Technology in Education – Why Is It Important?
By eLearning Inside
May 22, 2020
The society we live in is infused with technology. The society our students will live in in the future will be even more infused with technology, in ways we cannot even predict. Technology is here to stay. Proactively teaching students how to navigate the digital world, as well as how to use numerous technologies to solve complex problems, must be a part of how we educate the next generation.
It’s our job to prepare students to be informed citizens
The first argument is that it is our job, as educators, to prepare students to become citizens of the societies we live in. It is important provide students with the tools they need to navigate our complex world.
There is no question that new technology has brought a wave of new challenges to our society that we now have to deal with. If we as educators are deeply concerned about the spread of misinformation, as well as bullying and trolling on social media sites, we should take it upon ourselves to make sure to educate our students how to positively interact with others online, as well as how to think critically about the information that they find there.
We should be teaching students how to determine if material online is reliable, how to recognize digitally altered videos and images, as well as how to be a better digital citizen when interacting with other people online. If we want to help create a better society and a stronger democracy, we need to be teaching our students how to navigate the digital world.
It’s our job to prepare students for the future of work
Our second argument is that it is also our roles as educators to provide students with the skills they will need to be able to get a job.
There is no question that work in the future is going to look significantly different than the way it does now. In fact, we’re already seeing major changes play out in front of us. Machine automation has already had massive political and economic impacts in our society.
Also, each year more and more start ups are built, such as our company – SaleSource – so it is important to teach entrepreneurship to learners of all ages.
Automation will inevitably speed up and is going to change the way that work looks in the future.
Right now the highest paying jobs are given to those who can think critically, creatively, and collaborate with other people.
In the future, the reality that those with higher order thinking skills adept in using technology have greater access to jobs will only grow.
Of course using technology to teach higher order thinking isn’t the only way to do it, but by not teaching students technology skills in the classroom, we are doing them a disservice to their ability to get a job.
We need to help close the digital divide
Our third argument is that we have a widening digital divide and it is our responsibility as educators to help close it. What we don’t often get is the gap in both access to technology, as well as technological skills across racial and socio-economic groups.
We’ve heard of some schools in affluent districts going tech-free, but we absolutely guarantee that students that attend those schools go home and have access to the newest technologies.
For many students, public schools might be the only place where they have regular access to a device, to Wi-Fi, as well as to the opportunity to develop skills using technology that they’ll need for a job. By not providing students with the same access to technology, in the way we at least try to do with reading and math, we are inadvertently perpetuating a growing digital divide in our society.
Our students are digital natives
Our fourth argument for why we all need to be using technology in education is that our students are digital natives. All educators currently teach students that grew up with the internet and many learned how to navigate a supercomputer that fits into the palm of their hand from a very young age.
Our students have a natural inclination toward technology and towards social sharing.
Students want to work together to solve problems, they want to use technology to do that, and they want to share what they’ve made with their friends. We should embrace that.
Technology and education can me differentiation a reality
Our fifth argument is that using technology in education helps us differentiate instruction for our students. In today’s classroom, teachers are likely to have students whose academic skills are all over the map. Differentiated instruction has long been a buzzword in education, as a means to address this problem. But in reality, it’s extremely difficult to implement because it takes a lot of time and effort.
Providing students with access to the same content at different reading levels, as another example, is extremely labor intensive and my guess is that a lot of educators just don’t do it. Technology tools that exist right now can make differentiated and personalized instruction a reality.
We never know who’s in our class. By providing students with different tools to foster interests and talents, we might be creating the future scientists, app creators, filmmakers, actors, broadcast journalists, you name it, of our future.
This article has been submitted by SaleSource.
Featured Image: Christina @ Wocintechchat dot com, Unsplash.