In education, technology can be considered as a potent tool to facilitate the learning relationship between educators and learners. Technology facilitates adaption of learning experiences to satisfy the requirements of students, also enable reinvention of educational approaches towards learning, as well as long-standing shrink gaps between equity and accessibility. Our societies comprise different learning institutions such as universities, colleges, adult learning centers, secondary schools, and the elementary grades. These institutions should be exploration and invention centers that enable constant knowledge and skills acquisition. However, technology is not 100% effective in enhancing the development of education; thus, educators need to use it effectively with adequate knowledge and techniques. In some situations, technology may impact learning experiences positively or negatively, and in some other cases, no changes are observed. The paper aims to research whether the use of technology is changing how teachers teach and students learn.
An experiment is outlined in the book of Human Ecosystems and Technological Changes by Stewart et al. (2019). Out of 140,000 observations carried out in K-12 schools in 39 states and in 11 countries, 52.7 percent of students were not utilizing technological materials to learn new things, gather information, or evaluate. Sixty-six percent of the students were also neither using technology for problem-solving nor research purposes. A conclusion was drawn by Bill Gates, an anthropologist at Arizona State University, that technology in education sectors is at its very early stage; thus, no significant outcome experienced.
Positive Effects That Technology Has On Students
Education has been a key to a successful life for many both in professional and personal lives, especially in recent decades though not for everyone. To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of education, many institutions are trying to tap as much technology as possible. The goal is to maximize the positive effects of technology in education through the utilization of the right tools and methods the efficiency for marginalized learners. One of the most impacts that technology has on education is readily available and accessible eBooks and audiobooks. Students need not carry huge loads of books on their back bag while going to and from school. Also, the physical libraries around the streets are quickly getting rid of physical huge and old textbooks and replace them with internet network to access online libraries. This type of technology is enhancing the unlimited acquisition of technology to all learners.
The computer-generated books are just the beginning of what technology can offer as knowledge is accessible and available in a multiplicity of formats. For instance, Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) is a website that provides students free accessibility of courses undertaken by learners regarding specific universities. The approach is the best in a situation whereby geographical locations are significant limitations. The current state of COVID-19 is paralyzing education sectors in the world, and the only solution to reach out to all students while at their quarantine states/lockdown in their homes is through MOOCs. Other educational, technological strategies such as videos, podcasts, and blog posts are a click away from massive topic coverage for research, problem-solving, and evaluation purposes. Such options linked with specified tools and discipline enables educational institutions to provide quality learning experiences whereby learners no longer wait for graduation to further with education.
Reasons for Slow Movement of Technology in Education
Despite the enormous advantages that technologies have on education, several factors hinder the growth in learning. Most of these factors are from the top towards the downwards. For instance, it starts with administrative unwillingness to support technological thought downwards towards the unequipped teachers. From experience illustrated above, it shows that that technological device could be available but not helpful to both teachers and students. According to Clare (2014), the reasons why implementation could be slow include fear from students and teachers. Teachers with no knowledge or skills to handle technological educational materials such as projectors, social websites, and televisions may fear embarrassing themselves in front of learners, thus opt to do manual teaching. Learners also may worry to handle online classes or material due to a lack of skills or guidance on how to go about it. Therefore, fear is one factor that is inhibiting the implementation of technological capabilities among educators and learners.
Likewise, poor leadership in educational institutions is a barrier to the application of technology in education. Characteristics of poor administration include, unsupportive in terms of finances and ideas, uncreative or unproductive, does not have reasonable and measurable objectives and goals, among others. Unsupportive administration does not equip the schools with technological facilities such as computers, networks, computer laboratories, neither does it train its teachers. Unproductive administration does not set applicable goals to be achieved by both teachers and learners technologically (Clare, J. (2014). Therefore, the educational center with such leadership will be dragging behind in terms of technological productivity and efficiency. Thus, growth is optional, and change is inevitable.
Various Ways in Which Technology Is Changing How Teachers Teach
According to the Academy of Finland (2015), traditional teaching method has been challenged by the technological development that seems to enhance teaching and learning methods. One effect of technology in teaching is that it is feared to replace the role of teachers altogether soon while the other side of coin believes that technology will solve all problems faced in education. Regarding an experiment conducted by the Finnish-Swiss-Belgian, it found that there is a higher probability for technology to change the role of the teacher from an instructor to a facilitator and a joint in problem-solving situations. Additionally, technology was found to generate new types of learning, such as student-centered education and real-world education. That is whereby; a real scene of what is happening in the world is captured and utilized to teach learners in a classroom. For instance, a video of ocean currents and tides is recorded and used as a learning and teaching resource in the classroom situation.
Nonetheless, the different usage of technological devices is a challenge to the teaching profession. An experiment carried out by the same Finnish-Swiss-Belgian study group was carried out in a vocational school where first and second tears were to be taught using technological devices such as smartphones, tablets, and games. The study aimed to provide an opportunity for attractive and interactive teaching and learning process. The results indicated a challenge in teaching different fields such as mathematics since more of practice was required than the theory subjects. Also, older teachers had problems showing using devices due to inadequate skills and outdated knowledge. Besides, not all the tools need similar skills to handle; thus, diverse expertise and techniques are needed. Therefore, instead of solving problems, others will be created.
Reasons Why Some Teachers Are Not Proactive In Using Technology in the Classroom
While teachers are expected to initiate technology at school, it is tough for most of them. Many teachers find it challenging to respond to a student who has a flat battery or one who is watching a funny video during classroom time. Most teachers are reluctant to deploy technology in the classroom due to facts related to technology, personal or professional expectations, and the student's/parents' expectations. The pressure for a teacher to become a digital expert maybe influence the students' nature as digital natives. Besides, the curriculum requires a teacher to have information communication and technological skills, generally in all courses (Hyndman, 2018). Also, the government projects to integrate digital technology in all schools through programs such as the Digital Education Revolution are playing a significant role in applying pressure on an educator.
Unfortunately, many teachers are struggling to use new teaching techniques in the classroom.
Various reasons that contribute to such struggles include; introduction of new technology is unnecessary, especially when no further information or value is being added. Some teachers, as well as students, feel disengaged when reading online materials rather than printed ones (Hyndman, 2018). Also, some of them prefer handwriting instead of typing. Besides, a teacher may prefer to inactive in initiation technology in a classroom whereby different devices may appear in the picture. For example, a case where students are asked to bring their own devices, the result is likely to be some will have expensive gadgets that require more definite skills while others can apply to afford cheap devices. In such an event, a teacher may prefer to ignore the technological option and opt for manual/traditional teaching. Thirdly, teachers may forego technological education to choose if students will be easily distracted. Digital devices offer other services such as social media, playing games, text messaging, emailing, among others, which may attempt teenage students to stop concentrating on classwork.
In summary, technology may and may not change the way teachers teach, and the student learns to depend on its applicability goals and situation. Generally, the aim of the introduction of technology in education is to ensure that all students have access to unlimited knowledge to help them thrive in the digital world. However, factors such as fear and poor leadership hinder the achievement of that goal. Technology also has an impact on teachers as their role as changing from that of all ties instructors to facilitators who guide the learners. Despite the benefit, in some situations, technology is unnecessary if no value is being added to education.
Academy of Finland. (2015, February 16). Technology changing teacher's role. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 14, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150216064735.htm
Clare, J. (2014). 8 Reasons why the implementation of tech in schools is so slow. Teacherswithapps.com. Retrieved 14 April 2020, from https://www.teacherswithapps.com/blog-8-reasons-why-the-implementation-of-tech-in-schools-is-so-slow/.
Hyndman, B. (2018). Ten reasons teachers can struggle to use technology in the classroom. The Conversation. Retrieved 14 April 2020, from http://theconversation.com/ten-reasons-teachers-can-struggle-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom-101114.
Stewart B. et al., (2019). Human Ecosystems and technological Changes. Routledge
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