How Technology is Changing the Face of Education

This is a guest post by Becky Wilcox.

Education began thousands of years ago, with the abacus and the stylus as the tools of the trade. The advent of the printing press, pencils, pens, and calculators changed education, but nothing has such drastic shifts in the way we are educated like the computer and the internet. Since the computer became a household item in the early 2000s, education has never been the same again.

“How has education changed,” you may ask?

Convenience

When our parents were young, they hauled their school bags to class — bags filled with books, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, calculators, notebooks, and all the other tools needed for school. Now, the only thing needed for the average high school or college class is a computer or a tablet. You can take notes, do your homework, and do everything else on a single device, a device small enough to fit into a purse or pocket. The truth is that technology has made education much more convenient, as there is no need to haul anything to school — or even to leave the comfort of your home!

Availability

School was once a building that you had to travel miles to reach, often through rough weather and tough terrain. In the early days of the U.S., most towns and cities only had a few schools, and few children were able to complete their education beyond writing, reading, and arithmetic. Now, you can find an elementary school, high school, or college in just about every area of any town or city you visit in the country, and schools are much more available than they have ever been.

With the advent of online classes and courses, people don’t even need to leave their house to complete their higher education. You can sit on your comfortable couch, spend hours on your computer and cell phone, and still complete a Master’s Degree or Doctorate in any number of fields. While this isn’t the case with the more hands-on fields like medicine or the law, it is easy to obtain a business degree, an accounting degree, or a degree in graphic design without ever having to leave your house.

Teaching and Coursework

Students once had to hand in their written papers to the teacher, who had to write out the questions by hand himself. Now, teachers can simply post the course work in a shared Dropbox folder, where the students can access the file, complete their tasks, and return the file to be graded by the teacher. Sending out notices to students, course assignments, and even graduation invitations is easier than ever.

More and more teachers are incorporating audiovisual aids into their classes, which has actually helped to make the classes more interesting to the new generation. Classes can become more interesting, but teachers will also find that teaching the students will be more of a challenge due to the massive amounts of information that the average person will encounter on a daily basis. With email, texting, social media websites, and millions of websites to visit each day, students can hardly sit still for a moment to study the material they need.

Technology truly has changed education, for better or for worse. Using technology wisely can help to promote further education for the future generations, and there is so much that modern tech can do to make learning easier!

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