How Will Technology Affect Education?

For this week I didn’t have a video due to technical difficulties with YouTube, so I thought I would post a research paper that I made for my 8th grade English class. This paper is about how the education system is way behind the modern day technology. Feel free to leave comments.

How Technology Will Affect Education
Computers are advancing at a blinding speed; this will change the way that education is handled in ways that can not yet be imagined. Education in its current state is way behind its time. Changes need to be made to the way that schools around the world are teaching this so called net-generation. The Net-Gen learns differently than the older industrial age children did. The Net-Gen requires a more one-on-one form of education rather than the big class lectures. The net-generation is going to call for an education system that has been customized rather than one that is designed to fit a whole generation of kids.

When it comes to the advancing of technology, education is way behind. The new generation of students is going to require that teachers change the way that content is presented. “Instead of focusing on the teacher, the education system should focus on the student. Instead of lecturing, teachers should interact with students[…]encouraging them to collaborate” (Tapscott 5). One way to help students collaborate is through a new 21st century technology called wikis; wikis are a great education tool. If you set up a class wiki for a subject then students are allowed to communicate and learn while using social skills (Tapscott 5). All of this technology will allow students to discus and share what they have learned. Wikis also have potential to become a great source for student self help. This new form of collaborative technology will also enforce a new way of education. Rather than having the old form of education where there was one lesson given to a whole class, teachers should give custom lessons to specific people that are designed to help with the exact needs of that student (Tapscott 5).

There are many different things that are going to have to be done in order to make the change correctly. Mainly schools are going to have to help teachers change the way that they teach and how they test. Also schools are going to be required to get creative and make up ideas of how best to bring technology into the education system. The fact is that education is behind. The net-gen has grown up living in the 21st century, but the schools are still teaching like they did one-hundred years ago (Tapscott 122). The old method of education was learning as much as you can then use the knowledge as you need it later in life. This was fine for a slow placed world, but now we need to adapt to the fast moving world and how fast jobs are changing (Tapscott 122).

This is all great but where does an educator start to make change? What will be required? Due to the amount of high school and college drop-outs teachers should shift away from the old ways and begin to interact one-on-one with the students tending to their very unique needs (Tapscott 122). Teachers should help guide students students on their own to discover rather than getting up and giving a lecture (Tapscott 147). What this means is that teachers should be helping the students to find out things for their own rather than to just tell them the answer. One way that a teacher could do this is with hands-on activities. Schools should let students do hands-on activities and discover what they need to know for themselves. This method of learning is more fun and allows for better and easier remembrance (Tapscott 134).

When we do bring technology into the educational system there will be many advantages. It will open new doors to the way the people communicate and learn. It will allow people to gather information in more productive ways. For example, if a student needed help with a school subject then all you have to do is join a private video chat with the instructor or with a classmate (Darling 24). The Educations system could even take this technology one step further and use it as an alternative to a classic class room environment. Imagine if instead of going to school a student could just join a video conference with your teacher and the rest of the class (Darling 24). Schools could save a lot of money by not holding classes in an actual building. Schools could have students and teachers join a virtual video conference and hold class in a virtual room. This would not only allow schools to save money, it would mean that students could attend from all around the world. Students would not have to be on the actual campus to attend class. This could be a major advancement in technology and it would have many advantages. Video chatting may just be the school of the future.

The hardest and most challenging obstacle that will present itself when changes are being made to the education system is helping the teachers to change the way that they teach. The thing, is that educators may think that old fashioned lectures are still important, but the kids do not (Tapscott 126). Do not worry though if teachers try to change they will find that for the most part it is well worth its work and helps make more productive classes. This is what one teacher had to say about her class. “When I put computers is my math class and moved the curriculum to a virtual environment class was more fun, scores were up and I know more about the kids” (Tapscott 144). The teachers will also be able to use the technology to easily monitor how the students are doing (Tapscott 144). This will allow them to tend to the particular needs of each student.

The hardest thing for teachers to do is realize that things have changed, “The teachers are no longer the foundation of knowledge, the internet is” (Tapscott 126). Teachers are going to have to be open minded when it comes to changing and realize that all of this is for the better good in the end. To go along with the open minded statement teachers are also going to have to accept the fact that they do not know how to use this new technology as well as some of the kids do. This can be the cause for many arguments, unless it is not handled in the correct way. This is what one teacher said about her experience with computers in her class where she let the students teach the teachers about the computers; “The students were impressed to see that teachers did what they told students not to do. They gossiped etc. This is a good lesson for students to learn and helps with student-teacher bonding” (Tapscott 145).

This is a good way for teachers to learn what the students think about the use of technology as well.

One problem if you do not change is that there will be students not interested in the curriculum. No problem right? They will just have to deal with it. The problem with the motive is that students are not going to put work into something that they are not interested in. This is one of the reasons that there are increasing drop-out rates all over the world. Students are not being as interested by the curriculum that is being taught. They then begin to wonder how it is going to help them in life and drop-out of school when they come to the false conclusion that it is not. One third of all Americans never make it all the way to the end of high school, and it is getting worse (Tapscott 123). (See figure 1.) Also, most drop-outs reported that they thought their classes were just not interesting or were boring (Tapscott 126). Just to further expose the problem with the education system read this quote given by the Gates Foundation. “The sad truth, according to a 2006 report by the Gates Foundation, is that most of the students could have made it” (Tapscott 126). There are so many kids that are not reaching their full potential due to lack of interest and education costs (Tapscott 123). We can fix some of the drop-out problems by simply changing the format from industrial education to a new one (Tapscott 122). The fact of the matter is that we are allowing too many students to simply drop-out of school just because the education to this point has been too stubborn to change the ways that it presents material to the students.

In order to tend to the needs of the net-gen teachers first have to understand how the net-gen learns. A lot has changed when it comes to how students learn, and how they do their work. Net-Gen kids are not contempt with sitting quietly and listening to a lecture (Tapscott 126). Net-generation students learn by doing things. If there is a new computer program that they need to learn how to use they would rather open it and fiddle around than look through a huge manual on how to use it (Oblinger 4.2). Most net-gen students would benefit more from having collaborative projects rather than having exams (Tapscott 131). The pattern seems to be that net-gen students are more into hand on and collaborative learning and teachers should tend to this.

“Students are individuals who have individual ways of learning and absorbing information” (Tapscott 139). Teachers should really try and help the net-gen students with their specific needs. It is more work for teachers, but it is what the net-gen is going to require. Teachers should listen to the net-gen for the way forward. After all it is them that will be running the future not the teachers (Tapscott 127). In educating the net-gen teachers are going to be under a lot more pressure than they are currently. The net-generation is poised to become the most educated ever, and we need to prepare (Tapscott 123). Teachers need to try and help the net-gen students learn for themselves rather than teaching them topics from a book because “It’s not what you know that counts anymore; it’s what you can learn” (Tapscott 127).

One thing that needs to happen as schools begin to educate and tend to the needs of the net-gen they are going to have to try harder to include computers into the everyday activities. Some children are more motivated to do work when it involves a computer rather than pencil and paper (Tapscott 143). The net-gen would much rather use e-mail, message boards, and credit cards instead of U.S. mail, posters, and cash or checks. This means that older generations are going to have to adapt to the needs of the net-gen, or get out of the way (Oblinger 5.12). There are many good things that will come out of entering computers into the education system. “Schools are like businesses in many ways and can use computers fir many of the same tasks” (Hintz 69). Computers can be used to type forms and order sheets. They can also allow the ability to take online tests (Hints 69). Also computers won’t replace your teacher, but they still can help you learn (Hintz 73).

When adding computers to schools there are bound to be problems as well. One problem when including computers into the class room is that the students often know more about computers than teachers. This can cause frustration on both sides. The way to fix this though is to let the kids teach the teachers how to use computers (Tapscott 145). One tech-savvy teacher said, “I believe that computers can’t live up to their full potential as an education toll if they are deployed through the old fashioned education system that relied on teachers to deliver content” (Tapscott 143). Once the students and the teachers get over the fact that they do not know how to use the computers as well as they think, other problems are bound to crop up. Teachers usually encourage students not to work with others and to be quiet, In many cases children are rewarded for this (Hardin). A student named Chris set up a Facebook group to get help on his project. The professor didn’t like this and Chris was threatened to be expelled. What is wrong with using the internet to connect with other people to get help (Tapscott 137)? This is just an example of some of the rules that are going to have to be revised in order to make the transition to a technology based education system go smoothly. One other problem is that there is always going to be a group of people that oppose the use of technology. They do this mainly because they don’t understand. Rather than sitting there blaming computers and the internet for making the old ways of educating useless, you need to adapt to the new needs of the net-gen students (Tapscott 126).

Technology is advancing at a extremely fast speed. It is leaving education behind and this is something that we need to stop. The older generations are going to have to adapt to the new age technology and not hold people back. It is now up to the older generations to adapt and teacher the younger generations the skills they will need to advance; after all it will be them running the civilizations of the future. There are many things that are wrong with the education system currently and they need to be fixed as soon as possible. The following information is facts taken from a college class. Hopefully these will encourage people to change the education system.

  • The average college class size is 115.
  • 18% of my teachers actually know my name.
  • I complete 49% of the reading assigned to me.
  • I buy $100 text books I will never open.
  • I will read 8 books this year, 2300 webpages, and 1281 Facebook profiles.
  • I will write 42 pages for class this semester and 500 pages of e-mails.
  • When I graduate, I probably will have a job that doesn’t exist today.

(Tapscott 121)

Works Cited

  • Darling, David. Computers of the Future. Parsippany: Dillon, 1996.
  • Hardin, Joseph, John, Ziebarth. Digital Technology and its Impact on Education. 200. University
    of Illinois at Urban-Champaign. 13 Feb. 2009 .
  • Hintz, Sandy, Martin Hintz. Computers in Our World Today and Tomorrow. New York: Watts, 1983.
  • Tapscott, Don. Grown up Digital: How the Next Generation is Changing the World. New
    York: Mc Graw-Hill, 2009.
  • Oblinger, Diana, James Oblinger. Educating the Net-Generation. 2005. Educause. 21
    Feb 2009