Technology is continuing to change education. Where a student once needed to go to the library to research or a classroom to learn a lesson, everything can now be discovered online. Schools have begun to integrate various aspects of this change.
1. Paperless Education
Paper is expensive in both financial and organizational costs. Upon converting to a purely technical environment, an educational system reduces both costs. Financially, it costs quite a bit to purchase paper, toner, and printers. The expense is not just in the classroom, but also in the administrative offices. For instance, Yale saves $100,000 annually due to electronic time sheets replacing paper ones.
Organizationally, the benefit is immense. Students need to carry fewer binders, textbooks, and notepads. Instead, they quickly and efficiently pull up what the need on an electronic device. Time is saved in retrieving documents and using systems to process information. Instead of scanning reports, they can be submitted electronically and processed with less error. While it is slow to take over completely, the eventual rise of paperless education significantly impacts the traditional model.
2. Additional Headaches
With all the technological changes in education, some headaches occur. Plagiarism, a headache for centuries, is now a click away. This availability has prompted the need for better ways of screening research and has the potential to reduce the quality of written works.
Being able to copy and paste, one of the greatest inventions used in writing can make students sloppy in their thought processes, grammar, and spelling. Of course, plagiarism is even easier with this simple tool. An additional issue is the quality of research. Many students become lazy and desire to cite Wikipedia and other types of sources.
While the information can be informative, it is not to the quality of a particular source. It also makes it harder to access and cite individual books, as many students no longer use a library for research. This difficulty, in turn, narrows the focus of created works and reflects the most prominent and popular written works online.
3. Researching Joyfully
The times of searching ten books for one reference, while not remembering where it is recorded, is over. An electronic copy simply needs to be searched, decreasing the time spent on tedious activities and allowing for more time to be spent on actual writing.
Statistics and calculations can now be performed or viewed by anyone. The amount of data alone is truly staggering. There is no need to find search for a source regarding specific information, such as statics that the Bureau of Labor produces.
Software packages improve time utilization and simplify hand-based calculations. These packages lessen the tediousness of the past while increasing the quality and enjoyment of student work.
4. Happier Students
The environment affects the morale of students. A happier student learns better and is more inquisitive. The majority of students love technology and want to see more of it. It can help them determine where they are deficient in a subject and rectify it.
They can get help online from an expert and see problems in different ways. Learning analytics can recommend courses base on their preferences. Does a student prefer a challenging course, a course that plays to their strengths, or maybe one that will progress them towards a certain career?
Analytics go further than the stored data in the program itself, as it can pull data from a database or computer instead of just from inside the program. Due to the information provided, a student may discover a new strength or love.
5. Accessibility to Learning
In the past, if one wanted to learn French, they may need to go to France. Did someone want to learn more about particle physics? A prestigious university was the destination. Nowadays, these hassles are unnecessary. A class can be taken online that teaches advanced concepts.
Forums that gives information regarding various branches of learning are available. While staying at home, personal tutoring, from anywhere, is now possible. Speaking to experts is no longer a postage stamp or phone call away; it is simply a click. Education and knowledge are now accessible to anyone who wants it.
The Ever Expanding Technological Future
Education has already been drastically altered in ways that were incomprehensible just one-hundred years ago. If Plato was transported to today, he might have a heart attack from too much excitement.
More wonders in education will occur as technology expands. Virtual reality is creeping forward and may one day replace classrooms. The ability for anyone to teach anything, and have others interact, is rapidly progressing.
In another fifty years, education may not be recognizable compared to what was known in the past nor what is currently known.