Pros and Cons of Technology - Finding a Balance in Education
Over the last century, our technology has continued to evolved and improve. Technology has changed in any aspects from creation of the internet that ables anyone to produce media content and present it to the world, to applications and gadgets. This essay about technology advantages and disadvantages will examine what impact has technology on education.
Technology is a great help to us because it can make our work easier. For example, before if you want to do laundry you have to do it by hand and spend the entire day washing your dirty clothes but now there is this machine called washing machine. Through this new technology, you can just put your clothes there then simply turn it on and wait for a couple of minutes. You can even do something else while waiting, be productive. After a couple of minutes and viola! , your clothes are done and completely dried up. Technology has also made access to education easier. According to elearningindustry.com there are 8 ways technology improves education and enhance student learning.
The first way is 'Digital Stimulations and Models'. Sometimes there are also students who have a hard time picturing out what the teacher is talking about. For example, your teacher is discussing about the flow of blood in the heart. Yes, the teacher is discussing the flow from start to end but you, who is not-so-smart, will really have so many questions in mind like, What does it look like?, How will I able to know where is the arteries and the veins or whatsoever? This is where Digital stimulations and model comes in. In order for you to understand it more you need a visual representation or a picture of it. That is why visual aids or powerpoints are very important in teaching especially that not all students like listening, some prefer looking at pictures and videos.
According to the Ministry of Education of Guyana, visual aids 'help learners improve reading comprehension skills, illustrate or reinforce a skill or concept, differentiate instruction and relieve anxiety or boredom by presenting information in a new and exciting way.' That's why it is best for schools to have projectors or TVs in each classrooms.
The second way is 'Improved Communication'. Communication is very important in order for one to send, receive and understand a specific message. In education, effective communication is important so that the teacher will be able to convey or deliver a topic clearly and because of that, students will understand it more. If a student didn't understand it and maybe shy to ask questions to the teacher in person, he/she may use social media apps like Facebook and Messenger to ask the teacher of what he/she don't understand. Through technology, students can easily access their teachers and ask questions and they might even get a free tutoring.
The third way is 'Advance Research'. The internet had made research a lot easier for the students these days. Gone are those days when students still need to go to the library to read piles of books, magazines, encyclopedia and many more just to get a research material for their research or thesis. Now with the help of the internet, they can just simply type what they want to know and many sources will show up. For example, you want to know how to cook pasta. All you have to do is type ' How to cook pasta' and search. You can also go to some social media apps like Youtube to show you a video if ever you failed to understand the steps without a video.
The fourth way is 'Effective Assessments'. According to elearningindustry.com, 'There is software available with which teachers can give or receive assessments of their students in real-time. Such software is made to help teachers stay updated with all records, for instance, the number of learning assignments given, how much time students need to solve a problem, etc. It is a way of helping teachers know how much time a particular question requires from some students, and if they're getting better; if not, what further efforts should be made for their improvement.' Some example of these are apps like Edmodo and Quipper where there is a student and a teacger portal. The teachers can give assessments or assignments therea and put a specific time and date when they should finish it. There are also scores in every correct answers to motivate students to participate and answer the activities. The students can also get some study materials there which they can use if ever they have an examination coming.
The fifth way is 'Learning at One's Own Pace'. There are times when the teacher is so fast in discussing that even the students can't understand, especially in college. In college the teacher will simply lecture and doesn't even care if the students really understood the lesson. Because for them the student is the one who is responsible to find strategies in order for her/him understand, catch up and get some notes because the teachers will never repeat his/her lecture. That's why many students rely on the internet because they can easily access informations and in the internet, you can always read it again and again if you dont understand.
The sixth way is 'Fun Learning'. Through technology, learning can be fun because there are a lot of applications that helps you learn in a playful manner. Some examples of these applications are MoMa Art Lab, Encarta, and more. But most of tgese playful learning apps are for kids because kids love games and while playing they can also learn from it. Mostly teenager students dont like playful learning apps because it will waste their time.
The seventh way is 'Online Groups Collaboration'. 'Online learning programmes promotes student-centred learning, encourages wider student participation, and produces more in-depth and reasoned discussions than traditional face-to-face programmes ' (eg, Karayan & Crowe, 1997; Smith & Hardaker, 2000). It was also said that 'Lack of connection between students may have consequences,
possibly because students may experience feelings of isolation and stress than those who made such connections and experience traditional face-to-face prgrammes' (eg. Haythornthwaite, Kazmer, Robbins and Shoemaker 2000). One reason for the importance of online interaction is because learners experience a ‘sense of community’ , enjoying mutual interdependence and a sense of trust and interaction among community members, which means that the members of the community have shared goals and values. (Rovai, 2002)
The last and the eight way is 'Open Education'. According to open access.nl, Open education 'helps prospective students choose the right programme, improve student success rates, makes lesson materials publicly available, improves educational innovation, helps with lifelong learning. It serves ‘self learners’ – those wishing to acquire high-quality knowledge without enrolling in a mainstream programme.' Some of the things that open education provides are Web lectures, Open content, Open educational resources, Open courseware, and MOOC.
Technology have many positive impacts in our lives but there are downsides too. Modern technology also poses serious health problems. People are sleep deprived nowadays since taking their eyes off their phone or laptop screens become a near to impossible task. This leads to problems in vision, cancer, obesity and many more. According to the article 'Modern technology: advantages and disadvantages' by Nick Ismail, technology makes people dependent on it. For example the calculator. Even if the calculator is a good invention, man no longer makes mental calculation and no longer works his memory.
Technology also makes people lazy because almost all of the works are done by machines. We prefer sitting, playing games or listening to music instead of walking or going outdoor or performing any work which requires physical activity and this will result having weak relationship with family members due to excessive involvement with various devices. As a conclusion, the use of technology should be balanced. You should not let yourself be controlled by it instead we should be the one controlling it.