Technology has changed almost every aspect of life, and education is much different than it used to be twenty years ago. Digital whiteboards have replaced the traditional chalkboard, and classrooms have introduced the use of digital devices like iPads and computers.
The use of technology for learning has become popular as stakeholders seek to offer the best education to their learners. This post will discuss the benefits of educational technology and how it has helped improve the quality of education.
Overview of educational technology concept.
Also referred to as, EdTech, educational technology is a teaching and learning concept which happens through an efficient medium of technology. It promotes a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of technology and how it works.
There are many objectives of EdTech that helps the teaching and learning process deliver the best possible results efficiently and economically. Technology is a blanket term for all the systems that apply scientific knowledge designed for practical work. Likewise, educational technology is also focused on the following aspects;
Objectives of educational technology.
There are two categories of objectives for having technology in the education sector-essential objective and learning objectives. Below is a breakdown of the two:
Benefits of educational technology.
The various benefits of educational technology are as follows:
1. Provides a wide range of choices of materials that are easily accessible.
The widespread of technology in education has offered learners a wide range of choices where they can choose the best learning mediums and materials. This allows them to develop the right skills and knowledge and become professionals in their field of study.
2. Improves students’ communication skills and performance.
The interactive nature of technology allows learners to communicate well with teachers and fellow students through various channels. And those who can communicate well through technology have a high chance of performing well in the classroom and workplace.
Communication skills is one of the top priority for most employers because they allow people to pass their views in a clear and professional manner.
1. Allow learners to learn anytime, anywhere.
Having technology in education means that people are longer needed to present physically like in the traditional classroom setup. It brings a convenient way of learning where learners can study anywhere, anytime, at a speed that is comfortable for them.
Teachers and students have access to many valuable resources to teach a concept, help students understand it and then apply the acquired skills. And when learners are given the opportunity to show what they learn in their own way, they become excited and engaged in learning, making them always eager to learn.
Students will also feel valued, and the learning process and lesson become meaningful to them because it is made personal. Provided the support, learners can get materials that fit their needs and preferences, while teachers also get resources that can help them identify student needs.
Additionally, with the multiple methods of assessing students via digital tools, teachers can get instant data through a live stream of results and give learners their feedback when they need it most.
2. Provides a fun and engaging learning experience.
The current learning system does not only require students to study but they are also needed to have fun doing it. For this reason, educational technology provides a way to make learning fun and engaging.
For example, the use of gamification allows learners to improve their creativity and promote positive competition by giving rewards for completing a test or reaching a certain level.
3. Provide personalized learning opportunities.
Technology allows full-time access to learning resources. The lesson can be conducted entirely online via laptops or smartphones. A hybrid learning system includes the use of technology remotely with regular physical classroom sessions.
In both cases, the use of technology to provide personalized learning plans for each student is possible. Educators can create courses and lesson plans based on the student’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
When they want to do revisions about a concept, they can do so by reviewing the videos in the course plan. The data collected by these online activities allow tutors to identify areas where learners struggle with understanding.
4. Improved teacher efficiency and productivity.
Teachers can take advantage of technology to improve their productivity levels, use valuable digital solutions to expand learning opportunities, and increase student support and engagement.
Also, it enables teachers to develop their instruction methods and learner personalization. Learners can take advantage of reduced costs of physical learning materials of technology, improving education efficiency to make the best use of learning time.
5. Increased communication and collaboration.
Educational technology can encourage faster and easier collaboration. Teachers cannot only engage with learners during lessons, but students can also collaborate with each other and work together.
By participating in digital games and challenges, students learn to work together to solve challenges, where they share thoughts and ideas to support each other for holistic learning.
Similarly, technology enables one-on-one teacher-student interactions. Students get the opportunity of consulting teachers on class-related questions and seek extra help on areas they do not understand in real-time.
When given homework, students can upload them digitally on their class portal, allowing teachers to assess and grade them in real time using their laptops using high-level US grading systems provided online.
Strategies for implementing educational technology.
For learning institutions to get the benefits of educational technology, they first need to implement it in their learning systems. Here are some strategies you can apply to set up EdTech in the classroom.
a. Gamified learning.
Gamification has proven to improve student learning and engagement, given how it helps foster a sense of achievement. Many students become more excited to move to the next lesson stage once they know they’ll get rewards along the way.
The use of video games and other digital gaming platforms are notable gamification example you can leverage to enhance engagement.
b. Virtual field trips.
In real life, tours and field trips provide a great learning experience and a good time for bonding among students. However, planning and executing them can be very difficult. Educational technology now provides students the opportunity to enjoy field trips without hassles through virtual trips and tours.
Better still, virtual tours allow students to "visit" destinations they would not have visited. It is an important opportunity for students to travel the world by opening up a wide range of possibilities t get fun and exciting learning trips.
c. Online discussions.
If you are finding it hard to organize a collaborative learning environment for your learners, then the online discussion is your go-to option. Through video conferencing apps like Zoom, you are able to hold regular discussion sessions or office hours to allow face-to-face interactions.
An online discussion table gives the students a platform to interact with teachers and fellow students to get their questions answered. By availing such resources to students, they can complete lessons much faster and collect insights from other students to get a clear and deeper understanding of the concept.
d. Use of social media.
Social media has evolved to become a big part of our lives today, and education stakeholders have chosen to make it part of the learning systems. There are several ways you can use to make this approach a success.
For instance, you can create a Facebook group for your class where people can ask class-related questions, you can create a Twitter handle for your school where you can update students about certain issues that affect them, etc.
You are far from being referred to as a "cool teacher" if you have not embraced technology in your daily teaching work. The benefits of educational technology discussed in this post are enough to convince educators to give EdTech a try.
Educational technology has many advantages that can prove helpful to teachers and students, including fostering communication and collaboration, improved engagement, fun, and exciting lessons, the ability to learn from anywhere, anytime, enabling personalized learning, and improved teacher efficiency and productivity.