8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Education

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Technology can be Zeus’ Lightning Bolt or Achilles Heel, depending on how it is used in education and what its impacts are. If used well and properly, then technology can do to education what vaccines did to mankind. But if used inappropriately, then technology can undo all the evolutionary steps that academics, scholars and educationists have achieved over centuries.

Technology has transformed education and the changes are irreversible. The real question is how technology and old methods of teaching can coexist and how we evolve hereon. Let us explore the advantages and disadvantages of technology in education, in a completely rational or objective way. Romanticizing technology or education would not serve the purpose of this debate.

Advantages of Technology in Education

1. Brings the fun back into education.
Let us start with something that may appear to be relatively trivial but very significant. Technology makes education fun. It is no secret that a vast majority of kids found the old methods of imparting education rather boring, uninteresting and toilsome. Technology has changed that. Students can now have fun. There are audiovisual presentations, interactive sessions, technology aided studying and there is a treasure trove of information at the disposal of a click. The teacher’s way of educating is not the only way. One doesn’t always have to listen to endless lectures. There are more engaging ways of educating now than we have had ever in the past.

2. Technology facilitates independent learning.
It is well known that the old methods of teaching restrict what one learns to the knowledge and ability of the teacher. While research or self study has been in practice for centuries, available resources and multiple opinions weren’t that readily accessible. Today, courtesy the internet and search engines, a plethora of websites dedicated to information and education, one can easily get the information one needs and one can develop an informed and objective opinion.

3. Technology makes education easy, simple, quick and multifaceted.
One doesn’t have to sign up for the pricey institutes to be adequately educated. Private tuition fees can be avoided. There is no need to buy a ton of text books or to have a personal library. All the information one needs is available online and for free. One can access the information from anywhere at any time and without any massive infrastructure or special privilege. This certainly helps to empower the poor and the right to education has never been more realizable before.

4. Inculcating technology in education aptly prepares the students for what lies ahead.
There was a time when technology or specific subjects were specialized domains. Only a few would get educated in those disciplines and an even lesser number would excel in those subjects. Today, using technology in education doesn’t just empower everyone but all become tech savvy to a certain extent. This makes life easier and one is better equipped to overcome the inevitable challenges of life.

5. Technology in education has made remote learning or educating possible.
One doesn’t have to travel to a major city, spend a fortune and then toil through several years to get a necessary degree. One can be home and get trained by some of the best in the field.

Disadvantages of Technology in Education

1. A lack or slowdown of cognitive development.
When kids are introduced to technology at a very tender age and they get to know that solving problems is as simple as a few clicks, they would not try to solve the problems on their own. The old methods of teaching progress through the simplest of reasoning and cognitive skills, proceed to more complicated problems and then delve into specialized areas where one tries to learn the most daunting challenges in a discipline. With technology, one can easily overcome the first few phases of learning, without actually mastering the basics. This will do away with the potential cognitive development, which can be extremely detrimental. If the brain growth and intelligence quotient are not facilitated at the tender years, then it is unlikely that we as a species would evolve further, at least cognitively. In effect, students relying on technology in education may be dumber, always reliant on quick searches or online resolutions and may never try to resolve a problem on their own. From stunted memory to giving up easily, there can be many types of fallout.

2. Technology in education can be a distraction.
Students may focus more on information that is not relevant for them. The virtual world is loaded with violent and sexually explicit content that can distract any kid. Also, there are plenty of avenues to have fun and entertainment. This can develop a chronic dislike for studies.

3. Relies to much on technology.
Eventually dismisses the significance of teachers, educational materials or all the progresses we have made to improve our education system. Dropping out has become a fad today but not every dropout would end up being a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. For ten examples of dropouts having glorious careers, there are millions of stories of immense failures.