Technology is all around us. I belong to the first generation that is younger than the internet. As such, I feel a sense of inescapability when it comes to technology. Tech has been an increasingly important staple in the life of society and so, the education system should follow suit. The endless possibilities combined with the speed and ease of the internet, and technology in general, allow for more creative, more interactive, and resultantly, more engaging education. Technology offers previously unattainable information, activities, experiences to every teacher and student to whom it is available. As an aspiring biology teacher, the prospect of having each student perform a dissection online, without the unnecessary costs, the controversy related to the use of animals for instructional purposes, the extensive resources needed to perform dissections, is a revolutionary concept in the realm of biological education.
The benefits for educators to incorporate technology into their lessons and their education routines, such as marking and lesson planning, are endless. Grading/assessment programs, organizational and lesson planning tools, add creativity and ease while cutting down on time.
Now to the impact of technology on the main point of focus of education-the students. The speed and options of technology allow educators to adjust and accommodate to their students and their needs. The timeless goal for teachers of customizing education based on student ability and need, can be reached through technology. Technology offers new and exciting ways of approaching a topic. Whether it is used as a method of presenting a topic, for project or assignment-based purposes, or as an assessment tool, there are multiple programs, apps, websites, etc. from which to choose. Technology offers choices for visual, auditory, and sometimes even tactile/bodily kinesthetic learners. The idea that technology can offer customisation for each student is a revolutionary step forward in personalized education.
Regardless of subject, the collaborative abilities offered by technology should entice all educators. The benefit of collaborative work for students has been researched and proven tenfold in the last 20 years. Technology, even simple things such as google drive’s multi-person editing ability, can simplify and quicken the process of group work without compromise.
Cost is always on the mind of educators, administrators and government officials. Technology will always be costly, especially when you are talking about an entire school or district. The benefits of technology mean nothing if it isn’t affordable for the individuals who need or desire it. The BYOD model is a possible solution or partial solution to the problem of “cost and sustainability”. There will always be problems with bringing personal property and devices into a communal environment such as a school. Not all students and families will have or be able to afford the same products, so how will students who may not have a personal device participate? Access to the internet puts responsibility on a student’s shoulders in terms of “appropriate use”. Teachers may be unfamiliar with certain devices and brands leading to an impass. What happens if a device is damaged during instruction? Whose responsibility is it to repair or replace it? Although this option may not be suitable for each classroom, and would require teacher, student and administrative agreements to solidify the circumstances, it is an option that requires consideration and may work incredibly well for certain educators and their students.