New Age, New Learning Styles! | Fatima Al-Fihri Open university
Updated: Apr 22
The current era has been named "the Fourth Industrial Revolutions" due to extraordinary technological advances that will make the previous industrial revolutions look prosaic by comparison. Technology has already changed all aspects of our lives, and as the digital revolution accelerates, technology is shaping the way we learn and teach.
Integrating technology into education prepares students with the talent needed for the digital world they will face, as the demand for IT skills is growing and evolving continually. Besides, technological devices as PCs, tablets, e-readers, and smartboards bring innovative education with multiple resources from outside the books. They give students different ways to learn a concept and relieved them of carrying hefty textbooks in their backpacks. Furthermore, interacting with exciting features and apps has not only helped children learn to multitask, but they also can stay focused and learn faster.
In particular, virtual technological simulations and digital models with controllable motion can increase the students' understanding. It helps teachers simplify complex ideas by replacing graphs, curves and experiments. Significantly Bill Gates said,
“There really is no limit to what teachers can do if they have the right resources (Gates).“
Besides virtual illustrations, epistemic games immerse students in special roles where they have to solve real-world problems. Thus, game-like simulations can help students learn important concepts. According to Tom Chatfield (a gaming theorist), games aren’t always a waste of time, although they engage the brain and keep us questing for more (Chatfield).
Technology enhances the relationships between the educational system parties. With technology, beyond the boundaries of the school. Correspondingly, students can collaborate with their classmates and discuss courses. Besides, technology impacts parental contribution in education through reaching teachers virtually and checking their children attendance and grades online.
Following their kids progress via email, texting, and video calling has definitely an impact on their accomplishment.
Above all, some core technologies can support students’ success such as advising center management systems that track students’ interactions, and digital assessments that help to understand students’ gap in subjects. These developed tools seek to identify academic difficulties to help students and can refer them to social or community assistance if needed. Other data and analytics can help in decision-making for students through recommending courses or degree programs based on their academic record.
Certainly, high tech education gives students the option of learning at their own pace. For children, they can slow down while using online guided exercises at home. For others, online learning is a stunning alternative for those who are unable to attend classes in person such as full-time workers, mothers, persons with disabilities or even residents of geographically isolated areas from educational institutions. Hence, technology helps them to achieve their courses and earn certificates and degrees. This self-learning option with technology aid lets you explore topics that you are interested in and take control over developing some skills. For instance, you can learn a foreign language from a native speaker through social interaction using a website or an application and taking the advantage of exploring a new culture that was available before to only those who could afford a travel bill.
Nowadays, with COVID-19 pandemic, schools and universities shut all across the world resulting in around 290.5 million students globally out of classrooms (UNESCO).
With the need to contain the virus, technology has changed dramatically education options through integrating digital platforms to emerge remote learning. As every challenge is an opportunity; the coronavirus has proven that information technology resources can contribute to overcoming global problems. Therefore, the adoption of online learning will be further accelerated, and it will definitely persist in the post-pandemic world and firmly impact it.
In summary, technology has changed the aspect of education. At the same time, it is important to recognize the role of a human teacher as an inspiring role model. Nevertheless, the contribution of technology in education could face some challenges. While it priorities equity and accessibility for learners, the gap remains in the internet and technology access for some students. Therefore, is the contribution of technology in education really effective? Can we always consider technology as the catalyst for new educational systems, or its full potential isn’t discovered until now?
"290 Million Students Out Of School Due To COVID-19: UNESCO Releases First Global Numbers And Mobilizes Response". UNESCO, 2020, https://en.unesco.org/news/290-million-students-out-school-due-covid-19-unesco-releases-first-global-numbers-and-mobilizes. Accessed 31 May 2020.
Chatfield, Tom. 7 Ways Games Reward The Brain. 2010, https://www.ted.com/talks/tom_chatfield_7_ways_games_reward_the_brain.
Gates, Bill. "Technology's Promise To Education: Personalizing Learning". Gatesnotes, 2012, https://www.gatesnotes.com/Education/Technologys-Promise-to-Education-Personalizing-Learning.