What is Technology?

What Is Technology? Technology is human knowledge which involves materials, tools and systems. Technology is a discipline where various elements combine in a certain order and acts as a bridge between science and application.

We use technology to accomplish different tasks in our daily lives. We apply technology in nearly everything we do in our daily lives. We use technology at work, we use technology for communication, learning, manufacturing, transportation, securing data, scaling businesses and so much more. In this way. The wave of technological change is affecting every industry. Technological developments and changes influence the functions of education.

Technology in education and the mobile devices in students’ hands helps prepare them with the career and technical talents they need to be successful today and in tomorrow’s workforce.

Technology can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines or hardware, but it can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. Some modern tools include projectors, calculators, laptop computers, “smartphones” and games (both online and offline).

In today’s and future education, Specific skills in coding, programming, physical computing, and computational thinking have become common requirements in the workforce. Though making, students can gain these skills and hone their problem-solving and critical thinking skills for the 21st century.

Technology should facilitate learning processes and increase performance of the educational system as it regards to effectiveness and efficiency. Educational technology is the effective use of technological tools in learning.

What is Educational Technology?

Educational technology is the considered implementation of suitable tools, techniques, or processes that facilitate the application of senses, memory, and cognition to increase teaching practices and improve learning outcomes.

Educational technology as an academic field can be considered either as a design science or as a collection of different research interests addressing fundamental issues of learning, teaching and social organization. Educational technology as practice refers to any form of teaching and learning that makes use of technology.

Educational technology includes numerous types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video, and includes technology applications and processes such as audio or video tape, satellite TV, CD-ROM, and computer-based learning, as ewll as local intranet/extranet and web-based learning. Information and communication systems, whether free-standing or based on either local networks оr the Internet in networked learning, underlie many e-learning processes.

Educational technology has benefits to suit everyone, depending on its application and the situation. Educational technology involves integrating tech tools into the classroom to assist teachers and students. Educational Technology includes pictures, graphics, videos, projectors, cameras, computers, animation,  simulations and smart phone apps. Educational Technology professionals improve and distribute modern technologies to engage students and facilitate daily tasks.

Educational technology is primarily used in classrooms to aid educators and students in learning. Educational technology is not only used in the classroom. It is also used by professionals to train employees as well as provide continuing education to their workers.

Educational technology is any concept or tool that facilitates learning by way of technological resources. An ancient abacus with its sliding beads for counting and math work is as much a form of Educational technology as is a modern computer in the classroom today.

Today, some of the most widely influential and easily recognized forms of Educational technology can be seen in the vast and ever-growing worlds of e-learning and m-learning. E-learning, or electronic learning, is the use of computers and the internet for learning purposes. M-learning, or mobile learning, is the use of mobile tech, such as mobile phones and tablets for learning.

Learning can оccur in or out of the classroom. It can be self-paced. Educational tools may eіther be synchrnonous or asynchronous. Synchronous learning pccurs in real-time, wіth all participants interacting at the same tіme. Synchronous learning refers to the exchange of ideas and information wіth one оr more participants during the same period. Examples are face-to-face discussion, оnline real-time live teacher instruction and feedback, Skype conversations, and chat rooms or Virtual Classrooms where everyone is online and working collaboratively at the same time. Since students are working collaboratively, synchronized learning helps students create an open mind because they have to listen and learn from their peers.

Synchronized learning fosters online awareness and improves many students wrіting skills. Asynchronous learning may use technologies such as email, blogs, wіkis, and discussion boards, as well as web-supported textbooks, hyprtext documents, audio, video courses, and social nrtworking using web. In asynchronous online courses, students proceed at their own pace.

Someone who works in this field is known as an educational technologist. They are responsible for designing, developing and implementing educational tech as well as analyzing existing systems and methods of learning. The ultimate goal of any kind of educational technology is to make learning faster, easier, cheaper and more accurate for both students and teachers.

12 examples of innovative educational technology

The last few years have witnessed a dramatic change in the learning model. The way students are being taught today is very different from the teaching methods that were adopted a few decades back. Technology has brought about various changes in the way education is delivered and received. From self-learning to flipped classroom approach, we have seen technology make a considerable impact on the learning and teaching methodologies. With numerous benefits to offer, digital learning has become an important part of the education system. Schools and universities are trying to implement the latest in education technology in order to improve the teaching and learning process. Here are twelve examples of innovative educational technologies that are making their way into the classroom setting. Let us have a look at the current trends in education technology:

1. Collaborative Learning

The collaborative approach has gained importance in the learning process as well. In a traditional teaching model, a teacher enters a classroom, speaks for about 30 minutes, and leaves when the bell rings. But today, technology has bridged the gap between teachers and students. In a classroom learning model, teachers encourage collaboration by assigning group activities and tasks. When students team up together to work on a project or solve a problem, it builds their collaborative skills. Working together improves their understanding and increases engagement. You would find teachers and students interacting with each other more often. Using Web 2.0 social tools in the classroom have allowed for students and teachers to work collaboratively, discuss ideas, and promote information. With technological Web 2.0 advances, sharing information between multiple people in a network has become much easier and use has increased.

2. Digital Readers and Tablets

Most of the educational institutes today have adopted mobile learning into their learning environments, benefiting students and teachers alike. Increasingly, schools are looking to replace the bulkier hard-copy textbooks with digital ones that are accessible via a tablet. Apps added to tablets are meeting the educational needs of the students and provide for more personalized learning opportunities. The regular updates of digital content eliminates the cost of purchasing new textbook editions every few years. E-books are being embedded with many features to enhance the learning experience. For example, complete with annotation tools, hyperlinks, dictionary, search feature, an e-book makes learning more flexible.

3. 3D printing

In the classroom setting, 3D printing can create hands-on models that students can investigate and interact with. A student can easily shape his idea of an object thanks to 3D printers. 3D printing reaches both visual and kinesthetic learners. 3D printing allows students to learn with a more tangible and physical experience. With 3D printing, students can give shape to their imagination. It reduces the time teachers need to spend on creating their own models. In any institution, 3D printers will only help students to unleash their creative ideas and have more hands-on experiences.

4. Virtual Reality And Augmented Learning

One of the positive effects of educational technology is that it makes learning fun. It’s not hard to imagine how that’s true with VR and AR. Technology for virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality is rapidly developing. One of the primary uses for this technology in the classroom is to take students on virtual field trips to places otherwise inaccessible. With the introduction of augmented reality and virtual reality into the education system, the classroom learning experience has undergone a tremendous change. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come as s big boost to online education. Thanks to VR and AR learners can actually get an immersive learning experience without needing to move their legs too much. The augmented and virtual reality trends in education technology are making learning a simple experience. While augmented reality provides an enhanced view of a real image, virtual reality gives a false perception of reality around them. Both these techniques have taken digital learning to new dimensions. AR and VR are increasingly being used to explain complex concepts.

5. Gamification

Students learn better when they’re having fun. The use of gaming in the classroom applies this concept by tying together the fun part of play with the content and concepts that students must learn. This trend has been gaining popularity for the simple reason that it increases student engagement. We have seen gamification being used in classrooms in different forms such as leaderboards, reward points, badges, stickers etc. Of all the trends in education technology, gamification is the one trend which guarantees an increase in participation, engagement, and competition. Students become actively involved in the classroom activities to increase their scores and leaderboard rankings. Gamification incentivizes students to learn and practice, improving the overall learning process. It increases student engagement. It provides immediate feedback. It creates enthusiasm for the lesson. So, teachers use gamification as a means to increase engagement, boost motivation and create an interactive classroom environment. Either ways, it is helpful in increasing students’ morale and encourages them to perform better every time. We can see this trend being utilized further, in more innovative ways to enhance the learning model.

6. Cloud technology

The cloud hosts apps and services on the internet instead of being on a user’s computer. It enables information to be stored, shared, and accessed on any device that’s connected to the internet. In education, the cloud is used to store and share digital textbooks, lesson plans, videos, and assignments. It enables students to easily access information from any device connected to the internet. It enables quick and easy access to the teacher through live chat options. In this way. It’s used to give students the opportunity to chat live with their instructors and other classmates. In a related vein, cloud technology is enabling a new educational model known as ‘flipped classrooms’ in which students can watch a lecture before class and spend the class time engaged in discussion, group work, and analytical activities. Furthermore, It reduces the need for students to carry heavy textbooks.

7. Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a booming technological domain capable of altering every aspect of our social interactions. Artificial intelligence has already been applied to education primarily in some tools that help develop skills and testing systems. In education, Artificial intelligence has begun producing new teaching and learning solutions that are undergoing testing in different contexts.

Adjusting learning based on an individual student’s particular needs has been a priority for educators for years, but Artificial intelligence will allow a level of differentiation that’s impossible for teachers who have to manage too many students in each class.

As Artificial intelligence educational solutions continue to mature, Artificial intelligence can help fill needs gaps in learning and teaching and allow schools and teachers to do more than ever before.

Artificial intelligence tools can help make global classrooms available to all including those who speak different languages or who might have visual or hearing impairments. Artificial Intelligence is making its way into the educational sphere by means of automating grading and feedback and providing personalized learning opportunities. It provides greater insights into a student’s learning patterns. It can save the teacher time by doing the grading and giving feedback on their behalf.

8. Mobile technology

Mobile-based devices have taken learning outside of the classroom. With mLearning and eLearning growing in popularity, students can learn at their own pace and time. This trend is expected to keep up as it is a convenient method of delivering as well as receiving the education. Designing mobile-first responsive content helps students to go through their courses anytime and anywhere. Educational apps provide the opportunity to personalize learning to each student. The wide variety of available apps offers the opportunity for students to engage in their own learning process. Mobile Apps exist for almost every need imaginable. There are apps that help students study for math tests, practice spelling, foreign language learning and much more. Educational apps add another dimension to the learning process that could help students stay engaged, thereby increasing the likelihood that they won’t forget crucial information or view it as irrelevant to their lives.

9. Data Management & Learning Analytics

Managing data has become ever so convenient and important with the advent of technology in the education system. The remote monitoring of student activities enables teachers to offer personalized training if required. All these factors have contributed to making data management and data analytics an important part of education. In case the data reveals a collective issue or a troubling pattern with an individual student’s performance, it can be highlighted, and appropriate measures can be taken. Homework and assignments can be assigned to the entire class at once and teachers can evaluate the results online. According to the data available, teachers can develop action plans to improve students’ performance. This kind of automation in classroom activities has enabled teachers to focus more on their course modules and offer in-depth guidance. Analytics has become an important part of any online learning model as it enables the measurement of a child’s engagement and academic performance. The huge volume of education information and data give birth to learning analytics, as it is increasingly important to assess and evaluate student engagement, traction, and learning output. In the near future, we can see learning analytics warning teachers about certain issues, warning students about deadlines and their progress, etc. Eventually, learning systems will dictate the way education is remitted by teachers and experienced by learners. Learning analytics will boost learner engagement in education more than anything else.

10. Interactivity in Classroom

It’s not always possible for people to travel to traditional classrooms to learn. Virtual classes can help people learn from anywhere with an internet connection. They can have discussions and activities in classrooms, creating an interactive environment where students are completely involved in the learning process. These new technologies have brought about a change in the way that classes used to function traditionally. Teachers can now assist and guide students with their homework in class. People can engage in live chats about the material or respond to polls in real-time. Virtual classrooms can also bring learners from different countries together, allowing everyone to benefit from varied perspectives and opinions.

11. Social Media

The educational benefits of social networking sites are also those that help students prepare for important lessons and learn certain concepts with great efficacy. Educational institutes have started using social media as a communication tool, where students can interact with their peers and faculty members. Usually, students share videos and images with their friends and followers. The biggest advantage of social media is better communication. If a student is stuck with their homework, they can always communicate with their friends or tutors. They don’t need to wait and meet the teacher physically. Social media promote learning by offering support with sharing documents as well such as via Google Drive Box, Google Docs. Some teachers even connect with their class via Facebook live. Various websites and social media networks are providing plenty of information that can be helpful to students. Depending on their interests, students can find answers to their questions. Sites, such as Tumblr and Pinterest, can offer children inspirations for school projects or practical problem-solving. Social media help the parents stay involved in the child’s learning. Via the school’s Twitter or Facebook feed parents can be updated on school-related activities, projects, and events that are happening.  A social network for parents can be created too via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which can enable them to be informed about school matters, learning, and education. Social media sites are in the most part interactive and this definitely keeps the student involved. Online messages, comments, news, articles, and books provide an endless list of information to be read, and students are motivated to devote their time and put some extra efforts towards their learning. Another great advantage of social media in education is distance learning opportunities. There are many disadvantaged students who are not able to acquire formal education by attending regular classes in an educational institution. With the help of various online tools along with social media, modern educators are able to attract students through distance learning programs. Social media websites will contain the latest data on various school subjects and thus, the students have the opportunity to survey and look into what is new.

12. Online Data and Cybersecurity

The need for data security is at an all-time high. Cyber threats have been a cause of worry for many institutions- educational and otherwise. It was only a matter of time before the education sector was taken over by technology. Although the acceptance rate was low in the beginning, it gradually gained momentum. Teaching and learning methods have undergone a significant change due to all the trends in education technology. Education institutes have implemented the best data security measures to protect their online data and their students’ interests.

Benefits of Using Technology in Education

Using Educational technology can bring benefits to learners and educators. Learner performance can be tracked in local or cloud-based storage. Using the information gathered by student performance, software learning programs can adjust the difficultly level of the material being covered. Because assignments and course materials can all be digital, schools can use less paper. Devices such as smartphones and smartwatches allow learners to always be learning. The use of the internet allows educators, learners and even experts in the private sector to easily communicate with each other no matter where they are. Digital textbooks and other courseware can easily and cheaply be reproduced at almost not cost. Automatic grading can be implemented fairly easily. Automatic grading can significantly reduce the workload of a teacher. Using technology allows educators to easily use video, 3D visualizations and other forms of multimedia to keep learners engaged and provide an overall better learning environment. Learners can use apps like Google Drive to create “living documents” where participants can see others’ work in real time. Educational technology is to free teachers and students. It gives the teacher and the student freedom in terms of time and space. Educational technology individualizes teaching.

Disadvantages of Using Technology in Education

Although Educational Technology has many advantages, there are also disadvantages. Although reproduction of digital learning materials can be inexpensive, the initial cost of making them may be too high for some schools. Implementing new technology often requires teachers and learners to be training on how to effectively use said technology. Education institutes can have the best technology in existence, but if it isn’t adapted by teachers and learners, then it won’t be used properly. When students are using smart devices for learning,  they can often be distracted with other apps and games.