Technology is challenging, even changing, many of the things we traditionally accepted. In the field of learning and education, technology enables both pedagogy and andragogy to be efficient. This efficiency results in unprecedented heights, as it gives teachers, trainers, and educators tools that help students learn faster.
This increase in learning quality is something many fail to notice, but for those who’ve been teaching students or training employees for years, they can see the difference. Below are some of the ways technology is affecting learning and education.
Builds a High-Engagement Learning Environment
In the traditional sense, actively participating in a training or classroom means talking in front of your peers or classmates. This may intimidate some learners, and so this is where technology helps. Through online tools like video conference programs and discussion boards, active participation takes on a different form. Many students become more confident in speaking up, and discussing topics by posting messages on learning platforms is extremely helpful for those who would rather write (or type) than speak.
Encourages and Empowers Collaboration
Whether it’s the teacher who teaches in a classroom or a trainer who’s handling workshops in a company, one thing is guaranteed: learners digest information faster when it’s done through a collaborative effort. The interaction and communication involved in the learning process make the experience more social and memorable. And that’s what modern technology allows: it allows collaboration of everyone involved. Think of a simple cloud-based word processor document, with all of the students typing on it simultaneously. Such technology or even concept was unheard of years ago.
Systems that promote communication, be it messaging systems like Slack or Matermost, the boost in communication definitely increases cooperation. Take, for example, companies going through change management coaching. They will benefit a lot from having a system that encourages collaboration and communication, as the transfer and transition of knowledge and ideas isn’t limited to a boardroom discussion.
Traditional schools and vocational academies follow a very strict and rigid schedule. We’re all familiar with the “come in at 8 am, leave at 4 pm” formula, or the “night classes” that are popular among vocational institutions. This is all but a thing of the past as modern innovations make it possible for learners and students to find the right schedule for them- or even study entirely remotely.
This innovative form of self-paced learning method is friendlier to a wide variety of people: special needs people who cannot travel to school, those working a day job and require a night school, or even those without the resources to attend traditional schooling or training.
Multifaceted and Uses Different Approaches to Learning
Learning styles have long been established, but with the traditional lecture format, it’s difficult to address. Another benefit to technology is that it allows teachers and instructors to take a learner’s learning style, and then incorporate it into their teaching method. Technology can offer detailed and visual how-to, allowing visual and auditory learners to pause and play to their heart’s content to really soak in what they’re learning.
Kinesthetic learners can use 3D models to have a physical representation of what they’re studying, and of course, reading-writing learners can enjoy the wide variety of written information available online. This flexibility when it comes to the variety of learning styles benefits everyone involved: the students, the teachers, and the business or school. It results in a faster and deeper understanding, making the learning experience more pleasant.
Increases Motivation and Efficiency
Many of us have grown up with technology, from Millennials to Gen Zs, and the new Generation Alpha. It’s something that is nigh intuitive for us, and it’s widely integrated into our daily lives. Therefore, trying to instill traditional tools for teaching and training is no longer as efficient. Because of our inherent knowledge of and inclination towards technology, we tend to learn more through it.
With the realization that we can Google information faster than we can ever find it in a set of encyclopedias, learners would find more motivation by Googling it instead. This motivation is born out of efficiency: the faster it is to get it over with, the better. While this might sound bad on paper, the reality is that it encourages learners to be more proactive with learning. It motivates them to search through the internet, find relevant and useful information, instead of meandering about and looking at tangentially related topics.
Technology has left an undeniable impact in the field of education and training. With the innovative research still ongoing, we can look towards a future where learning isn’t a luxury nor a privilege, but a right for everyone.