Using Technology in Education: Does It Improve Anything?

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    We have been using technology so much these days in each and every domain of our lives, be it education or the regular household work, that have we ever taken out a second to wonder if it’s leaving a positive impact on our work or it’s just that we have been relying too much on it that we have become habitual to it, ignoring the direction of its impact?

    Say for instance, is technology causing education to improve over time or have we just been catching up with the trend of educational technology.

    Earlier, technology in education was a debatable topic amongst the society. Everyone had their own views on modernizing education and making it technology aided. There were a huge number of positives and negatives to education technology. But, gradually as technology was embraced by the educational institutes, they realized the importance of technology in education. Its positives outnumbered the negatives and now, with technology, education has taken a whole new meaning that it leaves us with no doubt that our educational system has been transformed owing to the ever-advancing technology. Technology and education are a great combination if used together with a right reason and vision.

    To elucidate on the topic of this article, I am more than definite that technology improves education to a great extent and it has now become a need for revolutionizing education for the better.

    With technology, educators, students and parents have a variety of learning tools at their fingertips. Here are some of the ways in which technology improves education over time:

    • Teachers can collaborate to share their ideas and resources online: They can communicate with others across the world in an instant, meet the shortcomings of their work, refine it and provide their students with the best. This approach definitely enhances the practice of teaching.
    • Students can develop valuable research skills at a young age.
    • Students and teachers have access to an expanse of material.
    • Online learning is now an equally credible option: Face-to-face interaction is huge, especially in the younger years, but some students work better when they can go at their own pace. Online education is now accredited and has changed the way we view education.

    There are innumerous instances till date where we can see the improvement in education, once it embraced technology. I will state a few remarkable ones of them to provide you with a more realistic picture of the whole scenario. Here’s the list along with the references to the originals:

    • The Flipped Classroom: This popular technological approach has gotten to everybody’s ears by now. It is a practice in which, students watch lecture videos as homework and discussion is carried on them in the class-time by the teachers. It has resulted in a remarkably better student performance, with noticeable grade boost-up. Students can now learn at their own pace and save class-time for interaction. To go into more details about this approach refer to this article on The Flipped Classroom.
    • Effectiveness of EdTech on Mathematics for K-12: Technology has proved to be effective for making students efficiently adept with Math. Out of several, there are three remarkable technologies, which in my opinion should be brought to the light. Computer-managed learning is a program that uses computers to assess student learning on Math and assign them with appropriate Math material, which they can work on to score and receive a chart of their progress for self-assessment; Comprehensive models such as Cognitive Tutor and I Can Learn use computer-aided instruction as well as non-computer activities for students to approach Math; Supplemental CAI technology consists of individualized computer-assisted instruction (CAI), to provide additional instruction at students’ assessed levels. Findings indicate that educational technology applications produce a positive effect on Mathematics achievement. For details, refer to the review on Mathematics/ Effectiveness of Technology.
    • Long-term research indicative of the positives of technology on learning: Researches have been performed to address to the question, does the use of computer technology affect student achievement in traditional classrooms as compared to classrooms that do not use technology? An extensive literature search and a systematic review process were employed and insights about the state of the field, implications for technology use, and prospects for future were discussed.
    • Educational Technology improves student learning outcomes:
    • The effect of technology on education depends on the design of instruction: The design of the instruction accounts for more variance in how and why people learn than the technology used to deliver the instruction. Educators and educational researchers should be encouraged to focus on determining how to better integrate the use of a given technology to facilitate learning, rather than asking if it works or if one is more effective than another. Refer to this report for a detailed study.

    Over the past years, a number of studies have shown benefits from the use of technology in education. The role of technology in education is vital, and the question is no longer if technology enhances learning, but rather how do we improve our use of technology to enhance learning?