The Impact of Technology in Education

Technology refers to the category of knowledge dedicated to extracting materials, processing actions and developing tools. The scope of technology is often wide and prompts every individual to create his own definition.  It is used in the accomplishment of various tasks that vary in nature and impact (Zhao, and Gary 20). Over time, technology has been integrated into almost every area of our lives. This paper explores the impact of technology on education by looking at its adoption over time, the positive and negative impacts of technology and how technology can be tapped to improve education further.

Changes in the Education System

The education system has been changing over time to embrace the use of education in various ways. As time proceeds, both the system and the community are gradually showing interest in making use of technology in the education system. Looking at the education system before the internet, every step of the teaching and learning processes differed from what it was today.

The first thing has changed with technology is the research process. Traditionally, the research process comprised taking a pen and paper and going to the field to collect data. Today, while this may still be done, a researcher may opt to conduct his research over the internet through technologies such as video calls. As a result, the scope of a research paper is not limited by costs that would otherwise be used in navigating a large research area.

Moreover, individuals in research may need to find reliable sources to guide their research. Traditionally, this would have required that employees visit physical libraries or purchase the required materials from a shop. Searching in the library must have been difficult as one had to sift through individual journals before they determined that a journal article offered information that would impact on his work (Zhao, and Gary 20). Today, access to information necessary for research has been made much easier. Through a computer or other device, a person may access thousands of articles through internet libraries. As a consequence, people have gained better access to sources than they had traditionally. Searching an online database is also far easier than would be a traditional library. As a consequence, technology has made access to information easier.

The education system has endorsed a system of education known as online or distance learning. This is a system that provides education to people who may not be able to access a physical class during conventional hours (Price, and Martin 17). As a consequence, these individuals are provided with everything they would require during the course. These include resources such as books, videos and journals and regular assignments and discussions. Students also get access to their instructor through the telephone or email.

Even conventional classes that are attended physically are unlike traditional classes in various ways. First, traditional blackboards are gradually being phased out of the education system (Christensen, & Knezek 22). In their place, power point presentations and projected information have been adopted. This has allowed teachers to provide more reliable information that may be improved over time with ease. Teachers may also share more in a single class than would be traditionally possible. Technology has made the possibilities of what educators can share with their students boundless.

Positive Impacts of Technology in Education

Technology has been a major breakthrough to education system. Its adoption by major institutions, in one way or the other, shows that it has been mostly beneficial rather than destructive. Technology has impacted every sector of the education system positively in one way or another. The advantages of technology vary from convenience, to accessibility and reduced costs.

Technology provides learning opportunities where none would have existed. Technology has enabled individuals to easily access classes at their convenience (Zhao, and Gary 20). While traditionally teachers would require their students to be present during specific times to attend their classes, today people can attend their classes at their convenience. This has enabled people who are only available at odd hours to further their education without having to interrupt their busy schedules.

Online learning is also cost effective. For the learner, the cost of movement from one point to another is eliminated. The only thing the student requires is a good internet connection to be able to attend the classes. To the institution, the cost of running an online class is cheaper. The only resources required are a good website with integrated online classes, payment system, and a consultation system, and an instructor. Other necessities like physical classrooms and the resources that would be required in the physical classes are waived.

The education system also benefits from easier access to educational materials and resources for both the educators and the students. With increased access to information, the education system can only boast of better quality (Fried 909). As people can easily get access to information, the chances that they understand what is presented to them during the learning process by use of secondary research is increased. The internet does not only offer support in regard to research of materials relevant to a certain course. Instead, people get to learn a lot of skills that may come in handy in future careers.

Negative Impacts of Technology in Education 

While technology has been mainly beneficial to learners in the school system, some negative impacts also do exist. Some of the negative impacts that exist include reduced creativity, and distraction. Technology may also impact the education system negatively by obstructing the tendency to be social that is brought about by the physical classes. It could also cause neglect of students who need extra attention.

Technology has often been introduced at early age for most of the current generation of learners. This has been mainly in terms of video games, mobile devices and the internet. As a consequence, technology is not primarily associated with learning among many learners (Norris et al. 22). Instead, it is associated with social media, communication, and gaming. Students who enroll into a learning system where technology is used are likely to get distracted from the primary role of technology by these other activities.

Another fear is that technology has impacted negatively in the creativity of students. As students are able to access information easily, the need to improve their creativity is eliminated. Video games and other forms of technology have also impacted negatively on the creativity of students since their time is spent on them rather than activities that would promote creativity.

The traditional education system helped to bring individuals with different cultures and backgrounds together. By so doing, it encouraged students to become more social and to develop social networks. Technology has taken this away as people continue to pursue their academic endeavors in the privacy of their homes. While this may not be felt in the short-run, the future could be strained by this aspect. The social aspect of education often makes education more applicable.

One group of people who have been neglected by the education system is that of students who are not very friendly with technology. As education becomes more and more technologized, the welfare of this group of students continues to be neglected (Fried 907). A good education system requires that all people have equal opportunities. The neglect could negatively impact this group and prevent them from exploiting their full potential.

How to Improve the Technology in Education

As noted above, there are certain aspects of technology that can be improved to enhance education. First, the education system should make instructors more accessible to their students (Zhao, and Gary 20). Some students may feel discriminated by an education system that uses the internet primarily. Making the instructor more accessible could help to close the gap in this respect.

Secondly, technology could only be integrated into the learning as a secondary method of learning. If technology is used as a secondary tool, students who are uncomfortable with the internet could make more use of the physical access to their class to make up for the areas they are uncomfortable with (Norris et al. 20). Moreover, the students will have more access to each other and help create networks with each other which could impact their futures positively.

In conclusion, technology has become a vital tool in the learning process. People have engaged various forms of technology while in pursuit of education. While there are a few negative impacts of the technology on education, the positive ones outweigh them. To the negative ones, small steps should be made to reduce their impacts by creating certain mechanisms. These include integrating education into the old system, and making instructors more accessible among others.

Works Cited

Zhao, Yong, and Gary A. Cziko. “Teacher adoption of technology: A perceptual control theory perspective.” Journal of technology and teacher education 9.1 (2001): 5-30.

Norris, Cathleen, et al. “No Access, No Use, No Impact: Snapshot Surveys of Educational Technology In K# x2013; 12.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education 36.1 (2003): 15-27.

Fried, Carrie B. “In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning.”Computers & Education 50.3 (2008): 906-914.

Christensen, R., & Knezek, G. (2001). Instruments for assessing the impact of technology in education. Computers in the Schools18(2-3), 5-25.

Price, Sara, and Martin Oliver. “A framework for conceptualising the impact of technology on teaching and learning.” Educational Technology & Society 10.1 (2007): 16-27.

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