Technology has, in various capacities, impacted every aspect of human life, education included. The 21st century has seen almost total dependence on technology for nearly all solutions to problems. The education spectrum is one of the channels through which technology has advanced. The Internet has become part of everyday life. The merits are incredible while at the same time, the underpinnings are worrying.
The typical picture of a traditional classroom or lecture hall should show a professor standing before a class giving instructions or addresses. From the same scenario, students are most likely to be seen with their books open, going through readings or assignments. Such traditional classroom or lecture hall setups are mostly a rarity in the modern era. The collegiate system has incorporated technology in different ways ranging from models of delivery to learning analytics, research to learning tools.
Results from various surveys speak one language: when confronted with difficulties or academic problems, the majority of students turn to Google or Bing to solicit solutions. Traditionally, college students are expected to utilize the library services in the learning institutions to conduct academic research. The use of Wikipedia has notoriously hit a top notch level as far as research is concerned. Research has also revealed that a big percentage of faculty members use the social media and the web to prepare instructional materials. Eight in ten instructors have used online videos for tutorials in the classroom setup. It is undisputable that research done through the internet saves time and makes learning efficient; on the contrary, it encourages laziness since it results in overreliance on secondary sources while collegiate systems stability also hinges on first-hand research.
The internet has resulted in a changed model of delivery of college education. The statistics of online enrollment for course programs are increasing on a daily basis. More students can enroll or register for online courses entirely without physically attending the institution. Institutions of higher learning are continually using online portals to post assignments and teaching materials for access by each student. This technique differs from the traditional style of using only books, handouts and pamphlets for assignments. Online education has resulted in subsidized fees for attaining degree and master programs. The traditional system of higher education is more costly as compared to the digitized platform of knowledge acquisition. Through the online learning platforms, thousands of students can be reached and taught at the same time. Opinions differ on the quality of online education with most employers reported to prefer those who undertake the traditional system.
The use of Kindles, e-books, mobile devices, computers and projectors in the lecture halls is soon entirely replacing the traditional system of books. The stiff competition between online and the traditional modes of learning is growing day in day out. The efficiency lies in the fact that such devices are built with the capability of compressing thousands of digital books. The learners can access the online library catalogs and find books for course work. The flipside of the use of devices like mobile phones or tablets in the classroom includes the fact that students attention might shift. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others have a tendency of taking much of students time.
Technology has increased access to education on a global perspective. Knowledge can go beyond borders and continents through the use of video conferencing and Skype. Sharing of information and educational issues has become a matter of global interest. Students from South America and those from the United States can all be part of a typical class at the same time. The use of audio visuals, animations, e-learning modules, among other digital educational tools makes learning more enjoyable as some students have often complained that the traditional learning is boring. Technological interventions in the classroom have made learning more fun and appealing. However, the technical components require a steady supply of electricity and internet for learning experiences to be effective.
The increased use of technology in teaching and learning has provided a platform to monitor how students interact with the course content. The data analytics has made it possible to examine analyze and predict future performances of college students. This tool is vital for educational planners and students themselves since the future of education is heading to the digital way. It would be substantial for parents to monitor such data because of the expensive cost of college education. There fueled interest in the use of data to foresee learning outcomes, predict students whose performances are at risk, and determine secrets to academic success. This possibility would allow educators to take necessary actions such as the warning or preparing the learners to avoid failure. Sufficient data collection on the students would make it possible to design individualized learning plans and learning experiences for every student in future.
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