Technology is nowadays a tool that has turned out to be the topic of many professional seminars, and teachers are today learning to use it in order to add it to their teaching tools. Students should now look at the technology as a comprehensively integrated activity and not the one which can be easily separated into process and content, or practice and theory. The past and current education system has face criticism for its lack of ability to engage students in the classroom. This presents a challenge to teachers and educators (Brewster, 2009). Teachers have been turned to a narrator while the students have been turned to be listening objects. This severs the essence of learning as it is curtailed by memorization of knowledge rather than understanding. The students in turn become bored as the teacher becomes more puzzled as to why the students are not interested in learning. The importance of education is to pass lifelong knowledge and skills to students through engaging them in the teaching process. Dialogue in and outside the classroom can keep students interested on a particular subject even when outside the confines of the class and without the restriction of the teacher. This leads to a better understanding between the teacher and the student (Ferranti, 2003).
Advanced communications and technology have turned the whole world into a truly global community. The only education currently that prepares students for the global community has technology in it as the most important part of its core. Technology enables students to overcome geographical and cultural distances around specific projects, tasks, relationship building and gathering (Brewster, 2009).
Education technology has demonstrated an important positive effect on accomplishment in all main subject areas, starting from preschool all the way to the higher education and for both special needs and regular students. More specifically in classes where students use computer aided instructions perform better than other peers by 30 percent average on standardized tests of essential skills achievement (Ferranti 43). Therefore technology assists students to carry out their academic research easily. When technology are used in classroom, it improves students attitudes and motivation about themselves and learning, it has been noted that schools with rich technology report high attendance and low dropout rates than it used to be in the past, and students that regularly use technology take extra pride in their work develop high level of self-esteem and have confidence in their abilities (Ferranti 41).
Integration of technology brings changes to teachers’ roles in giving instructions in classroom, expands classrooms learning resources and brings about new ways in which teachers interact with their students, each other and information (Ferranti 43). The roles of a teacher in a technology-infused classroom normally shift to that of a facilitator rather than a lecturer. Access to information made possible by technology gives teachers and students opportunities to use extraordinary array of authentic materials and the current information that could not have found their way into the classrooms (Ferranti 48). Access to technology have literally given all schools regardless of their wealth and geographical location the ability to have libraries of unparalleled collections and links to the materials that national universities have.
Most of the universities world wide nowadays has their graduate and undergraduate courses available freely online, therefore any one who can access internet will have an access to lectures notes, exams, assignments and even videos of their lecturers, therefore anyone can remix or reuse the materials available for his or her own benefits. They have also introduced e-libraries where students can access e-books in wherever they are provided they can access the internet. For example the University of Massachusetts (MIT) has its courses offered on a website called opencourseware website (Ferranti 72). So far MIT is the leading university in offering online courses, when MIT lecturers put their notes on open courseware website; students from other universities can access the notes hence improving education in other universities (Ferranti 78).
Following the emergence of e-books it is now possible for students to access textbooks in their mobile phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA) or read digitally on a computer screen, with e-books we can come up with bookmarks that will allow us to jump directly to the page we want when the book is opened, this technology has made learning easier because students can easily access notes and share with their friends.
Benefits of Online Education
Almost all educational analysts and participants concur that incorporating online education into official educational strategies signify major reforms in the way schools and other institutions of higher learning have coached and developed skills. Although this type of education is not able to swap officially with class room learning, there are still some requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for structured education to distribute content, gauge performance and follow compliance. However online education can be utilized to amass knowledge and information to integrate into a richer leaning experience.
Online education networks such as Ning, have been shown to be a first-rate tool for educators and student orientations and schooling programs. Most institutions usually present a standard orientation that focuses on the schooling community. Schooling departments could generate wiki or blog threads on their particular departments that are purposely geared to supplementing students and educators with all the schooling community having critical components and designs that can manipulate educational success in schools. The goal would be to provide sustained support for students and teachers that can be tailored to meet the developmental requirements of specific groups of students and other educators within the institution.
Online education is spreading into many schools and institutions of learning all across the World. It might comprise of initiatives such as partnership on projects or offering support and development in a student’s knowledge. Knowledge management keeps an eye on and includes shared knowledge across a learning institution to guarantee that learning processes are properly conducted and skills and abilities shared with all the members of the school fraternity. Educational networking allows members to locate educators for just-in-time help through the help of the internet. Spontaneous support forums based on certain issues and concerns can also be formed in order to help users with immediate problem solving (Foss, 2005). Appropriately enthused, knowledge and intelligence can grow exponentially when distributed among members. When individuals share ideas, each stands to benefit, and this benefits spread to other people when again spread.
Brewster, C. (2009). Ning: The latest in Social Apps. London: Oxford Publishers.
Ferranti, M. (2003). Closing the gap in education and technology. New York: World Bank Publications.
Foss, K. (2005). Knowledge Management and Intranet Solutions. New York: P.K. Foss.