Technology has come a very long way over the last 20 years. The fact that many people around the world now have access to high-speed internet, even in low-income areas, is impressive. Now, it is easier than ever before for children, students and teachers
to access educational materials.
Technology is particularly beneficial for teachers that work as part of outreach programs; however, it also has beneficial uses in everyday classrooms. In 2013, technology is pervasive, and in terms of education, the advances in technology that have come in recent years don’t seem to have many pitfalls for students or teachers.
Technology Aids Traditional Education Models
For teachers that work in traditional schools in the United States and abroad, technology is still playing a critical role in development – even in cases where books and other materials are prevalent. That’s because many children seem to learn better when using interactive forms of education – and that’s something that a book can’t provide.
Children that use a computer to do basic lessons – things like learning math or grammar – often feel more interested in those lessons and more connected with the subject matter. Of course, traditional schools use technology to aid in education that qualified teachers provide.
Interactive education also plays a major role in low-income areas where qualified teachers aren’t readily available. In some areas, an adaptive model that allows some kids to learn with a teacher, while others use interactive computer programs to go over lessons they just learned, allows for smaller class sizes and more individual attention. The children using the interactive computer programs are often supervised by a responsible adult – but not a teacher.
In this way, schools in low-income areas that are underfunded may be able to provide a high quality of education with fewer teachers. Once purchased, computers and pieces of technology like the iPad can be reused, and they obviously cost far less than paying a group of teachers a salary.
One of the most important things to remember when considering the impact of technology for teachers is that they now have the ability to teach classes from anywhere in the world. That means that students in impoverished places can enroll and experience education. It also means that others in remote areas that have access to a computer can find educational materials that may not otherwise be available to them.
The globalization of education also means that many teachers can post their assignments and coursework online on, and pay for private web hosting services to give students more access to coursework no matter where they are.
In a greater sense, the globalization of education has even allowed major institutions to branch out and accept online students from around the world to help make up for lost state and federal funding. The online programs are, of course, beneficial to students around the world, especially if they’re specializing in a field where it’s hard to find appropriate classes in their home country.
For both teachers and students, greater access to technology seems to be a great benefit. Technology doesn’t seem like something that’s going to disappear from classrooms any time soon.
In fact, with computer costs dropping lower each year, chances are we’ll see even more technology in the classroom in the near future than we do today, even in impoverished areas.