Technologies have changed our lives in various ways. It has its influence on every industry we have. It may be a step forward to progress and as well be a cause of people losing their jobs for being not necessary anymore. It is unclear if this is good or bad, but technologies being an inseparable part of our world is a well-established fact. And, of course, it has a massive impact on education as well.
How do technologies change education?
Of course, you may think and ask yourself that question. Here is a list of major changes that using laptops and smartphones caused:
- Access to education;
- Relations between students and teachers;
- Learning without a presence in class;
- Desire to learn;
- Learning through devices and apps.
Let’s explain every point of the list.
Access to education
To understand what exactly has changed it is important to know how it used to be. For centuries, education was available only for the elite. Most families just could not afford a university for their children.
And now, thanks to technologies and the Internet, even though in most countries getting a high education in college or university is still rather expensive, a great number of people in the progressive world have an access to countless books, educational courses, webinars, educational videos on YouTube and so on. It is clear that such education cannot be a full alternative to high education, but still, it is an alternative, which never existed before.
Relations between students and teachers
In the past times, the teacher was the only source of information students could have. Students used to write down everything their teacher said (their words were mostly based on books they’ve read, of course) and remembered that without question. And even if the teacher was the greatest person that ever lived, he or she was just a human. Now students are surrounded with all kinds of information and the teacher’s role in their education has changed. It is still important, of course, but now students are more responsible for their own knowledge.
Also, now students and teachers can always be in touch, thanks to emails and online messages. Now students don’t have to wait until the next class just to ask an important question and the communication with their mentors became much faster and simply saves time.
Learning without a presence in class
A classic model of university implies a room full of students. Now there is no need for that. Online classes are becoming more and more popular, the most prestige and famous universities suggest online courses for students. To begin with, it is a great opportunity for people with special needs and just people all around the world who are deeply interested in self-educating and studying.
Desire to learn
In many ways, education and self-educating became much easier. Thanks to that it has become more desirable for people of all ages. A great amount of media content, courses, articles, essays make education more interesting and make the desire to learn stronger. Due to that “lifelong learning” exists and becomes a thing. People make learning a habit which never goes away and wants to improve themselves through learning as well.
Learning through devices and apps
We have spoken about media content before, but mobile apps have reached a completely new level. Not everyone can find time to study every morning or every evening, and mobile apps in the era of smartphones help as nothing else can. Educational mobile applications contain every subject you wanted to know better (or even the whole school courses), their daily lessons usually don’t take longer than fifteen minutes. And, what is important as well, most of them are fun. Not many can focus on black and white essays after a hard working day, but most of such apps are bright and simple.
These points we’ve explained are, certainly, highly positive. Though, when we speak about how technologies impact education, there are some negative features.
- Education has become too easy;
- Less physical activity;
- Effect on children.
Education has become too easy
This somehow sounds like a utopia, but in some ways, it is really like that. Students can copy information from websites and even don’t read it. If students have troubles with an essay, they can pay money to special writing services (for example, Pro-Papers) and get their work. It is not always a bad thing, but it never used to happen before.
The Internet is full of useful information, that is true. But there are lots of completely useless content we somehow find ourselves watching and reading. And sometimes it gets really hard to make yourself stop procrastinating and start studying.
Less physical activity
Of course, there are several reasons why people have less physical activity now, but we use technologies everywhere – at home, at schools and universities, and we started to exercise less, which leads to problems with health.
Effect on children
Scientists have discovered that using technologies changes how children’s brain works. They become addicted to them, distract easily, have worse memory (they may be good in finding information, but they cannot remember it). Even more, children who use technologies are usually bad at writing and make much more grammar and spelling mistakes. Studies have shown that for such children it is much harder to use empathy and to understand other person’s feelings, they more often have troubles with emotional reactions and social skills.