The impact of technologies in education in the 21st century
Without a doubt, the digital technology of the 21st century has revolutionized and enhanced every aspect of our modern lives for better efficiency. Digital Technology has transformed our ways of communicating, living, and essentially, teaching and learning.From law enforcement tomilitary, from business to medicine, even from music to art, digital technologyiswidely used and shaping every core of human existence. Does that imply as well that digital technology is imposing a similar revolutionary effect on teaching and learning?As Webber (2003) thinks that the impact of technology is one of the most critical issues in education. Advocates of digital technology in education would like to envisage that today technology would make similar dramatic changes in teaching and learning; however the reality is far behind the vision (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). In fact, education is ranked 55th in terms of the level of its technology intensiveness, even below coal mining (Krueger, 2008).
Digital technologies would have aneffective impactin all key areas in education such as learner motivation, professional development, teaching and learning activities if they are used properly. The introduction of technology into the classroom would offer new learning experiences which require learners to develop new information management skills. Those students who use a networked learning environment would develop discovery-based, student-centred learning through a range of collaborative and individualised activities. Students have become more active, independent and teachers have taken on a more facilitative role. Mobile technologies like Ipad, Iphone and Ipod appeal to students and excite them more than traditional chalk-and-talk learning methods, and consequently they can improve student learning experience. They give greater engagement and outcomes, and increase independent study. Theyare also extremely convenient. Many educational applications on mobile devices allow for learning on the go which are fully-interactive, educational, and interesting. The best teachers are the ones with all the resources to create lessons that appeal to students’ interest and make learning exciting and relevant.
Technology also enables educational institutions to run online courses. Educational institutions cannot ignore the move to run online courses if they hope to attract and keep students in the future. Meeting the needs of online students will require not only greater flexibility in the delivery format, but also greater attention to the design of those online courses. In particular the design of online courses must follow sound pedagogicalprinciples. Issues such as sound pedagogical strategies and learner support should be foremost in the mind of designers of online courses. Online mode of instructional delivery demands courses to be designed to provide for greater student-student and student-teacher interactivity. As more and more courses move from the physical face-to-face classroom to the virtual classroom with more and more capable technologies, students will need to assume more responsibility for their own learning. They will need to become independent learners, able to think and figure things out for themselves. Technology also makes it possible to customize the content and delivery of instruction to the needs of individual students. The result is that individual differences in learning styles and preferences can be better accommodated.
However, a technology is not really a technology if you were born before it was invented (Robinson, 2012). Students in the 21st Century are true digital natives with ubiquitous technologies around them. Nevertheless, it would not seem implicitly obvious to many educators that, if they introduce technologies to their students’ learning environment, their students would find the interactive and always-on multi-media experience compelling and learning...
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