So, whether you wish to connect to experts at a global level or start a new course, technology has become an integral part of our daily learning. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that technology has become an inseparable part of our education system. But the question is how exactly is technology impacting modern education. Is it good, or is there something we really need to be concerned about? Let’s check out.
But before knowing and understanding how technology impacts modern education, let us analyze how education has transformed post-COVID.
Analysis of Pre-COVID and Post-COVID Education Approach
When the entire world was put to a halt, technology came to rescue the students to pursue their goals. Amid the closure of schools to flatten the infection curve and imposition of social distancing, the entire education approach transitioned to tech-friendly.
Before Covid-19, when most of the resources available for the students were the ones that were there in their respective campuses, things took a U-turn. After the technology was infused in the education sector during Covid-19, the students could also avail themselves of resources globally. The physical classes were replaced with online classes on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. Attendance registers were replaced by virtual presence during lectures, notes, and assignment submissions shifted to personalized institution apps, websites, and mail. Not just that, even the fun and cultural sessions that were earlier limited to the local experts now have people from all corners of the world.
Moreover, AI-based platforms like PrepAI that automatically generate question sets from the content are giving a new dynamic to evaluate learning. This smart solution not only assists students through self-assessments but also teachers by saving time and regular paperwork. Examinations, be it institutional or competitive, technology brought everything on a single window at the comfort of home. Needless to say, convocation programs with pop-corns on the couch became a reality!
This is how technology has changed the practices in the education sector.
Ways How Technology is Impacting Modern Education
The following points explain how has technology impacted education:
1. Streamlining the Education Process
Streamlining the education process basically means creating a framework that helps in understanding different disciplines contextually rather than learning bit by bit. The streamlining of education ensures that no student is left behind in this learning process.
So, if the topic is the states of matter, solid, liquid, and gas in science, it will include the entire framework like characteristics, physical and chemical properties, etc. Usually, students have a textual table or image stating the attributes of these states of matter. However, through Virtual Labs, students can witness the transformation of these matter states into another form. Moreover, the breakdown of molecules during such transformation can also be virtually explained.
This framework helps to learn the concepts in a wholesome manner and covers each aspect with precision. It allows all the students to move at an equal pace and motivate them to work harder by promoting healthy competition. The following advancements assist in streamlining education:
- Online learning assessment
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
- Remote learning technology
- Cloud-based lesson planning and delivery
2. Enhancing Learning Experience
The introduction of technology in today’s education has given a new dimension to the classroom. Traditionally, students read texts and observed pictures shown in the textbooks. The information provided to students was limited.
However, technological advancements in education like Virtual Reality (VR), by which students will engage in the computer-generated world in a seemingly natural way, will ensure comprehensive learning.
For example, if the topic is about ancient civilizations. Traditionally, students will have a few pictures in textbooks and the subject teacher to explain ancient civilizations. But with Virtual Reality (VR), students can visit and witness how life used to be back then. They will understand how one civilization is different from others, what were the customs and traditions in a particular civilization, etc. With this simulated environment, students engage their minds entirely in virtual reality, which results in a clear and better understanding of concepts.
Also, visuals tend to remain in memory longer than texts. So, students can easily recall what they have visualized then try to remember what they have read, eventually enhancing their learning experience.
3. A Boon for Special Children
Technology has opened up the learning experiences for various disabilities like blindness, deafness, etc. There is alternative technology used in education today that is designed to keep all disabled students at an equal level with the use of assistive technology.
Recent advancements like digital Braille keyboards and displays, Narrator, etc., assist the students who are blind. Similarly, real-time transcription systems, including stenotype machine real-time software notebook computer which with no delay converts the speech to text to ease the typing processes for a student who is deaf by assisting in assignment and notes formation.
Some more assistive technological advancements in education for special children are:
- Use of magnifiers for people with low vision. It increases the size of print and pictures without breaking the pixels.
- Braille Displays is an assistive technology useful for tasks like writing, typing in braille, printing in text, reading, browsing the internet.
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) based text to speech options help in converting regular text files into speech for visually impaired people.
- Personal Amplification Systems are another assistive device for amplifying sounds. They eliminate background voices and noise for clearer sounds helping partially deaf people.
- Voice Amplification Systems is also an assistive device. It is used for amplifying the sounds of people with impaired vocal cords.
- Communication Boards consist of all the necessary elements needed for communication for dumb people.
- Speech Generating Devices help dumb people to communicate as they can type it, and the device can convert it with speech.
- Note-taking Systems for deaf, blind, and physically impaired people. This intelligent system can be customised according to the needs of various disabilities.
4. Enhancing Security
The digital invasion is now a big part of student life. Unlike the old times, when everything was maintained and managed on paper and files, students are now even giving examinations online. Therefore, the replacement of paperwork by digital platforms on the grounds of safety, security, and privacy of data is worth noting.
Use of Blockchain (which is basically a digital ledger that records information and makes it impossible for a third party to cheat, hack, or change the system) to record and maintain student records, issuing blockchain-stored certificates to graduates, programmed courses, and lessons by teachers are a few examples that ensure only authorized and authentic access. The core benefit of digitalization in this regard is that it saves time, can be easily accessed from any corner at any time, that too by authorized personalities.
A few other ways of how technology enhances security in education:
- By encrypting the sensitive data through technology like SSL, SSH, and SFTP.
- Through accessing control mechanism for data storage in devices.
- Through infrastructural security system and storage of devices.
- By implementing tiered storage security architecture to avoid theft.
5. Easy Access
If asked what is one positive effect technology has had on education, it is definitely the technological advancements in education like Cloud Computing, Cloud Drives, Dropbox, IBM Cloudburst, etc. This storage technology ensures that the files are easily accessed from anywhere in the world. It basically removes the border and boundaries that previously existed in the education sector. Not just that, it also gives a personal workspace for children and helps in making learning more interactive.
The homework, assignments, recorded lectures, class notes, and everything which can be uploaded online can be accessed easily from anywhere at any time. Moreover, the option to access material offline makes it easy for students to access material even from remote corners.
Students can also define who can access their online storage. There are two types of access:
- Shared Access is where a student uses an email address to give access to any other person. The access is restricted to limited people. It is ideal when working on a group project or submitting assignments where the teacher can give feedback.
- Open access is when anyone can access a document without any permission from the owner.
6. Personalised Teaching
The only teaching resources that existed for previous generations’ students were their books and teachers. However, today students can pick from whom they wish to learn and have access to study material from anywhere and anytime.
This way, students receive academic training and information from the most trusted sources and at the comfort of their own schedule. Moreover, this also improves their research and analytical skills. Technology has transformed the whole world into a city where students can have industry experts as their mentors. This digital interaction not only gives them exposure to different dimensions of one industry but is also instrumental in improving the thinking prospects of students.
Some positive effects of technology in the classroom that helps in transforming the online learning process are:
- Through blended classrooms by offering face-to-face and online education
- Digital Storytelling
- Online Grading System
- Expert sessions and webinars
- MOOCs courses and other certification courses
- Internships including work from home
- Video-Assisted Learning
Scope of Technology in Future Education
The advancements in Assistive Technology (technology for people with disabilities), Voice, and Virtual Reality platforms (creating a virtual world that is completely different or similar to the real world) have completely reformed the education sector. Moreover, Augmented Reality (enhancement of real-world using digital sensory technology) and Artificial Intelligence (human intellect in machines to act and think like humans) are making education more interactive, engaging, and interesting.
With the introduction of the metaverse, the transformation of the education industry will be immeasurable. Since metaverse will mimic the real world in many ways, subjects like mathematics, science, or geography can be explained more holistically. In addition, the learning experience will be more human even in the digital world. Students will be able to do experiments in a safe virtual environment, eventually learning at their own speed under the supervision of the subject expert.
Gamification is another aspect that is in the spotlight now. It basically means integrating game designs and principles with non-game scenarios. Gamification includes elements like scoring points, giving learning badges based on performance, checkpoints to evaluate the progress, bonus points for achieving non-academic objectives, etc. Employing gamification with learning is undoubtedly gonna make learning and exploring a fun session.
In a survey, a majority of the students believed that the focus of classrooms in the future would be on personalized and self-paced learning. Also, one-third of the internet users comprises youth and children, which makes the use of technology in education even more promising. Not to mention that Artificial intelligence’s nascent market is expected to reach $6 billion by 2025. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that technology usage in education is a catalyst that can reform the education sector for good.
Does Technology Leave a Positive or Negative Impact on Learning and Education?
Given the present circumstances and considering the technological advancements happening globally, it is evident that technology cannot be separated from the learning and education sector. Therefore, to understand the effects of educational technology, it is essential to comprehend the purpose of utilizing technology in education.
On the one hand, technology prepares students for the future by making them tech-friendly. Not just that, it also widens the horizons of education by making the learning process engaging and interesting. On the other hand, personalized learning at home comfort anywhere and anytime definitely boosts efficiency. However, limited or no personal interaction, excessive screen time, development of interpersonal and spiritual skills, cognitive problems, etc., are raising concerns about the social life of students.
Therefore, whether the new education technology has a positive or negative impact depends upon the intention for which it is used.
From learning a new course or skill to storing records, usage of Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, etc., are revolutionizing the education sector. Undoubtedly, future education will offer holistic learning with the aid of technology.