Education has always been seen as a process of gaining knowledge, and a process of divulging knowledge by those who have the qualifications to do so. In a simplistic model of learning, the teacher masters the class, with whatever they know being passed on to the students. Years of this methodology being applied to schools and institutions have no doubt been doing the work of grooming millions of students.
But over the years, it has been realized that students need a very different kind of exposure to develop their own sense of thinking and understanding. Enclosing them within the supervision of a few sets of teachers felt limiting, despite the fact that those teachers no doubt have their own sets of skills and knowledge to share. Technology implemented in education felt like a renewed energy, pumped into the batch of students, for whom, the scope of learning turned limitless.
Why do educators and learners both so readily accept technology with education? The answer is simple, technology has always worked best as an assistant. It never had as much power to completely take over (yet), nor has it been stubbornly cast aside. This gradual acceptance and balance of technology with education has made the process of integration look so seamless.
Technology with Education Helps in Widening Reach
Globalization, at this point in time, isn’t a new phenomenon. The world is connecting together through (yep, you guessed it right) technology! Technology is responsible for eliminating factors like distance, culture, language, or any other probable reasons that were responsible for dividing humans globally. Thus, it is obvious that education benefits greatly from Globalization.
Globalization has become supremely easy through technology. And so, has been education. A wide array of ideas, thoughts, and schools of learning come together on the global platform. The kind of learning today’s generation is receiving will lead to wonders for the future. The simple reason for this is the inclusivity of the entire species. With the above-mentioned barriers removed, it became quite easy to realize how similar people from different parts of the world were.
Education needed this kind of exposure for students to get the best out of it. Technology has given us access to so many different parts of the world. No doubt traditionalists believe that technology does more harm than good. However, modern educators permit laptops and smartphones in classrooms in hopes of making learning easier for students.
But some browsers do have gritty games on mute or some random social media site like Instagram open. But is this distraction a new occurrence due to the intervention of technology? Certainly not. People with a purpose to learn, will do so, and make the best possible use of resources available to them. Likewise, those who seek out distractions, will find it and have been finding it, even with the lack of any sort of technology.
Technology Helps in Tapering Costs
In the past, the only way of learning skills and getting an education was by attending schools and colleges. Attending these institutions required money, which some had and others didn’t. Just bear in mind the access to education that technology has given to those who are unable to source money for it.
No doubt some might argue, investing in technology is expensive. But just think about it this way, a majority of the people in today’s time own smartphones, which I might add is mostly a one-time investment. These smartphones alone can assist in learning for those who genuinely want to do it. These kinds of alternatives weren’t available for people belonging to the generation of no technological developments.
So, with relatively low costs, students get access to learning, and that in itself is the biggest win of technology. People invest millions of dollars in student loans. Technology reduces these costs by encouraging smart planning and taking up online courses and certificate courses to cut up costs where possible. Even earning remotely while studying is possible only through technology. It is impossible to imagine education (or life to be honest) without the influx of technology in it.
Technology with Education- Reversing Learning Roles
A recent article I read from Purdue University brought to light something very interesting—a phenomenon rampant in the education system for hundreds of centuries. Notice this painting above. It is a 14th-century illustration by Laurentius De Voltolina that portrays the School of Bologna, a University in medieval Italy. Imagine, a 14th-century depiction of a classroom resembles so much to that of the 21st century.
The educator or teacher is standing in the middle of a podium, addressing the classroom. Students sit below, surrounding the podium. Some with open books, keenly listening and some not so much. One is dozing off on the side, and a few are gossiping at the back.
This model of learning can be best titled as ‘sage on the stage,’ with the educator literally taking over the class to share his knowledge. The students are expected to soak it in sit as an audience to a ‘one wo/man show.’ With technology, students and teachers both can sit back and let the computers take over. With the coining of the term ‘guide on the side,’ technology has certainly reversed roles in learning.
Technology with Education is the best duo ever. Both support each other to grow and together become the best source for a student to learn, irrespective of their age, gender, or nationality. In the times of a pandemic, where continuing education was literally impossible, technology made it happen. Wasting two precious years of a student’s life would’ve been tragic. It was progressive to invest it in a slightly different yet easy to adapt the mode of online learning. This pandemic, if nothing else, is the best indicator of how technology has helped revive a system of learning, which might have gone stale in the coming decades.
Too much technology, with uncensored use, might be a problem. But that is something the educators can certainly supervise over. The goal of technology with education is not to classify any type of teaching as superior or inferior. It simply is present to assist in education in any way possible. Humans are developing technology to make their lives easier. And with respect to education, that will be its sole purpose too.