Over time, technology has become a strong presence embedded in our cultures. This is evident as we see it incorporated in our social lives, our careers, our daily routines, and even in our learning environments. The main purpose of technology is to benefit humanity in some shape or form. So, as our reliance on technology has grown exponentially for this reason, how does learning through technology advance our education?
How to solve this problem:
- Obtain different perspectives on the use of technology in the classroom
- Identify different forms of technology used for educational purposes (how technology introduces various methods of learning, i.e. self-taught, online classes)
- Investigate technology's roles in education (past and present, how it has become more prevalent)
- Research the advantages and disadvantages of learning through technology
There has been much research conducted on the benefits of technology for advancing/assisting education. Different sources outline different benefits of technology for advancing learning, but most agree that technology indeed is beneficial for learning.
This source posits that technology can be used to promote knowledge integration during the learning process. Learning can be guided and facilitated by using technology to gather information and evidence regarding certain subjects. Based on the information that technology can provide us, students (or others wishing to learn) can distinguish, sort, add to, reflect and evaluate scientific ideas. This source also notes that teachers can use technology to help with high levels of scientific learning because it helps generate and add to the complexity of ideas about things in the world which cannot be directly observed (Mahiri, 2012).
This source states that using educational technology is very beneficial for practicing basic skills. Students tend to learn more, as well as learn more quickly, when enrolled in courses that use computer-assisted instruction (CAI). This has been proven from any age of learning (preschool, high school, etc) and across all subjects. Also, it is beneficial for both regular classes and special education classes. This source notes that in the military CAI can decreased military training time by about one third and it is also more cost-effective for reaching the same training/education levels as other teaching methods.
ccoAs mentioned above, learning is easier and more effective when combined with the use of CAI due to basic drill and practice software (such as used in the military). It is also beneficial to learning for many other reasons. Learning with technology now includes using complicated multimedia products and advanced networking technologies. Students are able to interactively learn and work on group projects/assignments using multimedia products. The internet is a necessary tool for learning in today's age as it allows students (or anyone else that is trying to learn) to conduct research and gather information, communicate and to complete projects. New technology that can be accessed today help individuals have greater control over their learning. It also helps people think critically and analytically and to work collaboratively with fellow students, work colleagues, etc. Technology also makes learning easier for both students and teachers. It allows for more interactive learning and greater communication and collaboration of students while teachers are able to easily carry out classes/lectures using modern technology. Notes can be made available online and teachers can easily communicate to all students at once. Technology also helps improve the attitudes that students have about learning. This source states that students are more motivated to learn and feel more successful in the learning environment when using CAI. This is especially notable when students are able to control their own learning using technology. Studies show that students who were able to use technology and the internet as assistance to learning had higher scores in information management, communication and presentation of ideas compared to students with no access to technology and the internet (Kosakowski, 1998).
Accessibility - people living in rural communities or third world countries have difficulty accessing technology
Feasibility - low income households can find it difficult to afford technology
Implementation - it can be both costly for schools or institutes to implement technology enriched learning tools
Cultures - some cultures avoid technology completely and are not open to the positives that come along with the use of technology
Impact on Social Norms - now that technology has been around for a number of years people are starting to see it diminish social skills
The following video discusses the many advantages of using technology as a learning tool within the classroom. Overall, technology benefits the comprehension, efficiency, and psychological states of students in terms of learning. Although there are many pros, there are a few possible limitations to consider. These are: cost, accessibility, change in dynamics of learning/social norms, and cultural indifference towards technology. Each of these topics aid in answering the question: how does learning through technology advance our education?
Our Video Link
Bataineh, A., & Brooks, L. (2003). Challenges, advantages, and disadvantages of instructional technology in the community college classroom. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27(6), 473-484. doi: 10.1080/713838180. Retrieved from, http://www.tandfonline.com.uproxy.library.dc-uoit.ca/doi/abs/10.1080/713838180
Kosakowski, J. (1998). "The Benefits of Information Technology". ERIC Digest. Educational Resources Information Center. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED420302.pdf
Mahiri, Jabari. (2012) "Science Learning and Instruction: Taking Advantage of Technology to Promote Knowledge Integration." Research & Practice in Assessment, vol. 7, no. 1, 2012, p. 53+. Academic OneFile, go.galegroup.com.uproxy.library.dc-uoit.ca/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=ko_acd_uoo&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA339254322&sid=summon&asid=53670ba0af51c80012dea65832eb24be. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.
(n.d., 2005). The Disadvantages of Technology. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7. Retrieved from, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=ko_acd_uoo&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA147099899&it =r&asid=b9e1b74bf6613959cccef5bb21516245