The Importance of Technology In Education

From transportation to communication, technology is involved in nearly every aspect of daily life. It is how we talk with others via telephone or email, travel from point A to point B, make monetary transactions, and especially in today’s COVID-19 pandemic, technology is even essential for learning and education. Educators rely on technology for teaching both children and adults. Continue reading about the forms of technology and the importance of technology in education.

How Can We Benefit From Technology in Education
How Can We Benefit From Technology in Education

What is Technology?

Technology is defined as machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge. However, technology does not solely describe technical gadgets. It entails the steps leading to the creation of those objects. The first component of technology is the presence of a need. What goal do you wish to accomplish?

For instance, we need to eat, easily complete household chores, and drive to work each morning. Technology is the result of the next aspect, which is understanding a scientific concept and then applying skills, values, and facts to reach a goal. Education alone is important in technology, as it imparts the skills required to accomplish a goal. The technology that results continues to help educate others for future technological advancements.  

Examples of technology include laptop and desktop computers, cellular phones, the radio, television, gaming consoles, vehicles, medical devices, and home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, a dishwasher, and more.

Forms of Technology Applied In Education

The basic classroom setting has its benefits, but it is not always the most conducive environment for learning. However, technology overcomes barriers to learning. Whether visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, technology caters to various learning styles. It also provides accessibility for students with disabilities and allows students to remain attentive. Many forms of technology are applied to education.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a computer-generated 3D world created by wearing a head-mounted display with hand, voice, or head tracking. The device is similar to oversized goggles worn over the eyes and attach behind the head.

Virtual reality places the student in the setting of the topic in which they are learning. They learn by living a visceral, total body experience. Virtual reality is conducive to all learning styles because students can see, hear, and immerse themselves in any time or location. For example, students using virtual technology in a science classroom may have a virtual field trip to the age of dinosaurs. It exposes students to situations they would not otherwise have access to.

Game Based Learning

The average child plays video games approximately four to six hours per day. Students are taught subjects of math, science, spelling, and reading comprehension through digital game-based learning that uses video games and computers for educational purposes. The value of technology in schooling is through repetition. As the student repeatedly attempts to excel at the overall objective, they learn the material in an entertaining way. Experts at the University of North Dakota have confirmed that digital game-based learning increases attention, competition, and social and cultural engagement (Van Eck, 2006).

Interactive Boards

An interactive board is essentially a digital whiteboard. It is one of the most frequently used applications in remote learning. An interactive board is often used in an online classroom setting. Students meet in a chatroom along with the professor who shares their screen with the class. Beginning with a blank board, the teacher explains can share text, descriptions, videos, and images in real-time to teach concepts to multiple students. Once the lecture has concluded, the lesson is saved for students to access later.

Video

In a classroom setting, video is used as a teaching tool. Students can watch videos about certain events in history, films based on books, and more. Additionally, video allows students access to remote lectures. If direct contact with students is impossible, teachers host online classes to maintain that face-to-face presence and connections with peers.

The Importance of Technology In Education
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Cell Phones and Social Media

Cell phones are frequently depicted as a classroom distraction. However, permitting the use of cell phones like smartphones with internet and downloadable applications has proven beneficial. The benefits of cell phones are mainly focused on access to information. They able students to search for answers to questions they may be hesitant to ask the teacher. Audio and video files can be downloaded and shared with peers for group projects.

Word Processing

Word process is a basic technology used in and out of the classroom. It includes software for typewritten documents, along with editing software to change font size, color, and type, spell check, and a digital dictionary and thesaurus. Word processing is helpful because students are able to type out notes, essays, and projects. As opposed to pencil and paper, word processing is more organized and information is transcribed at a faster rate.

Importance of Technology In Education: Additional Resources

Teachers generally have an abundance of resources in the classroom for students to use during school hours. Most parents do not have access to these resources and students are not allowed to bring them home. However, through technology, teachers can create a website for students to access additional resources that they may need for after school hours. This also provides parents with a glimpse of what their child is learning to assist in homework assignments.

Importance of Technology In Education: Enhanced Teacher-Student Communication

Speaking with a teacher or classmates isn’t always as easy as raising one’s hand or tapping the shoulder next to them. This is especially true after class. Email, texting, and teleconferences portray the importance of technology in education, as these methods of communication facilitate contact outside of the main learning environment.

Online aspects of education require effective communication because students and teachers lack messages conveyed through body language. Thus, using technology to communicate gives both parties the chance to practice those communication skills.

Importance of Technology In Education: Accessibility and Adaptive Learning

Assistive technology is technology designed to help students with physical or learning disabilities. Those who benefit from adaptive learning are individuals with dyslexia, cognitive impairment, autism, vision or hearing problems, and chronic illness. Recording devices allow students who learn at varying paces to reply lessons. Word processing decreases the pain of physically writing for a student with arthritis. The options to make education accessible for all students are vast. The most commonly used assistive technology devices are: recorders, note takers, talking calculators, spelling software, text-to-speech software, and flexible furniture.

Importance of Technology In Education: Cognitive Stimulation

Cognition refers to the process of thinking, whereas cognitive stimulation is a set of techniques that improve thinking skills such as attention, memory, language, reasoning, processing speed, and more. Technology enhances a teacher’s ability to further develop the executive functions. To do so, the goal is to strengthen brain plasticity—building neural connections of the maturing brain. Brain training through computer video games targets the neural connections that build cognitive skills. The user completes tasks such as matching, puzzles, and more.

Importance of Technology In Education: 21st Century Life Skills

Technological advancements have presented an entirely new set of life skills. We are not born knowing how to operate a computer. For example, how to make online transactions, call a friend on the phone, or fill out a digital job application. Implementing technology in classrooms teaches students these skills so that they are successful into adulthood and can excel in their future endeavors.

Importance of Technology In Education: Planning and Organization

Planning and organization is considered an executive function, which includes cognitive processes that facilitate our learning and control behavior to meet a specific goal. Technology grants students access to online calendars to organize their schedules. It also provides a method of viewing their lessons while monitoring their progress.

While researching topics for school projects, all information pertaining to that subject is easily accessible and organized in a folder rather than students having to juggle miscellaneous copies of notes they physically copy with paper and pencil. Teachers benefit from technology too, as they create digital lesson plans and track grades in a computer system.

Importance of Technology In Education: Higher Participation

After a study conducted across 163 schools across the United States, up to 90% of school teachers and principals witnessed a change in classroom engagement, improvements in test scores, and better behavior when students were trained to use technology for organizing their work and problem-solving.

Younger students are more engaged in learning through technology. It motivates them to consistently complete their work and retain the material through repetition.

Why Some Educators Are Hesitant of Technology Integration

Although technology has immense benefits when applied to education, some educators are hesitant to introduce technology into the classroom for numerous reasons. Not every teacher is computer savvy. A lack of tech knowledge prevents them from implementing technology into the curriculum.

When students have access to the internet with computers, it may distract them from the lesson. There is also the concern of privacy. Teachers have the added responsibility of protecting students from online dangers that many are not keen on taking on.

References

Juraschka, R. (2019). How Digital Game-Based Learning Improves Student Success. Retrieved from https://www.prodigygame.com/main-en/blog/digital-game-based-learning/

Van Eck, R. (2006, March). Digital Game Based LEARNING It’s Not Just the Digital Natives Who Are Restless. EDUCAUSE Review, 2(41).