Importance of Technology in Education

Over the years there has been great advancement technologically. This has necessitated many organizations to incorporate these new technological innovations in most of their operations to maximize performances. Among the recent technological advancement is computer technology. The new inventions in Information technology have contributed greatly to it being adopted by many organizations including the education sector. Its incorporation in the school environment has been of great help to the management and the students thus making it a great source of success in the learning institutions (Seerly 6).

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According to Garner, computer technology refers to the process through which computers are designed, constructed, and programmed. Over the years most people have been living in an environment where they are surrounded by computers. There has been advancement in computer technology from mainframe to minicomputers. Computer technology is evident in various organizations in various forms such as the microcomputers found in a business environment. These computer technologies are used in the performance of various functions such as processing of data, elevators, telecommunication devices, and automobiles, (2).

There are various components that must be available for computer technology to flourish effectively. These include the hardware devices which are the physical devices such as the storage devices, input and output devices.

There is also the software which is a program that enables executions of a particular command; they are categorized into two; that is the operating and the application system. The operating system helps in the coordination of internal functions enabling the execution of a particular operation. Application programs are designed to run on a particular operating system (Garner 15).

Computer technology has also developed in that there is an establishment of a computer network that enables the transfer of information from one point to another virtually enabling communication to be possible, for instance through the development of a Local Area Network which links a number of computers. The advancement of technology has led to the invention of the internet which enables large-scale computer networking to be possible.

Various arguments have been put across to explain the basis for the incorporation of computer technology into education; this is due to the fact that originally the appraisal of student success was linked to the traditional methods such as the social-scientific method. When technology is integrated within the learning environment, the resultant effect changes in other educational-related issues.

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One of the reasons is based on an economic perspective. Most of the countries have linked their economic development with advancement in the education sector. The effect is that the inculcation of technology into education has a long-term effect of improvement in the size and the quality of personnel produced who contribute to economic development.

In the workforce, the industrialists demand personnel who are highly skilled and are adaptable to the dynamic nature of the technological environment for ease of retraining.

According to Charles, technology has improved the manner in which students learn. Through technology, it has become possible to incorporate various categories of students into the education system such as those who have difficulties in various fields. This is due to the fact that technology has made various learning styles to be utilized. For instance, computer technology has resulted in some programs which are mathematical and requiring critical thinking contributing to the success of the students through the improvement of their decisional capacities (4).

Technology has resulted in a reduction in the cost of education. The demand for education in the 21st century is high whereas most of the students cannot afford the traditional cost involved, such as attending classes. These costs are either a result of geographical locations or financial. Through technology, these barriers have been eliminated making education to be made accessible to a large number of students. For instance on line and distance learning (Pearson et al 35-36).

According to Garner, there has also been advancement in the instructional strategies which refer to the mode of delivery of information to the students. This is due to the replacement of traditional with technological instructional strategies which are more effective. For instance, by using computer–mediated methods to impart knowledge, students have become more analytical in their learning which contributes to their success (10).

With the growth of the internet, it has become possible to access a large volume of educational materials from various websites. This helps the students in expanding their level of knowledge. According to Seely, other technologies such as the calculator enable the students to be effective in their calculations. This enhances the theoretical knowledge that they have gained in class (6).

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According to Walker, it has also become possible for the formation of virtual educational groups where students can hold academic discussions online with students who may be outside the normal learning environment such as the school. This leads to improvement in the performance of the students since it becomes convenient for brainstorming. Through this students acquire a wide range of information in line with the changes in the 21st century (40).

Students who need specialized attention in their learning needs have also been incorporated effectively into the system. This has contributed towards enabling them to achieve their goals by increasing the level of their engagement in the learning process, for example through the development of programs such as Technology-Enhanced –Literacy Environment. The computer technology is also enhanced by other technologies such as the audio-videos which enable the students to improve their spoken language. For instance, for students with disabilities, technology has made it possible to present information using different formats through the media. The emergence of electronic text has addressed the visual problems with the students (Walker 45).

Students are able to conduct their research activities effectively when adequate technology is at their disposal. The research enables the students to be more inventive. This enables them to experience theories that they have learned in class within a real-world environment increasing their level of knowledge reception and practicability.

According to Pearson et al, technology has been utilized in the improvement of the writing skills of the students. Students are able to use certain technologies where they can map their concepts in an organized way before writing. This makes their presentation to their tutors to be nice. They are also able to do more practice on their writing skill through certain programs such as the Keypals that enable them to collaborate with other students from other countries (7).

Despite the increase in the utilization of technology in education, there are a lot of controversies that arise regarding its effectiveness in transforming the complex social environment of schools. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of changes that need to be done in the school such as the preparation of the tutors who find themselves undertaking the role of coaching other than lecturing and time management. Most of the projects related to technology have not yet been adopted into the new learning instructional strategies, (John &Elizabeth 49).

According to John& Elizabeth, there is inequality in the exclusive use of technology in education considering its affordability making some students be at risk. It is not all the students who can afford it due to their social-economic status. Students from poor economic backgrounds attend low standard schools and they interact with the limited computer and other technology available only during the school time in comparison to students from higher economic standards. This is disadvantageous to the students since they will remain technologically behind (53).

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Despite the improvement of students writing skills, there is a risk of loss to the student in terms of certain skills such as communication and social skills. This is due to the fact that these skills are not applicable in a learning environment that depends wholly on technology such as computers where autonomy is advocated. This makes the student be devoid of important skills such as conflict resolution that are enhanced in a school learning environment.

There is a refutation with regard to technology in education such as the automated tutoring systems in that it does not provide human interaction between the tutor and the student. Some of the disciplines require a one-on-one interaction between the teacher and the student. This makes some of the programs of computer technology only work for certain fields that are closed-ended in nature such as mathematics and disregards the others which are open-ended such as history, (John &Elizabeth 56).

The development of technology to be integrated into the education sector does not involve the teachers. Teachers should be considered both as learners and users of the new technology. This is the only way that they can be able to optimally deliver to the students using the technology thus improving the performance of the students.

In conclusion, technology has greatly resulted in the success of the students. Different technologies have been introduced into the learning environment to address the divergent needs of the student thus enabling them to fit within the environment and also making learning to be easier. Not only does technology lead to the success of the younger generation but it also incorporates the older ones who have a desire to increase their knowledge. It has resulted in the expansion of the learning environment beyond the boundaries of a classroom thus leading to satisfaction of the need for knowledge for a large group of people.

The productivity of students has been improved by the use of different technologies. Their probability of success is enhanced by the increased opportunity for an invention that technology presents to them. This is due to the fact that they can invent a new use for the already existing technology or design a mechanism of how they can combine various technologies to increase the level of efficiency and effectiveness of tasks. Therefore technology prepares the students for success in the ever-changing environment. With the omission of technology from the learning environment, most of the students will be unable to meet their self-actualization goals in life.

The positive impact of technology on the success of the student in terms of comprehension and outcome should form the basis upon which more technology is integrated with the learning environment. More prior evaluation of the effect of technology on the student should be carried out to ensure optimal incorporation through the involvement of the teachers. Despite the advantages, major areas of controversy need to be addressed to ensure the optimal contribution of technology to student success.

References

Thacker, Charles. “Why use technology in education?” Mac instructs 2007. Web.

Cherniavsky John &Vanderputten Elizabeth. The controversy of technology in Education. San Francisco: National Science Foundation Press, 2009. Web.

Garner, James, Technologies Sources Archives: Taking an Active Role In Educational Reforms: North Carolina, University of North Carolina, 1997.

Kulik James, Effects of Using Instructional Technology in Elementary and Secondary Schools: What Controlled Evaluation Studies Say, Arlington: SRI International Press, 2003. Web.

Pearson David, Ferdig Richard, Blomeyer Robert & Moran Juan. The Effect of Technology on Reading Performance in the Middle-School Grades: A Meta-Analysis with Policy Recommendations: Learning Point Associates. Naperville’s 2005. Web.

Walker Julie, Using Technology to Improve the Student Achievement: Chicago, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 2005. Web.

Seerly John. “Education and Technology: Learning working and playing in the digital age” 2000. Web.

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