Technology in education is one of the much-debated topics of modern times. Be it devices enhancing learning outcomes or the cons of increased screen times for children, it seems like everyone has got something to say on the matter.
The Internet is bound to return thousands of results when you key in “technology in education.” These may range from public reports of how educational institutions are benefitting from their edtech drives to how-to guides for the Google Cardboard. But knowing your way through the digital maze is not always your everyday walk in the park.
This post thus settles the matter once and for all. Read on to know about the pros and cons of using technology in education and make an informed decision on the long-standing debate.
Education and technology: the upsides
- Scope of experimentation with lesson plans
Educators of modern times are always looking for ways to enhance the classroom experience. Thanks to the recent technological marvels, they can now experiment with their lesson plans. Reaching the goal of providing engaging and effective education to every pupil has had a huge upheaval ever since technology became a part of everyday classrooms.
Teachers of modern-day can provide updated and dynamic information about various subjects in class. Top technological resources like these can help them come up with diverse lesson plans that cater to the need of the learners of the digital age a whole lot better.
- Increased participation and engagement in classrooms
Traditional classroom settings are more likely to have a clear divide among students who eagerly participate in every class interaction and those who could not care less. However, the futuristic and technologically-enabled classrooms help in engaging more students towards class activities.
Be it a group project or a duo-team pop quiz, students have a lot of fun in learning environments featuring advanced technology. Student-centered software enables educators to keep the lesson focused on maximizing class participation.
- Automation of routinely tasks
No matter how much fun we had dressing up as our teachers, pretending to take attendance for the class, real-life teachers just how tedious it can get. Top keeping attendance with noting completed tasks, recording quiz scores and answering FAQs, and you have a list of typically repetitive and boring tasks for teachers.
Modern-day technology can take away the tediousness of such tasks for teachers. Automation lets educators reduce the time spent on daily tasks that otherwise required their undivided attention. Offering better time management for educators is thus one of the plus sides of using technology for education.
- Access to an ever-important life skill
Using technology in classrooms is more important than ever, for it helps students become digitally literate. Being fluent in handling modern-day technology is one of the most useful skills in the increasingly digital world that we live in. Here is a study that shows how being fluent in technology can increase employability for the pupils, preparing them for life after school.
Technology helps students add on to their soft skill set with lessons on real-life collaboration, problem-solving techniques, communication skills, editing videos, drafting emails, and adaptability. Hence students using technology in classrooms have a natural advantage in the “real world” than those who do not.
- Scope of making learning fun and more effective
Need to know about the opinions of your students about a particular topic? Start an online poll and share the link with your pupils. They will readily answer all your polls with even the reserved ones coming forward with suggestions; such is the wonder of technology in education. Since students are connected to devices inside the classrooms, it creates a more motivating and fun atmosphere for learning.
Take websites like Classcraft, for example. Gamifying the whole experience, it helps students enjoy the learning process. Flashcards apps, e-textbooks, and organizational material help students take in lessons at the right place to stay on top of their learning game.
Education and technology: the downsides
- Chances of technology becoming a distraction in classes
Students with ready access to technology can do a lot of things in the classroom. For example, at a typical college classroom may have students downloading course readings, looking up additional resources, and taking down a relatively accurate summary of the lecture. However, studies from all around the world point to the fact that having technology in classrooms can be a major source of distraction for learners.
Of course, not many can shrug off the lure of scrolling through their social media news feed while in class, especially if their Smartphones and tablets are just, you know, lying there. All of that, coupled with games, DMs, and memes, and it is a recipe for sure-fire disaster in class. Educators worldwide are thus giving their students “time off from tech” in their classrooms to combat distractions.
- Increased risks of the use of cheat sheets and unfair means while learning
No matter how easy the homework or classroom assignments are, students throughout the centuries have shown an increased affinity towards taking unfair means. With swift assignment help tools and spell-checkers online, cheating can be rife with too much use of technology in classrooms. Technology has helped students take on more innovative ways of taking the unfair route for their assignments.
However, all may not be lost just yet. Effective plagiarism checkers can help check the deviant ways of students prone to cheating. Checking against previous and similar submissions, the plagiarism scanners can help educators keep a tab on the same.
- Possibility of becoming disconnected from real-life interactions
With DMs and GIFs consisting of a greater part of digital communication these days, some are of the opinion that technology alienates students from real-life interactions. Virtual classrooms, personalized curriculum, and the lack of face-to-face socializing may keep learners from developing interpersonal communication skills. While technology exists, in essence, to make our lives easier, it can also distance learners from their fellow classmates.
Educators all over the world are thus trying to come up with techniques that help students get the best of both worlds. Group projects using available technological resources can be a great place to begin. That way, students learn the importance of interaction, collaboration, and team spirit with their peers.
- Establishment of socio-economic disparity in classrooms
While the effort of bringing futuristic technology in education is a brilliant initiative, it does leave out a few sections of the society, going by the current situation. Not all students can afford textbooks – let alone iPads – required for class. Not everyone has access to an Internet connection or Wi-Fi at home. Hence technology may often create a socio-economic barrier among the learners in a classroom setting.
Of course, the wise idea would be to allow them to share the resources or assign group projects. However, educators are yet to cater to comprehensive individual-specific lesson plans for learners using technology in classrooms.
- Increased screen times leading to health-related issues for learners
Symptoms like excessive fatigue, sleeplessness, withdrawal for long periods of time, and ongoing headaches are just a few signs of too much screen usage. While technology in classrooms is a great idea for the future, scientists and healthcare experts are worried about the impacts it may have on a child’s health if gone unchecked.
However, the time a child spends watching the television, completing homework assignments on the tablet, and playing with a gaming console can all be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Click here to get the updated screen time guidelines for children of school-going age, as approved by leading pediatricians the world over.
Education and technology: the parting words
It is pretty difficult to form a definitive opinion on the use of technology as essentially ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There is plenty to suggest that technology can amplify the learning pace and promise among students, and it seems that the trick is to strike the right balance. Educators of the future should thus keep both the pros and cons in mind before coming up with a plan for using technology in learning spaces and environments.
Author bio: Olaila Lee is a project manager at a reputed company in Australia. She also offers case study assignment help to students at MyAssignmenthelp.com. Susan likes to bake cookies in her free time.