Technology and education—how? Does it aid or hinder learning?
Technology has had both positive and negative effects on education. So what exactly is the impact of technology on learning?
When used correctly, technology can increase access to quality content and facilitate differentiated instruction. It can also increase opportunities for practice and improve learner engagement.
Technology has been found to enhance learning by improving communication and providing a more dynamic classroom environment. Teachers can also utilize technology to improve student participation, such as by creating lessons that allow students to collaborate and learn together through digital whiteboards or social media.
Another way in which technology can improve learning is by allowing students to develop their own creative skills. This will give them a sense of success, which can encourage further learning.
In addition to this, the use of digital technology can help students become more active in their learning, as they can participate in quizzes and games that are interactive. These are a great way to foster creativity in students, as they allow them to develop new skills that will help them succeed in their future careers.
While technology can enhance learning, it can also distract students. This is especially true when it comes to computer games or messaging, which can be a distraction during class and affect students’ grades.
One of the most important ways technology can enhance education is by improving communication. It can make teachers and students available almost 24 hours a day to respond to questions, queries, or concerns that may arise.
Educators can communicate via email, blog posts, podcasts, or social media. This ensures good lines of communication between students and their instructors, says EdTech consultant Paul Callas.
Technology also allows students to tutor their classmates at home or school through online discussion forums or Slack channels. Often, this can help students understand the material they’re learning better and make them more successful in class.
Technology can also improve communication between teachers and parents by letting them keep tabs on their child’s grades, attendance, and behavior reports. They can also reach out to teachers with questions and concerns, which can encourage more engaged classrooms and increase student motivation.
Students who text during lectures have lower test scores, take worse notes, and do less well on recall and information retrieval tests than those who do not use their phones. These results are consistent with the bottleneck theory of attention, in which a student’s ability to attend to course material is constrained by the limited amount of time available.
However, some studies suggest that media multitasking can have a positive effect on learning by allowing students to engage in other tasks without losing their attention. For example, students may listen to music while working on an assignment, which increases their alertness and allows them to concentrate more deeply on the task at hand.
In addition, research examining the effects of media multitasking on reading comprehension indicates that students who are particularly metacognitive or self-aware recognize their performance deficits when they return to a primary task and re-read portions of a text to make up for the missed information. This type of self-regulation and awareness may help to account for some of the negative effects of media multitasking in out-of-class instructional contexts, but it is unlikely to occur under time-contingent, lecture-format instruction.
Technology can enhance learning by enabling students to learn at a more convenient time or pursue subjects and courses they’re not currently taking. Online learning is also a great way for teachers to reach more students and engage them in the curriculum.
But technology can also distract students. For example, smartphones and other mobile devices can cause students to get hooked on online gaming such as Fortnite, or social media applications like Instagram or Twitter.
Students can also be distracted by the constant ringing of their cell phones or notifications on their devices. These interruptions can take a student’s attention away from studying or working on assignments and cause them to focus on other tasks, which could be harmful to their learning.
Distractions can affect both students and teachers, so it’s important for educators to be proactive about keeping students from using non-class-related devices or websites while in class. Using tools such as Classroom Management and Device Impact Measurement, teachers can see thumbnails of distracting apps in real-time and block them before they happen.