How Important is Technology in Education: A Comprehensive Guide

how important is technology in education

Nowadays, the internet is embedded into everyday life to the extent that most communication depends on your tech gadgets, so it’s no surprise that the world is moving beyond the traditional classroom. But just how important is technology in education?

At the turn of the century, different psychological techniques were discovered for identifying learning styles to innovate classrooms and create individualized learning for students, to level the playing field. For instance, we began dividing learning styles into four primary categories: reading and writing, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

Gardner’s theory about human beings processing information in different ways further provoked the education system to offer hands-on learning, and create learning methods to suit individuals, rather than a mass student body passively consuming knowledge they might never adapt to, find useful, or even interesting.

Those who could follow traditional methods seemed to succeed, whereas others fell behind.

With social media, YouTube, Khan Academy, etc., we saw the education system radically change, and open up to people who previously had access to technology, but not online learning resources.

With free courses offered by Coursera, Udemy, and other platforms, people can learn about almost anything from home, as long as they have a stable internet and an electronic device.

In this article we’ll discuss why education and technology are forever intertwined, how important is technology in education, and how to take full advantage of digital learning platforms.

Let’s dive right in.

Access to Education

Modern education

When asking how important is technology in education, we need to consider accessibility. One of the main reasons education is dependent on technology today is because of how accessible the internet has made learning for people all over the world.

Previously, one of the only ways you could envision a better life for yourself was by jumping through structural hoops – spend your life in school and university, get a job, and go from there.

People who couldn’t afford formal education were primarily left out of the job market unless they acquired valuable skills. But all of this has changed – with laptops, smartphones, virtual learning spaces, classrooms, and even online education available from universities across the globe.

Educational technology progressed from something quite simple. YouTube went from a platform for posting dating videos of yourself to the video posting giant it is today. It’s where ordinary people gain fame, how millions worldwide make money, and the number one place to learn.

With access, you can learn about almost anything on sites like YouTube – the sheer volume of content for personalized learning can benefit you in many ways. From tech skills and critical thinking skills to opportunities for students, especially college students, and skills and hobbies you can incorporate into your daily life, there’s something for everyone.

You can learn coding in a month or less, depending on how many educational videos you consume and how many technical skills you practice. With the information technology field of study opening up avenues to one of the most lucrative industries in the world – which is tech itself – it is amazing how many free resources online can help change your life.

Search engine Google also offers free certifications that can jumpstart your career after education, and even help you switch fields.

The Global Pandemic

The question of how important is technology in education became extremely crucial during the global pandemic. Business, education, healthcare, communication, and almost every other facet of life were moved online.

Academic functioning changed – teaching methods that worked in an in-person classroom were no longer possible, so educators rose to meet the challenge. They created online environments conducive to professional growth, while still retaining and reforming communication skills between students and turning lesson plans into interactive learning.

Zoom became one of the most widely used digital tools for online learning and business with around 300 million users every single day by June 2020. One of the reasons why this platform took off during the pandemic is because of how the technology works to make conversations sound as natural as possible, by controlling latency.

Zoom was in direct competition with Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meets, in addition to many other platforms. One could say that technology also rose to meet the challenge of the pandemic to continue educating people, and making it more accessible while at home.

It wasn’t only official corporations, instructional videos uploaded online, or even digital learning tools that helped people survive the pandemic. It was also the millions of individuals who put up videos of something as seemingly simple as baking bread, or practicing yoga, streaming video games, and creating multimedia knowledge bases of all sorts to not just increase student experience after school closures, but also help parents cope and bring new ideas to life.

Artificial Intelligence

Using technology to educate and entertain

You cannot have a conversation about how important is technology in education without addressing artificial intelligence (AI). Although there’s much debate about AI and its use, ranging from apocalyptic scenarios about human extinction to serious debate about the value of original, man-made art, you can’t deny the impact of AI in education and beyond.

AI applications can help students figure out complex concepts even if they don’t have a lot of time. For instance, some applications will let you paste in text, and summarize it for you in bullet points.

Others, like the recently launched ChatGPT, which has garnered much support, can perform a myriad of tasks like breaking down complex pieces of text into easy-to-understand language, helping to design research outlines, pointing toward sources of knowledge, and more.

Final Thoughts

So, how important is technology in education? Digital narratives have helped the world move on from global catastrophes to a new world order where technology in education can provide access to almost anyone with an internet connection and a desire to learn.

Without technological advancements, education would face stagnance, and the world would lose out on talented individuals who can solve complex problems plaguing humanity.

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