The Rise of Technology in Instructional Learning

Education technology, or at least the marketing of education technology, promises to make the learning process more efficient, effective and enjoyable. It has been suggested that technology can facilitate education almost by osmosis. Computers were first introduced into classrooms in the 1980s and they were of limited utility. However, software developers and hardware manufacturers have worked relentlessly to ensure constant innovation and development. This has led us to an era where technology is no longer limited in utility and no longer an intimidating phenomenon. It has been the standard in business and industry and the education system has been pressured into ensuring that the next generation of the workforce are competent and comfortable operating computers and other machinery.

Technology should he viewed as a tool which can and has changed the nature of learning. Ultimately, educators want students to learn. Many teachers would relish the opportunity to change the way in which they teach. Technology offers such an opportunity. Technology facilitates exploration, which is a vital component of a well-rounded education. It enables the acquisition of information to change from a static process to something more dynamic and engaging. Students are able to access and present information in numerous different ways. This encourages diversity of thinking and breeds creativity, whilst still ensuring that the fundamentals are covered. Students no longer need to be reliant on pen and paper alone and can gain familiarity and confidence in a range of contexts. Importantly, technology also fosters team building. Teachers and students alike can move away from individual efforts and engage in larger teams. Technology also has the ability to close geographical gaps. Active leaning is not easy process and specifically designed technology takes account of this. Students must come to understand that exploration doesn’t simply mean running around and doing as they choose. Educators need to recognise that if students are exploring, investigating, asking questions, writing about their discoveries and doing so in a context that simulates the real world, they are a better prepared further forms of education and eventually, the workforce. In a teaching environment rich with technology, students are able to enjoy an authentic leaning experience. Technology is the means and not in and of itself an ends. Technology provides educators with opportunities; they can deviate from the norm and seek higher standards of learning. Technology can also be used for homework help, enabling the learning process to continue outside school hours.

However, it is important that teachers select the right tools. Not every form of technology is educational and not every form of education needs to be associated with technology. Time is the most important commodity, particularly in early education. Consequently, educators have an important decision to make when determining what forms of technology to introduce into the classroom. Teachers need to make themselves accountable and help their colleagues to determine and develop the most effective use of technology. Obviously, teachers cannot be expected to single-handedly revolutionise the education system, however, they must take their responsibility seriously. Technology has already made an enormous contribution to the education system. Tech developers have done and continue to do their part, however, it is the educators who carry the most responsibility; they are the gatekeepers and need to ensure nothing but the most effective forms of technology enter the classroom.

 

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