How to Decide:
With technology finding its way into pretty much any domain, it was just a matter of time until it was education’s turn to step into the digital era. Things are not that simple, though, as education is a very sensitive field that plays a very important role in the proper functioning of society – without an education system that works correctly and produces well-adapted and well-trained adults ready to join the workforce, the whole economy would collapse, so every change to the system can have catastrophic consequences if it is not done properly. Considering the fact that technology brings some massive changes to the table, how to decide whether or not the tech devices support the class objectives, or will they just mess everything up? Let’s have a closer look
Establishing the Goals
This may sound like a no-brainer, but in order to determine whether technology can help education or not, it’s crucial to accurately determine what the education process implies, and what its end-goal is. We have already established that the end-goal of education is to prepare students to enter the workforce, but the path there is anything but simple.
Not only is the entire education process a very complex one, but an element that makes it even more complicated is its target audience – young people. Most pupils rarely realize the importance of education from a young age, so they tend to treat it superficially, making it extra difficult for professors to captivate their attention and have them engaged. Age differences and the lack of common points also make it harder for teachers to create a connection with their students.
Can technology change any of that?
Putting Technology to Good Use
Technology has revolutionized just about every domain it touched, so there’s no indication that it will not do the same to education. In fact, early signs point out that it’s already doing so.
Some educational institutions have started implementing technology in the classroom, and positive changes have already been made. The fact that the schools opted to open up to the same technology the students use every day has made it easier for students to find a common ground with the school, which is a first and crucial step towards better engagement. We are not even talking about the practical benefits here, but the mere psychological impact – the school was no longer the high authority that wanted to do things in a fixed old-fashion way, but suddenly became an open-minded institution, willing to look into what its students are interested in, and try to get in the game.
In the classroom, teachers can make use of traditional audio/video technology to deliver lessons in those formats, but newer technology such as Virtual Reality and 3D printing can bring lessons to a whole new level of interaction, bound to keep the students engaged, entertained, and willing to learn more.
Teachers also get better performance tracking options thanks to technology. School management that allows comprehensive pupil tracking is becoming a standard, so teachers have all the relevant information on each student’s performance just a few clicks away, making it easier to track their performance and identity the parts they need to work on more.
Summing it up, technology seems to be pretty benefic for education, so what’s the hold-up?
The Dark Side of Things
Using a combination of technologies can enhance the in-class experience and help in reaching the established objectives faster, but it also carries some risks, the major one being data leaks.
As time has proven again and again, no technology is bulletproof, so whether we’re talking about ill-designed software, improperly secured hardware, or anything in between, one thing is certain – technology systems are prone to hack attacks, and since these systems contain a lot of sensitive information, a system breach can have some serious consequences.
Before you start panicking, though, it is worth mentioning that schools that opt to adopt technology take security very seriously, so the systems and the data they store are safe.
So, what’ll it be?
Drawing the line and summing it up, it’s obvious that the advantages of technology outweigh its downsides, so if you’re in between, trying to determine whether to adopt it or not, the answer is yes – go for it! No innovation has ever came without some assumed risks, and since in this particular case the risks are very low and the benefits very high, the choice is obvious – technology is the future of education, and of everything.