The topic of increasing the efficiency of the learning process for educators is relevant since young people often use digital technologies in their daily lives. Consequently, it will be interesting to learn about expanding opportunities for their use. Since the audience is mixed, it is important to stick to a formal style but also try to engage the individuals.
During the pandemic, technologies in education have become more relevant and widely discussed than ever before. Various digital tools not only help establish distance learning but are often used for the special education of children with disabilities. However, the introduction of different technologies in students’ regular teaching in the classroom is being increasingly discussed. Programs can automate several processes and remove some of the responsibilities of teachers. However, their use provides students with opportunities for cheating and prevents them from concentrating on acquiring personal knowledge.
Technology can be useful for teachers who do not have enough resources or time, becoming indispensable for classroom assistance and lesson planning. First of the advantages of technology in the educational setting is receiving immediate feedback from students. This is especially important for teachers who work with large groups and workloads. Automation of such processes as, for example, testing, when there is no need for human presence, can increase the accuracy of the assessment, as well as eliminate the possibility of any human bias (Galaczi, 2018). Technology can also improve data storage and analysis by enabling the evaluation of knowledge and skills needed for classroom learning (Galaczi, 2018). Various teaching tools allow adjusting the complexity of tasks to students’ levels, making learning as comfortable and effective as possible.
There are situations where technology becomes indispensable, for example, in the provision of special education. According to the US Department of Education, nearly 7 million students in US schools in 2017-2018 receive special education for health and development reasons (as cited in Castelo, 2020). The use of technology allows blind or visually impaired, deaf children, as well as students with cognitive, verbal, or motor disabilities, to receive an education. For example, programs that provide subtitling for video or voice-overprint material are widely used in special education classrooms. Various programs also allow students to communicate with both teachers and peers. In cases where a student cannot leave the house at all, such tools become irreplaceable for their socialization and improving the quality of life. The tremendous benefits of technology in special education are apparent, but are they necessary in regular classrooms, and are they doing more harm than good?
As was mentioned, various programs can help educators automate the learning and data analysis process, removing some of the tedious responsibilities. However, the market for different educational platforms is so vast today that teachers can easily confuse choosing the products they need. Moreover, not all of the existing tools, even a smaller part of them, are really useful. Thus, before implementing technologies in the classroom, the teacher will have to spend a considerable amount of time testing and choosing the right platforms, which is extremely tedious and time-consuming.
Even if the teacher can cope with this task, there is a risk that they will have to use a wide range of different programs. For example, Heim (2020) asked teachers how they work with distance learning, what programs they use, and how the process affects their lives. Teachers reported many constraints they have faced, workflows have become tedious, and new technologies are challenging for them. However, the most remarkable aspect of the article is that one teacher lists the programs he has to utilize daily. He notes that the systematization of their use and the process of working with them takes so much time and effort that his performance and concentration of attention have significantly decreased (Heim, 2020). Moreover, devices and platforms have limited his ability to interact with students and provide instruction. Of course, innovations in education affect not only teachers but also students, but do all of them use them for good?
Technology is expanding both the opportunities for learning and cheating in exams and classrooms. For example, in the UK, the Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice recommends that students should not wear smartwatches during exams, as they are often misused (Chandler, 2019). The overall increase in smartphone exam cheating was around 25% in 2017 (Chandler, 2019). Smartphones do not seem so convincing; however, in Thailand, students use cameras to spy and transmit educational information and, in China, even fake fingerprints (Chandler, 2019). Undoubtedly, learning platforms and devices are different, but wouldn’t let students utilize them also provoke the desire to misuse them? Digital innovations are still aimed at using all humankind’s achievements, thus, it is difficult to focus on individual knowledge and development.
Technologies in education are widely used in a pandemic when it is necessary to organize distance learning. In addition, they help children with disabilities access socialization and knowledge. Nevertheless, the introduction of various digital tools into the regular educational process has long been widely discussed. Multiple programs can help teachers automate some of the teaching and administrative work. However, it is challenging to find truly useful platforms and use them effectively. Moreover, various resources give students access to cheating opportunities and prevent them from focusing on their knowledge. Thus, technologies should be used only to provide opportunities that the student otherwise could not have, and regular learning experiences a significant negative impact.
Castelo, M. (2020). Using assistive technology to empower students with disabilities. EdTech. Web.
Chandler, S. (2019). How technology is being used by students to cheat on tests. Forbes. Web.
Galaczi, E. (2018). Anything teachers can do – can technology do better? Cambridge Assessment English. Web.
Heim, J. (2020). Pandemic teaching, in their words. The Washington Post. Web.