Use of Technology in Education: A Complete Guide

Use of Technology in Education: A Complete Guide

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Technology in education is changing at a faster pace than ever before. The classroom doesn’t look like it did five years ago, let alone 30 years ago! With good reason too. Technology in education has a number of benefits for both teachers and students.

Firstly, let’s explore how the use of technology in education has changed over time. There’s a vast array of equipment that can be classed as technology in education. From the overhead projectors and photocopiers, which made it easier to display and distribute learning materials, to mobile devices, which allow for new methods of instruction altogether.

However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that digital technology made its mark on education. This was the decade when computers went from an experimental technology to a mass-market consumer product. That shift was reflected in schools, many of which invested in a single computer for basic learning applications. The Education Reform Act in 1988 made some form of information and communication technology (ICT) compulsory for all pupils in state schools from 5 to 16.

In the 1990s, the advent of the World Wide Web gave a glimpse into what computers were capable of. Publicly available from 1993, it facilitated the use of search engines and email on a regular basis. By the end of the 1990s, most primary and secondary (K-12) schools had a computer lab equipped with enough machines for a full class to use.

This growth continued in the new millennium. In 2000, for example, the UK National Curriculum was updated with the recommendation that Information Communications Technology (ICT) should be embedded across the board. By 2009, 97% of US classrooms had at least one computer and 93% had internet access.

From the turn of the millennium, digital technology has been growing in prevalence within education – and it’s not just about computers. The early 2000s saw interactive whiteboards introduced. We’ve since seen a wide range of technology make its way into education – from portable and handheld devices in the 2010s to increasingly sophisticated software for learners and educators.

How important is the use of technology in education?

Millions of students in schools around the world use technology every day. From captivating imaginations to saving teachers’ time, modern technology is now part of the furniture in education – and it’s here to stay.

Looking back at the progress of technology in education, you can see that it’s only going in one direction. Up to and including the 1980s, there was no such thing as digital technology in education. In the 1990s and 2000s, IT was a single subject on the curriculum. Fast-forward through the 2010s, and it’s integral to practically everything schools teach.

As technology becomes more important to modern life, it will naturally become more important in education too. Put simply, it can’t be ignored. Educators that try to do so may miss out on the benefits we outline below.

What are the benefits of using technology in education?
It creates engaging learning environments
Technology has a positive impact on student engagement, according to research. It can help educators create exciting, engaging and memorable lessons. Needless to say, higher engagement makes pupils more motivated and makes lessons more enjoyable for both students and teachers.Whether they’re using virtual reality headsets like ClassVR to explore the impossible, tablets to study the night sky, or coding platforms like CoSpaces to create virtual worlds – the use of technology in education can truly grab students’ attention! While traditional teaching methods are typically effective at engaging some students in a classroom, integrating edtech into their pedagogy can help educators engage every student in the class.

Technology in education prepares students for the future
Additionally, digital learning helps students improve those invaluable digital skills which are fundamental in modern life. While today’s learners are naturally proficient with technology like smart phones and computers, using them in an education setting throughout K-12 will familiarise them with more practical applications.As we’ve already covered, technology is a huge part of our lives, and it isn’t going anywhere. This means it’s key that children learn how to use technology while growing up, so they’re equipped throughout the rest of their lives! Students can learn some extremely important skills by using technology in education. With the rapid rate of technology innovation, simply being to adapt to new technologies is an invaluable skill in itself.

Improves interaction and communication
Technology can also improve communication and collaboration at schools. That could be collaboration amongst students or communication between students and teachers through an accessible or even anonymous platform.

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