The Role of Technology in Education

In the current age we live in, technology has become an important component. Every day there is some new gadget or software that makes lives easier and improves on the technology and software that already exists. Making lives easier is not, however, the only role technology plays in our lives.

Technology is playing an increasing role in education. As technology advances, it is used to benefit students of all ages in the learning process.

Technology used in the classroom helps students adsorb the material. For example, since some people are visual learners, projection screens linked to computers can allow students to see their notes instead of simply listening to a teacher deliver a lecture.

Software can be used to supplement class curriculum. The programs provide study questions, activities, and even tests and quizzes for a class that can help students continue learning outside the classroom.

Technology has also become part of many curriculums, even outside of computer and technology classes. Students use computers to create presentations and use the Internet to research topics for papers and essays.

Students also learn to use the technology available to them in computer and tech classes. This ensures that after graduation they will be able to use the technology in a work setting, which may put them ahead of someone who didn’t have access to a particular technology or software in their own school setting.

As technology advances, students have better access to educational opportunities like these. When something new and “better” is revealed, the “older” technology becomes more affordable, allowing it to be used in educational settings, even when schools are on a tight budget.

Technology has also advanced to help children even before they’ve started school. Educational video games and systems for young children helps them prepare for school and in some cases get a head start on their education.

There are people who may say children are “spoiled” by technology. Instead of being able to add a long column of numbers in their heads, for example, they turn to a calculator. Regardless of these arguments, technology is an important part of today’s society. By incorporating it into the classroom, students will be better equipped to transition from the classroom to the work place.

Technology in Education

Technology has moved at a fast pace over the last decade. Wouldn’t you agree? As a result, many technologies have replaced the need for human resources in some fields, and it has also impacted education drastically.

Before delving into the impacts of technology on education however, consider:

· How travel agents have been largely replaced by online reservation systems.

· In 1901, Charles Holland Duel stated that “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. This was over one century ago, where numerous inventions had yet to be patented and trademarked.

· The number one focus on this list of technological impacts, is how computers and the internet has affected lifestyles and education. Everything can be shared in an instant, and snail mail is no longer the main method of communication. In the past one had to wait a few days before receiving a message, unless a phone or fax were used.

In the 21st century, educational institutions have moved with the times by integrating technology into learning. After all, our educational systems are a critical part of societal norms.

Here are some of the key ways that technology has broadened teaching horizons:

Traditional colleges have adopted online methods of learning, which is otherwise known as online colleges. No longer do students have to relocate from thousands of miles away to get a quality education. All that’s needed is a computer and connection to the internet to plug into online learning.

This has opened up numerous doors for working adults who have previously been restricted by time and resources. The technology of online videos or recorded tutorials allows students to study on their own time, whether day or night.

A study by US News purports that nearly 6.1 million students were enrolled in online college course in 2011. This number is expected to grow as the stigma of online certification has somewhat been lifted due to its increasing popularity in the workplace.

Other ways that technology affects education include the student’s ability to research faster than ever, compared to pouring over books in the library. As an example, a study by the Pew Research Center suggests that digital technologies have helped students to become more self-sufficient researchers.

Educators too have integrated technology into learning, with the distribution of course material and online video, voice, or written tutorials for student references.

Finally, there has also been a dynamic shift in the communication between students and teachers via online, social and digital mediums.

My Views on the Importance of Technology in Education

Technology in education is my particular field of interest and expertise. A vital component to student achievement today is the establishment of a link between technology and the student acquisition of knowledge. This is an area frequently overlooked by the more traditional superintendent. Access to the most current and pertinent information to explore a topic or solve a problem can only be achieved through ubiquitous access to high technology resources in the classroom. My view is that “information” has become the most valuable commodity in today’s world economy, and therefore, adequate student preparation in information processing is essential. This means moving away from purely textbook-based instructional methodology and greater reliance on primary sources and electronic sources of information. People, throughout their schooling experience, should be systematically taught a variety of methods to obtain, process, and utilize information in the achievement of academic goals.

Since the early 1980’s, I have achieved an outstanding record for bringing technology to the classroom. Most recently, I successfully secured enough competitive grant money to provide a laptop computer to every student at Round Lake High School (2,200 students) which is currently underway. This massive deployment included the creation of a new networking infrastructure, increased Internet bandwidth, wireless access points in each classroom, and a number of student security features such as desktop monitoring and Lojack anti-theft devices.

Gone are the 60 lb bookbags, and everything a student needs is resident on their PC’s hard drive or downloaded from a network server. My emphasis on building IT system to support 1:1 computing in the classroom provides the infrastructural underpinning for a problem-based learning curriculum to occur. I’ve been at the forefront of establishing a high-bandwidth infrastructure in my schools in order to meet the needs of the digital learner previously frustrated by the analog world of the classroom. My 21st century learning philosophy ensures that students have access to the technology resources where the real-time exchange of information with learning partners around the world is possible through such applications as video-conferencing, blogs, wikis, personal learning networks, and more.

My numerous publications, speaking engagements, and teacher seminars in the technology and learning fields clearly sets me apart from most my school administrator contemporaries. I’ve recently written an article for Scholastic Administrator magazine on 1:1 computing in middle schools and high schools (scheduled for publication in March 2011), and I am currently working on a book on the topic.