Is Technology Important in Education?

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Technology is on the rise everywhere, so it is no surprise that the use of technology has increased in schools. The use of technology started decades ago in schools and now is an important part of education. Schools can use different things like computers, or interactive whiteboards so arguably is especially important for students.

Technology like computers, or assistive technology is so helpful to all parties in education. Student, teachers, and parents benefit from the use of technology due to its versatility, and wide capabilities, and not to mention the amount of information available there. For disabled students, technology may seem like the only option to help them bridge the gap between them, and the rest of the general curriculum.

Disclaimer: This article is only the opinion of one writer and is not factual information. The use of technology in education is constantly evolving and whether its use is a positive or not is up for debate. You may have a differing opinion to those expressed in this article.

In this article we will be discussing how technology is used at different ages, from primary all the way to university. As well as how it can impact and improve the lives of those who use it, both teachers and students.

What is the use of technology in teaching and learning?

Technology provides students with thousands of sources of information for their own use and in the classroom. It gives students independence in their learning and reduces the reliance on others in later life.

Technology gives interactive and simple fun opportunities to gain experience and practice and is great alongside classrooms and at home. It also encourages students to learn at home. This is because it gives them access to resources even when outside the classroom. With technology students can do their own revision and homework a lot easier and at their own pace, especially due to the information on the internet.

How does technology help disabled students?

There are many young people with additional educational needs. For example, dyslexia is a common difficulty faced by many children. Technology can help these students learn in other ways. For example, through images or videos or even through services like text to speech. It can provide access to educational material in numerous formats appropriate for the student in digital form.

Also, around 2 million people in the UK have a visual impairment. As this is quite a vast number and a significant number are students, assistive technology can be used to aid the development of these students.

Furthermore, it can also help the visually impaired by making use of other senses like touch or sound. But it also does not stop there. There are so many different things available to help these students.

From electronic work sheets, to even talking calculators. There are many examples of hardware like specialised keyboards in braille or graphical typing which can be used for subjects like computer science.

Many students benefit from these methods and will definitely give the next generation a boost to their dreams. You can find out more about all of this, by clicking on this link from Independent Living.

How does technology help teachers?

Similarly, technology can be used to help the efficiency between students and teachers. Students may learn best through taking notes, hearing the information, through visual representations or even through engaging with their peers.

There are many different ways that can help students learn, but through technology, teachers can personalise education methods to their students. This can be done with things like videos, Kahoot! quizzes and many more.

Teachers can also use technology to set their students homework. This can help them to stay organised. Another thing teachers can do is get enhanced record keeping software to get more beneficial analysis of a student’s performance. This especially could help with the recognition of skills which could be improved. For more ways technology can be used by teachers

How is technology used in primary schools?

In primary schools, technology is quite limited due to the complexity of technology of that age. Usually, up to around Year 4, the only technology they will experience is an interactive whiteboard. This is a computer screen being projected onto a larger screen. This allows for graphical interaction with students and can provide videos and sound to the whole classroom.

After Year 4, students may start to become more comfortable with technology, and the schools may introduce things like computers and tablets. They may use services like Accelerated Reading, to boost their reading skills, and online maths services specifically suited to Key Stage 2. The introduction of Microsoft Word may also be introduced to boost typing.

From Year 6, it is usually expected that students are comfortable with computers and mobile devices, usually from experiencing it at home. For more information about how technology can be used in schools, such as primary schools, check out this article by Ed Tech.

How is technology used in secondary schools?

In secondary schools, the use of technology has mixed opinions. Due to this, different schools will have different rules surrounding it. Some schools allow the use of laptops within lessons, rather than the traditional note taking in exercise books. They may also allow the use of tablets to do research in the classrooms. In some classes, students may even do interactive activities like Kahoot! quizzes.

Many schools also have rooms with only computers. This is usually for the use of computer science lessons, but usually allow students to use them during break and lunch times. Sometimes, other teachers may also book the computer rooms to allow for students of other subjects to use their own research.

Other secondary schools believe that technology can be a distraction for teenagers. They have banned the use of mobile phones during all hours of schools. Many of these schools allow laptops to be used at break and lunch times for homework. The schools usually still offer computer science as a subject. In fact, many subjects use technology as its main source.

For more on how schools are embracing technology, check out this article by FE News. For more on how other forms of technology such as phones are viewed more negatively, look at this article by FE News.

How is technology used in sixth form college?

In sixth form college, the use of technology is often a lot freer than in secondary school. While this depends on the school, many sixth form college students are allowed to bring in a laptop and mobile phone.

In computer science and DT, students are given more freedom in the machinery and computer work they can do, do the usual higher maturity of the students.

What subjects use technology in schools?

At GCSE and A-Level, there are 2 main subjects that use technology. Design and technology (DT) and computer science. As a matter of fact, AQA include DT as a GCSE subject as it “will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world.” For more information about this, check out the AQA GCSE Design and Technology specification here.

DT uses a wide range of technology. This includes equipment like heavy machinery to advanced computer software. This could be for designing prototypes or creating 3D designs.

Computer science also uses technology. In computer science, students learn how to use software on computers, and how software and computers work. Some schools also offer ICT, which is mostly based on knowing about technology more than using it. To learn more about these subjects at GCSE, check out their specifications from Pearson Edexcel here and here respectively. 

How is technology used in universities?

Technology is a lot more prominent in universities. If you were to step into a lecture, you would see nearly all of the students using a laptop to make notes. They can also use phones and other devices on campus to help them.

Universities offer a huge amount of freedom in the use of technology, and the technology used and offered by the university is a lot more advanced. Computers have been used in universities since the early 90s and is now more prominent than ever.

82% of students use some sort of technology in university to create lecture notes, and 30% have four or more devices. The impact of technology in universities can be found by clicking on this link from University Business.

How is the use of technology limited in schools?

The use of technology may have created a skill gap between classes. Those with more wealth, can afford better or more technology. Due to its advantages, they may perform better than those who cannot afford this type of technology.

Apart from this, there is the obvious distraction. Schools are for learning and bringing laptops increases the number of distractions in the classrooms. Especially as students have access to games and other services that can distract them from the learning.

It can also be costly to obtain and maintain technology. It is getting quite expensive to buy laptops, which students and schools may not be able to afford. Even after buying one, the costs still run due to charging, and the risk of damaging the device leading to the need of insurance. The costs seem never ending. For more on the drawbacks of technology in schools, click on this link from Teacher Tool Kit.

In this article, we hope you have seen all the benefits, and the few negatives to technology in education. The use of technology is increasing in all ages, so the future of technology in education looks promising!

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