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Importance of Technology in The Classroom
Technology in the classroom
Technology in the classroom - how important it is?
The great Importance of technology in the classroom can be envisaged from the fact that technology in education has become an integral part of the society today. It’s a part of everything we do including how we learn and teach. It is used by learners and educators in homes, schools (both prior to college and higher education), businesses, and other settings. In the current age when information is one of the most vital components in the world economy it has become essential that instead of following solely textbook-based instructional method students need to be mainly taught a variety of approaches to obtain, process, and make use of information in the achievement of academic goals. This can only be possible through universal access to educational technology resources in the classroom.
With advancements in information and communication technology the education is now moving to another level as majority of our young people are getting access to the Internet through their mobile phones, tablets and home computers which is opening up to them a huge wealth of educational opportunity. How important is technology in the classroom can be well understood from the several advantages it provides to the students in some of the major areas in the field of education as mentioned below.
Benefits of technology in the classroom
The major advantages of use of technology in student learning process mentioned below would reveal how important is technology in the classroom.
• It makes learning interesting as it engages and challenges students with new and interactive methods;
• It helps to improve students’ skills in analyzing and interpreting data, creating multimedia presentations, communicating with distance learners, team building, planning, problem solving, increasing global awareness and many more;
• It helps student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction and collaboration by sharing ideas and resources online;
• It has made possible for the distance learners to join online communities. Use of technology has also helped students to learn to work and cooperate with people regardless of geographic constrains;
• Technology has played an important role in reducing the amount of weight that students have to carry around with them. Instead of carrying a bag full of books, the students can now just carry a laptop or a tablet which contain all their study and project materials in digital format;
• Technology has enabled institutions to cut costs, by eliminating the need for physical infrastructure and reducing the need for specialized faculty;
Importance of technology in the classroom
Being a technology professional I was attached to a team involved in preparing a technology plan for a neighboring school, which actually prompted me to write this article. During the process it appeared to me that though the teachers of the school were keen to integrate technology into curriculum it was not very clear to them why it was necessary. It was due to their lack of knowledge about several advantages of technology in education. In my view here are the 10 basic reasons which would go a long way to show how important is technology in the classroom.
1. With a wireless device the students have access to the huge on-line materials including most current and pertinent information to explore a topic or solve a problem. It enables learning anywhere, anytime and not just in one particular classroom for a limited period;
2. Interactive simulations and illustrations with the help of technology can create a greater depth of understanding of any subject with real world examples.The teachers can demonstrate how things work or explain any concepts far more easily with the help of digital simulations and models than through lectures in a physical class room;
3. Technology enables students to collect information and materials themselves necessary for completion of any given project any time anywhere without the physical presence of their teachers. Such project handling approach makes learning far more challenging and interesting for the students;
4. Technology has radically changed the teaching and learning process. The way we look at textbooks is no longer limited to just text and pictures. Today’s textbooks often contain web-based sites that include additional materials such as animations, videos, and other materials to support the learning of new content. Every day, new programs and web-based tools are coming up which are used by both teachers and students to discuss homework, post assignments, and interact with peers as they work on projects;
5. A major skill in the digital world is the capability to work jointly with others on projects for educating people who live far and away. Using online collaboration tools teachers, students, parents and administrators can actively collaborate and communicate with each other and participate in these education-centric projects and share their ideas and views and provide valuable suggestions;
6. In traditional classrooms, it is often important for students to adopt a learning pace that suits the classroom, so that no one lags behind others or no one gets too far ahead which keep the flow of learning consistent. Technology permits a student to break step with the class and work independently to his capability as per own schedule at a pace that is comfortable for him. Thus students can take more control over their own learning;
7. Technology has all but eliminated the need for the students to carry around a heavy backpack with them. Students can now just carry a tablet/laptop that contain all their downloaded study and project materials that are personalized to the lesson plan of the teacher;
8. Technology has made communications possible in real time with schools in other countries despite geographic constrains, thus bringing the global community into the classroom. From an educational viewpoint it is important to teach students to understand, appreciate and respect other cultures through direct dialog and exchange of thoughts and information with each other;
9. Technology may not appear to be a cost saving approach because of high initial investment. Nevertheless, over a period of time schools can save substantially towards paper costs, copying study materials and on textbooks. Through the use of free web-based tools, the students can have access to textbooks and other educational materials in digital formats that are continually updated and often more clear, helpful, imaginative, and a lot cheaper than the traditional paper textbooks;
10. Technology helps to reach many students in shorter time which substantially reduces the costs of delivering lessons to the students on a per-student basis by the academic Institutions. Moreover, technology produces quantifiable results, which allows students to increase their productivity and save time considerably. The above points aptly justify the use of advanced technological tools at higher costs;
The future of any nation is at risk as long as it continues to allow underprivileged schools to exist and here comes the significance of realizing the importance of technology in the classroom. Our ability to compete in a global economy is directly related to how well we prepare our every individual student to participate in this competition. Use of technology in public education system is the most important single factor in preparing our students to compete. The lack of quality education for large numbers of our population has a hidden cumulative national cost which is unbelievable.