Technology has been part of many aspects of our lives and, as expected, education could not help being part of it. Following a constant evolution, the incidence of technology in this branch has led to the creation of what is known today as educational technology.
In this way, educational technology refers to the incorporation of ICTs or Information and Communication Technologies in educational areas to support the teaching and learning process. According to UNESCO, it consists of the systematic way of conceiving, applying and evaluating the teaching and learning processes as a whole, recognizing the technical and human resources and the interactions between them.
Currently, there are many schools that develop educational programs based on technologies and this is due, in large measure, to all the advances that it has had in conjunction with the great benefits that it can bring. Among them, are the following:
- Access to technology: Despite the existence of new mobile devices and various types of computers, not all people have access to technology. The implementation of educational technology allows all students, regardless of their economic or social status, to come into contact with everything they have to offer, to manage equipment such as computers and to learn about the use of the Internet.
- Greater scope for information: The Internet has opened the possibility of finding a larger amount of information more immediately. In this sense, students should not spend hours searching in encyclopedias to find what they need to know since only one click can locate thousands of websites with useful content for their study.
- Computer-assisted teaching (EAO): Advances in technology in education have allowed the development of tools such as IACs (Computer-Aided Instruction or Computer-Assisted Instruction), a type of educational program or software specifically designed to Assist the teaching processes. Its functionality is special since it has a set of tools adapted to the different learning methodologies. In this way, they use verifiable exercises, verifiable content and dynamic activities aimed at checking if the student is understanding the class.
In addition, the use of ICTs in classrooms can be beneficial in certain areas, for example…
- A computer is patient. Students feel more confident towards a machine that waits patiently for their answers and is unable to judge them.
- New technologies save time and money in education. Online schools are more economically accessible than a normal school.
- Online content and virtual classrooms promote collaborative learning. Through tutoring and the student-student relationship, each student is aware of the importance of working as a team to achieve an understanding of a topic.
- Educational technologies allow each person to learn at their own pace and skills.
However, despite all the advantages that can be obtained from them, educational technologies face many challenges; among those that can be mentioned:
- Anti-pedagogical use: It may happen that, in a classroom, students do not pay attention to what the teacher is explaining and use the Internet or computers to perform activities not related to the learning process. They can play online, watch videos, read articles on blogs and much more.
- Little understanding of the educational benefits of technology: This point is a bit related to the previous one. Many people see technology as something that is there to entertain and fail to understand how important it is on a professional or educational level.
- Limited economic resources: There are schools that do not have the necessary resources to implement the use of new technologies and develop strategies to take advantage of them.
- Rejection for ignorance: There are those who do not accept technology within the most common aspects of their daily lives, as is the case of education since they do not know it and are not familiar with it.
Nonetheless, more and more governments and authorities are paying attention to this sector, which is why campaigns have been created that are able to know the advantages of educational technology and, at the same time, manage to face all the challenges that may arise. Thus, such a useful tool can become part of the basis of the intellectual and personal growth of each human being.