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Using technology in education for the purpose of better understanding is a positive step taken by most of the schools, colleges and universities all around the world. Technology can play vital role in improving education systems. You can see electronic gadgets and computers being used in schools, colleges and universities. Audio visual tools are developed to teach complex topics to students in fun way. Faiza Abdur Rab, in her articles 'Recreational Activities vs. Studies' said that the lifestyle and education had become more competitive as science and technology is progressing (Rab, 2009). This advancement had brought many noticeable changes in methods and approach of learning and education. This progress is making people of the developing countries to meet the challenges of world. This is also helpful in improving the style and standards of living.
New technologies have changed education significantly over the years for the better and for the worse. There are several implications of this technologically rich environment educators need to consider. The first is a recognition that society's culture has shifted from one where the majority takes part through mere observation to one where the majority actively participates in society. This shift can be attributed, in part, to the arrival of the Internet. Other important implication educators should be sensitive to is the difference between the virtual environments students utilize and the authentic world. Henry Jenkins, the director of the comparative-media-studies program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, states, "Kids don't have a critical vocabulary on the effect of media in their own lives. If students play a video game about history, that's how history was" (Borja, 2006). Jenkins argues this is why media skills should be integrated "into core academic subjects" as well as "across the curriculum" (Borja, 2006).
A substantial body of research has documented a range of benefits for learners when all this technology is integrated effectively into instruction. Research scientist Harold Wenglinsky, looking at math achievement scores in a 1998 Educational Testing Service study, found positive benefits for educational technology, as long it was used for challenging activities such as simulations. Using computers to drill students on fundamental skills, in comparison, had a negative impact on achievement. Researchers have determined that, when used for more ambitious learning goals rather than basic skills, technology can help students develop higher-order thinking skills, creativity, and research abilities.
In a 2000 report, a team from SRI International identified four ways that technology enhances how children learn: It offers active engagement, the opportunity to participate in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connections to real-world contexts. Technology also expands what students can learn by providing them with access to an ever-expanding store of information. Yet the same researchers (Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin, & Means) emphasized that merely making computers available does not automatically lead to learning gains. They described technology integration as only one element in "what must be a coordinated approach to improving curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, teacher development, and other aspects of school structure."
While technology, can have very positive effects it can also have some very negative impacts. Things such as cheating are now simpler than ever, not in means of writing on your hand, but for instance your class is allowed to use a graphing calculator for the test? Write a program on it that contains all the formulas that you need and presto, you pass the test. Chance of being caught? Zero. Or just take a picture of your homework and send it via SMS to your friend, who copies it on the bus on the way to class. By constantly cutting down on data transfer times (from letter to telegraph and so forth) it has become trivial to share information that is not yet due, but will be graded. To combat this, many classes are slowly ratcheting down their emphasis on graded homework, and pushing harder and more grade-important tests where it can be harder to cheat.
Classrooms', typically speaking, is a place with a chalk board on from wall and desks places orderly facing towards that board. Nowadays, classrooms do have many other types of teaching equipment's as they are more attractive. Technology has given us projectors, colour screens, computers and laptops to make learning more colourful and more interesting than before. Use of multimedia projectors, and power point slides made learning mathematical and physics principles easy. Students can get a better view of graphs and pictures. Internet brought whole world just a click away. Students are not bound just to a single book anymore. They can obtain knowledge from many online portals and forums. They can browse many informative websites and encyclopaedias. There are free e-books available for referencing and guidance. According to a survey made in US in 2005 by Fox, from the academic year 1998 - 99 to the academic year 2003 - 04 there has been an increase of 23 % of teachers who use internet for making their lectures and instructing in classrooms. In the academic 2003 - 04, 77% of public schools had a majority of teachers who prefer to use internet for teaching (Fox, 2005).
Technology made learning easier than classical ways of learning. The Internet helps significantly in searching information. Search engines are ready to lend a hand with assignments and studies. Gadgets like, projectors, multimedia screens, computers and laptops made lectures attractive and easy to understand. Make pictures more clear, graphs with more accuracy. These gadgets also help in understanding 3D concepts.
Gadgets like laptops, digital dictionaries, calculators and computers are as essential as note book and pen. Learning via gadgets may not be easy then manual means but it is its fun, attractive and easy to go with. Gadgets help student to produce quick and accurate results in less time as compare to non-digital methods. Finding means of words, while reading text, from electronic dictionary is far easier than finding meaning from a hardbound dictionary. Doing large calculations with calculator is more time saving and accurate as compare to doing calculations without calculator.
It has also come under the duties of the teachers and responsibilities of the learners to move themselves and their education with the pace of development and encourage positive use of all technologies available. These technologies are there to make our life easy hassle-free. While advocating the use of technology in education Valdez states that educators must be ready to adopt the effective and fruitful strategies to use apt technologies to meet the changes and needs of technology-rich future (Valdez, 2005).
Internet is fused with every sort of information; legal, scientific, religious, local, national, international, science, fiction, technology, education and so on. It is becoming a general perception of learners, of all grades in almost all parts of the world, that internet helps in widening the horizons of knowledge and learning. And this perception is undoubtedly true. Internet is complex network of information with a huge data base. Many of the schools and colleges agree to use internet in class rooms, as it is mandatory that internet must be used, by student, in supervisory of either teachers or parents. This is not to restrict learners from using internet; it is to make them use this vital and informative source in a right manner. There are issues when some parents do not appreciate the use if internet in classrooms and complain that students use internet to get some wrong or rated information. But internet is a tool, a technology to make your life easier. Although, there are many things that could misguide learners and there are many things that could be used in wrong ways. But internet, if used properly and under parental control, can help you significantly in studies. Google and other search engines have millions even billions of terabytes of data to help with your assignments, assist you in your researches and lend you a hand learning new things.
According to a study carried out by Zhao et al (2002) the most important technological innovations that are considered to be successful in modern education systems include laser disk based hypermedia, drill and practice software as well as instructional television but these instructional methods have now been replaced by advanced technologies. This study highlights the fact that technology must be used in a way that improved learning in students and enhances their knowledge gaining abilities. Computers use on classrooms has been an important question in this regards. Computers must be allowed to be used in classrooms to increase interaction in students thereby there is a question that arises highlighting the fact that innovative use of technology is related with school realities. This study indicates that school environment can help successful technology integration thereby enhancing collaboration between technology and students and increasing knowledge based skills in students. Healthy human infrastructure is to be rebuilt by the teachers that can interact with more advanced technologies and innovations.
Mumtaz (2000) has indicated that there are many evidences that indicate a positive relationship between teachers' abilities and successful integration of technology in classroom that makes technology application more profitable for student learning. Three main factors play roles in successful integration and usage of technology in classrooms in required and these include teachers, resources and schools as organizations. Schools can act as organization when they start to provide supportive networks for teachers who are taking up information technology usage in classrooms. In many schools in England and UK, there is a resistance to change and implementation of information technology in these schools seems to be slower. Thereby using information technology in schools is not enough. Integration is only possible when teachers are equipped will all capabilities to use information technology in schools but in a way that enhances learning abilities in students of different intelligence standards.
Technology, either in form or gadgets in form of media or internet, if used properly can make big differences to make education learning far better than its current standards. Technology helps you in making things easier; everything is under your fingertips. It saves your time; you can do more in less time, and find a book you need in hours, so therefore you find results in just a fraction of second from using the internet.
The Use of modern methods does not mean discouraging old methods of learning. Technology is just more enriching the system of education. Technology is used to bring new innovations in the educational system. To make learners meet the challenges of new eras with more confidence. Hence technology is changing our world, and we have to understand the implications of its use for our children's education. Education is affected by technology in a very real way; however the timeless goals of education should be respected.
This reminds us that media technologies are always embedded in specific social, economic, and political contexts. Social change is not linear; it involves the various "tugs-of-war" and can sometimes lead to unexpected developments and that citizens don't always use media technologies as they are initially packaged. User habits change; Internet sites and platforms that are tremendously popular today may well fall out of favour to be replaced by new favourites. Corporate players will continue to try to shape the new technologies in ways that benefit their search for profits. And, by their action or inaction, governments will continue to influence the development and use of new media. The direction of such change is uncertain, but we know that the future of new media will be determined by the actions of people, not by any quality inherent in the technology.
Critiques of the education and technology such as, Aidan Clarke, from the Economist (2007) say that "The proposition seems ill-phrased. 'Technology' is merely another way of saying 'advanced tool'. As such, I believe the same caveats apply to it, as do to general tools. Does every new technology increase the quality of education? Probably not, the same way that every new technology does not increase the quality of, say, cabbage growing. Does some new technology increase the quality of education? Probably yes, after all, no new technology is adapted unless it offers some benefit to something. The best way to establish what works and how much, would seem to me to be to experiment."
Technology in education can be good or bad depending on the technology and its use.
Education is undergoing constant changes under the effects of globalisation. The effects of
Globalisation on education bring rapid developments in technology and communications are foreseeing changes within school systems across the world as ideas, values and knowledge, changing the roles of students and teachers, and producing a shift in society from industrialisation towards an information-based society. It reflects the effect on culture and brings about a new form of cultural imperialism. It brings rapid developments in technology and communications are foreseeing changes within school systems across the world as ideas, values and knowledge. The rise of a global society, driven by technology and communication developments are shaping children, the future citizens of the world into 'global citizens', intelligent people with a broad range of skills and knowledge to apply to a competitive, information based society. The future of countries often lies within their ability to compete in a global market where industrial based economies are giving way to knowledge based industries, realising the importance of "knowledge, skills and the intellectual capacity to meet the challenges of accelerated change and uncertainty". Education is becoming a lifelong learning and training process, developing transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to competitive markets where knowledge and information is being traded as a commodity. The introduction of technology into the classroom is changing the nature of delivering education to students is gradually giving way to a new form of electronic literacy , more programs and education materials are made available in electronic form, teachers are preparing materials in electronic form; and students are generating papers, assignments and projects in electronic form". Video projection screens, books with storage device servers and CD ROMs as well as the emergence of on-line digital libraries are now replacing blackboards. Even exams and grades are gradually becoming available through electronic means and notebooks are starting to give way to laptops. Also, students can be examined through computer managed learning systems and do tutorial exercises on a computer rather than in a classroom. Such developments in education portray that there has been a shift from industrialisation to information-based societies. Subsequently, technology is foreseeing a change in the education environment towards a reliance on electronic sources to deliver material. With such changes and the emergence of video conferencing and the Internet, the barriers of distance are being broken down at a rapid rate, due to the key aspect of globalisation. Children and adults can now learn in a variety of ways and no longer have to be physically present in an education institution in order to learn, a definite advantage of flexible delivery systems. It allows for exploration of new areas of learning and thinking. The rapid growth of television services, with their immense influence as media of mass communication, has been very relevant in the technological shift. Other large contributions to this shift include the transistor and space satellites. Communication and information based technology over the years is the Internet, which is a massive network of computers located throughout the world.
These computers maintain libraries of text, images, computer software, and other forms of data that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. This implementation of technology and communication to be successful and to educate a society, both the students and teachers need to be technologically literate. Communication technology is offering new challenges for students of all abilities as they can discuss issues of concern with their fellow students from around the world, thus developing communication and interpersonal skills, fostering a mutual understanding across countries and cultures. Developments in the delivery of education is allowing for individuals to explore new areas of learning and thinking that could not be done with pen and paper. They are discovering knowledge through inquiry and experimentation rather than memorizing facts in a teacher dominated classroom setting. In fact, students no longer need to be physically present to learn as education material is becoming readily available over the Internet, through video conferencing, and tape recordings. Institutions are now turning towards the use of the Internet to deliver courses to students. A shift in education is becoming evident where more responsibility is being placed on the individual for his or her learning, instead of solely on the teacher. Subsequently, the teachers themselves also need to be highly technologically literate, needing the competence and confidence to prepare students for a global information society. A global education should teach about issues that cross national boundaries, and interconnected systems on ecological, cultural, economical, political and technological grounds such as the Globalisation program which draws upon expertise in many areas such as humanities, social science and environmental science. Globalisation and technological advancements are delivering and increasing access to the world and subsequently subjects should reflect this global outlook. Just because of technology and communication seems to be creating in human life between the 'haves' and the 'have not's', resulting in a bifurcated society of those who can afford such information technology and those who can't, so too does globalization (www.ssn.flinders.edu.au). While education institutions in western societies are embracing technology, developing countries are once again left behind, too weak and fragile to implement development programs for education, let alone introduce technology as well. While third world states encourage their citizens to seek more education, severe limitations in delivering basic services are a problem. A lack of infrastructure and funding makes it difficult to implement any technological and communication advancements. However, despite differences in economy, political, culture and society, second and third worlds have adopted educational ideals from western thought and are anxious to appear modern and therefore promote education as a symbol of modernity and development to their own population and the foreign countries.
The spread of education internationally, as a result of globalisation, has clearly had effects on cultures worldwide. The capitalist society is gradually becoming global with a strong emphasis on free trade emerging. Educational institutions have reacted accordingly, by becoming more market oriented, focusing their energy more on creating funds rather than providing sufficient education for students.
Globalisation has had many obvious effects on educational technology and communication systems change the way education is delivered as well as roles played by both teachers and students. The development of this technology is facilitating the transition from an industrial based society to an information-based one. At the same time, there is a dark side to globalisation and to the very openness of the new information systems. While the richest countries grow richer, the poor are becoming poorer. Income, information and education gaps between the rich and the poor are widening not narrowing; economic crises, trade imbalances and structural adjustments have precipitated a moral crisis in many countries, tearing the basic social and cultural fabric of many families and communities apart, resulting in increasing youth unemployment, suicide, violence, racism and drug abuse and anti-social behaviour form schools. In the 21st century, education systems face the dual challenge of equipping students with the new knowledge, skills and values needed to be competitive in a global market while at the same time producing graduates who are responsible adults, good citizens both of their country and of the world. Thus globalisation challenges us to rethink not only how much education is needed but also its ultimate purposes.