In this digital era, technology has covered virtually every aspect/sector of life. For instance, let’s consider the webcams used for online classes. Although, arguments have surfaced that education today still bears many similarities to education in the past.

An Illustration of an Educational Setting in the Middle Ages

This argument was backed by Laurentius Voltolina’s illustration in the 14th Century. This work of art depicted a university lecture in Italy during that time. This depiction was easily relatable because of its striking resemblance to education in this modern era.

The lecturer tutors from a podium facing the students, who are seated in the rows, listening to the lecture. Some students are with open books and actively listening, some appear bored, some are making small talk with seat-mates, and one is seemingly sleeping.

Fast forward to today, the setting doesn’t have much difference, although there are pieces of evidence of modernity such as PCs, phones, and tablets in place of books. However, skeptics stick to the view that technology is yet to impact the education sector profoundly.

Arguments in Favour of Technology’s Impact on the Education Sector

Just as there are arguments against the presence of technology in education today, arguments in favor of this phenomenon also exist. There are also proof or instances to show for it.

As this video explains, technology should be used to supplement the curriculum and not as the sole source for learning:

Increased Accessibility

Technology has significantly increased access to education. In the middle ages, books were scarce and could only be possessed or accessed by a privileged few. As a result, certain people had to migrate to specific educational centers to be schooled.

Fast forward to today, there is an enormous amount of information available in different media formats such as audio, books, videos, and images.

They are easily accessible via the internet and schooling opportunities across the world. One can access them online through the Khan Academy, podcasts, traditional online degree programs, MOOCs, and so on. It’s irrefutable that technology has made education much more accessible.

More Opportunities for Educational Collaboration

Technology has also broadened the opportunities for collaboration and communication. Educational settings have been somewhat autonomous and isolated in the past, and collaboration was restricted to classmates or schoolmates. Presently, technology has allowed an unprecedented level of collaboration.

For instance, students learning in the rural regions of America can gain knowledge of the Arctic through tracking a science expedition in that location, reading science blog posts, seeing images, or even a live video with the scientists exploring there. Students can also share this knowledge with students in another part of the world following the same expedition.

Furthermore, students can partner on group projects via Google docs and Wikis. Previous barriers in education have been broken by technology.

Modifying the Roles of Teachers and Students

In the past, the teachers were regarded as the main source of knowledge while the students were passive receivers. This teaching model was known as “sage on the stage,” and it’s still very much practiced even in the digital age. But thanks to the changes brought about by technology, the role of the teachers is gradually modifying from sages to guides. The new model is known as “guide on the side”.

Students are becoming active receivers of knowledge, taking more responsibility in the search for knowledge. As a result, educational facilities across the country are starting to reconstruct settings to allow this new education model and encourage interaction with the help of technology.

Other Educational Benefits of Technology

Technology has made it easier for teachers to design lecture materials and create new ways for people to seek knowledge together. Thanks to the pervasiveness of the World Wide Web and the capabilities of smart gadgets, this digital age will be heralding a kind of educational system that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime.

The educational sector has been encouraged to maximize the opportunities and enhance that virtually anyone in any location can have quality education.

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