Technology: A Friend or Foe to Learning?

Technology has transformed learning at all levels of education. Modern classrooms use projectors instead of the traditional blackboards. In universities, tutors will play videos clips online and design animations to enhance learning. Tutors also post notes and assignments online instead of issuing printed materials in class. Students no longer take notes on paper but use laptops to record notes. Some students will record videos of class lessons. The internet has transformed how students search for information and do their assignment. A simple search on the internet gives information on any topic. They no longer take time to read books or engage their minds to solve problems.

Arguments for and against technology in learning

Schools invest in technology to improve the learning process. Introduction of technology in elementary schools allows learners to develop their research skills, which will be useful in higher levels of learning. Technology exposes students to different resources from all parts of the world. They can compare different resources on a given topic by visiting various online databases. Online research is fast and easy. Children are exposed to technology before they start learning. Hence, technology is a familiar tool that children embrace and expect in their learning process. Students will also need technological knowledge and skills in the workplace. Using technology in schools prepares students for this transition.

The main argument against technology in learning is that it limits human interactions that are crucial to effective learning. The interactions between teachers and students online does not compare to the actual interactions in a classroom setting. Students do not want benefit from the reactions and opinions of other students when learning online. Learning in schools is not limited to the curriculum. Students learn moral lessons from their teachers, which is sometimes impossible with online lessons. Another disadvantage of online learning is that students especially at low levels of education might not differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources of information.

Is technology a friend or foe in learning?

Technology in learning is neither a friend nor a foe. The outcome of introducing technology in learning depends on the approach used. Technology should not replace the face-to-face interactions between teachers and students. Instead, technology should complement these interactions. Teachers have a major role to play in advising their students on how to use technology to learn and complete their assignments. Students require direction on reliable online resources and databases. Schools must also encourage and monitor class attendance. Class activities should be part of the curriculum even in higher levels of learning.



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