through video and audio methods.
Furthermore, technology in classroom is increasing the potentials of the students. According to a research study by Deloitte on Digital Education Survey, the introduction of technology has changed the model of the education industry. The increasingly digital and Tech-Centric methods are changing the learning pattern of the students and teaching pattern of the teachers.
Technology has impacted education by introducing new ways of learning, such as adaptive learning, flipped classroom models, and massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Now we will see the statistics of the technology used in today’s classrooms. A survey conducted by Docebo found that:
- Preference of laptop and computer is 56% among students
- Students are taking more interest in e-learning than studying through books
- 67% of the students prefer online education videos
- Usage of educational applications and software also help them study in a different way.
- Preferences for the tablets decrease with age and the laptop preferences grow.
5. Technology in Classroom Reduces Physical Load
The digital learning has reduced the weight of carrying heavy books. Technology in classroom is helping the students to carry less weight than earlier. There used to be at least three books and notebooks for each subject. This is a survey report from Division of Research, Department of Family Practice Texas in 2001. They did a study on the backpacks carried by the school students. It was found that if we don’t adopt the e-learning system, then the students are likely to suffer serious health issues in the future.
Image below shows the mean weight of the backpacks carried by Grade:
The backpack weight increased with grade. Bags carried by students in 7th grade were the heaviest among all grades. The research also found that more than a fifth (23%) of the students carried backpacks weighing between 10 and 14 percent of their body weights. Only 3% of the students carried backpacks weighing 20 percent or more of their body weight. As a result, it is recommended for the schools to adopt the e-learning strategies and systems. This will decrease the risk of suffering serious back pain injuries.
6. Improves Self-Confidence
The use of technology in classroom motivates the student. Digital learning is making the students self-confident and independent. The students are now able to structure their own learning program. They can identify the resources and skills needed to achieve the objectives and decide on their own learning process.
With the help of the technology students can :
- Identify their own learning needs
- Formulate their own learning goals
- Manage time in order to achieve goals and objectives
- Classify necessary learning resources to support their learning
- Implement learning strategies effectively
- Self-reflect on the learning process
- Evaluate the learning outcomes
The digital learning opportunities make students self-reliant. The students can study without the teachers. The online free resources are available in abundance for them. They can surf internet and scroll information they need. The students can proactively participate in the group discussions and take the initiative to put their views on it. Digital techniques are making the students informative and active. They can go beyond their notebooks and do something creative and innovative.
7. Technology Allows Instant Access to Knowledge
Because of e-learning, the students are getting instant access to the knowledge. They can now sit at home and do their assignments. The teachers can share the curriculum through educational apps with the students accessing instantly without any difficulty. There are different e-learning applications from where they can share the tasks. The students can view and do their task with the help of this. Some of the applications that can help the students get in touch with their teachers are:
Edmodo is a full-featured social learning platform designed to connect and collaborate within the educational environment. It is an educational app beneficial for the teachers and students to share the information within or outside the school. It helps in sharing the content and get access to homework, school notices, and grades.
Evernote is an awesome educational app for teachers. Its uses range from planning a course to delivering a lesson plan. Evernote helps in capturing feedback of the students after class. It allows you to take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, and record voice reminders. Evernote also helps you to search and find the notes ultimately whether you are at school, at home, or on the go.
8. Implementation of Technological Devices are Cost Effective
The speed with which e-Learning has advanced, the cost of learning and development of education has reduced. With the presence of technological devices in the classroom, the learning output has become cost effective. Students can only use technological devices to complete their work instead of investment on notebooks and books. The teachers can easily upload the task on the computer with the help of educational apps.
Examples of educational technologies
Till now, we have learned the reasons to allow the technological devices in our classroom. Now we will learn few examples of the types of technological devices used in the classroom.
A. Smart Board
Teachers can use this method to help engage students by giving them visual tools. It can keep the students attentive in the classroom. This can assist them to be on track during classroom discussions. Students with visual disabilities can also benefit from the enlarged class board.
B. Phonetic Ear
With the help of this device, the students can hear teachers voice clearly. The teachers wear a microphone device around their neck (like a lanyard). It helps the student to write their notes clearly without making any mistakes.
C. Clicker Response Systems
The teachers give small handheld devices (clicker) to the students (similar to a TV remote). Clicker contains digits from 0-9. They respond to the questions posed by the teacher by hitting specific option. The teachers receive instant results. It helps the teacher understand that if the students need any further clarification on a topic.
When people think of the technological device in the classroom, the iPad is what comes to mind. Its efficient capabilities and ease of use has made it a standard device in many schools. iPads can be used in many ways:
- Practice for skills such as reading or solving mathematics quizzes
- Study progress tracking software
- Translate speech and learn new language
- Alternative communication software (i.e. pictures and symbols to help clarify meanings)
E. Screen Readers and Braille Displays
Screen readers and braille displays are used by the students who are visually impaired. This helps the blind to read and learn. Also, it becomes simpler for the teachers to make the visually impaired student understand a chapter.
Pros and Cons of Technology in Education
No doubts that e-learning is helping the students learn and do the tasks efficiently. Technology will help them complete their education easily. But, each coin has two sides. Therefore, now we will discuss the pros and cons of the e-learning-based education.
Pros of Educational Technologies
Online learning gives you full flexibility to accomplish your goals. Unlike traditional learning, the e-learning is flexible for the students as well as for the teachers. You can access and learn anything you want, anytime you want.
- Lower cost
e-Learning is a better option for the students who cannot afford trainers’ time. Other than the cost of a laptop and an online course, you generally do not have other expenses. Schools do not have to manage bulky libraries.
The students feel like they are in prison when they have to sit for long hours in the classroom. The e-learning medium allows the students to go mobile. Now they can learn from any location, whether a train, a plane, or a beach. e-Learning allows you to take full advantage of your time and get things done when you would not normally be able to.
Cons of Educational Technologies
- Technical issues
The students need to have devices that are compatible with the e-Learning software. Internet connection issues, software failure, device failure, and others are general challenges faced by the students.
- Health issues
A student can suffer from a lot of health problems due to technological devices. They can suffer from health issues such as weak eyes, fatigue, stress, eye burn, back pains, headaches, and others.
Students, sometimes, use laptops and gadgets for things other than studying. They get indulged in social media websites, video channels, online games, and others.
In conclusion we can say that the use of technology is good for the education. The world is moving fast with technological advancements. Therefore, it has become imperative to ease the learning process to grow faster with the world.