Technology has brought better learning solutions to various institutions. It has changed and improved the teaching and learning approaches in various dimensions.
Although innovations have always influenced the education system, the emergence of new technologies has caused major shifts in the learning process.
Some people believe that distancing from the traditional learning system is a good idea. Others believe in combining the traditional system with digital learning.
Every stakeholder in the education sector should be aware of the benefits and limitations of technology in education.
Pros of technology
Saves Energy and Time
Technology helps to reduce human effort and minimizes the possibility of errors during the teaching-learning process. It helps teachers to assess performances, track attendance and establish learning gaps without using too much energy and time.
With the automated mechanisms, teachers can review their student’s learning and create time to focus on other vital tasks. Tech-savvy teachers can use their time to improve the learning processes through innovative solutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly influenced the education sector worldwide.
In April 2020, the pandemic got at its peak leading to closures of learning institutions and affecting over 90% of the student population worldwide. These institutions shifted to the use of technology in learning, which allowed teachers to interact with their learners with minimal time and effort.
Reduced Academic Stress
Poor lifestyle, academic requirements, and parents’ expectations make students suffer stressful situations, especially in a traditional learning environment.
The online learning environment can significantly reduce academic stress. Through digital learning, students can thrive, and this can support the learning outcomes for all types of learners.
Introverts and gifted learners can enjoy being in a safe environment when learning digitally. This education mode also allows them to explore their learning potential.
Homeschooling and online schooling are perfect solutions to deal with the problems of regular learning platforms. Students can escape threats such as bullying, abuse, and school violence.
Technology in education remains a solution to different global environmental challenges. Over the past 40 years, wildlife land has declined by over 60%. To date, many nations risk losing the ecological balance that is important for human and wildlife survival. The notable environmental benefits of technology in education are as follows:
- Minimal energy consumption. Learning institutions use a lot of power to support their enormous buildings. Typically, the buildings consume an annual average of $100,000 worth of power. Through technology, reduced energy consumption could save the institutions some money and decrease the carbon footprint.
- Reduces pollution. Virtual learning can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions every semester. It saves time, reduces transportation, and helps the planet.
- Reduces plastic waste. Online learning offers the benefit of reduced plastic waste. When students learn from home, it reduces the need for disposable products such as plastic water bottles and plastic bags.
Through technology, students can become masters of their own learning. They can choose the style and the pace to master their subjects depending on their abilities. The control over learning helps them to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, leading to efficient and meaningful learning.
Some digital learning platforms use advanced systems that allow students to select their preferred learning mode and material. This is the best way for them to optimize their self-paced learning programs. The goal is to help learners find answers to what they learn and discover how they learn. Teachers can communicate knowledge and become effective evaluators, mentors, and coaches.
Cons of technology
In some countries, the digital divide is a major concern, and it hampers service delivery in learning institutions. Research shows that:
- 9% of students above 15 years in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries (OECD) don’t have quiet places to learn in their homes
- Only about 50% of the children are enrolled in institutions with online learning facilities.
- Over 35 children above 15 years are enrolled in institutions where tutors don’t have the necessary technical and pedagogical skills to support digital learning.
The gender divide, urban-rural divide, and inequalities make technology-based education inaccessible to the disadvantaged group. Worse still, half of the students who had to stay home due to COVID-19 (about 800 million learners) don’t have access to a basic computer. 66% of the school-level learners don’t have internet access in their homes.
The Maintaining Cost is High
Modern technology requires regular updates and maintenance, which many people tend to overlook. Innovations in digital technologies happen very often. Institutions must keep up with technology to make the most out of it and to meet the teaching-learning goals.
Upgrading applications and software continuously requires powerful hardware devices. So, educators should not fully believe that relying on technology is the solution to the problems in the education sector. For institutions not to regret the use of technology in learning, they must estimate the long-term costs of the investment. They need to determine how the investment will affect the tuition fees the students need to pay.
Technology is Distractive
Educationists often forget that many learners often continue using their digital devices outside their classrooms. The daily dosage of video games and social media makes the learners’ brains accustomed to entertainment. The short-term and intensive content can make the students unproductive as a result of wasting time.
Regular interaction with digital devices lowers the attention span making the students perform poorly in school. Although educators have good intentions, it becomes challenging to control how learners use their devices outside classrooms. Teachers should discourage students from using applications that are not related to learning and use technology in class only when it is necessary.
Implementing technology in education is a good idea, but it should be done with proper planning. Most institutions introduced online learning so abruptly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers and students have benefited from technology, although it has had its limitations. The institutions should analyze the pros and cons of technology in education before making investment decisions.
Dennis Lodge is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who provides college paper help in the field of education, career and finance. He works for Superiorpapers and is an accomplished traveler and extreme sports enthusiast.