The Effects of Technological Changes on Education
By David Webb, Guest Writer
The issue with technology is that it moves the humanity forward. Needless to say, this affects the field of education in more than several ways. First of all, it introduces the concept of learning aids and opens up the probability of online learning. Still, this is just the beginning, due to the fact that new revelations also create new industries while making some of the old ones completely obsolete. In other words, technological changes don’t just change the way in which we learn, they reshape what we learn and why we learn it, as well. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several effects that technological changes have and which they will have on the education as we know it.
The first thing we need to reflect on is the issue of increased availability and accessibility of learning material. Even those who aren’t interested in certificates and formal education can, nowadays, find plenty of credible learning materials out there and even take some quizzes to test their knowledge. Through the method of trial and error, they can even acquire new skills, merely by following tutorials, looking at instructional videos and doing much, much more.
As for the online courses, you need to keep in mind that without them, a lot of people would be locked out of numerous educational venues and options in life. Even people with enough money and will to pursue these courses wouldn’t be able to attend sessions that are half-a-continent away. Moreover, they wouldn’t be able to take lessons from some of the most esteemed experts in these respective fields. Either way, the availability matters.
Most importantly, in some fields, like the field of medical science, there are tons of new information every single day. In fact, nowadays, even medical doctors are forced to google symptoms on a daily basis. Fortunately, in the era of the internet and free information, updates are instantaneous and available all over the world. In this particular situation, technological innovation (both in form of internet and smartphones) saves lives.
More interactive technology
The volume of independent creators on platforms like YouTube brought people an option to learn in a more entertaining and immersive manner. For instance, history channel The Great War took a unique approach to the WWI by covering it week by week 100 years later. In the comment section, numerous students boasted how their presentation on the topic was so in-depth that it amazed even their seasoned history professors. Other channels take a tad more lighthearted approach to some of the topics that would otherwise be considered arduous. This works the other way around and encourages more people to become creators themselves and share their knowledge with the world.
More sophisticated academic tools
Bringing laptops into the classroom might have seemed terrifying to some, however, it is definitely a change that gave a positive response. Nonetheless, it doesn’t end here. With the help of more sophisticated academic tools, regular students will be more efficient at pursuing the traditional educational model, as well. For instance, academic transcription services can help immensely both with not taking and document storing, due to the fact that text files are substantially smaller than audio files (regardless of the format).
The next major change, which comes with the expansion of technology, is the notion of AI (artificial intelligence). As soon as some of the world’s leading technicians realized just how impossible it is to input all the possible variables in an algorithm, no matter how elaborate or complex, they’ve changed their approach altogether and decided to do something completely radical about it. What they did was turn toward the idea of machine learning, which would allow these algorithms to learn on their own. In other words, apart from changing the way in which humans learn, the technological progress might even reshape machine education.
It changes the job market
One more thing that the technological progress does is make some skills almost obsolete, while opening up some completely new spheres and areas, which were not in such a high demand before. For instance, in the 1970s, the demand for people knowing how to fix a typewriter was fairly great, while the need for programmers wasn’t in a demand. Compare this to 2018 and you’ll see the difference. Apart from this, the technological progress also reshapes some of the present-day occupations. For instance, with the introduction of VR, the world of real estate industry will be forever changed. In just a couple of years, the job of a real estate agent, as well as the job of an architect might look completely different than they did in the past and so will the training necessary to get these licenses.
While some may argue that laptops and smartphones in class may be harmful, in terms of making it harder to focus on things that really matter, keep in mind that these are merely tools. This means that all that matters are the possibilities that these tools present you with, and not what you use them for. With that in mind, it would be safe to say that the majority of the effects that technological change has on education is a positive one.
A Note from our Executive Director…
“Total Learning Centers has always found that technology can help even the playing field for students. Whether it’s an app to help with taking notes, use of presentation software to help get our points across, or even what we call a magic pen that you can take notes with and record lectures, there are many many different ways students can use technology to be even more effective learners.
Questions or thoughts? We would love to hear from you. If you are new to the world of using technology for learning, give us a call; we have some great expert tutors who can teach you how to effectively use technology.”