Educational Technologies - A Help Or a Hindrance?

The rapidly expanding technological landscape has made its effect known across the planet, as more advanced tools find their ways into homes, businesses, and educational institutions. In some instances, these technological advancements serve a valuable purpose, while in others, they can unnecessarily complicate everyday interactions. This dilemma is perfectly demonstrated in the classroom, where educators find themselves faced with an ever-growing assortment of technological resources that are intended to help improving the learning experience for students. While there is no question these tools can have a valuable purpose, it is essential to carefully define how these educational technologies are implemented. 

Utilizing Essential Tools with Supervision

Perhaps the most widespread technological tool in the modern classroom is the desktop computer. There are relatively few classrooms in the modern world that do not have at least one of these devices available for students to access. In many instances, these computer systems serve as portals that allow students to be exposed to rich content that can assist them in exploring a wide spectrum of different subject matters. 

On the same page, simple technologies can also present a challenge to educators hoping to keep their students focused on their respective educations. A simple computer can easily be used to access content that has nothing to do with an academic agenda, leading the student to waste valuable learning opportunities in favor of fleeting entertainment. To prevent this, it is vital for instructors to provide supervision that can help guide students using these tools. 

Challenges for Academic Institutions

Aside from the impact such technological resources have on the students themselves, educational institutions often find themselves facing a myriad of different challenges in their attempts to utilize emerging educational technologies. These challenges often encompass some of the following obstacles:

1. Much like everyday consumers are constantly bombarded with new devices and systems, academic institutions have new technologies to choose from continually. While replacing a television set or computer with new technology might be feasible in a home environment, it can be prohibitively expensive for cash-strapped institutions to implement across the board. 

2. Research available regarding what technologies are most conductive to a learning environment is limited. This makes weeding out the useful tools from unnecessary distractions particularly difficult. 

3. Instructors often struggle to find the balance between encouraging the use of technology for educational pursuits, while limiting its use for unwanted reasons. Finding the right key to this equation is incredibly taxing. 

Implementing Technologies Successfully

In order to ensure the well being of students and academic progress, it is essential for academic institutions and instructors to work towards finding technological solutions that will keep their classrooms interesting and relevant. As students become more accustomed to using technology in other aspects of their daily lives, schools must remain at the forefront, helping students to find the right tools that will allow them to succeed academically. Not only will the learning process benefit, but also these tools can help instructors to make an impact in a more effective manner.

Sarah writes for Richmond, the American Uni in London. Richmond’s specialist courses range from international relations to their unique art history masters course. Richmond offer low student numbers and a great student experience. 

Categories: College Life   Tags: educational technologies