Effects of technology in education
Education has changed significantly in the last twenty years. One of the main reasons why education has undergone so many changes is due to technological development. In the 1990s, computers and other forms of technology played a minimal role in the classroom. Today, many if not most college students attend class with a laptop. I’m writing about some of the biggest advantages that technology has brought to education.
Technology has made research much easier. Before online encyclopedias, Google Scholar, JSTOR, and other online research tools were available, students were forced to spend many hours in the library. With the new tools, students can conduct research faster in the comfort of their own homes. With Google and other search engines, students can find relevant information faster and more efficiently. Also, there is no longer a need for intensive memorization as the information is more readily available.
The new technology also allows for a faster, more efficient, and more interactive classroom experience. With Powerpoint presentations and projectors, there’s no need for whiteboards or whiteboards. With clickers, students can take quizzes during the classroom.
These developments also help improve tutoring services. Online tutoring programs are available. These developments are also helping individual home tutoring programs. Tutors can bring laptops to sessions, making it easier for them to look up information and show examples to the student.
Wi-Fi technology allows students to study more comfortably and in a more ergonomic environment.
New math software, such as Maple and Mathematica, makes it easier for students to perform computer algebra calculations. Software like Matlab and Scilab make it easier for students to perform numerical calculations. There is no need for a line ruler anymore. Advanced calculators from Texas Instrument and Casio allow students to solve equations and produce graphs. Online software like Webassign allows students to submit math assignments online with instant feedback.
The Internet allows students to read educational books and supplements at home. There is no need to go to a bookstore or library. Since many of these sources are open source or ad-supported, students can access these materials for free. Wikipedia, Wikibooks are good examples. Students can learn more without leaving home.
College applications and job applications can now be completed online. Students can deliver important documents to universities and employers at a much faster rate.
Online education allows more students to get an education. Students with disabilities, students who have to travel a lot, and students with jobs can now complete their degrees wherever they go with a flexible schedule and often at their own pace. Due to its lower costs, online education also benefits low-income students.
Technological development enabled the creation of new IT jobs and improved overall economic development.
Not all the effects of technology in education are positive. Technology also makes it easier for students to cheat. However, new technology allows instructors to detect plagiarism. Technological developments can also discourage critical thinking, as the answers are more readily available. Technology also encourages students to spend their time on other activities, such as playing video games and participating in social networks.
In general, technological development in the 1990s and 2000s seems to be beneficial for education. Currently, the improvement of technology follows Moore’s law which states that computers become twice as efficient approximately every two years. Today, one can buy a working personal computer (without monitor, software and other accessories) for as little as $123.99. I recently spent no more than $250 on a desktop computer and it allowed me to do very advanced calculations like high sample Monte Carlo algorithms. If the trend continues, students around the world will be able to buy desktop and laptop computers that contribute to a better global education.