How Technology Helps (And Hinders) Education

Use of technology in education is a somewhat problematic premise because it has generated a heated debate on whether it helps or hinders learning. The recent dramatic increases in technology in our society has led to proliferation of technology in the learning institutions (from elementary school to the graduate school level) at a rapid rate. Integration of technology in schools has changed today’s education and also the way teachers and students use their classrooms. These changes have both positive and negative impacts on learning. But does it help more or hinder more?

Helping

Technology has revolutionized how teachers teach and how students learn. The importance and benefits of technology to the teachers and students cannot be ignored. Technology has made it easier for teachers to impart knowledge to the students and for students to acquire it. The use of technology in schools has also made the process of learning and teaching enjoyable.

Teaching Aids

Just a decade ago, teachers used chalk boards, then progressed to white boards and now they are using smart boards. Smart boards are advanced boards which allow teachers to teach and share information with students in a multiplicity of ways. Computers audio-visual capabilities from PowerPoint presentations and other animation software are used to present information in an interactive manner which invites greater interest from the students. Moreover, use of projectors, screens and addressing systems (speakers and microphones) allow teachers to teach a large number of students simultaneously. Studies show that these teaching aids increase concentration levels of students and have led to improvements in student class attendance.

Information Accessibility

With Internet being a vast information base, students are finding it an effective tool for acquiring knowledge. Students can now retrieve all types of information easily and faster than ever before via their personal computers or cell phones.

Elimination of Time and Space Constraints

Internet has given education a new dimension – distance learning and online education. Students no longer have to physically attend classes to be a part of one classroom. They can attend a class virtually at the comfort of their home. Numerous educational institutes are currently offering online courses, where students interact with their teachers over the Internet and access learning materials from the institutions’ website.

Hindering

Besides the positive effects that come with increased modern technology in education, there also negative effects. Technology acts as a hindrance to education in the following ways:

Distractions

The positive effects of technology such as communication, entertainment, and ability to make life more manageable can turn out to be a hindrance to learning in the classroom. Various kinds if entertainment from mobile devices such as playing games, texting, or surfing the net distracts students in the classroom. Moreover, with the ability to communicate easily, students tend to text or communicate with each other when they should not be doing so. This is a major distraction which heavily impacts on their concentration levels.

Cheating

With technology, students can now make good grades effortlessly because they can now easily search for solutions for any kind problem they come across in various search engines. Technology has made cheating simpler than ever before, with zero probability of getting caught. For instance, students allowed to use a calculator in a particular test can write a program on it that contains all the answers and formulas that they need to pass the exam. Another example is where a student can take a picture of their homework and send it via email or SMS to their friend, who copies it and submits as their own. Thus, technology has made it easier for students to cheat in the exams with minimal chances of getting caught.

So does technology help or hinder learners? The answer to this question is; it all depends how you use it. Handled poorly, its impact to education can be disastrous! But if handled well, it can facilitate learning. Just as we have found out, technology can be a powerful learning tool, and it can also be a powerful tool for cheating. It can gallantly open new doors and learning possibilities, while at the same time open some that are better off left closed; because some topics are not appropriate for some age groups. It can also be used to inform, and also to distort. If not utilized properly, the positive effects of technology become negative which continue to hinder student’s success.

About the Author

Hi there! I’m Roman Sahakov, I’m a writer at SpecificFeeds.com where you can find many articles that show productivity of things we deal with every day and in general. I enjoy my job and every time I write something, I try it make it extremely informative and helpful.

1 Comment

  1. George Sorrells

    December 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I think to bring up cheating is a little dis-ingenuous. If cheating had just started with the use of technology, then it could be considered. However, cheating has been going around as long as there has been school.

    To say that “students can make good grades effortlessly” is simply flat out wrong.