Updated: May 22
The entirety of known knowledge is able to fit in a smartphone. A few decades ago, the thought of carrying connections reaching the world would have been ludicrous. In the span of 20 years, the world of technology has accelerated phenomenally. But what of education? How has technology shaped the education industry from textbooks to chromebooks?
In the perspective of comparing decades ago to the current times, learning tools have drastically switched. Teachers are not required to be physically present anymore, thanks to the creation of video calls and the thousands of programs designed to help them. Proof of this is the pandemic-caused online schools running in multitudinous countries. Many students in the US are provided with chromebooks, which alongside a tool to browse the internet, is giving them accessibility to millions of essays and informational sites. Previously, people had to peruse the libraries to gain what they needed. Possession of an iPad is equivalent to a quick-search library itself.
Diplomas and degrees can be earned through online courses, which is again, a fascinating idea. Online classes, YouTube videos, and free tutoring websites all make part of it. All these examples have broken geographical barriers, which has been a problem for years in terms of unequal education access (How Technology Has Changed Education, 2019). Although there are amendments still to be made for all schools given adequate materials, the breakthrough of the internet is a huge leap.
There are infinitely many advantages to greater attainability as well, including: more children get to learn and contribute to our era of technological progression, otherwise gifted minds can accelerate and reach potentials, children with career goals are given the proper requirements, and prepare users for the futuristic technological world.
The methods the olden generations used in classrooms were indoctrinating through memorization and textbooks. The idea still applies today, but many additions have been made throughout the years. Instead of writing in a notebook, students are allowed to type in a document. Teachers are able to organize assignments in Google Classroom. Lessons are designed through apps, worksheets are found on teacher based sites. The education industry changed its entire outlook because of the introduction of technology. Online learning has shown its power and efficiency, although various individuals have their own reflections on it.
One more distinct difference to spot is the lack of rigidness, motionless, and strict factors that have been put into learning for years. I have mentioned it before- technological advancements used in education has assuredly given teachers more options in approaching instructing. Yes, teachers can now use slideshows and smartboards and projectors, but children can customize their own learning experiences with the use of tech.
It has been proven that some people learn better than others with divergent routes, namely spatially (visual), auditorily (aural), linguistically (verbal), kinesthetically (physically), etc… And these practices have become more and more commonly practiced as we, as a society, have advanced over the years. Videos are accommodating for visual learners as audio books are for auditory learners. Simulations are a key part of training pilots, and have the potential to be a pedagogy for students. Schools and daycares are opening their minds to physical learning, with activities such as building blocks and puzzle games. Although they may not be related to computers, kinetic learners will slowly be focusing their attention to keyboards and touchscreens, where touching items is however fundamental.
On one hand, it is insanely convenient, but it is also putting screens in front of children as small as 4 years for hours. Whether the pros outweigh the cons are certainly debatable, but to countless parties it will be finding balance. Avoiding technology in this current civilization will disconnect a person from sociality. The foundation of our world is being built upon the discovery of science, and with it being a dominant factor in the youth’s learning process, especially considering quarantine and online-schools, inventions of technology theoretically will not fade away in due time.
Written by Jiya Sawarkar ( Siliconvalley4u coding academy student)