Technology is used in education to improve learners’ performance. There are many technological applications which are used to teach students at various educational institutions. The use of technology in education has elicited different reactions from the people. This paper will analyse and discuss the effects of technology on learning.
In the current world, technology has become very important, and this requires students to have skills that will make them fit well in the society. Learners need to be exposed to different types of technologies to acquire more skills and knowledge. It is estimated that more than 50% of Americans use computer, and more than 98% of schools in the US have internet access (Narasaiah, 2007, p. 87).
Students who are exposed to technology become skilled in different areas, which boosts their intellect and skills. Computer-aided applications are widely used in different educational settings to help students achieve better scores in their exams. It is necessary for society that seeks to progress to encourage learners at an early age to expand their knowledge on technology.
Technology is used by instructors as a tool to make students aware of how they can rely on themselves. Learners are encouraged to use digital libraries to browse and read books which can be accessed through the internet. Internet research enables students to get access to a wide variety of information sources, which expands their knowledge in specific fields of study.
Students who use digital libraries are more independent and learn on their own in the absence of their instructors in their spare time (Narasaiah, 2007, 91). Technology makes students more aware of the latest trends in education, and as such, they are able to access the most recent information within a short time.
Technology as a Teaching Tool
At different educational institutions, various technological applications are used for teaching. At many schools and other learning institutions, PowerPoint presentations are used by instructors to explain various concepts. These PowerPoint presentations, which have become very popular, include content displayed through visual forms of learning.
Many students prefer charts, diagrams, images and maps to be presented in a visual format to easily understand them. Technology makes it easy for learners to comprehend complex ideas and systems through the use of visual presentations. Students who study architecture and engineering use computer-aided designs to learn how to draw complex structures (Selwyn, 2011, p. 68). Instructors are able to share their knowledge with students in a more effective way, which improves their performance.
Educational content can be stored on CDs, DVDs and portable disks, which makes learning more enjoyable and comfortable. This allows students to access learning material in different formats. Some students prefer educational content in an audio-visual format more than a text format. Technology allows different learners to obtain information in the format they are comfortable with so as to understand the content easily.
Therefore, students learn well through listening and watching various actions because they are able to remember the highlighted concepts better and boost their knowledge in such a way. This makes learning more focused on the learner (Selwyn, 2011, p. 72). The learner becomes exposed to different forms of learning, which expands his scope of knowledge. Learners who watch educational videos remember the content displayed for a longer time.
Communication aids presented in audio-visual format are used to offer instructions to learners on how to perfect their speech. The students with visual disabilities use computer-aided sound applications to make them aware of what they are learning. Young children at schools learn language skills by listening to various audio recordings. This helps them learn how different words and phrases sound.
Therefore, technology aids learners and instructors to come up with effective ways through which knowledge can be shared at educational institutions. Learners get encouraged to learn more, which improves their attitudes towards studying (Gura & Percy, 2005, p. 53). The use of technological aids offers them a flexible approach to learning which they appreciate. These learners become more aware of their responsibility and duties in the classroom. Some learners who are passive in class may start participating more in the learning process because of their interest in the new learning method.
Technological aids help teachers and students interact easily. Teachers are able to monitor what their students are doing even in a distance. This encourages teacher-student interaction because the both sides are able to share ideas on how various learning tasks need to be performed.
This improves the intellect of a learner because he/she is able to reach his or her teacher any time he/she has doubts on what he/she has studied (Gura & Percy, 2005, p. 59). Constant interaction between a student and a teacher helps to build the confidence of a learner because he/she knows that his/her teacher is trustworthy. This makes the learner become more motivated to perform well in class.
Learners search for information relevant to their studies with the help of technologies. They become aware of different forms of information through constant research. Many students conduct their research via the internet instead of studying at the library. Therefore, this saves their time wasted, when searching for a library. Educational institutions which allow their students access online digital libraries are able to offer quality education in the absence of a large library setting.
This helps such institutions channel scarce economic resources to priority areas and improves the quality of education they offer (Thaung, 2012, p. 47). This approach enables learners to improve their skills in gathering and recording information through research. This makes students become more creative in what they do to avoid searching for irrelevant data.
Students who collaborate with each other in various tasks are able to evaluate the quality of their work through technology. Some subjects are taught through simulation to help learners acquire crucial skills in different fields of studying. Simulation makes it possible for learners to learn complex tasks, which are very difficult to perform within a short time.
Learners are able to observe the manner in which a task is done before they embark on it on their own (Thaung, 2012, p. 56). Simulation makes it easier for learners to be taught in a group because they are given an opportunity to practice whatever they have observed on their own. Therefore, they acquire crucial skills which help to them advance their knowledge in various study fields.
Some children play electronic games in their free time when they are not at school. These children acquire good problem solving skills which improve their cognitive functions. Online scrabble helps improve child’s vocabulary. A learner, therefore, is able to use logic to solve very complex tasks. This boosts the intellect of a student because he/she is able to distinguish between right and wrong.
In some instances, technology can have negative effects on learners. Some students may acquire bad habits and be exposed to negative content on the Internet. Nudity, pornography, profanity and violence on the Internet negatively influence young people. The learners may develop bad habits which destroy their moral values. Educational institutions need to monitor and filter Internet content to stop learners from accessing harmful websites.
This will protect the young minds from getting corrupted (Nickerson & Zodhiates, 2012, p. 99). Some video games contain a lot of violence, and this influences learners in a negative way. Parents and teachers need to cooperate to control children from using technology inappropriately.
There are many forms of cyber crimes which are done on the internet. Paedophiles, human traffickers, prostitution rings, drug peddlers and cyber bullies have become more active on the Internet than they have ever been before. Under-aged learners need to be protected from such criminals to safeguard their security (Nickerson & Zodhiates, 2012, p. 107). Students and their teachers should be trained on how to use technology to their benefits. This will limit negative effects associated with the web from affecting learners.
In conclusion, technology offers a lot of advantages to learners in many education institutions. It helps them expand their skills and knowledge in a variety of subjects. All school administrators need to ensure that students have good computer skills and necessary knowledge to use computer-aided applications.
Gura, M, &Percy, B. (2005).Recapturing technology for education: Keeping tomorrow in today’s classrooms. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
Narasaiah, M.L., (2007). Information communication technology and education. London: Discovery Publishing House.
Nickerson, R.S., & Zodhiates, P. (2012.). Technology in education: Looking toward 2020. New York, NY: Routledge.
Selwyn, N. (2011). Education and technology: Key Issues and debates. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing.
Thaung, K.S. (2012). Advanced information technology in education. London: Springer.