Educational Technology

Technology has dramatically transformed the way we live, learn and work. Therefore, it is important for educators to reflect on possibilities enabled by this development and use technology in teaching and learning processes.

Technology is the need of the hour as it helps to produce phenomenal educational outcomes. It frees the students from the shackles and burden of memorising from books as they have instant access to all the materials they need.

Designed to provide an overview of educational technology in higher education, this article explores the definition of education technologies, considers the types, and discusses a range of benefits attributed to usage.

You know what they say, a teacher with all of the essentials is always on top of their class. Let’s get started.

What is educational technology?

Educational technology (EdTech) is a branch of instructional design and a growing subset of ICT (information and communications technology). Educational technology comprises a wide range of tools, using computer software, hardware, content development, integrated instructional materials, and alternative learning environments.

Educational technology can be used to train employees; provide an educational service for a group or large audience such as with online learning, or create individualized programs for learners.

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Benefits of educational technology in teaching and learning processes

1. Innovative teaching methods

Technologies can complement teaching in many ways. It can be used to provide various types of training, create systems and tools for educational purposes, or even simplify administrative processes.

In addition, educational technologies help to aid teachers in developing effective learning plans that are creative, effective and integrated with the use of technology. Technology can also be used to help teachers manage and monitor their classes.

2. Improve collaborative teaching

Beyond the fact that technology provides a means to share resources and locate information, it can also improve collaborative teaching by making it possible to communicate real-time information and engaging students through online discussions.

Learner-centred teaching, which employs digital tools to create a collaborative, rich, student-centred environment in an online course, is the perfect model for this.

It is also important to remember that technology can be used differently in different situations, including collaborative learning environments.

3. Improves engagement

In schools, it is important for students to be engaged in the lessons when they are learning something. Educational technology benefits teachers and students in this aspect because their learning experience is now interactive.

With the use of educational technology, teachers can now project on a screen in front of everyone, which improves student engagement as well as encourage them to participate in the lessons.

4. Improves knowledge retention

Educational technology has been used for a long time to improve the learning process, not by making students more knowledgeable about certain subjects but by improving knowledge retention.

It is achieved through its ability to incorporate conditioning techniques and develop competencies in any learner.

Unlike traditional methods, educational technology provides users with a competitive advantage by tapping their skills for increasing retention.

5. Encourages individual learning

Educational technology allows for every individual to learn at their own pace, which allows them to work on challenges that they may not have been able to do in the classroom alone.

This advances them at a deeper level and makes them feel as if they are actually excited about learning something new.

6. Students can learn useful life skills with the help of technology

In the fast-paced world where technology is rocketing every business forward, there is always a struggle to get the same momentum for students in learning environments.

Technology can be used to teach students useful life skills. Students have the opportunity to learn communication skills, teamwork, critical thinking, and leadership. By embedding technology into education we can provide creative ways to teach and learn information. Technology can help teachers focus on meaningful knowledge and skills needed for today and tomorrow’s workforce.

Furthermore, educational technology provides a platform for students to learn important life skills that will help them as they grow up and meet the demands of this present generation.

Types of educational technology

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning involves individual learners or small groups of learners collaborating around a shared task with the aim of enhancing each other’s learning. Collaborative learning is often used in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), and in it, students work together to support each other’s knowledge construction, acquisition, and transmission.

Working in groups allows everyone to share ideas and resources, learn from each other, and correct misconceptions. The teacher often serves as a resource person providing assistance when needed, or in the role of facilitator in a “guided discussion”.

Computer-based training(CBT)

A computer-based training (CBT) is a form of training that utilizes personal computers or workstations for the delivery of educational content. CBT is differentiated from instruction that relies on classroom teaching, and e-learning that relies on internet delivery.

A lot of schools and organizations training their employees for certifications use this type of educational technology because it provides a cost-effective way to train many people at once. There are several types of computer-based training that are used throughout the world today.

Using CBT, learners can solve problems and practice skill-building exercises without the assistance of live instructors. Most computer-based instruction seeks to provide feedback on the correctness (or otherwise) of learner responses in real-time.

Synchronous and asynchronous

In education, particularly higher education, educational technology is the use of any equipment, materials, software, or other application that supports learning or teaching.

Synchronous technologies provide students and teachers the opportunity to work together at the same time. Online classes, collaborative software, live chat rooms, web conferencing, group projects, and wikis are common teaching tools that operate synchronously.

Asynchronous technologies provide students with flexibility and independence. Examples of asynchronous technology include blogs, podcasts, email, discussion boards, and instructional videos.

Additional Information and FAQs

 

What are the downsides to using technology for the teaching and learning process?

There is much debate over the use of computers and technology for educational purposes. Critics argue that students using these tools are not as effective as they would be if they were to write things down by hand or simply go off their memory.

Other critics believe that the educational programs that utilize technology, including; video games, virtual reality, and robots, are ineffective because students’ playtime is limited due to the pressing demands of schoolwork.

And some worry that the reliance on technology could create a generation of lazy individuals unable to perform basic tasks such as cooking, driving, or other life skills.

Final thoughts

Educational technology plays an important role in preparing students for future careers and ensuring that they develop critical 21st-century skills. Increasingly, the technology that children use at home and in the classroom is becoming more pervasive, accessible, and powerful.

With a wide variety of tools available to help educators stay one step ahead of their students in an ever-changing educational environment, technology has become a key piece of our education system.

In the developing world, technology offers ways to bring education to communities that were not previously accessible. In other cases, technology is being used as an alternative educational approach to help students learn better, and by doing so helps teachers be more effective.

Does this mean teachers will no longer be needed?

While EdTech is a vital piece of the education puzzle, teachers are still essential in assisting students to learn how to use it most effectively. Although technology is an incredibly powerful tool, it is not a replacement for educators.

The hope is that teachers will find themselves better able to do what they truly enjoy doing: working with the kids. Teachers will no longer be asked to spend their hard-earned money on photocopying, erasers, or other classroom supplies.

They will not have to spend their lunch hours addressing parent’s concerns or attending meetings. They will be able to draw more inspiration from outside of the school and bring that back into their classrooms.

What is educational technology in teaching and learning?

Educational technology in teaching and learning is a multidisciplinary approach to schooling and teaching. Information and communication technologies are an integral part of the education process within a school, institution, or corporate educational setting.

While technology can be incorporated into education throughout the entire spectrum of learning, from pre-school to post-graduate, the term typically refers to how educators use digital resources to facilitate, evaluate, and document student learning.

Educational technology first developed out of the desire to make education more efficient, effective, personal, and accessible. Today educational technology encompasses all tools that transform teaching and learning.

What are the technologies used in education?

There are many educational technologies that can be used to aid instruction in the classroom. These include utilizing the internet and computers, interactive whiteboards, and document cameras.

It also includes video equipment, digital cameras for snapping pictures of an object being described by a teacher or student, film for viewing with a film projector, musical instruments such as synthesizers, and software that aid students in learning mathematics tables using music as well as playing games.

How is technology used in education?
Technology refers to the use of machines or artificial systems to perform a variety of functions. When used in education, technology is employed to enhance the quality of the learning experience.

Educational technology can be used as a tool for students, teachers, and administrators, to facilitate and promote learning experiences that involve active participation from students. Teachers now use technology is to investigate, correct, and revise their classroom teaching.

Is technology helpful in enhancing learning?
Forthright, technology has been one of the biggest game-changers in education. Technology can enhance learning by increasing the number of resources available to teachers. It can also increase students’ access to resources.

We use technology to enhance learning. For example, we use google apps for education, which gives students access to their assignments, calendars, and documents from any computer or device using a web browser.

Technology is allowing for a shift in education, to give students the freedom and flexibility of learning at home, in the community, at school, or on the go. The academic potential of technology is limitless. Education is within the reach of everyone, anywhere.

What is the purpose of educational technology or technology in education?

Educational technology can be used as a tool, method, or technique to enhance the classroom experience. It can also be used as an educational application that facilitates learning or provides instruction.

Educational technology has been defined as “any form of technology used in schools and includes hardware (computers and related peripherals, such as printers), software (such as applications and operating systems), multimedia titles, databases, multimedia materials, access to the Internet or other networks, online services, CD-ROM products, videoconferencing equipment, and even pencils and paper.

The purpose of educational technology or technology in education is to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning and the efficiency of the delivery of education. Educational technology is used in a variety of settings, such as schools, colleges, universities, libraries, museums, and corporations.

The purpose could be online courses, computer-aided instruction (CAI), computer-based training (CBT), eLearning, or any other form that utilizes a particular technology.

However, teachers starting to incorporate educational technology into their classroom need to be aware of the many purposes and philosophies behind technology in education. Making informed decisions and having a solid grasp of what educational technology can do is critical.

What are the current trends in educational technology?

Today’s classroom is changing rapidly. Classrooms are becoming more diverse and mobile, and learners are using more devices than ever before. In education, technology grows increasingly important to the teacher and the student.

With so many technological advances being made every day it can be hard to keep up with what product or learning aid will be the next big thing in education.

The rapid evolution of educational technology alongside the increasing availability of broadband and other high capacities, low-cost technologies has led to a wide range of new products for learning.

These new products are in turn changing the educational landscape by making it easier for students to learn more effectively and efficiently. Also, it helps for teachers to communicate with students richly, and for educational content to be delivered anywhere, anytime.