How Has Technology Changed Education?

black and white laptop

Once upon a time, education was all about memorizing.

You know, the good old-fashioned way of stuffing your brain with information like a Thanksgiving turkey. But then, books came along.

Suddenly, people could store information externally and not have to remember every single fact. It was like a giant cheat code for education.

Socrates even said, “this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust external characters and not remember of themselves.” But the irony is that we only know this today because the information is in a book.

In modern education, with the rise of technology, the younger generation tested out all the new gadgets and chose those that worked best. After moaning about advancing technology for a while, the old folks eventually came around.

For the most part, computers, tablets, and virtual reality are here to stay, but remember, technology also has its limitations.

How important is technology in education?

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) says that there are a bunch of new jobs out there that require tech skills, and it’s up to educators to make sure students are ready for them.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world that technology can be a powerful tool in the classroom. By integrating technology into existing curricula, educators can make classes more interesting, improve lesson plans, and give students a more personalized learning experience. Using tools like virtual classrooms, video, augmented reality, and robots to make class more lively, foster collaboration, and inquisitiveness, and even collect data on student performance are an added bonus. 

But let’s not forget, technology is just a tool, and it’s up to educators to use it to support students’ needs. Like a hammer is just a hammer, but it’s the carpenter that makes the magic happen.

Teacher using laptop to present in class

How to integrate technology in the classroom?

Educational technology is a collection of software and hardware that makes teaching a lot more fun and interactive.

By using technology in the classroom, students and educators have access to a wealth of digital and educational resources that make cooperation and understanding the material easier. This modern approach is like a breath of fresh air for education. Computers, tablets, and laptops, were once considered the ultimate distraction machines, but are now learning aids across all levels.

With these gadgets, learners can play games, watch videos, as well as conduct research and access educational websites.

Smart boards and interactive whiteboards, on the other hand, are a must-have for every educator at this point. They come in handy when you need to bring up supplementary imagery, play videos, or allow students to collaborate in real time on the display, and share notes on a class wiki or website.

VR is like visiting another world without leaving the classroom—educators can use this technology to come up with creative ways to instruct students in everything from a cell’s structure to historical events.

Let’s not forget about social media. Educators can leverage social media to create groups, hashtags, or other opportunities for their students to collaborate, making learning a lot more social and less of a solitary activity.

With technology in the classroom, students can access class materials anytime, anywhere, like lessons on the cloud, videos and graphics on Google Classroom, and upcoming assignments on a shared calendar.

Plus, interactive technology can make students 55% more engaged, according to a Gallup survey.

But the real kicker is, it makes learning so much fun that students will actually want to do their homework and educators will have a blast too.

The pros and cons of technology in the classroom

Technology has greatly expanded access to education by providing vast amounts of information and educational opportunities online.

It has also expanded opportunities for communication and collaboration, enabling students to learn and work together in new ways.

Technology has recently begun to change the roles of educators and learners, shifting from the traditional “sage on the stage” model to a more student-centered “guide on the side” model.

On the flip side, unregulated use of technology in the classroom can lead to students texting and browsing the internet during class, increased plagiarism. It also conditions students to focus more on where to find information rather than what the information actually is.

Along with that, when technology is not used properly, it can turn into a time-waster and can make students think everything is a game.

Despite having the cons to its pros, technology has the potential to revolutionize education. It can make learning more interactive and engaging, and provide students with a more personalized learning experience.

As technology continues to evolve, it is important for educators to stay up-to-date and find new ways to integrate technology into their curriculum. Want more ideas on how to improve your classroom?  Sign up to EDU Passport, join our community and never miss another blog.

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