The growth of technology over the previous twenty years has impacted on all of our lives in numerous different ways. Access to the latest technology was once exclusive to the western world, however there has also been a shift in this respect and now even citizens in the developing world have access, albeit limited, to this technology. Unsurprisingly this has further contributed to the increased globalisation of the world.
The internet, which is regarded by many as the greatest invention thus far in mankind’s history has largely been responsible to this. As we are all more than aware, the internet has led to the emergence of social media, which has for the first time allowed western citizens to connect with those living in the developing world; it has also helped to increase awareness of the issues faced by these people.
The Growing Role of Technology in the Classroom
As you would expect, this technology has been utilised in the education sphere with great effect and has helped to enrich the learning experience of students both here in UK and around the world. Not only are young people’s live being culturally enriched through living in an ever evolving, multicultural society, some students are now offered the opportunity to interact with students in other countries through video conferencing, chatrooms, blogs and more, both through the medium of computers and mobile phones.
However, there are additional benefits which have been delivered due to advances in technology; revision was once considered to be one of the most difficult aspects of a student’s learning. Unsurprisingly this has now becomes more accessible for students due the numerous ‘apps’ which are available to those studying for their GCSEs and A-Levels. There has long been a belief amongst older generations that technology has had a negative impact upon the development and learning potential of young people. However, it is now possible to ensure that a student’s mind stays sharp through enrolling in online summer courses.
While the focus is usually placed upon the negative aspects of this advancement in technology such as violent computer games and mindless handheld games on mobile phones, many are relatively unaware of the opportunities that technology has presented to the younger generations.
There are, however, those who are still opposed to the use of technology in learning; they believe that the traditional methods are most engaging and offer students a better chance of succeeding and retaining knowledge. As with everything else in life, the concept of education is forever evolving and those who are not open to change will inevitably find their views becoming more and more obsolete.
It is not only the traditional education system that is utilising and reaping the benefits from technology; once the international student learning English would have been required to subscribe to English courses in London if they wished to make substantial progress with their language learning. Now students are able to interact with native English teachers online and make sure of the vast number of ESL apps now on the market.
The Future of Technology in Education
As we are all more than aware, technology is forever changing and evolving; ensuring that it is easily accessible to both teachers and pupils is a challenge and one that educational authorities are having to meet.
There are assumptions that both the mobile and tablet will dominate the sphere now and in the future. This could well prove to be a perilous assumption; the tablet and mobile are currently dominating but it is likely that in several years they will become old-news and new and more accessible technology will emerge.
The future emphasis needs to be on accessibility; the ability to learn anywhere and at any time. While it is hard to imagine, we could well be approaching the end of the traditional educational setup and moving towards an online learning environment. This is already evident in the ever increasing number of online courses available to those with a thirst for knowledge.
In recent years we have seen the emergence of online storage and this suggest that there could be an emphasis on learning in this respect. The only requirement both students and schools alike would need is a slick and super-fast internet connection. This could well prove a problem for those based in UK, it has recently emerged that the UK’s internet speed lags way behind the majority of countries in Europe.
The concern at the moment in UK has to surround the current and the ability to keep pace with the adjustments. Those countries that possess superior technological capabilities could well prove a threat to the UK’s reputation as an educational power.
Another fascinating prospect is the way in which our approach to teaching and learning will change. Rather than being taught it is a real possibility that students will soon take ownership of their learning and the teacher will primarily concentrate on producing online resources for students to use themselves.
The future of education around the world continues to fascinate and intrigue, but one thing that we can certain of is that we will see technology at the forefront and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As the world has become much more globalised, consideration needs to focus on whether or not it is time for countries to take further steps towards integration and co-operation. This is particularly the case with respect to learning and technology and ensuring that each individual has access to the latest educational material.