Importance of Technology In Education

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In the past, learning and education simply meant face-to-face lectures, reading books or printed handouts, taking notes and completing assignments generally in the form of answering questions or writing essays. In short; education, learning and teaching were considered impossible without a teacher, books and chalkboards. Today, education and training have taken on a whole new meaning. Computers are an essential part of every classroom and teachers are using DVDs, CD-ROMs and videos to show students how things work and operate. Students can interact with the subject matters through the use of such web based tools and CD-ROMs. Moreover, each student can progress at his/her own pace.

The role of technology in the field of education is four-fold: it is included as a part of the curriculum, as an instructional delivery system, as a means of aiding instructions and also as a tool to enhance the entire learning process. Thanks to technology; education has gone from passive and reactive to interactive and aggressive.

Education is essential in corporate and academic settings. In the former, education or training is used to help workers do things differently than they did before. In the latter; education is geared towards creating curiosity in the minds of students. In either case, the use of technology can help students understand and retain concepts better.

Factors that help students learn better

Research has shown, time and again, that students learn best when they are engaged. Through the use of technology, students can become active participants as opposed to passive ones where they simply receive instructions or information. Trust is another factor that enhances the learning ability of students. With the help of technology, teachers can establish credibility in what they are teaching. Web based tools can be used for providing demonstrations and examples that can help students establish credence in what they are learning.

Technology allows distance learning

Perhaps the greatest impact of technology in the field of learning is its ability to help several people learn simultaneously from different locations. Learners are not required to gather at a predetermined time or place in order to learn and receive instructions and information. All one needs is a computer connected to a modem (or with a CD drive); these tools can literally deliver a ‘classroom’ in the homes and offices of people.

Technology allows group Learning

There are naysayers who argue that distance learning of this sort cannot help students receive the support of traditional group-based learning. For proving this theory wrong, technology has helped provide distance learners with online communities, live chat rooms and bulletin boards. All these allow students to collaborate and communicate even though they are isolated in their own space.

Technology allows individual pacing

Multimedia tools, on-line and CD-ROM based training have helped eliminate the need for an instructor-based lesson plans. Students who grasp concepts faster proceed and move along, without being held back by ones who need more time and help for learning. Such individual pacing is beneficial to all.

Technology helps lower training costs and increases productivity

Another benefit of using technology to reach many students in shorter time is lowering training costs. Corporate and academic Institutions can reduce their costs of delivering lessons to students on a per-student basis. Moreover, technology produces quantifiable results and allows students to put into practice this information quickly and with better results. Through the use of technology, students can considerably save time and increase their productivity. Both these points justify the higher costs of advanced technological tools.

Roadblocks in the use of technology in learning

Naturally, for education technology to have a positive impact on students, it should be designed and prepared well. Tools used for disseminating information must be developed with students in mind. There are also factors like lack of computer/technology literacy to be considered. Schools and businesses must bear in mind that education technology is simply a tool and its success depends largely on the amount of planning that goes into it. Using education technology can be a right choice as long as all such factors are considered.

Summary

When used properly, technology in the field of education can be a powerful tool that can help:

Engage and challenge learners

Provide students with practice

Include demos, feedback and avenues that can help students reflect on what they have learned.(source-http://importanceofmoderntechnology.com)

The Internet In 2012: 634 Million Websites, 2.4 Billion Users.

The folks from up-time monitoring company Royal Pingdom have assembled a gargantuan list of various internet-related stats from 2012, and it’s a very interesting read.

Though we’ve seen nearly all of these numbers before — for example, we covered Facebook passing 1 billion users in October as well as Twitter’s 200 million in December — seeing them all in one place reminds you of how small and insignificant we are in the vast ocean of data that is the internet.

Highlights from the list include 2.2 billion email users worldwide (425 million use Gmail, making it the biggest email service around), 634 million websites (with 51 million being added to the web every year) and 246 million domain name registrations in 2012.

There were 100 million .com domain names (remember the first one, registered in 1985?), 2.4 billion internet users worldwide, and 1.2 trillion searches on Google in 2012.

On the social media front, in 2012 there were 2.7 billion likes on Facebook every day, 175 million tweets were sent on Twitter every day, while Google’s +1 button was used a whopping 5 billion times per day.

Finally, there were 1.3 billion smartphones in use worldwide by the end of 2012, 4 billion hours of video was being watched on YouTube monthly and a flabbergasting 7 petabytes of photos were added to Facebook every month.

Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom.

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Since the debut of the iPad, tablets have captured the imagination of consumers. In just one year, the iPad surpassed even the most optimistic of projections to define a brand new product category and become the best-selling gadget of all time, and Forrester analysts project that in 2011, tablet sales will more than double.

But are tablets ready for the classroom? Though tablets have caught on with consumers, the higher education market has been slower to adopt, and understandably so. From grades to degrees to job placement after graduation, the devices that are used in classrooms are tied to important outcomes.

As a result, colleges and universities must proceed carefully when considering whether to adopt a new technology on a large scale. However, reports from recent iPad pilot programs at schools across the country have been positive, and some colleges have even begun distributing tablets to all of their students. As we wrap up the first post-iPad school year, do we know enough to make the “fad, fail, magical” call? I think so.

By looking at all that tablets offer in the context of student behavior and some of the recent trends in education, it’s clear that tablets are ready for the classroom. Here’s a look at the top reasons why.

1. Tablets Are the Best Way to Show Textbooks

Tablets are cable of offering enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio. These elements are impossible to include in print or in a standard ebook. Read about music? No thanks, I’ll follow my auto-advancing sheet music as the audio plays. See a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. as I read his “I Have a Dream” speech? I guess that’s fine, but with one tap of my finger, I’m watching it. The result is a more integrated learning experience, which is more engaging for students. This isn’t the future — this is today.

By allowing students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself, tablets are matching (and in some cases, surpassing) everything that a traditional book — print or digital — can offer.

2. Classrooms Are Ready for Tablets

Though tablets are a recent phenomenon, many students in high school and college have been using Smartphone for years, and are already well-acquainted with touch-screen technology. Because they’ve become so accustomed to using these devices, students are increasingly expecting to use them in the classroom setting. When classrooms don’t implement what has now become “everyday” technology, we’re doing students a disservice.

Additionally, students — and consumers in general — are becoming more comfortable using tablets for advanced tasks. According to a new Nielsen survey, 35% of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for. While tablets can’t totally match laptops in terms of functionally (yet), they can get today’s students most of the way there.

3. Tablets Fit Students’ Lifestyles

The appeal of tablets to a college student is obvious: They’re thin, lightweight, and spring to life without delay, making them much easier to take to (and use in) class than a laptop or netbook. Longer battery life means that students don’t have to worry about carrying a charger with them. Forgot what the professor said at the end of class about the mid-term? Launch Tegrity, tap the lecture and replay it in just seconds. That’s faster than texting a half-dozen classmates and waiting for what might be an inaccurate response.

4. Tablets Have the Software to Be Competitive

Some of the most innovative software around is being developed specifically for tablets. In addition to the thousands of exciting educational apps available, tablets are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms, such as Blackboard, which are becoming the norm at colleges and universities. In fact, tablets’ current shortcoming — limited multitasking — could be their greatest asset in education, as it forces students to focus on one task at a time.

5. Tablets Integrate With Education IT Trends

Cloud-based solutions have become ever more popular with colleges and universities, which are looking to deliver synchronized experiences that are device agnostic. Tablets align well with this trend, given their portability and options for constant connectivity. With tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere on campus and make sure that their work is saved in a central location and accessible from all of their devices. They also don’t have to pay for computing power that they no longer need.

6. Tablets Are Becoming More Available

One of the primary reasons that tablets have been slow to penetrate the higher education market was their limited availability. Apple’s supply chain issues and the difficulty that some Android tablet manufacturers have faced in getting their products to market have made it difficult for schools to get serious about adopting. As these issues are resolved over the coming year, expect to see more and more tablets popping up on campuses.

Lower price points will make tablets even more appealing to colleges and universities. For close to a year, Apple went virtually unchallenged in the tablet market. Increased competition should drive down prices. The wave of tablets introduced at CES in January is just the tip of the iceberg. With dozens to hundreds of offerings, many based on Google’s open source Android OS, expect price points to fall quickly just as they have for laptops, smartphones and HDTV sets. Heck, Apple’s original iPad can be had for as little as $349 if you get the timing right and don’t mind a refurb.

How Technology Is Changing Education For Students With Disabilities.

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Some people see computers as little more than gaming consoles and shopping tools. Recently developed electronics, however, have revolutionized education for children with disabilities. If you know a child with disabilities who is struggling, you might want to explore some of these devices.

Technology for Kids With Autism

Children with autism often don’t develop typical communication skills. It takes years and years of therapy for some of these children to start using simple language. Just because a child cannot speak does not mean that he or she doesn’t have something to say.

That’s where revolutionary electronics come in. For years, counselors have used picture cards to communicate with non-verbal children. Now, they can use some of these apps that let autistic kids express practically any thought or feeling. They just load the app on a laptop of your choice so the kids can point and click their way to expression.

It not only helps the kids express themselves to get their needs met, but gives parents and counselors insight into psychological problems that they can address.

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Educational Technology for Deaf Children

Deaf children often have a hard time fitting into school because they have to use sign language to communicate with teachers and other students. Unfortunately, a lot of children don’t have the opportunity to learn sign language until they get to school. That’s an even bigger disadvantage that can make them feel out of place and ignorant.

With today’s technological tools, though, deaf and hard-of-hearing children can learn sign language at home, even without much help from their parents. These devices go far beyond showing children sign language videos.

The latest technology can actually respond to what children “say” while they sign. The computer reads the sign and offers responses, giving children opportunities to practice their conversational skills.

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Technology for Visually Impaired Children

Children who cannot see well often face challenges in academic environments. New technology gives them plenty of options that can make it much easier for them to learn and express themselves at school and home.

Most students learn math visually, so visually impaired children need a different method. Talking calculators made by companies like Independent Living Aids and AbleData allow children to perform mathematical functions without using paper.

Optical character recognition products also help visually impaired children. These handheld devices scan pieces of paper and read the content aloud so the student doesn’t feel left out.

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Technology for Children With Learning Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities can also benefit from technological advances. There are plenty of new devices that make it easier for children to overcome their learning disabilities.

A device called PenFriend, for instance, helps children with dyslexia. This software provides assistance for children who can get confused while writing. It also offers wording choices that they might want to consider. Given these functions, it could also work well for children with physical impairments.

With all of these amazing products, children with disabilities have more opportunities than ever to live their lives without limits.

Apps To Help You Study & Get Through the End-of-Semester Stress.

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When December hits, students start to panic. Now looming are those dreaded deadlines they’ve been ignoring all semester, as they start preparing for final projects, papers and exams. Soon, weekends will be spent pent up in the library, and when someone screams “shots,” they’ll only mean of 5-Hour Energy.

Studying doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful, however. Thanks to technology, whether you need help taking your notes, organizing them or figuring out what exactly it is they mean, there’s an app out there to solve all your end-of-semester dilemmas. Don’t believe it? Here are six right here that could make your next two weeks more manageable, and take some of the stress out of studying.

Evernote — For those who hate lugging around their laptop, Evernote is the perfect solution. Any note, web clip, file or image you save can be made available on any device you use, from an iPhone to an iPad, or even your home computer. The free app (yes, you heard it: free), allows users to create notes, clip webpages, store PDFs and snap photos, all while using tags to organize the content into various notebooks. Perfect for group projects, you can use Evernote to share files with friends, as well as create schedules and to-do lists.

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Cram — With Cram, preparing for an exam has never been easier. You can review your materials using digital flashcards, and then answer multiple-choice questions to assess how much you’ve retained. Cram then grades and records your test performance, so you can track your progress, and even allows you to sync your notes up to your Mac.

Margins — Margin is perfect for those who prefer to take detailed, hand-written notes while reading. The app organizes all annotations by book and page number, and allows users to search for keywords, which is something that can’t be done with the traditional pen and paper approach. When taking notes, you can also leave a quote or a comment, so you know exactly what it is about a certain passage that caught your attention and got you thinking.

iStudiez Pro — For those who need a little help managing their hectic schedules, iStudiez Pro is the ideal digital assistant. Students can track their course load, lectures, due dates, grades and GPA. They can also sort assignments by date and priority, and synchronize their data between all of their iOS and Mac devices. With the touch of a finger, you can get a full overview of the classes you need to attend and what you need to prepare for them.

Wikipanion — Wikipanion uses a direct connection to the Wikipedia servers, making access to the site easier and much more accessible. Through autocompletion and an in-page search functionality, not only are you brought to the material you need faster, but you’re also given exactly what you need without having to look through paragraphs upon paragraphs of text. Through the app, you can also bookmark all of your favorite pages, or save particular articles to read and reference later.

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Dictionary.com — If you’re going to download any sort of dictionary app, use the one from Dictionary.com. Not only is it free, but it also provides full mobile access to Thesaurus.com, which is incredibly useful when you’re trying to write your final papers and have used the verb “to be” one too many times.