Students, regardless of their educational level, have been obliged to complete their studies from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the coronavirus crisis, what should have been an exciting new way to promote learning and engagement in the classroom has been transformed and almost entirely supplanted by ‘face-to-face’ interaction. Traditional group work and conversations that students had become accustomed to were no longer available… Digital learning has become the new normal almost overnight.
We have been able to continue our education despite the crisis because of technological advancements. Simultaneously, it has enabled us to examine the new learning landscape and identify its flaws and benefits in order to enhance it.
How has technology changed the learning landscape?
Assimilating technology into the learning process results in fundamental shifts that are necessary for significant productivity gains. Technology aids teaching and learning by introducing digital learning resources such as computers and other handheld devices into classrooms. When used in education, technology allows students to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be used to create new course offerings, learning materials, and experiences.
By offering a new model of integrated learning, technology has the potential to alter the educational process. This teaching paradigm connects teachers to their students as well as relevant resources, allowing them to customise learning to reflect students’ interests and improve instruction. Technology promotes 21st-century skills, enhances student enthusiasm and engagement, and accelerates learning when properly implemented in the learning system.
More accessible education
We couldn’t fathom education without teachers and students sharing the same exact geographic place not long ago. We can now obtain an online degree without ever having to step foot in an institution. If we’re interested in a programme that’s offered in another city or even another continent, we’re now more likely to complete it without major life changes.
Despite the fact that technology has demonstrated its ability to break down geographical barriers, societies must work to eliminate other hurdles that continue to make education a luxury for certain individuals, such as the socioeconomic divide. Many students will have the opportunity to learn from the top lecturers in the future, thanks to technological advancements. Regardless of where they live, students will be able to do so at a low cost and at their own pace, making the learning process and education less elitist.
Incorporating technology into the learning landscape has made it more adaptable, in addition to making the entire process easier to access. Because all course materials are already available online, students can now attend courses, study, and complete assignments whenever it is convenient for them, as long as they stay within the confines of a set deadline.
Students may now communicate and share notes and materials in the most efficient ways possible thanks to technological advancements. A library of relevant Griffith notes and study guides made by students who previously took the same degrees, courses, assessments, and exams is an excellent example. For people who might not normally attend classical education, such flexibility and ease of access open up a world of possibilities. Full-time employees who don’t want to compromise their careers, or parents who must care for their small children, for example.
While conventional education had numerous obstacles in meeting the needs of individual pupils, technology now allows for the development of tailored learning strategies for each student. Every student benefits from such an approach, but students with special needs, whether they have vision, speech, or hearing impairments, developmental, intellectual, or social disabilities, will benefit the most. Instead of a “one-size-fits-all” learning experience, technology allows for the creation of a vibrant learning environment that can be tailored to unique students’ needs. Adaptive learning ensures that students, regardless of their learning style, pace, or preferences, have equal opportunities to achieve.
Due to technological improvements, the quality of communication between professors and students is also changing. Even if face-to-face talks are no longer beneficial, they can use other communication technologies such as email or instant messengers. Students can now ask for clarification or information when they need assistance, and they can expect a far faster response.
Students’ and teachers’ roles are evolving as a result of technology improvements. In the traditional educational system, teachers were the primary source of information, but technology has allowed students to take a more active role. Students may now investigate new topics and learn about new concepts and ideas thanks to all of the information and tools available online. They can now make better use of their time spent online with their teacher because they have more time to debate ideas and their ramifications. A teacher’s job can now extend beyond lecturing and grow into that of a mentor.
Technology has also made it possible to conduct highly efficient online testing. The method can now be unbiased and completely fair because the tests may now be assessed and graded by a machine. Furthermore, this kind of assessment reduces student anxiety greatly. They can now take their tests in a familiar atmosphere, utilising digital tools they are already familiar with, rather than sitting in a crowded room. Not to mention the fact that online tests save time and money while also being environmentally friendly.
Available learning content
Both inside and outside of formal schooling, the educational options are limitless. Everyone can use numerous tools and quality learning resources available online to enhance the abilities they require. Learners need only a phone, some free time, and enough desire to learn the basics, or more, of the language of their choosing with apps like Bussou or Duolingo, for example. In addition, there are several open educational resources in the public domain that are freely accessible via the Internet to anybody. Digital libraries, podcasts, textbooks, and games are examples of such materials, which constitute an integral part of the cognitive infrastructure.
The advantages of instructional technology will only expand as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality development. Societies may use technology to exploit these benefits with a systematic strategy, removing all of the barriers that make education a privilege.